"Epiphone Coronet. Not sure about the exact year but it is early 60's for sur... more
"Epiphone Coronet. Not sure about the exact year but it is early 60's for sure. I have a couple others, but this one sounds best for whatever reason."
"One day I may type out the whole, strange, extremely unlikely story of how m... more
"One day I may type out the whole, strange, extremely unlikely story of how my little band [Mr. T Experience] wound up jamming, sort of, with Johnny Thunders in a New York cafe on one weird night in 1989.
He had played my guitar (an old, junky SG) while I played Jon Von's. Afterwards, I removed the strings, coiled them, and put them in a string packet. Then I labelled the packet so I wouldn't accidentally re-use the strings. (Yes, I used to re-use old strings back then.) Then I put the packet in my guitar case.
So yeah, Johnny Thunders played my guitar. And his sweat, and who knows what other "gear", in trace elements, are probably in the strings.
I've never been able to identify it precisely. The body is an SG shape, with a dark brown finish where you can just make out the wood grain, but it doesn't look much like the Standard SG. For what it's worth, the neck feels 60's to me, and the decal on the headstock looks like the one on my late 50's and early 60's Les Paul Juniors, but unlike them it has uncovered humbuckers and Tune-O-Matic bridge as you can see. It could well be from the 70's. I really have no idea what it is or whence it came. No serial number. Not the easiest guitar to play, but it sounds pretty good."
"So, continuing to rummage through the junk under the bed, I pulled this out.... more
"So, continuing to rummage through the junk under the bed, I pulled this out. It's a Les Paul Custom I acquired sometime in the late 80's. According to the Guitar Dater serial number lookup thing, it was made in Nashville on August 19, 1983 (Production Number: 3) - more info than I needed, probably, but kind of fun to know. I've heard people say that all the post-Kalamazoo Les Pauls were "weight-relieved" or "chambered", i.e. they had huge hunks of wood hacked out of them to make them lighter, and I agree that that seems like a terrible, terrible thing to do. But there's no way this particular one was "relieved" in any way. It's crazy heavy, shoulder-destroying heavy, the heaviest guitar I've ever lifted, the guitar equivalent of a medium sized anvil or a set of encyclopedias. So I guess some specimens must have escaped the chambering.
It was my main guitar for a couple of years there in the late '80s/early '90s, after my old SG's neck snapped off. (I had it repaired but looking down at the scar made me sad.) Then when I got the white Junior in '91 or so I immediately retired it, partly because of the weight, but mainly of course because pretty much nothing could compete with a Les Paul Jr. from 1957, funky though it always was.
I gotta say though, this thing is solid as they come and hasn't suffered at all from being bashed around by a guy who didn't know how to play for a stretch and then neglected, forgotten, and stored under a bed for 25 years. Been playing it all morning (through that old Mesa Boogie Mark IV I used to use back then) and it's a stout dependable beast, all the sustain you'd want, and a great tone considering the fact that it has those humbuckers. Plus, if I were ever to have to face a horde of marauding Viking warriors on stage, I know the guitar I'd choose as a shield. Sturdy, man."
"I almost forgot I had this thing. According to the serial number it's from 1... more
"I almost forgot I had this thing. According to the serial number it's from 1960, Kalamazoo. Seems like at one point it was a sunburst finish? Now like many of my guitars it most resembles a barn door. Pretty nice."
"So this head has gone 20 years without being serviced, crumbling and disinte... more
"So this head has gone 20 years without being serviced, crumbling and disintegrating (just like me) and barely functioning (just like me). But I just had it fixed up and the tubes replaced and, holy smokes, does it sound good now, like it could change the world."