Kevin Chilcott

Luthier

PERSONAL PART I

I was born in 1959 in South West London, England, (I am 3/4 British / 1/4 Lithuanian), and attended local schools, attained 8 'O' levels in 1976 and 3 'A' levels in 1978, which led to a place at Portsmouth Polytechnic, Hampshire in 1978, starting a degree in Marine Biology. However, I was not really  an 'academic', and was struggling with the work when John Hunnisett came on the scene in a chance meeting, when I dropped into his little Music 'come' Repair shop - in Southsea, Hampshire in late 1978 - for a set of guitar strings. A great interest in guitar building and guitars in general developed with John's encouragement which led to me leaving Portsmouth in 1979 trying to get a job involving guitars. I applied to all the main 'distributors' in Great Britain and also unsuccessfully applied to the London College of Furniture, which at that time was the only place in Great Britain that did a course in musical instrument making. Whilst all this was going on, I did many and various jobs - as a labourer, security guard, night worker, warehouse worker -  until eventually the opportunity with Chris Eccleshall came about. 

A couple of amazing years was spent with Chris (
The Master) as his apprentice learning how to make and repair the  guitar and mandolin 'families', until it was then time to go out and do it 'the hard way' - on my own.

Eddie Allen covers some of the general information in the 'Guitarist' Magazine "Flying Angel" review, so have a browse through that as well if you're interested.

My first couple of guitars were made while with Chris, and the rest from then up until
1989 in various parts of the country. 

I exhibited my guitars for the 1st time at the... 
First British Guitar Show 
held at The Royal Festival Hall in London, England in
1982.

I moved to Somerset in
1983 to live with  my Dad after Mum had died and I met Lyn later that year. 

I exhibited again in 1984, this time at The Guildhall, London where I had about 6 guitars available.

We moved to Exeter in
1985  where we opened the 'Workshop' which became "The Shop". ( I should stress at this point, it took until 1985 and us both doing all sorts of jobs in the mean-time to get to the position of renting a Shop, and to start with we "slept 
in the car" out side "it", for 3 months ! .......... which was pretty "hectic" We had a market stall, Lyn did sewing projects and I did furniture repairs, French polishing and all sorts of 'bits and bobs' to earn a 'crust' ! )

We were married in early
1987, and took on an Industrial unit as a 'Main workshop', apart from having 'The Shop', Electrical Repairs Facility and a Rehearsal Room. Our first born was  Jessica later in the year. We closed the Shop workshop, and all the associated premises and moved to Wales in mid 1988Kelly was born in 1989 just after ill health and disability made it impossible for me to 
carry on the business - unfortunately. Then
Larissa, our third little girl, was born in 1992.

In a 'nutshell', that is in brief the history of Kevin, Lyn and" Royal Guitars ".

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Music
My personal music tastes are 'essentially' '70s based, having seen many and various Bands in the '70s at venues all around London.
(
.....Boring old **** ! ) .....but there's a lot of great more new stuff I like too ! 

My favorite Vinyl Albums or CDs -  In no particular order.....


Wishbone Ash

Wishbone Ash 
Argus 
Live Dates
There's the Rub
Front Page News
Nouveau Calls 
Live in Chicago 
Live Dates 3 Paris
Bonafide

Gary Moore 
Still Got The Blues 
Ballads and Blues
Wild Frontier

Walter Trout 
Life in The Jungle
Positively Beale St

The Allman Brothers
Wipe the Windows.....
Win, Lose or Draw

Jimi Hendrix
Electric Ladyland
Band of Gypsies

Clanad
Past Present

Albert King
Laundromat Blues

War
The World is a Ghetto

Thin Lizzy
Live and Dangerous

Mick Pini
Ain't No Foolin'

Ten Years After
Recorded Live 1973

Rickie Lee Jones
Rickie Lee Jones

Otis Rush
Right Place Wrong Time

Lou Reed
Rock 'n' Roll Animal

Man
Rhinos Winos & Lunatics

B.B. King
Live at The Regal

Chris Isaak
Wicked Game

Alanis Morissette
Jagged Little Pill

Peter Green
Destiny Road

Arlen Roth
Hot Pickups

K D Lang
Ingénue

David Bromberg Band
How Late'll Ya Play 'till

James Taylor
Hourglass

Eva Cassidy
Live at Blues Alley

Massive Attack
Protection

Carole King
Tapestry

Craig David
Born to do It

Lynyrd Skynyrd
One More from The Road

Derek and The Dominos
Layla

Pink
Missundaztood

 

