Ricky Lavelle - My Favorite Guitar Player

Greatness can be distorted by talent, as talent can get in the way of passion, love, and sincerity. My friend Ricky Lavellie was not a talented guitar player but he was in my opinion my favorite guitar player because he was passionate, sincere, and filled with love for people and music. Ricky was a 50 year old resident of the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, and he was a friend of many. He was a slow walker and a slow talker, and most days you could find Ricky playing music in the DTES, he especially loved old gospel songs. Ricky stood up for the poor and he often was on the frontline protesting for low income peoples housing rights. 

Ricky was my friend and we played music for many hours. The last time that I saw Ricky was as a Christmas party in the DTES, we played 30+ Christmas songs, well we played a portion of over 30 Christmas songs. The thing is that Ricky did not know many songs, but he knew countless parts of songs, so he would mix choruses and verses of different songs in the same number. Also Ricky played in open G and just made things work. I am not sure if he even knew how to play cowboy chords. Many times Ricky would get his guitar stolen and those were some of his darkest days. Great to see him with a guitar in his hands. 
The night that this bonfire picture was taken Ricky was so excited to be singing around a fire that he played through the night. I went to bed at midnight and work up the next morning at sunrise and he was still in the same chair waiting for someone to wake up and rejoin him to sing more songs. That is that way that he was, always filled with joy when spending time with a circle of friends sharing story and song. 

"Well I am I am trying say, let's keep the fight up for this place, and keep going with it all the way."

Ricky Lavallie 1960 - 2012


9 New Sparrow Guitars Posted!

We have 9 new guitar posted on the 'Sparrow Guitars' pages. Contact us for any inquiries you have. 

Sparrow Primitive 335 boss/pro, transparent red.  Comes with 
Grover tuners. 

Sparrow Primitive 335 ace/boss/pro, transparent red. Comes with a 
Bigsby style vibrato, and Grover tuners

Sparrow Primitive 335 ace/boss/pro, transparent blue. Comes with a 
Bigsby vibrato, and Grover tuners 

Sparrow/Anchor Twangmaster/Telecaster old white, comes with  
Grover tuners, and Kent Armstrong pickups


How To Change Electric Guitar Strings in 7 Easy Steps

Changing strings is the most basic part of setting up a guitar. If you are a guitar player or a beginner guitar player this is a must know skill to have. For all of you seasoned guitar players don't worry about this post. The guitar model (Sparrow Primitive, 335, Boss/Pro, Transparent Red) pictured in this post is for sale on our guitar page.

Step #1: Clean your work station.
  • Having a clean work station may be obvious to some, but to others it can be a real challenge. Take five minutes before you begin to change your strings to make sure that your work station is cleaned up from you previous project. I suspect that some of you will be doing this on your kitchen table, on your guitar case on the floor or on your lap watching a football game. Anywhere is fine as long as you can get the job done!

Step #2: Remove old strings.
  • This step is what is coming between you and your guitar being newly stringed. This is the most dangerous part of the job! The key to not having strings flying around the room is to unwind them before you cut them, or just unwind them all the way. If you have a string winding tool it can really help to speed up the process. 


End of summer.

Our made in Canada electric guitars are made in East Vancouver BC. Book an appointment and come down to our showroom to try out some of our guitars. 


Adventure #2

Love at first sight. Is it possible?
First run Anchor Guitars tee shirt. 
Freight train box car full side piece.


Guitars Posted

We have posted 5 new guitars from our Vancouver Studio showroom on the 'Anchor Guitars', and 'Sparrow Guitars' pages. There are two Sparrow Rat Rod / LP's, one Sparrow Primitive / 335, and two Anchor Steadfast / LP Jr's. The Gold top Sparrow Rat Rod LP is signed by Mike Ness of Social Distortion.


Adventures #1

The Arch in St. Louis Missouri what a sight. Chuck Berry is from Saint Louis. Me and two friends got kicked out from hanging under the gateway arch. The security guard that kicked us out was really into his job, he followed us over two blocks and then threatened to call the cops on us if we came back to the park. 

Blood Alley in Gastown Vancouver, the alley street used to run red with blood after the butchers had worked chopping meat all day. 'Blood Alley' would be a great name for a metal band. 


Red Sparrow 335 style 'Primitive Ace' with custom pinstripes. These guitars are really smooth players, fast neck, stainless steel frets, wired in Canada with top of the line electronic components, bone nut, Grover Tuners, great sounding, great playing. 

There is something so nostalgic about a table of tapes at a flea market or garage sale. Classic tapes like Mozart, Batman Movie, Aerosmith, Ziggy Marley, ZZ Top, Meat Loaf. I am not sure who is buying tapes these days, but if you are there is a whole world of selection  out there for you.  

This Heron flew right past the back window of our shop.