The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Lenny Breau’s Ramirez 1a Flamenco Guitar, 1961


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Here is an historic piece – one of Lenny Breau’s Ramirez 1a Flamenco Guitars, built during 1961 and used during many appearances with Lenny as seen in the attached clips. The first clip is from is a CBC documentary from 1968 with Lenny playing the guitar with its distinctive friction tuners, and the visible, protective tap plates (Golpeador). Note the technical deviation from ‘strictly traditional’ Flamenco style – the use of a thumbpick, very likely a Chet Atkins influence.

Lenny Breau’s Ramirez 1a Flamenco guitar can be seen in a number of CBC presentations and on his first album for RCA, 1969’s “Guitar Sounds from Lenny Breau”. It was finally used on the ‘Cabin Fever’ album in the mid 1970’s. Not long after, it was given as ‘collateral’ for a loan from a prominent Toronto bassist, Gary Binsted. It was never redeemed, and Breau died in 1984 in Los Angeles. Gary Binsted died in 2010, and the current owner, who had played with Binsted in a big band, purchased it from Binsted’s estate.

Over his short life, Breau had two or three Ramirez 1a Flamenco models, the first purchased in Winnipeg from Frank Gay, guitar builder and Ramirez distributor for Western Canada.

Lenny Breau’s Ramirez 1a Flamenco was built in Madrid, its heel is stamped MT for Mariano Tezanos Martin, and dated 1961. Marian Tezanos worked with Jose Ramirez III from the late 1950’s into the 1970’s. At the time, Ramirez did not label these instruments as 1a.

Typical of traditional Flamenco Blanca guitars, the top and bracing are Spruce, the sides and back are Cypress and it is built very lightly, with the geometry set for low, fast action and bright, percussive attack. The neck is Spanish Cedar – Cedrella Odorato – and the fingerboard is Ebony. The binding, head plate, friction tuning pegs and bridge are Brazilian Rosewood. The guitar is constructed in the ‘slipper heel’ method, with the sides slotting into the heel block. The back extends onto the end of the heel, forming the cap.

This wonderful guitar is in overall very good condition, with only light wear to the finish, plates, or frets. The head plate shows a coating of the rosin that’s pretty necessary for successful use of wooden friction pegs. The strings have been wound to maintain the straightest path from nut to peg, which requires the outside E strings to be wound in a ‘reverse’ fashion.

Sold with a modern, flat top hard shell case.

NOTE: This guitar is priced in US Dollars.




View Breau’s solo portion during a concert with Beverly Glenn Copeland On CBC. In the Duet portion, Breau is playing a Burns / Baldwin VibraSlim semi-hollow

Here is documentary of Lenny at the Nashville RCA Studios for “Guitar Sounds From Lenny Breau”.

The late Ed Bickert talking about playing with Lenny Breau, and the two playing together and with Sonny Greenwich.

Price: $19,500.00 USD
  • Model: 1a Flamenco
  • Year: 1961
  • Finish Natural Amber
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: N/A, heel stamped MT (Mariano Tezanos) and dated 1961 at Madrid, Spain
  • Country of Origin: Spain
  • Condition: Very Good
  • Date Posted: 16/06/2023

  • Consignment Item

  • Including Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 3.696lbs 1.68kg
  • Scale Length: 25.827in 656mm
  • Nut Width: 1.987in 50.46mm
Ramirez Website

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