Ken wins award for services to music industry

Ken Archard

Ken Archard

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A FATHER of three has been given a Living Legend Award for services to the British Music Industry.

Ken Achard of St Medard’s Close, Little Bytham received the accolade at the Landmark Hotel in London.

The 68-year-old’s specialist area was in designing and distributing guitars and for 30 years was the managing director of Peavey Electronics in Corby.

Originally from Sussex and a self-taught bass player Ken ran a music shop called Top Gear in Denmark Street, London selling vintage guitars with drummer friend Rod Bradley.

The shop was in an area known to be popular with music publishers and nicknamed tin can alley.

While running this shop Ken was regularly travelling to and from America to buy the vintage guitars and got to know some of the American guitar manufacturers.

Other businesses wanted to sell the guitars, which is how Ken met American Hartley Peavey, founder of Peavey Electronics and later began working for them in 1985, retiring in 2003.

After retiring Ken wrote a book called the Peavey Revolution charting the company’s development.

Unable to adjust to retired life Ken now runs Mariner Guitars and is working on manufacturing a guitar from a wood indigenous to China called paulownia.

This matures in about seven years compared to mahogany or rosewood, which most guitars are made from, that takes about 40 years to mature.

Talking about his award Ken said: “The best accolades are the ones you get from your peers. It is humbling and a great gesture.”