The following article featured in the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, February 10th 1964.
Bruce Eady (was there ever an Eady not involved in music?) as owner, and Ray Simpson as engineer were the Jansen Guitar Company; responsible for electrifying clubs and suburban bedrooms and garages with the very popular Invader.
English Guitar maker Alan Entwistle (when making his first guitar as a kid in 1962 pinched the telephone’s earpiece out of the local phone-box to make a pick-up) worked for Jansen in the early 70’s after initially working in Sydney Eady’s Auckland music shop; Sydney was Bruce’s father. Alan worked on the last Invader guitars made, around 1979. He regards Jansen highly, “Jansen was a NZ company but its influence reached far and wide. They exported to Australia, the US, Canada and even small quantities to UK. A little while ago there was an article in the US Guitar Player magazine singing their praises. And, arguably, the world’s most famous instrumental was played on a Jansen Jazzman – ‘Wipe Out’ by the Surfaris.”
Alan also recalls one of Ray Simpson’s 1940’s pioneering electric guitars, “Ray holds the honour of building one of the world’s first solid body electric guitars (1945)… it was a portent of things to come.. but what was interesting (and dangerous!) was that it had a mains powered onboard valve preamp, along with electrostatic pickups! Ray went on to form his own company in Auckland and manufacture his range of Simpson guitars”.
Alan last saw Ray “in 1980 when he had his own guitar workshop at United Sound Systems down in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane (Australia).”