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In Memoriam: Ken Goodwin

In Memoriam: Ken Goodwin

1948 – 2013

by Harry Fleishman

Originally published in American Lutherie #117, 2014

One of my oldest friends in the lutherie community died recently. Kenny Goodwin, a Guild member when he could afford it, and a one-time convention attendee, died suddenly in August of leukemia.

He and I met in the early ’70s when he came in to my first shop to ask for help with a guitar he was making. He and I became close friends and mutual advisors and ignorers. We gave and received advice from each other for decades about life, love, depression, acoustics, coffee, Chinese food, and hot water. We even took that advice sometimes. We spent hours turning to prunes as we bounced ideas back and forth while soaking in the Boulder Rec Center hot tub. He was the best person I’ve ever known for providing a sounding board for concepts about pickups, guitars, basses, and processes.

Ken Goodwin (center) with Bob Benedetto (left) and Harry Fleishman at the 2001 GAL Convention in Tacoma. Photo by John Leach.

Kenny was also a very fine guitar player, described in a review in the Denver Post as a guitarist who could “make the guitar lovely.” And this was in punk bands! He was also a self-taught organist.

I believe Kenny only made one guitar, but he was a true luthier in spirit.