Fender Rhodes

The Fender Rhodes 73 Key Electric Piano


I purchased my first Fender Rhodes at Onofrio Piano, on Broadway a few blocks south of the Denver Art Museum. I think Joe owned the store.  It was a Fender Rhodes Suitcase 73 made in 1973. 

I spent my all my spare time, after the main day gig, working my licks. I learned about music theory with the help of this wonderful instrument in my one room apartment and with the help of my elementary orchestral music instructor, Mr. Britton, at night and on weekends at the theatre four blocks away. There I had to do the clean up of the burnt rods and lunch bags, every night,  in that old-town theater in North Denver where I  learned to run a projector, change reels, replace rods and splice film too! 

The quality of this particular piano was very good. Every key was balanced and of equal weight. Wonderful light action produced a mellow vibe thing, yum and restful. Forceful staccato strikes produced a real funky tonal effect. Simply explained as sexy and expressive like a piano in the electronic music age. The vibrato effect was pulsing and complex like a Leslie Speaker. Great with rhythmic and funk pieces and expressive with soulful slow pieces. 

These Keyboards have just (06/01/2007) been rebuilt by  David Ell the RhodesMan. Wow, he did these precious instruments justice. In Dave's words, "The pianos are done. I worked non stop on them and boy do they sound great. 335$ for the '79 and 600$ plus tax for the '73.The '73 is out of this world phat. The action is much improved as are the dampers. It's like a whole new piano. I want it! The '79 is vastly improved as well: Very fast action and long sustain on the harp and an overall increase/improvement in dynamics. The upper range is smoother and the upper mids are warmer. The bass responds quicker and is much more even. This took some doing but it's worth it. You have two great Rhodes. "


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