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Guitars by Chalk Road, Gravesend's Pete Turner snapped up by stars including Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler

12 February 2014
by Thom Morris

Gravesend’s Pete Turner only started making guitars three years ago as a hobby but his business has gone from strength to strength.

The 52-year-old said: “I started out making electric and acoustic guitars, but particularly, being left-handed, due to a lack of choice for left-handed players.

Pete Turner with his resonator guitars

Pete Turner with his resonator guitars

“People to whom they were shown seemed to like them and I started selling through an outlet in Essex.

“Customers range from the amateur to professional players. Peter Green from Fleetwood Mac bought an electric; composer Ian Brown bought a resonator, as did Mark Knopfler and Ray Majors from Mott The Hoople.”

Classic Rock’s Band of the Year The Temperance Movement also played one of Pete’s resonators for their set at the awards ceremony.

Mark Knopfler

Mark Knopfler

A resonator guitar is an acoustic which has its sound boosted by metal cones. They are usually played by blues and country musicians.

A resonator guitar also featured on the front cover of Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms album from 1985.

Pete, a father-of-two, who lives with his wife Heidi at their Chalk Road home, has been playing the guitar since he was a teenager but has never been in a band or gigged.

He added: “An electric guitar is just an amplified piece of wood whereas an acoustic requires more craftsmanship.

“I relished the challenge of applying engineering principles to improving the resonator as the design has not fundamentally changed since the 1940s.

“The resonator also offers additional opportunity to make a beautiful, not just functional, instrument.”

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