A Buz Watson-Built Rhodes | Find of the Week

This week's Find of the Week is nothing short of electric: it's a 1972 Fender Rhodes Mark 1 Stage 73 that was handled by the legendary Rhodes tech Buz Watson.

1972 "Buz Watson" Fender Rhodes Mark 1 Stage 73

For those unfamiliar with the name, Buz Watson was a tech and quality control inspector at the Fender Rhodes factory in Fullerton, California between 1971 and 1972 who was responsible for the instruments during the golden age of the electric piano's production. To this day, his contributions to the company beyond his job title are somewhat mysterious—but electric piano enthusiasts all agree: any instrument marked with his famous QC stamp was the most first-rate of its kind. For more information on Buz, check out the article below.

According to the seller, this Rhodes was QC'd by Watson months before he left the company. Its previous owner was Howie Wyeth, a drummer who played with the likes of Link Wray and Bob Dylan. After his death in 1996, it was stored in a Brooklyn recording studio where it remained unplayed for years. As the listing indicates, "there is some minor, non-mechanical wear and tear: the cigarette burns in the cheek block, the drink ring on the Buz Watson stamp, but I think they add character to the keyboard and left them as I found them."

Though the Rhodes lacks legs, it comes with a sustain pedal, and the tolex has been restored with parts courtesy of Vintage Vibe. The instrument can be picked up locally in Nashville, but those who are willing to pay for freight shipping can reach out to the seller directly. At an asking price of $3,500, this is your chance to own an instrument at the height of its production power. All Rhodes lead to this one: be sure to check out the full listing for more photos and information, and make an offer today.

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