Keith Richards’ Rosetti Classical Guitar

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This was Keith’s first-ever guitar. Prior to this, he could only practice on his grandfather Gus’ classical guitar, so eventually, his mother Doris agreed to buy him his own.

Around 1959, when I was fifteen, Doris bought me my first guitar. I was already playing, when I could get one, but you can only tinker when you haven’t got one of your own. It was a Rosetti. And it was about ten quid.

Doris didn’t have the credit to buy it on hire purchase, so she got someone else to do it, and he defaulted on the payment–a big kerfuffle. It was a huge amount of money for her and Bert. But Gus must have had something to do with it too.

Keith Richards; Life

The only photo that exists of the Rosetti seems to be one published in Keith’s book. Based on it, the guitar had some very unique features to it, as the back of the bridge seems to have some sort of a metal plate, which would be unusual for a classical guitar. The pickguard also seems to be very random in shape, and almost looks as though Keith just cut out and glued a piece of paper on the body.

If you happen to know a guitar that would match this description, as always, post it in the comments. The photo that you see on the side is a visual representation of the guitar shown in Keith’s book, replicated in Photoshop. Some parts of it could be a bit wrong, due to the low quality of the original photo, so take note of that if you’re using it for your own research.

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