Jahloon AKA Jeff Berg
Jahloon, AKA Jeff Berg, was born in Liverpool in the fifties, took up guitar because he thought it would get him a girlfriend, it didn’t work.
Jeff’s first guitar 1960’s
When his parents realised he took it seriously, they reasoned it might be better for him to play it tunefully rather than just experiment, so he was sent to study under Bill Sullivan, a well known guitarist / banjo player from Litherland. (A Northern district of Liverpool)
Bill listened to Jeff’s attempts so far, took down a 1949 Gibson ES175 off the wall and said; I’ll teach you Jazz.
Well it seemed to work and soon the boy was off playing semi-professional gigs all over Liverpool with no hint of fame or stardom.
Jeff, third guitar, Gibson 330, the fretted 70’s
Some years later he did his last gig in August 1980.
That may have been the end of the story but for a friend (Paul Scott) who persuaded him in 1997 that it might be time to start playing again. So they dropped by a music shop in Johannesburg where he purchased an acoustic guitar, then an electric guitar, then an amp, then an effects board, then a MIDI outfit, then enough bits to fill a small studio. This of course did not happen in one day, more over a period of days.
Although Jeff had listened to the rumoured existence of a fretless guitar from as early as 1998, he didn’t manage to acquire one until June 2003. After that he was on a collision course with the musical equivalent of a “Road to Damascus” life changing experience.
What, you may ask, was this? Well he found Ned Evett’s website and ordered the CD “Fretless Guitar Masters”, to quote Jeff; “I had it on in the car and it was so good I nearly drove into a tree, but remembered the advice, “Never harm anything that might one day become a guitar.”
So that was it, a couple of weeks later the website was purchased and here we are.
Jeff, with Godin Multiac Fretless Guitar, March, 2004
Video from NYC festival
No Cure for Noddlepox – 2nd Austrian Fretless Guitar and Just Intonation Festival
Spoof review of Jahloon’s Baritone Fretless Guitar
Jahloon interviewed by Andrea Aguzzi (external link)