Bio – Humorous


Ervin Somogyi is a professional luthier and artist in wood of more than fifty years’ standing, whose work is known and respected internationally.  He is widely recognized as a living leg end.  The Luthier’s Hall of Fame people haven’t quite decided which end of the leg Somogyi best represents, but he hopes it’s the lower end; the higher end has certain . . . impolite associations.  Regardless of that, though, Somogyi’s guitars are played by many professional musicians who, while they play in widely different musical genres, do at least all agree that the instruments are much better than they sound.  

Fascinating to women, respected by strong silent men, charismatic, deeply intelligent, wise, urbane, erudite, cultured, and compelling.  Ervin Somogyi is none of these.  But one has to make a living somehow; a man in free America shouldn’t go hungry.  And he does make a pretty darn good guitar sometimes.  

As is often true of pioneers, Somogyi started out with nothing.  While a lot of people think he still has most of that, it is an undeniable article of faith among the rest that Somogyi has, through sheer hard work and gumption, managed against all odds to rise to the very highest attainable point on the Bell Curve.

Somogyi’s relationship with the guitar began early on, cutting his teeth as he did with the seminal rock groups The Aluminati (whose signature look was wearing aluminum foil hats), The Al Gorethms (whose focus was too intellectual, yet wildly placid and unexciting), and Möbius Dick — whose redündant melödies were reminiscent of the söunds of a recörd stuck in a grööve.  Later Somogyi struck out on his own (many of his followers and critics agree that he has been striking out a lot ever since) to form his most influential group, Ganzunmöglich-aberimmerausgezeichnet; audiences really just couldn’t believe . . . nor understand . . . what they were hearing.  Not least, his artistic efforts received a considerable boost in the Fall of 1986, when he received an Honorable Mention in the Sonoma County Fair’s pumpkin-carving contest — which event was unfortunately, but deservedly, later discontinued because of widespread cheating. 

Bolstered by these watershed successes Somogyi soon turned to guitar making where, true to form, he worked in an actual watershed.  His initial successes were, honestly, quite small (fig. 1).  However, his innate talent quickly showed itself and began to be widely recognized – with his release of the incredible Hindenburg, Exxon Valdez, and legendary Titanic models.  One of the most useful features of these guitars is that they allow their players to play many of the very same notes and chords that really famous guitarists use!  With the acceptance by the public of such ground- (and glass-) breaking instruments Somogyi was awarded the prestigious Silence Is Golden trophy of the National Association of the Tone Deaf.  His instruments are now used exclusively by the musicians of Guitar Mime, the prestigious jazz ensemble of Gallaudet University. 

Fig. 1 Somogyi’s first successes were quite small.

We urge you to be on the lookout for Somogyi’s soon-to-be-released advertising blitz, and the opening of his new business that will be selling parts, components, tools, and his new line of do-it-yourself kits.

You Can’t Miss with a Somogyi

Somogyi’s current work is much in demand, largely because of the artistic creativity he brings to the work.  But the structural integrity and voice of his guitars is brought to each one that he makes, one-at-a-time.  Unless a client specifies wanting something outside of the ordinary, Somogyi’s standard specs list includes the following features:


Brand: No branding.  Some luthiers do that, but I use paper labels instead.
Model:  Fully clothed, in a frilly way.
Year of build:  I build every year.
Serial number: Changes from guitar to guitar.
Case: Police File No. ES-473-2815
Soundboard:  One
Back and sides:  Included
Neck:  Included
Neck profile:  Has been to prison twice, but has held down a job and caused no trouble since.
Fretboard: Included
Tuners:  Six.
Nut material: Whatever nuts are made out of.
Nut width: Depends on whether it’s walnuts, almonds, filberts, cashews, etc.
Peg head veneer:  Very convincing veneer of respectability.
Pickguard:  Often useful
Rosette:  Included.  Usually external, unless client specifies the mystery rosette.
Purfling:  On each instrument
Back strip:  See above
Body binding:  See above
Bridge:  A large one.  The unabridged version
Pins:  No. We use real glue instead.
Saddle material:  Usually leather
Saddle type:  Unisex
Brace pattern:  Internal
String spacing:  Adequate
Scale length:  More than adequate
Upper bout width/depth: Barely adequate
Lower bout width/depth:  Mostly adequate
Length:  Usually goes from head to bottom, coincident with the centerline
Waist:  Increasing.  I’ve had to get larger trousers.
Vice Voice:  Not bad at all.

As to Somogyi’s unique oeuvre of artistic woodcuts, when the Pope was given one of Somogyi’s artworks to put on the wall of his Vatican apartment, he was heard to mutter: “Deo santi, en veritas, de gustibus non disputandum est!”.  (Malicious experts in Latin have translated this as meaning: “Good God!  There really is no accounting for taste”.  Somogyi feels that while it really does mean exactly that, it’s really poor form to bring the Pope into this.)   Finally, regarding this body of framed art, the consensus among the doyens of the National Endowment is that Somogyi’s artwork, if not the artist himself, is remarkably well hung.  

As already mentioned, Somogyi’s guitars have a voice that the Surgeon General has felt the need to issue a statement/warning about:    

WARNING: The sound of Somogyi’s guitars has been found to be so intoxicating that you are urged to not play any of them while driving or operating heavy machinery.


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