Roger C. Field
Roger C. Field is an inventor with over 100 patents, an award winning industrial designer and a guitarist.
He is best known as the inventor of the Foldaxe folding electric guitar
Electric guitar
An electric guitar is a guitar that uses the principle of direct electromagnetic induction to convert vibrations of its metal strings into electric audio signals. The signal generated by an electric guitar is too weak to drive a loudspeaker, so it is amplified before sending it to a loudspeaker...

. He has also been written about in Playboy
Playboy is an American men's magazine that features photographs of nude women as well as journalism and fiction. It was founded in Chicago in 1953 by Hugh Hefner and his associates, and funded in part by a $1,000 loan from Hefner's mother. The magazine has grown into Playboy Enterprises, Inc., with...

magazine in ten countries and in Penthouse
Penthouse (magazine)
Penthouse, a men's magazine founded by Bob Guccione, combines urban lifestyle articles and softcore pornographic pictorials that, in the 1990s, evolved into hardcore. Penthouse is owned by FriendFinder Network. formerly known as General Media, Inc. whose parent company was Penthouse International...

magazine four times in Europe. He is in four different Who's Who
Who's Who
Who's Who is the title of a number of reference publications, generally containing concise biographical information on a particular group of people...

books in Europe including one for the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...


Early life

Field was born in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. His father was the owner and managing director of Siegmund Robinow & Son Ltd, a company in London and Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

 which at that time manufactured exclusive garments. After attending Stagenhoe Park near Hitchin
Hitchin is a town in Hertfordshire, England, with an estimated population of 30,360.-History:Hitchin is first noted as the central place of the Hicce people mentioned in a 7th century document, the Tribal Hidage. The tribal name is Brittonic rather than Old English and derives from *siccā, meaning...

 from 1953-1958 he attended The King's School, Canterbury
The King's School, Canterbury
The King's School is a British co-educational independent school for both day and boarding pupils in the historic English cathedral city of Canterbury in Kent. It is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference and the Eton Group....

 from 1958–1960, then Aiglon College
Aiglon College
Aiglon College is a private English-style boarding school in Switzerland, registered as a not-for-profit charitable institution, with an international student intake . The school gathers funds from full fee-paying students, from donations and via registered charitable trusts in different countries...

 in Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 from 1960-1963. Field attended the California College of the Arts
California College of the Arts
California College of the Arts , founded in 1907, is known for its broad, interdisciplinary programs in art, design, architecture, and writing. It has two campuses, one in Oakland and one in San Francisco, California, USA...

 in Oakland, California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 early in 1965 to major in Industrial design
Industrial design
Industrial design is the use of a combination of applied art and applied science to improve the aesthetics, ergonomics, and usability of a product, but it may also be used to improve the product's marketability and production...

 and graduated with a Bachelor's degree
Bachelor's degree
A bachelor's degree is usually an academic degree awarded for an undergraduate course or major that generally lasts for three or four years, but can range anywhere from two to six years depending on the region of the world...

. Field also completed courses in Film & Television at San Francisco State University
San Francisco State University
San Francisco State University is a public university located in San Francisco, California. As part of the 23-campus California State University system, the university offers over 100 areas of study from nine academic colleges...

. In 1969, he filmed the California College of the Arts at the request of Harry X. Ford, the president of the college in 16mm (titled To Be An Artist), which included poet Michael McClure
Michael McClure
Michael McClure is an American poet, playwright, songwriter, and novelist. After moving to San Francisco as a young man, he found fame as one of the five poets who read at the famous San Francisco Six Gallery reading in 1955 rendered in barely fictionalized terms in Jack Kerouac's Dharma Bums...

, an English professor at CCAC at the time. The film, which was financed by the college, was later shown on television.

Field, an aviation enthusiast who had received a Private Pilot License
Private Pilot License
A Private Pilot License or, in the United States of America, a Private Pilot Certificate, is a license that permits the holder to act as the pilot of an aircraft privately . The requirements to obtain the license are determined by the International Civil Aviation Authority , but the actual...

 with a multi-engine rating in California, then moved to Munich to work on the newly formed Airbus
Airbus SAS is an aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of EADS, a European aerospace company. Based in Blagnac, France, surburb of Toulouse, and with significant activity across Europe, the company produces around half of the world's jet airliners....

 project, contributing to the interior design of the aircraft. While in Munich, Field developed drill units reducing the risk of cross contamination
Cross Contamination
Cross Contamination is an album by the rock bands Batmobile and Peter Pan Speedrock. It was released in 2008 by Suburban Records.-Track listing:#"Hellalujah"#"Go Satan Go"#"Killerspeed"#"Big Toy"#"Straight Back To Hormoneville"#"Transsylvanian Express"...

 for the dental industry ( and other patents).

