Picture Idaho during the sixties, more specifically a ranchers town called Sweet. And in this town, a man, Walt Smith, eager to give lap-steel lovers as much freedom as then popular rock icons. That’s for that very reason that this 1965 Mosrite Melobar was built (with the expert help of Semie Mosrite.) The Melobar was arguably the first lap steel that could be played standing up.
Back in 1965, both Gibson and Fender had came up with a student version of their flagship models. That wasn’t the case for Mosrite. Their Ventures models was definitely the spearhead of the collection, but it was far from cheap. The Moseley brothers decided to create a stripped down version of the Ventures model, with a slab body, simpler hardware and electronics. The Ventures II was born during the spring of 1965 and was quickly seen by Semie Moseley as a disappointment. Less than 250 Ventures II were made before Semie Moseley, disappointed by the result, decided to pull the plug.
About ten years later, Johnny Ramone bought a blue one for $50 at Mannie’s New York and brought the guitar to fame. He loved the guitar so much that when it got stolen, he bought another one, in white this time, and used it all the way up to 1996.