Kevin Chilcott

Luthier

PERSONAL PART II

Back to Me - After 'Royal'.....

When I had to stop work in 1989 due to ill health - I was 'lost'. I spent the next 18 months having physiotherapy at hospital three days a week, which did however give some sort of routine. In July 1991 I discovered  Archery, which I took up as my own form of physiotherapy. 
I had heard that it was used for this at Stoke Mandeville Spinal Hospital near London, England. I became quite good at it, and archery took the place of work in a way, I spent a lot of time practicing, and also got involved with Zen through archery too -  Archery, or Kyudo as it is called in Japan, is one of the Japanese Zen Arts.

Even if you have no interest in archery at all, I would recommend that you read a wonderful little book by - Eugen Herrigel  called
"Zen in the Art of Archery"
..... which dates from the 1930's. It is available in paperback published by ARKANA   ( ISBN 0-14-019074-0 ).
It is
'truly' wonderful -  quite short, fascinating, magical and very enlightening book that will stand being read over and over again !

 *   *   *   *   * 

I became a qualified Archery Coach in 1993 and then later joined the Great Britain Disabled Squad  in 1994 as a shooter. I shot for Great Britain twice - In Belgium in early 1995 when I won a European Bronze Medal and in France in the summer of 1995.I also had the honour of being invited to the annual shoot of the Worshipful Company of Fletchers for three years running.

I  shot for Wales at 'full international level' at the Home Internationals in Birmingham, England in late 1995. It was a great year for me, culminating in being nominated for the -  Welsh Sports Personality of the Year Award for 1995, which was held in Cardiff, Wales in January 1996. 

I was invited on to the 
Great Britain 'Paralympic' Squad who I had been training with for some time anyway, and was hoping to get to the Atlanta Olympics ('Paralympics') in 1996. Unfortunately for various reasons, I didn't make it. I had been struggling physically by then anyway and I completely packed in shooting in late 1996, although I did do quite a bit of coaching for the kids at our local club over the next two years.
After that I needed something else to occupy myself with and I 'sunk' myself into electronics, which has also helped me a lot by keeping me busy, and my mind active for the past few years.
In
1996 I got back into playing guitar again after quite a few years through which I had lost interest completely !

Acknowledgements

There are quite a few people who have helped us out over the years, they all know who they are, and "Royal Guitars" wouldn't have happened without them. So I've done a thanks page and have thanked all those who immediately come to mind - If  I've left anyone out, I'm sorry..... drop us a line, it would be great to 'hear' from you. Cheers, Kevin and Lyn.

See.....
With Thanks to.....


Current Gear

GUITARS

Tokai '58 V
('80s)
I got this guitar from 'Big Norm' about 10 years ago. I love her - And I will be keeping her always.

Betsy
(1989)
She is the only Royal I have left. She is pretty basic -  a  single old Gibson P90, basic Schaller bridge, a 'Bigsby' (copy) tremolo and Grover machine heads which are a little heavy so I'll probably change them for some re-issue Klusons sometime -  other than that 

She's Great !

and

Jasmine D-Type Acoustic 
A great guitar to have around the house or to take out. The Kids can have a 'strum' on it too, and if it gets a bit battered, it doesn't really matter. I swapped some equipment for it - good deal !

AMPS

Gibson GA 10 
(
1959)
10w from two 6V6 valves in single-ended configuration through a 10" Jenson alnico speaker. MO : - There is only one volume and one tone 
so turn up to full and Go !  "
Orgasmic Overdrive" is the only possible description. A hint of valve reverb sweetens the sound even more. 
Try it through a 4x12.....
Mmmmm ! (Class A - This amp runs very hot) Lyn bought this from Paul Day in 1986 - and keeps reminding me that it is actually..... HERS !

and

Marshall JCM 800
(Early '80s)
100w Split channel Reverb (2210), lovely amp with a great clean channel - although probably 'sacrilegious' to many, I prefer to use the clean channel only, with reverb, and get overdrive from either a Big Muff, Marshall Guv'nor / Blues Breaker or Boss BD-2 / DS-1.
Essentially - it's a Marshall, so you don't need much else !..... apart from a 'Roadie' ! ;0) (
This one is actually mine !)

FAVORITE PEDALS

Electro Harmonix Big Muff
('70s)
Amazing fuzz/overdrive - THE BEST..... which I have now repaired. Both the op-amps 'went down'. Great to have it back.

Electro Harmonix Small Stone
('70s)
Vintage Phaser which is great sounding and easy to use but the 'colour' control can get a bit 'OTT' ! 

Looking For.....

I am still on the look out for a few 'particular' bits of gear, but they are not a priority - 

Amps
A nice
Fender Dual Showman Reverb Head, Twin Reverb, Deluxe Reverb or Mesa/Boogie Mk I head or combo.

Guitars
A
Cherry Gibson '64/'67 Flying V with maestro tremolo, SG Standard (Type 1) or 'TV' Double Cut Special and 
A nice
Fender Strat - Either ..... Sunburst with Maple neck or Vintage white with Rosewood fingerboard - '50s/'60s/re-issue.

You never know..... !

The Future..... ?

Well, at this moment in time it is very hard to say what my future will be. I am still attending various hospital clinics at the moment, and will continue to do so for some considerable time to come.....and until I can raise '$6 million' so they can rebuild me   ;0)   ..... 
..... or perhaps there is some sort of medical breakthrough, I'm not going to be able to do much at all for the foreseeable future. I am currently waiting for a.....'Spinal Infusion'. I am not expecting miracles, as I have already been having extensive treatments for 12 years (now 14 years), am never without pain and have considerable difficulty in walking - which all in all, has made 'life' a 'very long haul' indeed and as yet none of the treatments (and there have been many and various) have been successful !

Like everybody else I have a 'need' to for-fill, and hopefully may once again 'weald my draw-knife' !  In the past, I have 'literally' bled on every instrument I've made, and it would be great to leave a bit more of my DNA on..... .....some more guitars - maybe
 "Royale" Guitars.

.....watch this space !

Now, since 2003 the first Royale Guitar is 'out there'... Serial Number 001..... and she is currently being toured all over the world by Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash.
When Andy picked her up, it was The Crowning Moment of my career as this meant that my lifetime's ambition of building a Flying V for Andy Powell had happened... which is not what I would have expected... as dreams tend to be dreams... and we never really usually come around to thinking that a dream could possibly become a reality.
So, I count myself extremely lucky as an individual (and this would apply to anyone in any career or vocation) that something that I had wished to do or accomplish as a teenager would happen and also be a very successful part of my career - and I was 44 at that time.
Since then I've made another Flying V for Andy (Chamille - the Cherry V) and also a 'Chilkev' Bitocaster (Essentially a bolt on neck S-Type guitar) both completed in 2004.
I have a few more projects to do for Andy and I've also perhaps got a couple of projects in the process for other members of Wishbone Ash - we'll see.

So lets leave things here for now and perhaps I can say that the next part is... a work in progress.

So...
Please Go to the Royale Guitars Page for some pix
and the continuation of the new venture.

2005 is the 25th year since I built my first guitar - well I started three actually - 2 Acoustics and an Electric...
...there are pictures of these in the
Royal Guitars/Early Days section.
I am building a few commemorative guitars for my 25th anniversary year - there will be information on these on the new
Royale Guitars website which is mentioned below:
There is another website dedicated to the new venture Royale Guitars where there will be more information as the project matures.
You can get to this site by clicking the link below:
www.royaleguitars.com

THANKS
This is a page dedicated to all of those that I can think of right now that have helped me over the last 25 years.

PERSONAL PART I
Back to Personal Pt 1


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