Without a doubt, the question I am most frequently asked about various guitar parts that were used by Tony Zemaitis is, Why did Tony so often use Mighty Mite pickups? The attached images of the vintage 1976 Rosetti (EMI) Ltd Catalog provides some obvious clues.
First let’s clear something up, when I refer to parts used on the creations of Tony Zemaitis, I am not referring to the handmade Dural bridge-tailpiece-Pickup Surrounds (many of which are usually engraved by Danny O’Brien) seen on the Custom Deluxe specification guitars, I am referring to pickups primarily, and also to knobs, bridges, stop bars and other components that were used on the lower specification models, sometimes referred to (incorrectly in many cases) as, Student Guitars.
Rosetti, the musical instrument distributor, have been around for a good while, they were first incorporated on July 29th 1936 as Rosetti & Co Ltd, this incarnation ran until Dec 30th 1976, there was a name change on December 31st 1976 to Rosetti (EMI) Ltd and it in this guise that we see the company assume the distributorship for the Mighty Mite range of replacement guitar parts manufactured in the USA.
This development was very good news for Tony Zemaitis who had always struggled to obtain high quality pickups, the likes of Gibson and such being unavailable on a regular basis, another positive aspect was that Rosetti were on Tony’s doorstep, he didn’t therefore have to stockpile, he could time the acquisition of the pickups as close to the completion of a guitar as was feasible, quite often this could be the day prior to, or even the day of delivery. You have to wonder if that’s what happened when Tony built this 78 Zemaitis Mahogany Wood Top, as it’s fitted with chream color Mighty Mite pickups itself.
This is a very rare catalog and in near perfect shape, I have owned it since new back in ’76, this is the very first catalog released by Rosetti that refers to their appointment as the Might Mite distributor for the UK & Eire.
There is no doubt that this version will have been consulted by Tony Zemaitis many times.
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