|In Memoriam: Theodore (Ted) Beringer
1921 — September 2, 2006
It is with great sadness that I pass on the news of the death of my old friend Ted Beringer of Billings, Montana...Ted Built his first guitar in 1951 (!!) after seeing a few few Fenders roll through Billings, which was a hot-spot for bands touring across country back in the day.
He was a *very* prolific builder, although when I asked him how many instruments he figured he had made, he didn't have a clue. It was certainly well into the hundreds...
He built solid-body electrics, archtops, archtop basses, flattops, classicals, archtop classicals (!), as well as 4, 5, and 8-string mandolins...
He also built some instruments that might be unique, namely a nylon-string mandola (with a trapezoid body shape!), and an octave 12-string the size of a mandolin. Both very useful tools indeed....
His stories were classics....
He liked to tell the story about when Waylon Jennings stopped by the house to look at a guitar, and sang “Good Hearted Woman” saying “this one's a hit”... :)
Ted true love (besides his wonderful wife Pete) was building guitars, but he earned his living as an electrician. He designed and wound his own pickups back in the day when you couldn't buy a pickup.
He also built and repaired amplifiers, and told me a great story of the day that Homer and Jethro stopped by with a broken amp that needed fixing. Ted's shop looks the same today as it probably did in the 50's, so it wasn't hard to imagine Homer and Jethro hanging out with Ted.
Rest in peace, Ted...
Yours was a life well-lived...
— Bruce Harvie
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