DUBLIN,  1949

This Selmer-Truvoice TV10 amp (rated at 15 watts) was purchased from McCullough's Music Store, Grafton Street, Dublin by Val Doonican. He lent it to Bruce to use with his lap-steel for that particular "engagement". (Called a "gig" these days !!)



Those amps were sold as guitar amps. There were also portable PA things with two detachable speakers, again about 15 watts. Most of the available equipment had survived from pre- war; the amp in the picture was almost certainly the only post war job of its kind in Ireland at that time, I remember that Val had to wait while McCulloughs imported it for him.
The photo was taken in the Four Provinces ballroom in Dublin. I was playing piano in the resident band. Four saxes, three brass, three rhythm, vocalists, 6 nights a week, 52 weeks a year. Ballrooms were a big deal in those days. Slow, slow, quick quick slow. Jiving strictly forbidden!
It is difficult to imagine it today, but before the skiffle thing came along, any sort of guitar was a rarity. I never even saw one until I was twenty, apart from those in the movies. I used to listen to Bert Weedon on the radio though, and somewhere along the way I had acquired two or three '78s of Django , and a portable wind up gramophone!! Lap steel was an even more hopeless proposition. I had to make my own, including the pickup. I got the gen for that from an American wartime "Popular Mechanics" magazine, and it produced a sweet sound through that amp. 
There were several people playing Hawaiian guitar in England of course, and I saw the Felix Mendelsson Show when they played Dublin, but I think I may have been the first guy this side of the Atlantic trying to play country style steel.