Music Ground in Doncaster was a fantastic shop, crammed with guitars of all makes, Fender, Gibson, Vox, Dobro, National, Rickenbacker, it was glorious.
The owner Rick was a little like Moe the barman from the Simpsons, a slightly surly guy, his son was of similar ilk.
Goff was our manager, that was his appointed position, in practice the man was next to useless. Due to a recent nefarious business transaction Goff had money burning a hole in his pocket.
We turned up at Music Ground, why we were there I am not sure, possibly just to watch Goff blow some cash.
A Gretsch square Bo Diddley was one purchase. Rick gave an honest appraisal of the guitar’s provenance which sounded acceptable, Goff paid 3.5k. A strange 12 string caught Rosco’s eye, ‘What is it Rick?’ he asked. Rick just replied, ‘It’s an oddball.’
It certainly was an oddball, the neck was an Eko 12 string, the body was a teardrop shape with a curious Vox badge attached, ‘Is it a Vox or Eko Rick?’
‘It’s an oddball.’
Rick showed us a white Fender Stratocaster he was making up out of spare bits for John Squire, Music Ground did have a good reputation and supplied guitars to many famous faces.
Goff must have dropped over 4 grand on vintage guitars that day, a John Lennon Epiphone Casino was also purchased I think. Goff could not play a note but that didn’t seem to matter to him, I was a bass player and had little interest in guitars but I took an instant liking to the oddball Vox/Eko 12 string.
The oddball guitar was used in the Mystic Morning video.
The band split in 1992, Goff’s attempt at management was a chaotic farce, the truth was he was a destructive influence who wrecked the SP3 and The Darkside.
He played a dangerous game and I knew what he was up to. Everyone else had failed to recognise the divisive methods Goff employed to create lesions and inspire insurrection during his time driving for the SP3. I was mortified at his appointment of manager, I would have begged to re-join SP3, I knew it was going to end badly.
After a series of diabolical errors and catastrophes I had to confront Goff, it was a frustrating and desperate time when every step seemed painful. I woke up angry everyday, angry at the situation and angry at the people around me, and at the epicentre was Goff who appeared oblivious to the rapid dilapidation of our career, we became like one of his properties, something that earned him money but was in reality in a state of continual decay.
Goff backed down very quickly, it was a one on one confrontation and I was prepared to use violence to get my point across. I put him in a corner and told him the truth, he made little protest but this still did not affect any change in the man, Goff was still riding his cocaine pony.
After all that went down between us I was surprised when he turned up at my house some years later with a Fender Twin and the 12 string.
Goff’s financial situation had seemed to remain in a critical state since we first met him. Even on tour he managed to get into us, the threat of bailiff action and a portion of our SP3 tour takings have to be sent to the UK from Berlin to avoid eviction of his tenants, this became a recurring event.
I gave Goff some cash and took the gear, it was just a loan, he had the option of paying me back and collecting the equipment. He never did which I assumed was his way of saying sorry.
Meanwhile, Rick and his son are doing great business and earning handsome
profits wheeling and dealing in the guitar world: the Japanese are devouring vintage axes, there are signed bands wanting cool guitars, and there are grey haired cash laden asshole collectors and investors. They did their best to hoover up every vintage guitar and amp in the land and probably succeeded.
Rick and his son received suspended sentences for handling stolen guitars in 2010, the guitars were dismantled and parts swapped around, serial numbers erased.
Music Ground was really an amazing shop and testament to Rick’s genuine love of guitars. The people he duped were pricks, guys who hoard vintage guitars to line their walls, trophy hunters who are happy to drop 18k or more on an old Strat, these people have absolutely nothing to do with Rock and Roll apart from driving up the price of vintage guitars.
Goff sold the Gretsch Bo Diddley for a good profit, every guitar he purchased from Rick went up in value in a short space of time, so Rick really gave people a good deal but he just went bad over time.
Goff was bad right from the start, good company but an irresponsible man who never could face up to his gross failings and the immense damage he created in peoples lives. I was committed to seeking retribution but as the years passed and his health deteriorated I knew I had to let it go. I went to his funeral.
The oddball guitar is a special instrument, probably the only one that exists, it is probably wasted in my hands and certainly was in Rowley Ford’s. Rowley loved the guitar and would disappear with it for hours on end, in the summer he would sit under the railway bridge where the acoustics provided natural reverb.
The guitar is a beautiful object and kind of feels like a consolation prize for all the abysmal shit that rained down during the Goff Roderick years.