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All New 2010 Updates
WELCOME TO THE KRIS DERRIG FAN WEBSITE
www.krisderrig.com 

KRIS DERRIG FAN'S MYPSACE PAGE

www.myspace.com/krisderrig
The Kris Derrig Memorial Fund
is in the planning stages by the Derrig Family
to raise funds to purchase a memorial plaque to properly mark Kris's grave
The Mermorial Plaque will feature a unique guitar design to pay tribute
to someone very dear to us who will be missed forever

email for details on participating in this charitable effort

Email 
info@krisderrig.com


Do you have some information about a Kris Derrig guitar?
or a story about Kris you would like to share?

Email 
info@krisderrig.com


DEDICATED TO THE DERRIG FAMILY
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
 

ROBERT KRISTIN DERRIG
 

THE GHOSTBUILDER CHRONICLES

Robert "Kris" Derrig

 
Profession(s) - Musician / Hairstylist / Master Luthier / Hot Rod Enthusiast

Born - 06/04/1954  - Greenfield, MA 
Died - 05/14/1987 -  Kris died at 1am at Dana Faber Cancer Institute Boston, Ma
"He died of a multitude of cancer related problems due to chemical poisoning"
Kris was just short of his 33 birthday when he died in May 1987

"He was the youngest of 3 boys
He also had a half sister that died a number of years ago"

 

"Kris was very friendly and outgoing as a boy and would build tree forts with his brothers in the early days of his youth. He attended grammar school in Northfield, Ma before the family moved to Wisconsin where he attended middle school to eventually return to Deerfield, Ma to attend High School"

"His entire family were mechanically inclined as his father was a carpenter but he split when he was young. So his mother, like the rest of the men in the family, would routinely perform repairs on cars, general carpentry, masonry and electrical work, even to this day she is still very active and works a great deal on her home and car in Maine for decades"

"As a teenager, Kris was a wiry thin soft spoken (almost painfully shy) gentle young man with waist-length long hair who possessed a number of wonderful traits. One being that whatever task Kris focused on, he would master it very quickly to the point of being obsessive / compulsive, he was that focused"

 "He always was enamored with rock and roll music and eventually took guitar lessons together with his childhood friend Donald. (Nutzy) still lives in the Greenfield, Ma area and used to play guitar for a popular Elvis impersonator in the Greenfield area at one time"

"He would focus on one thing at a time and that was it, first it was the guitars, then the hairstyling and eventually the car he obssessed over. He would get so wrapped up in things that he would be locked away in the garage for weeks and eat only peanut butter sandwiches without the jelly, He had a very small world that he traveled in"

"Kris was never in any bands during this early period in Ma. but loved to play his black les Paul copy guitar for hours. It was until later when he moved up to Maine with is mother did he get involved in a band and attended Berkley School of Music - Boston, Ma. in early 1970's right out of high school"
 

"Kris could never afford a real 1959 Les Paul so he did what came natural to him and began to construct a home made Les Paul replica.  He always was enamored with rock and roll music and eventually took guitar lessons with his childhood friend Donald (Nutsy) who still lives in the Greenfield, Ma area, Donald used to play guitar for a popular Elvis impersonator in the Greenfield area at one time"

Kris loved the Allman Brothers rock band and he especially loved Les Pauls, particularly the 1959  Gibson Les Paul Burst used by Duane Allman which inspired him and a friend to go down to Atlanta in 1975 to seek out the Dickey Betts farm. They found it alright and met Dickey himself and were politely escorted very nicley that afternoon by Dickey himself off his farm"
 


DUANE ALLMAN - 1959 GIBSON LES PAUL

"Kris never cursed, smoked nor did he drink or do drugs, but had a true gypsy spirit. He would take long adventures down to Atlanta in his Ford Van to visit the home land of his rock and roll heroes, the Allman Brothers sometimes not retuning back home for months"

"He loved working on things particularly, guitars in the early days and eventually, he would find his Red 1967 TEMPEST / GTO Convertible replica dream car in Atlanta, which he would eventually drive out to LA and lead him to his ultimate destination"

"Kris lived at 2 different addresses while he resided in Atlanta learning the ropes of guitar building from Atlanta’s best source for building perfect replica bursts with his friends / mentors (Rich and Devon) the Atlanta Luthiers that he worked with while he learned the ropes"

"In Atlanta in 1978, he initially began hairstylist school and picked up a number of odd jobs in hairstyling including working with the Revlon Girls for the Winter Olympics - Lake Placid and if it weren't for Kris's disgust for a egotistical and very famous NYC hairstylist that tried to recruit him in 1980 we might never have had Derrig Guitars today"

