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Letter: Scott Chinery

Letter: Scott Chinery

by Bob Benedetto

Originally published in American Lutherie #64, 2000


Dear Tim and Fellow GAL members,

My plane just took off from Newark Airport; I’m on my way home to Tampa and thought I would drop you a line. Yesterday I attended the funeral services for Scott Chinery, a man who, in a very big way, touched the lives of so many people. A book can be written (and no doubt will be) on his accomplishments and good deeds. I’ll leave that to the professional and more eloquent writers.

Over the years, we have all encountered people who influence and support us, but I can think of no individual who has had such a profound impact on our careers and lives as Scott Chinery. Scott’s Blue Guitar Collection is the most famous guitar collection in the world. It is comprised of archtop guitars made mostly by people who would have otherwise remained in obscurity. Some have probably not made an archtop since and most will never make a living as an archtop maker.

Scott Chinery gave us all so much — he put money in our pockets and gave us international acclaim as the finest luthiers in the world. He did for us what none of us could have done for ourselves. Our guitars were on exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution not because of our skills as luthiers, but because Scott Chinery commissioned us, then kicked down the doors and forced the world to take notice — a talent none of us have.

He will be missed. ◆