Posted on October 31, 2019February 5, 2024 by Dale Phillips Accidental Exotics Accidental Exotics by Mike Brittain previously published in American Lutherie #95, 2008 My interest in guitars started when I was four years old and spotted a baritone uke at my granddad’s house. I started playing guitar at eight and played in garage bands until I went into business as a cabinet maker in 1971 at age eighteen. In 1975 I decided to build a guitar. It looked similar to a guitar, but was not an object to be proud of. However, I persisted and eventually built twenty-three guitars in the next eight years. I was a GAL member during some of that time and got a lot of inspiration from many GAL authors and members. In 1983 I decided to quit building guitars to concentrate on my growing cabinet business. In 1997 my granddad passed away. He knew how much that ukulele meant to me, so he left it to me. That inspired me to start building again. For the first time in fifteen years, I opened the case of my guitar #23. To my surprise, I was pretty impressed. It looked good and sounded good, and there were no cracks. My first new project was based on the baritone uke, and I gave it to my dad in honor of my granddad. At that point I was hooked on building again. In 1999 I sold my business and started attending classes with Charles Fox, Cameron Carr, Greg Byers, Jeff Elliott, and Cyndy Burton. I have spent the last four years working with Augie and Donna LoPrinzi. I have been fortunate to spend time learning from my lutherie heroes. Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page. If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.