Lloyd Loar Mandolin Gibson F-5 # 72060: The Green Hornet
Gibson F-5 #72060, the one I call "The Green Hornet". This mandolin was signed and dated by Lloyd Loar on Feb 8, 1923 and issued by the Gibson Mandolin and Guitar Co. of Kalamazoo, Michigan. The signature label, serial number label and Virzi label are all in excellent condition and appear to be original, intact and unaltered in any way. Gibson F-5 # 72060 is in extremely fine condition and is a very early example of the installation of the Virzi tone producer (Virzi # 10479). There have been no repairs, and remarkably, this mandolin is completely original including frets and bridge! By this time in the early stages of the evolution of the Loar F-5, the tuners sported the famous arrow end plates and typical Loar engraving with pearl buttons. An interesting and unique aspect of this mandolin is that the ivoroid binding has aged to a green hue. This is an atypical aspect found on a few F-4 mandolins from the period, but to our knowledge this is the only F-5 with such a deep green patina. The original Geib and Sons case is included, also in excellent condition. Gibson F-5 #72060 has a wonderful tone, volume and response, absolutely one of the best F-5 mandolins we have ever encountered and a wonderful example of the Virzi tone producer doing what it is supposed to do.
It was toward the end of the "Lloyd Loar Mandolin" recording session, my highly skilled instrument tech Ben Maschal handed the Green Hornet to me, I immediately broke into this joyful melody called "Lovely Hula Hands". This was a song I learned at the age of seven, when, inspired by the enchantment of our newly inducted 50th state, I strayed briefly from mandolin to Hawaiian steel guitar. My brother and I were greatly influenced by a wonderful traveling musician and teacher named Les Howard who preferred the combination of Spanish and Hawaiian guitars. And right around that time, many of us were captivated by the irresistibility of Elvis Presley's "Blue Hawaii". More recently, my travels landed me on the Hawaiian Islands. Invited to work on a video to promote the beautiful Pélé resort on the Big Island, I had the opportunity to relive this childhood fantasy, and immersed myself in the magic of these beautiful Islands. During the filming, I had a scene where I was standing on a black sand beach in front of the cascading surf wearing a Lai and playing this arrangement--not on the ukelélé, but on a Gibson mandolin! Just imagine! When I play the Green Hornet, the tone that I get from this instrument puts me in mind of this exotic excitement, far away places and beautiful tanned people wearing the barest of jungle adornment, living a carefree life of fun and music. Aloha and Mahalo!