1960s Hoyer 12-String
(used in Spinout)

Deborah Walley and Elvis in a scene from MGM's Spinout - 1966
Photo courtesy Dr. Macro's

One of the guitars Elvis was pictured using in several scenes of the 1966 release of MGM's Spinout was a mid '60s Hoyer 12 string Acoustic / Electric folk guitar, quite possibly an instrument from MGM's prop dept.

Elvis and director Norman Taurog on the set of  MGM's Spinout - 1966
Photo © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

The HOYER guitar brand began in 1874 with Franz Hoyer in Schönbach/Egerland (today Czech Republic). Schönbach was an important part of the European musical instrument production at that time. After making lutes and zithers in the beginning, HOYER changed more and more to classic and folk guitars. Later, the prospering company was continued by his son Joseph Hoyer.*

Elvis and Shelley Fabares in a scene from MGM's Spinout - 1966
Photo courtesy Elvis Album

In 1945, the family had to leave Schönbach and settled at Tennelohe near Erlangen in Germany. Erlangen was an area where many instrument and accessory makers who had come from Egerland during this time settled.  After the great epoch of the acoustic archtop guitars in the '50s, instruments were more frequently equipped with pickups (see Elvis' Isana), followed by semi-acoustic models, and by the end of the 50‘s, by solid body guitars.  In the '60s the company focused more and more on electric and folk guitars.*

1960s Hoyer 12 String like the one used by Elvis in Spinout
Photo courtesy Bluzinger

The 1960s Hoyer used by Elvis in Spinout has a 14.75 inch body with a laminate spruce top and bound mahogany sides and back and a rosewood bridge.  It features a three piece mahogany / multi ply neck with a rosewood fretboard and individual open back tuners.  With a 25 inch scale length the overall length of the guitar is 41.5 inches.  The pickup has one tone and one volume control.

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1960s Hoyer 12 String like the one used by Elvis in Spinout
Photos courtesy Bluzinger

At one point during production the film had a working title of Never Say Yes, and song with the title of Never Say Yes was written for the film by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman and was featured on the soundtrack, but the film title eventually became Spinout and changed again to California Holiday for European release.

Elvis with Hoyer in publicity shot for MGM's Spinout - 1966
Photo © EPE Inc.

All of the promotional artwork for the U.S. release of the movie in 1966 featured Elvis prominently playing another guitar seen in the movie, his Gibson EBS 1250 Double Bass.  However, for the European release of the movie, in addition to the title change of California Holiday the artwork featured Elvis with the Hoyer.**

Poster for the European Release of MGM's California Holiday (Spinout) - 1966
Photo courtesy Dr. Macro's

Hoyer stopped guitar production in the autumn of 1987. After acquisition by a German musical instrument wholesaler, the brand was revitalized in the '90s with high end German production and far East production models.  In 2005 the HOYER brand name and trademark was acquired by Michael Compernass and in 2009, the UK Company, Ritter Europe Ltd. entered into a definitive agreement for the purchase of the Hoyer brand name, trademarks and intellectual property rights. 2010 saw the global launch of the new Hoyer Electric Guitar and Acoustic Guitars.*

This page added August 15, 2010 is part of the sections The Guitars of Spinout and The Movie Guitars of Elvis Presley.

Special thanks to the members of the BeatGear Cavern forum for their assistance and inspiration with this page and to Bluzinger for the use of his Hoyer guitar photos.

* courtesy Hoyer Guitars - An Eventful and Inspiring History
** courtesy Elvis Presley Film Society


All photos on this page unless otherwise indicated are the property of the designated persons or company, any unauthorized use or reproduction is prohibited.

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