Reflecting Back on the Memories of the Frankfurt Musikmesse

The Frankfurt Music Fair originated as a place for the musical instrument craft guilds to display products in the medieval era. Because of its central location in Western Europe the Fair has continued to prosper and grow and it has become the largest exhibition of its type in the World. Saga Musical Instruments has exhibited at the Frankfurt Show every year since the mid-1970s. Perhaps no where else on Earth are clichés about the universal language of music more rampant than at the annual Frankfurt Musikmesse. Going up the escalator I hear the twang of “A Man of Constant Sorrow” but when I look behind me I see the wide smile of the “twanger” — it is Lulo Reinhardt, Gypsy Jazz-Man Supreme pulling my leg!

Minutes later we’re at a SRO Acoustic Sound Stage listening to European Rock Guitar legend Jan Akkerman jamming with local pyro-technicians — all on Gitane guitars from Saga Musical Instruments. Being a part of the long tradition of things has always been an important part of it for me. It is real important to respect the sensibilities of the past but it is also important to try to continually move forward not slavishly copying others but with an eye and an ear on improvement. Not surprisingly the great musicians themselves are among the most eager to try and accept the efforts of innovation…

So, at the Frankfurt Fair we hear the stories of the legends of Europe — Peter Frampton, recording his latest album on one of our Gitane Guitars, Paul McCartney walking into a shop in London and buying a Blueridge Guitar, Rüdiger Helbig putting down a Granada for a Gold Star Banjo. In a testy economy, customers and musicians tend to be ever more selective in making their buying decisions. We welcome that selectivity… that’s exactly how thousands of musicians worldwide have discovered Saga Musical Instruments.

Richard Keldsen 
San Francisco 
April 2008