This page is dedicated to the late great Romney Godden 27th Jan 1945 – 6th Jan 2014.
Romney’s Repairs 1974-1982:
During the 1970s and 1980s Romney was Sydney’s best guitar repairer/maker and his workshop was a mandatory stop-off for all serious guitar players. Romney’s Repairs (circa 1974-82) was situated above the music complex of Farrells Music and Orbital Music at 505 Pittwater Road Brookvale on Sydney’s northern beaches.
Romney’s workshop captured the freewheeling creative fun rock ‘n roll spirit of the 1970s and 80s, always a pleasure to go into and always changing with whacky amazing things on display reflecting Romney’s great sense of humour.
Amidst all the fun, Romney’s work and reputation was impeccable and his skills covered most areas of guitar repair and custom manufacture. Romney was also a skilled metal machinist and welder, had a love of archery (many arrows were embedded in various walls of the workshop) and was a black belt and teacher in karate.
Romney Godden #1
Romney’s desk: beautiful organised chaos
The front door to Romney’s Repairs: the entrance to guitar fantasyland
Romney Godden at work 1982 with ‘the boot’ hanging precariously above. The boot was made by Rommo, Greg and Paul Stevens and was inspired by similar whacky things in Bugs Bunny cartoons. Yes, it did get used on a few choice occasions when mistakes were made… drink cans and other articles were attached to the ceiling in order to assist those ailing and lying on the floor. Romney’s workshop was an amazingly fun place to work!
Romney Godden working on a 1970s Roland synth guitar
Mark Stevens has kindly sent several photos below of Romney, his band and workshop taken in 1982. Mark played the Rickenbacker bass in Romney’s band for several years.
Mark’s brother Paul worked with Romney repairing guitars for many years and was the ‘head assistant’ when I arrived as junior kid repairer in 1980. Paul was an accomplished professional guitarist and played a gorgeous 1964 Fender Stratocaster which he named ‘Stella’. Thanks for these wonderful photos Mark!
Romney Godden and drummer Geoff Parsons in Romney’s workshop 1982. My Marshall 100W amp head and homemade roadcase are seen in the background next to Romney’s Vox AC10 and Fender Pro Reverb amps.
Romney Godden – anyone for tennis…or air guitar?
Judi Parkinson after rehearsals in Romney’s workshop 1982. On the wall behind at left can be seen my 18ft Skiff 1982 calendar dating the photo. Below the calendar was my pickup winding machine and bench. Judi was the singer in the band ‘Parking Zone’ and was a fabulous singer, sadly now gone too. Rommo’s bow and arrows are behind at right.
Romney and Judi
Mark Stevens and Rickenbacker bass. Romney resprayed the bass and made a custom bridge for it in 1979-80
Paul Stevens playing his 1964 Strat ‘Stella’ in his band ‘The Shots’
Mid 1970s Gibson Les Paul Recording guitar rebuilt and resprayed by Greg in 1981. Because the original neck had been broken, the fingerboard and peghead veneer were salvaged and used on a new honduras mahogany neck then whole guitar repainted in sunburst finish using nitrocellulose lacquer.
I have recently found the 4 photos below taken of this same Les Paul Recording guitar rebuilt by me in 1981 under Romney’s supervision. These pics are nice to have just to see more of the old workshop and show Rommo’s desk and ‘area of command’ which was always in a beautiful state of flux and upheaval. It is marvellous to see Romney’s old workshop again in these photos especially considering that so few photos were ever taken of it.
Les Paul Recording 1981 #1
LP Recording 1981 #2
LP Recording 1981 #3
LP Recording new neck and respray 1981; peghead veneer and fingerboard were salvaged from original broken neck and glued to a new honduras mahogany neck made by Greg. Romney’s dual truss rod system based on an improved Rickenbacker/Alembic truss rod was used.
Sunburst refinish by Romney
Will the real Leonard Nimoy please stand up? A skilled professional guitar player, Romney’s band often played at special fancy dress occasions in the late 1970s
John on guitar and vocals, Rick Chadwick on keys and light bulb, Romney Godden in Trek mode on guitar
Billy Jackson on vocals and cape out front of the ‘Riddled Liver Band’
The Riddled Liver Band #1
Romney Godden #5
Karl Darth Seglins, guitarist from another incarnation of Rommo’s band
Romney Godden #4 from 1982 playing in a further incarnation of the band, ‘Parkin Zone’ with Judy Parkinson out front on vocals
Romney Godden #8
Romney Godden circa 1976, during this time Romney played guitar in the Sydney stage production of the Rocky Horror Show
Romney with Maton acoustic guitar
Rom, Dave Godden, Brian Godden and Dave’s boys Ari and Romney Jnr
Romney proudly stands near his new swimming pool
Romney Godden at farewell gig 23rd Nov 2013 Kempsey NSW
Romney Godden at Kempsey
Romney at Kempsey (pic by Rowan Turner)
Billy Jackson once more leading the charge out front on vocals, Rowan Turner at far right on guitar, Romney at left
Chris Raggatt on guitar and vocals
Chris and co at Kempsey
Chris Raggatt on double neck guitar
Romney and 1963 Jazzmaster
Romney at Kempsey (pic by Rowan Turner)
Romney at Kempsey #2 (pic by Rowan Turner)