Field is currently marketing his professional 35mm movie camera invention for cinema
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 and television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

. The camera considerably improves image quality
Image Quality
Image quality is a characteristic of an image that measures the perceived image degradation . Imaging systems may introduce some amounts of distortion or artifacts in the signal, so the quality assessment is an important problem.-In photographic imaging:In digital or film-based photography, an...

 by using unperforated 35mm film (which allows much wider exposed image
An image is an artifact, for example a two-dimensional picture, that has a similar appearance to some subject—usually a physical object or a person.-Characteristics:...

s), . The camera could be used with Field's camera light screening unit (matte box
Matte box
In still photography and video, a matte box is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare...

) which been manufactured for many years by the Chrosziel Filmtechnik company in Germany. .


While designing passenger seats for the Airbus
Airbus SAS is an aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of EADS, a European aerospace company. Based in Blagnac, France, surburb of Toulouse, and with significant activity across Europe, the company produces around half of the world's jet airliners....

 in 1975, Field had the idea for a folding electric guitar which he named "Foldaxe," for being transported as hand luggage
Hand luggage
Hand luggage or cabin baggage is the type of luggage that passengers are allowed to carry along in the passenger compartment of a vehicle instead of moving to the cargo compartment...

 under an aircraft seat. Guitarist Chet Atkins
Chet Atkins
Chester Burton Atkins , known as Chet Atkins, was an American guitarist and record producer who, along with Owen Bradley, created the smoother country music style known as the Nashville sound, which expanded country's appeal to adult pop music fans as well.Atkins's picking style, inspired by Merle...

 inspired Field in 1975 to design a folding guitar without the string tension changing and going out of tune. Field solved this problem by designing a unique mechanism hidden in the guitar which, once the guitar has been tuned, keeps the string tension constant when folding and unfolding it so that it is always ready to play when unfolded.

Atkins appeared with Les Paul
Les Paul
Lester William Polsfuss —known as Les Paul—was an American jazz and country guitarist, songwriter and inventor. He was a pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar which made the sound of rock and roll possible. He is credited with many recording innovations...

 on television with the Foldaxe on Jane Pauley
Jane Pauley
Margaret Jane Pauley is an American television journalist, and has been involved in news reporting since 1975...

's The Today Show and on Entertainment This Week. Field himself appeared several times on television shows with the Foldaxe, unfolding it and then playing it amplified. The Foldaxe was reviewed in Industrial Design magazine, winning the Designers' Choice Award sponsored by I. D. Magazine
I.D. (magazine)
I.D. was a magazine covering the art, business and culture of design. It was published eight times a year by F+W Media....

 in 1980 for the entire USA. In 1980, noted industrial designer Raymond Loewy
Raymond Loewy
Raymond Loewy was an industrial designer, and the first to be featured on the cover of Time Magazine, on October 31, 1949. Born in France, he spent most of his professional career in the United States...

 sent Field a letter congratulating him on the design of the Foldaxe.

The Foldaxe was featured in Atkins's book Me and My Guitars. They have been played by many famous musicians and personalities who have been photographed with them, including Keith Richards
Keith Richards
Keith Richards is an English musician, songwriter, and founding member of the Rolling Stones. Rolling Stone magazine said Richards had created "rock's greatest single body of riffs", and placed him as the "10th greatest guitarist of all time." Fourteen songs written by Richards and songwriting...

, Mick Jagger
Mick Jagger
Sir Michael Philip "Mick" Jagger is an English musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist and a founding member of The Rolling Stones....

, Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton
Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE, is an English guitarist and singer-songwriter. Clapton is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist, and separately as a member of The Yardbirds and Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and...