"During his Atlanta tenure he worked for the well known Atlanta Guitar Works shop with his mentor Devon. He refined his guitar building skills at night too and would actually spray painted guitars inside of his small 1 bedroom Buckhead based apartment in the dead of winter with the windows closed. Some suggest that this may have led to early posioning that he contracted through his blood early in his career"

" A good friend named Scott who recenly contacted the site, had the opportunity to watch him carve a Les Paul body in the shop where he worked (now the current site of a Waffle House in an Atlanta suburb ) and build that guitar over a number of weeks. He actually showed him how he retrieved lint from old Gibson guitar pots and use it in his newer creations to make it more realistic"

"Kris played in a band for a couple of years in the Atlanta area (with his good friends, Scott on bass, Bill his roommate on guitar and on drums was Mark) He loved the Allman Bros and got a great tone to match his southern rock guitar style" 

"He was always busy creating new ideas from drawings that he would artfully sketch and then build them into new guitars from the ideas that people came to him with. He was very patient and soft spoken but would always have various people in his shop a great deal of the time, some of them would hang out and watch him build for hours. He was visited by friends and customers regularly, who have said that he would not heed to those who begged him to wear a mask in his shop, which in many people's opinion, led to his untimely demise. It was believed, that he did not want that additional layer between him and his art. As many who knew Kris and how talented he was, alot of people have said that Kris was one best at what he did"

"In 1983, Kris met Tut Cambell (shown below) and went to work for him at Vintage Music Instruments aka - Dixie Guitars on Windy Hill Road in Smyna, Ga. Tut is a native of Atlanta, Georgia and growing up in the 1960's and 70's, he was connected to many famous artists of that time.  Tut has been wheeling and dealing vintage guitars and playing the Blues ever since then.  He has sold instruments to many individual collectors and professional musicians alike from Billy Gibbons, Pete Townsend and Dave Gilmore and later to Slash and many others. Tut had bought and sold a mountain of vintage instruments during the course of his career and continues find rare and unique vintage guitars even today " 


Tut Campbell with his beloved
 1953 Gold Top Les Paul


"Tut was the guy that sold Slash this 1959 Tobacco LesPaul Burst
(formerly Joe Perry's guitar who sold it in the late 1970's to Derrek St Holmes of Ted Nugent fame who owned it for years before it went to Eric Johnson Tut through his association with St Holmes" 

"By 1987 the Joe Perry Burst was for sale at Dixie Guitars for approximately $10,000 which at that time, was pretty pricey even for a burst. The guitar was in a display case surrounded with Aerosmith memorabilia and was advertised as Perry's guitar. This is where Slash aquired Joe Perry's 1959 Tobacco Burst in 1998 for $8,000"


JOE PERRY'S 1959 LESPAUL 9 0663
This is one of the original 1959 Bursts Kris templated to make his own guitars


"What is not known until now, is that Kris had access to the Joe Perry 1959 Burst Guitar through Tut Campbell and spent a fair amount of time of studying it to dial in his own bursts. "So you could say that part of every Derrig Burst has a little JP Tobacco Burst spec'd into each one" This may also explain a few things about his early builds too. A good deal of his earlier work were constructed with real 1950-60's fretboards and adorned real parts including real PAFs and vintage hardware. There have been several early examples that have all the true appointments of real bursts including the types of lacquer and dyes he used to make the instruments look and feel like the real deal during the Atlanta period of his career"


Kris loved tobacco Les Paul bursts
including 


Duane Allman's 1959 Les Pauls 



 Duane Allman  1959 Gibson Les Paul Burst

"Tut Campbell hired Kris to build replicas after seeing how talented he was at building guitars and employed him in the early 1980's for a short period of time, until they fought about a parts deal gone bad and that was it. Anyone who knows King Tut, knows his turn-around story. He has a very "interesting" past".

