Property of Starsky & Hutch

An inventory of stuff belonging to Dave Starsky and Ken Hutchinson

Hutch’s Martin Guitar — October 17, 1978

Hutch’s Martin Guitar

Hutch’s Ovation guitars don’t show up anywhere in Season 4. In 04-05 “Moonshine”, undercover as C.W. Jackson, he plays a Martin D-41, one of Martin’s famous “Dreadnoughts”.

We don’t know if this is Hutch’s own guitar – the whole undercover guitarist ploy seems to have been an impromptu idea, made on the road. But again, it’s definitely one of David’s guitars.

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Hutch’s Renaissance Chessmen — December 18, 1976

Hutch’s Renaissance Chessmen

Looking at the details of the board edge, Hutch’s chess set in the tag of “Iron Mike” is most likely the 1970 edition of E.S. Lowe’s “Renaissance Chessmen”. You can see the details of the set in this video on YouTube (I’ve also included some screenshots from the video below).

This chess set, with beautifully detailed pieces in human shape and historical costumes (where relevant), was based on the hand-carved “King Arthur” chess set introduced in the late 1950s by the Italian manufacturer Anton Rifesser (ANRI). In 1959, the U.S. toy company E.S. Lowe started making their inexpensive but still pretty nice looking plastic copies of the set, calling them “Renaissance” instead of “King Arthur”. The Chess Museum website suggests ANRI’s set might be the most copied chess set in the world, and you can indeed find copies of varying quality still in shops. Those longing to own one almost exactly like Hutch’s can check the online auction sites for vintage editions of Lowe’s set. At the time of writing this, there are several on sale on eBay.

I think “Iron Mike” (02-12) is the only time we see the chess set at Hutch’s. It’s a good detail – the set’s style is nicely in keeping with Hutch’s taste for a bit of European art history. It is likely that the chess set makes an appearance elsewhere in the show – I have a vague memory of seeing it somewhere, but no idea where it was.

Screenshots from the video linked above:





Hutch’s Ovation Guitars — October 15, 1975

Hutch’s Ovation Guitars

Hutch was fond of Ovation guitars – or I should say David Soul was: I’ve seen pictures of him with at least four different Ovations over the decades. Ovations are easy to recognize because of the black, rounded fiberglass back and the fan-shaped tip of the head.

Hutch owned two models of Ovation guitars during S1-S3, one acoustic and another electro-acoustic – how many guitars there actually were is guesswork. Diana smashed a cheap stunt guitar in “Fatal Charm”, but I suppose it stood in for one of the Ovations. If the other Ovation survived the attack and Hutch didn’t replace the destroyed one, he was left with the acoustic one – it is the only one seen in a post-Diana episode.

The guitars are nearly identical so I include them in the same post to better show their differences.

To see which one is which, look above the neck where it joins the back – that’s where the electric controls would be in 1970s Ovations. Here there is nothing, so this is the acoustic one. The model is probably Folklore 1114-4 (see e.g. this Ovation catalog from 1972).

In “Long Walk”, you can clearly see the control knob that sets the electro-acoustic guitar apart (it’s below Hutch’s breast pocket in the screen shot). This guitar also has some decorative carvings on the bridge and the truss rod cover that are not there in the acoustic version (the bridge is covered by his right hand here; the truss rod cover is that small pointed piece in the head of the guitar where it joins the neck).

Notice also the capo he uses here (clamped on the second fret, next to his left hand). Some may call it a cheat, but a capo is a very handy tool for quickly transposing songs to a higher key while still using the original chord shapes.

I haven’t found the exact model of that electro-acoustic guitar in any Ovation catalog online – the decorative carvings make it a cross between Folklore models 1614-4 and 1614-4 (see this Ovation catalog from 1976).

The decorative carvings of the electro-acoustic Ovation are better seen in this photo:

The acoustic Ovation is seen in:
01-06 Death Notice (Hutch plays “Black Bean Soup”)
01-07 The Pariah (in the background, in an open case; only supposing it’s the acoustic one)
01-08 Kill Huggy Bear (in the background, in a closed case; only supposing it’s the acoustic one)
01-13 The Deadly Imposter (in the party, out of its case, so Hutch had played it?)
01-20 Running (Hutch plays it)
03-15 A Body Worth Guarding (Hutch plays “I Wish I Was”)

The electro-acoustic Ovation is seen in:
02-22 Velvet Jungle (Hutch plays it)
02-23 Long Walk Down a Short Dirt Road (Hutch plays “Loving Arms”)

There might be other background sightings of the guitars – David apparently liked to play on the set so one was often lying around somewhere.

Hutch’s Piano(s) — October 8, 1975

Hutch’s Piano(s)

In the early episodes, Hutch had a small piano in the alcove (in the last sighting in 01-07 “The Pariah”, there was sheet music on it, so he probably even played it).

However, it was gone with the cottage renovation. From “Kill Huggy Bear” forward, there’s a big antique piano in the cottage (apparently serving as a fancy beer stand):

In Venice Place, the same piano is on the wall next to the door.

It’s always there in the background, but Hutch is seen playing it only twice, in “Little Girl Lost”:

And in “Ballad for a Blue Lady”:

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