, Lenny Breau
Lenny Breau
Leonard Harold "Lenny" Breau was a musician, guitar player, and music educator. He was known for blending many styles of music including: jazz, country, classical and flamenco guitar...

, Paco de Lucia
Paco de Lucía
Paco de Lucía, born Francisco Sánchez Gómez , is a Spanish virtuoso flamenco guitarist and composer. He is considered by many to be one of the finest guitarists in the world and the greatest guitarist of the flamenco genre...

, John McLaughlin
John McLaughlin (musician)
John McLaughlin , also known as Mahavishnu John McLaughlin, is an English guitarist, bandleader and composer...

, Hank Marvin
Hank Marvin
Hank Brian Marvin is an English guitarist, best known as the lead guitarist for The Shadows. The group, which primarily performed instrumentals, was formed as a backing band for vocalist Cliff Richard...

, Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE, Hon RAM, FRCM is an English musician, singer-songwriter and composer. Formerly of The Beatles and Wings , McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the "most successful musician and composer in popular music history", with 60 gold discs and sales of 100...

, David Copperfield
David Copperfield (illusionist)
David Copperfield is an Emmy Award-winning American illusionist, and was described by Forbes as the most commercially successful magician in history. Copperfield's network specials have been nominated for 38 Emmy Awards and won a total of 21 Emmys...

, James Burton
James Burton
James Burton is an American guitarist. A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since 2001 , Burton has also been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame...

 and Albert Lee
Albert Lee
Albert William Lee, born 21 December 1943 in Leominster, Herefordshire, England, is an English guitarist known for his fingerstyle and hybrid picking technique. Lee has worked both in the studio and on tour with some of the most famous musicians which stretch through a very wide of genres...


The interest in The Foldaxe by Hank Marvin
Hank Marvin
Hank Brian Marvin is an English guitarist, best known as the lead guitarist for The Shadows. The group, which primarily performed instrumentals, was formed as a backing band for vocalist Cliff Richard...

, guitarist for The Shadows
The Shadows
The Shadows are a British pop group with a total of 69 UK hit-charted singles: 35 as 'The Shadows' and 34 as 'Cliff Richard and the Shadows', from the 1950s to the 2000s. Cliff Richard in casual conversation with the British rock press frequently refers to the Shadows by their nickname: 'The Shads'...

, led Field to be the instigator in 2001 of the reunion of the Shadows. Jet Harris
Jet Harris
Jet Harris, MBE was an English musician. He was the bass guitarist of The Shadows until April 1962, and had subsequent success as a soloist and as a duo with the drummer Tony Meehan....

 of The Shadows addressed Field's intention to do so in the Otago Daily Times
Otago Daily Times
The Otago Daily Times is a newspaper published by Allied Press Ltd in Dunedin, New Zealand.-History:Originally styled The Otago Daily Times, the ODT was first published on November 15, 1861. It is New Zealand's oldest surviving daily newspaper - Christchurch's The Press, six months older, was a...

 after meeting with Field and Bruce Welch
Bruce Welch
Bruce Welch OBE, is an English guitarist, songwriter, producer and singer, best known as a member of The Shadows.-Biography:...

 near Tilburg
Tilburg is a landlocked municipality and a city in the Netherlands, located in the southern province of Noord-Brabant.Tilburg municipality also includes the villages of Berkel-Enschot and Udenhout....

 in Holland. Harris and Welch supported Field's efforts to influence Hank Marvin to return to the band.

Field developed a guitar technique he calls Tap-Picking, a technique of adding additional bass notes to guitar fingerpicking by tapping and pulling-off the bass strings with the left hand at times when the right hand thumbpick and fingers are on the treble strings and cannot play bass notes.

In the text of his tablature booklet with the LP
LP album
The LP, or long-playing microgroove record, is a format for phonograph records, an analog sound storage medium. Introduced by Columbia Records in 1948, it was soon adopted as a new standard by the entire record industry...

 Dadi's Picking Lights Up Nashville, Volume 1, Marcel Dadi
Marcel Dadi
Marcel Dadi was a Tunisia-born Jewish French guitarist known for his finger-picking style which faithfully recreated the instrumental styles of American guitarists such as Chet Atkins, Merle Travis and Jerry Reed...

 cited Field's playing ability as inspiration for the tune Roger Chesterfield.

External links

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