Vintage Fender guitars and basses used by Irish bands in the '60s
A feature of Irish '60s bands was their quality instruments. There was no shortage of Fender and Gibson guitars, Selmer saxes and Ludwig drum-kits. On these pages we share vintage photos of musicians with their instruments. If you can identify any of the musicians, please let us know. We are indebted to Guy Mackenzie, Paul Day, John Doyle, Stefano Aria, Steve Russell, Jack Marchal, Mike Robinson, Alfons Lahaye and Tommy Dunne for their very generous expertise in identifying most of the guitars. Where possible, we have credited vintage guitar websites with photos. If your website has been omitted, please let us know and it will be added

Kevin Keeley (Olly Maloney Showband) with his white Fender Jazzmaster (c.1963-'65) (thanks to Barry Hurley). Tiger Taylor played a black Fender Stratocaster with Teddy & The Tigers (thanks to Teddie Palmer)

Doc Carroll (Royal Blues) had an Irish No.1 in 1966 with 'Old Man Trouble'

Clem Quinn of the Miami Showband

Bob Madden of The Leaders (Castlebar) with his 1962 Fender Jaguar

Jack Ruane's Fender Jazz bass features in Geddy Lee's 'Big Beautiful Book of Bass'

Glaswegian Grant Currer who played with The Swingtime Aces with his Fender Stratocaster (c.1963)

Strangers' guitarist Len Guest with his Dakota Red Fender Stratocaster (c.1962) and Vox AC 30 (c.1965) (thanks to Maxie McEvoy) Ricky Keane of Olly Maloney's Showband with his Fender Mustang guitar (c. 1967) (thanks to Barry Hurley)

Another Fender Mustang bass - the band is Jed & The Southern Express

Dennis Murray of The Sands with his 1964 Fender Mustang bass guitar

Jim Dalton (Johnny Flynn band) with his Fiesta Red Fender Stratocaster (note the coloured headstock)

The same 1961 Sratocaster - two different owners!

Christy Donnelly (Philosophers) playing his Fender Telecaster (c.1965)

Tommy Moore (The Vampires) with his Fender Telecaster. Tommy is a brother of Butch and Des Moore.

Joe Barrett (The Doves) with his Fender   Competition Stripe Mustang bass c.1970-'72. This bass is on the cover of Murphy & The Swallows L.P.

Francis Donoghue onstage in Manchester's Carousel Club with his blonde Fender Telecaster (c.1970) with tortoiseshell pickguard (photo: Jimmy Reilly)  

Dick Close of Ballymena's Cossacks Showband with his Fender Precision bass. (thanks to Billy Swan)

Pat Hoey (The Drifters) with his rare Fender Telecaster bass. Colour photo courtesy of

Raymond Gourley of The Sounds with his (c.1964) Fender Telecaster

Brendan O'Connell of The Cadets with his white Fender Stratocaster (c.1962)

  Dermot Walsh (Gibson 330), Brendan Mulhaire (Fender Stratocaster) and Eamonn Joyce (Fender Jazz bass) of The Raindrops Showband
Cha Taylor (The Works) playing his 1964 Fender Jazz bass, with body-coloured headstock, in 1974. Torry McGahey of The Freshmen with his sunburst Fender Precision bass (c.1965 This guitarist with The Signets has a relatively rare Fender Mustang guitar. Though the Mustang bass was common, the guitar was not. (thanks to Mike Niblett)
Seamus Carew of the Blue Aces cuddling his Fender Jazz bass. Tom Dunphy of The Royal Showband playing his 5-string Fender Bass VI. Garret Brown of Demon Duck (1974) and Medium Wave Band (1975) with his 1969 Fender Jazz bass

A Fender Jazzmaster played by Mickey Doran of The Hilton Showband

Brendan O'Connell of The Cadets with his white Fender Stratocaster (c.1962)

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The Irish Bands Archive is an ongoing work in progress. Photos, cuttings, posters, adverts, line-ups, etc. to be added are always welcome and appreciated. If you have anything to contribute, please contact us by email.
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