Who we are…
We’re just a couple guys originally from the Pacific Northwest with a deep passion for guitars. Kris, your 11th Fret YouTube host, started working with musical instruments back when he was 13 years of age. He grew up next to Boogie Body Guitars back home in Gig Harbor, WA, learning from then owner Lynn Elsworth about a major moment in guitar history where a certain low-budget kid (Hint: initials are “EVH”) purchased his first guitar body from Boogie Bodies that since went on to become known as the “Frankenstrat.” Lynn also shared some basic luthiering skills with Kris, then showing his other brands like 2Tek bridges and Speedster Amps.
In the mid to late-1990’s, Kris started working in a downtown Tacoma shop called “Musicians Exchange” next door to the world famous “Guitar Maniacs” guitar store. This exposure to buying and selling helped catapult his education in all things musical instruments, while paying little attention to music theory or the betterment of his own playing skills.
As longtime enthusiasts of all things guitar related, our passion has mostly been around the idea of “working class” gear. In the spirit of Leo Fender’s original vision, we love discovering gear that’s not only affordable and accessible, but also durable. We believe the best compositions are born from humble roots, and humble roots typically provide humble instruments.
It was at the point when we’d collected over 100 guitars, rooms worth of various guitar amplifiers, and pedals to spin your head for days, we knew it was time to share our love to everyone – via YouTube. There’s a lot to discover out there, and we’d collected quite a bit of it.
Sure that flash, flare, and frill can be fun. We love a $5K electric guitar as much as the next player. However, it wasn’t always those top shelf guitars that inspired us, but rather those affordable guitars which reshaped the music industry. This isn’t to knock any brand asking a larger sum for their products. But sometimes all many of us can ever do is lust over these higher priced items. Even if we save up enough to get these dream guitars, some of us may become fearful to take it out into the world as it could get stolen, chip, or outright break.
While we do love and appreciate these higher dollar guitars, pedals, and amps, this isn’t representative of who we are at the 11th Fret. Iconic tone can be achieved from the smallest of investments, rest assured. Just look to Eddie Van Halen’s footprint on the industry. Read up on Stevie Ray Vaughn’s journey. Ask Nile Rodgers what guitar defined him. These players didn’t make excuses, they made revolutionary music. Put simply, they made magic with what they could get ahold of. And that’s the spirit of the 11th Fret. Taking that declaration a bit further, that’s the spirit of rock ‘n roll.