In 1995 I bought a Klein Electric Guitar from Lorenzo German, who was building them at the time. It was the perfect guitar for me: small, with a great sound. It became a huge part of my identity and I recorded and toured with it quite a bit. It also features prominently in one of my favorite press photos, where I jumped onto my knees (and skinned both of them – ouch).
Around 2005, I secured an endorsement from Brian Moore Guitars, which meant that I was to play their guitars exclusively, which meant not taking my dear Klein on the road. This would end up being a blessing, because the first time I took the Brian Moore guitar on the road with the Lascivious Biddies, someone stole it along with the bass amp, keyboard, and a laptop. (Long tedious story that I won’t bore you with).
Over time, I was not playing the Klein so much; I was also young and broke. My buddy Kenny Wessel was looking to buy another Klein as by this time the company had gone out of business, and Lorenzo German was nowhere to be found (he basically disappeared). So I sold the Klein to Kenny, and as I joked with anyone who would listen, “Well, I never got to play with Ornette Coleman, but my guitar did!” (Kenny was in Coleman’s band Prime Time.)
Over the years, I missed the Klein. I am happy that it has a good home with Kenny (and believe me, it does!), but I never really stopped thinking about it.
This was a brutal summer, tons of teaching, lots of overheating (thanks, MS combined with climate change!), no down time, etc. I also had a super cool gig with Shirazette Tinnin where the guitar I played wasn’t totally cutting it. All I kept thinking was, “I wish I still had the Klein.”
So I went on reverb.com and found a used Klein from around the same period that mine was built and made an offer. It was accepted.
And there you have it. It was like welcoming an old friend back into my life. I love it and I feel like somehow there was a piece of me that was missing and is back now. I’ll always keep playing my Brian Moore DC-1 on the more straight-ahead jazz stuff, but this little blue axe makes me really happy.
Steve Klein says
Thank you for your story about your Klein.
Yes Mr German is no longer building but I’m still working at it and should you ever need any help with your new instrument or are interested in anything that I can help you with, please don’t hesitate to call.
Amanda Monaco says
Thanks so much, Steve, and thank you for making such great guitars! – Amanda
So many of my favorite guitar players have stopped playing their Kleins…. so glad to see one in your hands again!