Swagerty Surf-a-lele Acoustic Tenor ukulele 1963

My Surf-a-lele
replacement bridge and no tassel

swaggarty kooky ukes surf a lay lee ukulele
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ancel swagerty kooky uke surfalele ukulele back
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60s Swagerty kooky-ukes tenor scale kook-a lele and Lardy's Ukulele Database

Someone Elses
with the original bridge and tassel

The gadget spec URL could not be found

Its tuned g~C~E~A when it stays in tune



Swagerty Surf-a-lele

The Swagerty Kooky Ukes. I don't know how iconic they were back in the late 50's and 60's when they were on sale, they don't seem to have made that big an impression on popular culture of the time? Now though, in the Ukulele world they are seen as a milestone in the history of Ukuleles and I suppose they were. They did kind of step away from the previous and more traditional image of the Ukulele and onto a freer more anything goes area.

This one, the Surf-a-lele, was another cheeky ebay win for me I put a cheeky first bid in, sure that I would be outbid and no-one else bid? It came from the States as there aren't that many in the UK and I did have to pay import tax on this one. It is well pre-loved, as can be seen from the wear on the paintwork, (I'm told the colour, where its left, is avocado, but it seems a bit blue to me), but I think this wear adds to it. Its mostly on the back so not so noticeable when on display, and the ways it blends in with the wood grain looks quite nice. Its missing the original tassel that they came with, but I don't care about that; they were pretty naff anyway, its biggest issue is the missing bridge. It came with a new Grover Banjolele bridge which is a nice enough banjo bridge, and worked, but it made the action too high and didn't really look right. There is not much chance of me ever getting the original one; hen's teeth; so I need to find something that approximates? The one I have put on now is the right sort of height for playing but doesn't look like the original. I will leave it on until I find something though, then I will take it off re string it and give the plastic a good clean, (and re photograph it). Meanwhile I have to work out how to display it? With no appreciable headstock, it won't hang like the others and with the thin body it makes the tuners, (thankfully all original), the widest bit; and as plastic push in affairs I don't want to put pressure on them?

One thing though, and I know others have said this, and its one of the reasons I wanted to get one, it sounds much better that you think it should for a birch laminate "novelty" instrument. The moulded plastic fretboard means, so long as you have the bridge in the right place the intonation is spot on and with a decent string height its surprisingly easy to play - the paint on the back might get a bit more worn.