"Kris would still be here today as possibly a hairstylist if he did not love building guitars so much. He loved long hair and rock-n-roll and loved to work with sexy women, In one private photo of Kris, it shows him with 4 knockout Revlon models during the 1980 Winter Olympics"


KRIS DERRIG'S PERSONAL LP DEMO GUITAR
Kris Derrig's
1982
Personal
Les Paul Replica


1959 DERRIG LP GUITAR

THIS GUITAR APPEARS ON SEVERAL LEGENDARY RECORDS FROM
1988 - 2009
 

 
SERIAL # 9 0606
 

JIM FOOTE VERIFIES ANOTHER KRIS DERRIG GUITAR
Kris Derrig LP 9 0606
 

(1 number before the Slash 1959 Derrig 9 0607)


"This guitar is not the Slash Replica 9 0607 as mentioned on the Les Paul Forum under the "Who made the Slash Replica" facts page - but 1 number earlier than Slash's guitar. It was Kris's personal demo guitar that he would take around to show customers back in the early Atlanta days circa 1982 -1984. This guitar was  inspected and verified by Jim as an original Derrig LP from that era"

"This was #1 of 3 guitars built out of the same batch of wood that Kris Derrig built in Atlanta period prior to the MusicWorks / Jim Foote era. This guitar was built circa 1982 and was Kris's personal demo guitar that he would show customers according to the previous owner. This guitar has changed hands quite a few times over the last 28 years, including it was once owned by a well known Vintage Guitar dealer and two well known studio gurus who used the guitar on a multitude of famous recordings"

 "According to Jim Foote, this is 1 of few early guitars he made with a real 1950's Les Paul fretboard too. Kris sold this guitar in 1983 and after it left his shop it was sold as a real "Burst" by an unknown seller in the greater LA area. Later it was aquired by his close friend Dave in the mid 1980's and appeared on several Grunge period albums in the 1990's - later to be sold in 1996 to another LA Based music producer to make even more great music, now this guitar resides in a vault with other valuable bursts"

"Kris loved working with guitars/wood and found that he a natural gift - he had knack for building them. Kris made his first Les Paul by the time he was 21 years old and proudly brought it home the fall of the following year during to show to his entire family shown below"

ROBERT "KRISTIN" DERRIG
Kris's very 1st hand-made guitar


KRIS DERRIG PROUDLY DISPLAYING
HIS FIRST ATTEMPT AT MAKING A LP STYLE GUITAR
AT HIS BROTHERS HOUSE IN MA. Circa - 1978


The very first les paul guitar Kris ever constructed was built as a Cherry Sunburst 1960 "Les Paul Style" replica guitar, pictured above and below (Circa 1978)

The guitar was built approximately in mid 1978, pot codes indicate 08/78 its construction is made of a Curly Eastern Maple top with a solid one piece mahogany body and a one piece mahogany neck. The guitar has 1970's Gibson Pat. sticker pickups and original 1959 gold Top knobs and displays a fine AAA maple flametop with a deep red sunburst finish

 

1978 ORIGINAL KRIS DERRIG PHOTO
THE "1ST MADE" KRIS DERRIG LP GUITAR


 

"Kris's very first guitar bearing his surname features a flamed maple binding, abalone fret marker dots and mahogany back-plates and a Brazilian rosewood fretboard."

 "Upon close inspection of this guitar, it is very clear that this was his first attempt at building a guitar, as the interior routes show several rough cavity routing errors. The guitar weighs approx. 9.75 lbs, has a slim taper 1960’s style neck and the dimensions are not exact to original burst specifications. All the same its a great early example of his work and now this guitar resides in a vault with other fine works of art"

 "The guitar has been well preserved over the years with a fair amount of finish checking and some minor player wear. The exact provenance after it left Kris’s possession is unknown on this particular guitar. The guitar represents an educated and good 1st attempt at building a LP Style guitar in the late 1970's when there were little printed resources and no internet to refer to. Kris was ahead of his time for building guitars and is in league of his own when it came to true craftsmanship and raw talent

 

 


SCOTT SHELDON DISCOVERS
KRIS DERRIG'S FIRST GUITAR IN 2006
IN THE DEEP SOUTH

"During this time from 1978 - 1984 in Atlanta, it is believed that Kris built approximately 10-12 replica "Les Paul Style" guitars along with a many other custom guitar builds that he did earlier in his career. The guitar pictured above is the only Les Paul Style Guitar known in existence to bear his surname in this manner. Although there are a couple other different models to surface lately that were also done with his surname engraved on the headstock in other unique layouts"

It is also believed by many inside sources close to Kris that he built another 12 LP Style guitars during his tenure with Jim Foote at the MusicWorks Shop in Redondo Beach California during 1984 - 1987
 
This is the "rarest" example of a Derrig "Les Paul Style" guitar bearing his surname" all other LP Style guitars had another well known logo.

