Andy Schwartz is a professional guitarist who worked in New York City, with a half-century of experience on Broadway, in concert halls, clubs, and as a touring and recording musician. Now retired, Andy shares the story of how he came by Gibson L-5 serial number 94470 below:
“When I wanted an L-5 for the 1991-95 run of the Broadway show ‘Crazy For You’ – which was set in the 1930s – I put out calls to dealers to see what pre-war 17-inch Advanced archtop guitars were available. Pictures came to me from around the USA, most of them museum quality specimens but the one that I eventually chose was by far the most worn. I thought that was a good sign since I’m a player, not a collector!
“Due to my various work needs, I had a passive sensor installed under the bridge. It was made by David Gage of NYC, who is renowned for repairs to double basses and he told me that Ron Carter uses the same sensor, so that’s good company to be in! I typically played the L-5 using a mic, but on occasion in some live concerts, I needed the pickup.
“This L-5 was used in many Broadway productions and live concerts including Crazy For You, Flower Drum Song, High Society, Anything Goes, A Christmas Story, Company (with the NY Philharmonic) and on the various cast albums and TV commercials. I’ve been told by both recording and live sound engineers that the guitar is exceptional in its deep but cutting tone and carrying power. I use heavy bronze strings, .059-.014 gauge with a medium-high action, and it will easily cut through a 30 piece orchestra unamplified!”