 

UFO
No Heavy Petting

Judas Priest
Sad Wings of Destiny

Uriah Heep
Very 'Eavy, Very 'Umble

Rainbow
Rainbow Rising

 

 



Santana
Santana III
Caravanserai
Lotus
Borboletta
Love Devotion Surrender
(with The Mahavishnu)
Moonflower
Devadip Oneness
Supernatural

The Doobie Brothers
The Doobie Brothers
The Captain & Me
Toulouse St
What were once vices are now habits

ZZ Top
Rio Grande Mud
Fandango
Recycler

Stevie Ray Vaughn 
Couldn't Stand The Weather
The Sky is Crying

Bad Company
Bad Company

The Who
Who's Next

Pink Floyd
Wish you were here

The Isley Brothers
3+3

Caravan
Cunning Stunts

Freddie King
Stayin' Home with the Blues

Robin Trower
Bridge of Sighs

John Lee Hooker
The Healer

Albert Collins
Live in Japan

Susan Tedeschi
Just won't Burn

Ana Popovic
Hush

Bernie Marsden
Green and Blues

Chic
C'est Chic

Robbie Robertson
Robbie Robertson

Khaled
Sahra

Jonny Lang
Lie to Me

Jewel
Pieces of You

Miriam Stockley
Miriam

Alicia Keys
Songs in A minor

Neneh Cherry
Man

Kiki Dee/Carmelo Luggeri
Where Rivers Meet

Mary Black
The Holy Ground

Mana
Suenos Liquidos 

Isaac Hayes
Live at the Sahara Tahoe

John Mayall
The Turning Point

Dionne Warwick
Heartbreaker

 

 

Black Sabbath
Technical Ecstasy

Nazareth
Rampant

Deep Purple
Made in Japan

Stray
Stray

 

 

 

There are a few of the 'Heavier' variety from the '70s at the bottom. I don't listen to them a great deal now, but they are still a very important part of the music that essentially shaped my feelings and influenced my guitars in later years - all great stuff !

 

 "Zamponas"
More recently, we've come across some brilliant Andean music by a guy called - 

Miguel Angel Puna   from  Bolivia.
( a 20 second download at 56k )

Special Favorites
Regarding a favorite album - I've thought about this a lot but can't decide on only one, so there have to be four -

Santana
- Lotus.
Santana - Caravanserai.
Wishbone Ash
- Argus.
Wishbone Ash
- Live in Chicago.

As far as individual favorite tracks are concerned - to ' Chilout ' to -

Two from Santana.....

Every Step of the Way  from  Caravanserai,
Incident at Neshabur  from  Lotus,
also 
an Amazing 'Latin' piece from Santana III
Jungle Strut.

Three tracks that mean a lot to me are.....
firstly
Wishbone Ash - Leaf and Stream  from  Argus
( there's
a great version on Live Dates 3 also ) 

Faith Hill - The Secret of Life  from  Faith

and more recently
Wishbone Ash - Faith, Hope and Love from Bonafide
which is very special to me indeed.

Some great lyrics in all these, which helped me dig myself out of  some '
very deep holes'.

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Artworks

I was sent some Beautiful works of Art by e-mail, which I found out are by  

Jim Warren
an American Artist.

They are some of the Best I've ever seen. I have some pictures here on the site
by permission.
Artworks by...
JimWarren
(NB - Kev..."For me, the "Earth" will never seem the same again !")
The images on these pages are highly compressed. 

If you'd like to visit His Studio and have a look at all his work, click below for a link to his website...
Link to.....  jim warren.com

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NOSE-ART

One source of Art that has always fascinated me is - what is known as NOSE-ART.
Nose-Art
is the general term for all the Art that was painted on the "War-birds" of WWII, bombers and fighters etc. 
I believe the British, Commonwealth and other Allied forces were more reserved regarding this, the Art of the USAF was much more flamboyant. The Nose-Art on the bombers was probably the most famous, 'The Memphis Belle' is probably the most famous of all.
Continuing on this topic..... i.e. WWII ( I am only 42, so I have no direct experience of these events, however my father 
volunteered and served in
The Royal Navy from 1941 to 1945..... and fortunately got out in 'one piece'.)

There are several websites on the subject of Nose-Art... I'm going to try to organize some links for anybody that is interested.
It is well worth a look.

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month is Very important to me.

 

PERSONAL PART 2

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