What is not widely known, is that Kris built many other strange and unique "prototype" guitars during his career. Most of them now reside in private collections or have yet to surface as a documented Kris Derrig guitar. We'll take an inside look and feature some of the guitars on this site in the near future.

  http://www.krisderrig.com/

WWW.MYSPACE.COM/KRISDERRIG

 

THE GHOSTBUILDER CHRONICLES

 
Scott Sheldon
Author / Musician / Historian & Collector /Builder - Enthusiast

2006
DISCOVERS THE 1ST DERRIG ELECTRIC LP GUITAR

 MCI MUSIC PHOTO
SCOTT SHELDON HOLDING THE VERY 1ST DERRIG LES PAUL 
HE DISCOVERED IN 2006 NOW RESIDES IN A VAULT IN EUROPE

 

Scott Sheldon has always been musically influenced since he saw Jimi Hendrix play at Woodstock and saw many of the most influential artists of the late 1960s & 1970s play live with his dad who was a technical wiz at electronics and woodworking during the late 1960's & 1970s

At the age of 13, he built his very first Les Paul Gold Top electric guitar from scratch, complete with a home-made bassman style amp, with the help of his tech-guru father "Jack Francis". He quickly became a prodigy and taught himself how to build / repair and play guitars by the time he was 16 year old and currently does his own work to this day  

His live music experience fanned the flames of his desire to be a professional guitar player and eventually a collector and enthusiast. In the 1980’s, his band “Rumors" gained local recognition on the east coast and shared the stage with countless major national acts such as the Joe Perry Project, Farrenheit, Letters to Cleo, the Del Fuegos and the Cars, just to name a few

After attending Emerson College, Scott appeared in numerous major motion pictures and television shows along with doing print/commercial modeling after getting the acting bug in school.  He has been an active member of the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television & Radio Performers (SAG and AFTRA) since 1991

Scott is also an active member of NAMM with his guitar business MCi Music Co, and is an active music community member and helps people find jobs in the technology industry as a recruiter. He is a proud father to his son "Max" and devoted husband too. He spends a good deal of his free time teaching his son how to play guitar and appreciate music and the arts

Scott is currently writing a book and researching rare and collectible instruments. He also plays guitar professionally in a local cover band in Southern California for the past decade and supports local music.
Sheldon has been instrumental in documenting several historically significant musical instruments for the past decade and is one of the nation's leading authorities on Derrig guitars and other hand-made specialty instruments and an avid Gibson Les Paul Burst collector. 


2007
Scott Sheldon - 1958 Derrig Replica
 
MCI MUSIC PHOTO -MCI COLLECTION
Jim Foote verified this very rare authentic LA Era Kris Derrig 1958 Burst 
The Last '58 Burst made by Kris Derrig in LA at MusicWorks before his death - MCI GUITAR

2008 

MCI MUSIC PHOTO
Jim Foote verifies another a very rare and early Atlanta period 1982 Kris Derrig 1959 Burst 
Kris Derrig's Personal 1959 Burst 9 0606
(1 number before Slash's guitar)

Scott holding 2 LA ERA Derrig Guitars at Jim Foote's shop - LA MusicWorks
 
February 2009 
VERIFIED
1959 DERRIG LP BURST
FOUND IN ATLANTA, GA



APRIL 2009

The HunterBurst
 
Discovered by  Scott Sheldon  &
Roman Rist  during the 2009 documentary

"WHO MADE THE HUNTER BURST"
 
KRIS DERRIG


THE HUNTERBURST 2009 - NOW DISPLAYED IN THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME - CLEVELAND OHIO
 
2010


MCI MUSIC PHOTO
A VERY RARE AND EARLY
1958 Gibson Sunburst Les Paul 8 -3322
Scott Sheldon uncovers a name underneath a hand painted original 1958 Lifton case 
and traces to the original owner to Ray Goss - K Otics - 1961 
who was the second owner of this original 1958 factory finish Cherry Sunburst Gibson Les Paul Guitar
 Verifying 8 -3322 to be one of the 1st legitimate Gibson Sunburst Les Pauls
to be made by Gibson in late summer 1958



 
FEBRUARY 2010
VERIFIED
1960 DERRIG LP BURST
FOUND IN SAVANNAH, GA
THE DR BILL BURST DISCOVERED


If you own or think you may have found a Kris Derrig guitar
and would like to sell or share more information - please email me


THE KRIS DERRIG STORY

by

SCOTT SHELDON 
AUTHOR / GUITAR HISTORIAN / COLLECTOR


info@krisderrig.com


Copyright 2008, MCi Music Co
© kris derrig & krisderrig.com