Positively Vintage Guitar Product Review
by Stephen Patt
Bill Silverman is a guy with a dream. Just what the guitar world needs, right? Always the perfectionist, Bill is a guitar lover who spent five years searching for the perfect leather strap for his Thinline Tele™, only to find straps that were too thin, made from poor materials, or suffered from bad workmanship. Finally, the solution: he made his own!
El Dorado Accessories was born out of necessity, and Bill is now marketing some of the sturdiest straps around, all designed with the working musician in mind.
“These are for guys who have to gig all night and want a strap that looks good, compliments their guitar, and feels comfortable all night long,” Bill said.
Made from the highest quality stitched leather, these Western-style straps feature work by skilled artists who utilize the traditional methods of saddlery, and with time the patina and suppleness just keep getting better. Besides the fine leather quality, featuring hand-tooled designs, the straps use engraved metalwork and a wide, fleece-backed pad, creating a really striking product.
“I’m quite impressed.” Lyle (Workman) drawled in his best Western twang. “These things are made so solidly.”
Colors include tan, black, and brown. My personal favorite is the tan, which shows off the beautiful leatherwork. The German silver tips and buckles are a striking addition, and the traditional designs (acorn & oakleaf, and flower & leaf) are intricately executed and pleasingly Americana. At a list price of around $150, these babies are not cheap, but they’re worth every penny – and you wouldn’t want to wear a crappy $5 strap with your $2,000 guitar, now, would you?
LA Times Magazine, So SoCal / METROPOLIS, Accessorizing Your Ax
by Steven Banks
Bill Silverman apparently wasn’t paying attention when the Rolling Stones sang “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” After a fruitless five-year search for the perfect guitar strap to complement his prized ’69 Fender Telecaster™ Thinline, he decided to make his own. “El Dorado Guitar Accessories was born out of necessity,” Silverman, 48, says. “I felt I could push the envelope of high-quality guitar straps.” He contracted leather artisans to hand-tool each of the saddle leather straps in authentic Western designs, and silversmiths to apply intricate buckle work. “This kind of craftsmanship is almost a dying art,” says Silverman.
Since the company launched in January 1998, a flood of international orders from guitar enthusiasts has business rocking. El Dorado places some straps in guitar stores, but 90% of Silverman’s sales are by direct mail (www.eldoradostraps.com).
David “Kid” Ramos, lead guitarist for the Fabulous Thunderbirds, purchased his first El Dorado strap at a vintage guitar show 2 1/2 years ago and now wears El Dorado straps exclusively. “It was like a piece of artwork. I bought it on the spot,” says Ramos.
One early-morning phone order came from England. Noel Gallagher of Oasis needed 12 straps while on tour in New Zealand. Silverman’s dream client? “Carlos Santana!”