EGYPT GUITARS STORY
Egypt Guitars was started by Maurice Bellando and James Cannell in 1984. Recent graduates in product and furniture design from Glasgow School of Art, they had an idea to start a manufacturing business. They worked on designs and prototypes of instruments and with the help of some start-up funding established a small workshop unit on the upper floor of a building at Leyden Gardens in the Maryhill area of Glasgow. Over a short 2 year period they setup Egypt Guitars and manufactured a range of high quality, originally designed instruments with suitable Egyptian names.
They decided to produce designs that were not slavish copies of popular Gibson, Fender and other classic instruments but that were more original in concept. It was their intention to design an instrument with an original and aesthetically pleasing shape but one which was ergonomic and practical to play and to manufacture. In a 2 year period they developed and manufactured only 150 instruments or so. Though certainly classically inspired, the Isis and Nefertiti shapes perhaps look more a product of today than of the 1980s. This was perhaps one of the reasons for the company’s downfall as the undoubted quality and elegance of the instruments were not enough to completely win over a conservative market place.
The company folded in the main due to cash flow problems and marketing shortcomings.
Maurice went on to pursue a career in manufacturing. Today he lives in the Isle of Man and runs a busy and successful operation as a freelance design engineer.
After a spell working in furniture design, Jimmy went back to repairing instruments and formed (Jimmy Egypt’s) Guitar Repair Shop Ltd in 1998. He runs this busy repair company to this day and is also the co-director of CC Music, a specialist musical instrument retailer based in Glasgow.
This website documents the short-lived existence of Egypt Guitars.
You’ll find information here on the range of unique and elegant instruments that the company produced from 1984 – 1986, together with the few drawings and photographs that remain of the company and its products.