How I Get My Guitars — Famous Guitarist, Eco de Coque

By Raymond Ozoji, Awka

Famous guitarist and highlife musician, Eco Chimezie, who goes by the stage name Eco de Coque has disclosed how he gets his guitars.

Eco, who spoke with journalists after a recent performance in Awka, stated that he buys them in parts from three different countries, before they are assembled and sent down to him.

“My guitars are customized. I get the pickups from Mexico, the frets from US then the body in China. So I get it from three different countries, they couple them together and then send it down to me.

“This particular guitar you’re seeing (beckoning on one he used for the show) is worth over N1.2million.”

The musician disclosed that even though he is among the musicians in Nigeria with the costliest guitar today, he has still not gotten to the stage of late highlife maestro, Oliver de Coque, who was acknowledged as being about the best guitarist in Africa during his days, and noted to have the costliest guitars.

“I can say I’m trying to follow the footsteps of Oliver de Coque, who was known to strut some of the costliest guitar in African, but I can say I have still not gotten to that stage.

“Some of the guitars Oliver de Coque played those days, if you were to get them now, I’m sure you won’t get them for anything less than N6million. For now, I will say there is no musician in Nigeria today, who is playing the kind of guitar Oliver played those days.

“Then, in our genre of music (highlife), I can say that no one who is playing today, uses the level of guitar I use. I don’t want to mention names of people who have tried getting something close to what I’m using today but failed.”

He stated that he keeps storing up used guitars, because he knows that a time will come when he will autograph and sell off his guitars to fans who will use it to remember when he once played.

“I change my guitar according to seasons. As I speak with you now, I have five different guitars that are my personal ones, that’s apart from the ones my boys play. Each season, I just come out with one and use it and drop, and in the next season, I might get one higher than this, and I will keep this one.

“I’m keeping them because a time will come when my guitar with my autograph will be a very big sales for people. I’m keeping them, in the next 10 to 20 years, 30 or 40 years you will say I told you, and people will want to have it and say this was the guitar Eco de Coque played with,” the musician said.

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