Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Guitars of 2015: A Good Year





The year was a lot more positive, on the guitar front, than on the bicycle front. Skull Full Of Blues played a few more shows than normal (most with Adam Moore on bass guitar), some good songs got written (I am particularly fond of Old Man In a Rock and Roll Band), and my quiver is full to overflowing.

Here, in no particular order, are some of the highlights of the year, axe-wise:
 

FLYING V's
 

While I actually bought this guitar before New Year's Day, last year, I had to ship it home from Pennsylvania, and it didn't get to my house until 2015. Even though the Faded Cherry is the low-end of Flying V finishes, I really like the looks of it, and the feel of the neck.

Of course, I couldn't leave it as I found it. I installed a P-94 single-coil pickup at the neck and later added a Bigsby B-5 tremolo tailpiece. It quickly took over as my most-played guitar, putting the BFG into second place.


I initially added the Bigsby just because I thought it looked cool. I figured that I would use it very little. As time went by, I fell in love with it, and now I have four guitars with trems on them (soon to be five).



This Flying V is the guitar I have described as having apparently fallen out of an airplane, then gotten repaired and repainted by a drunk. It was in sad shape, when I got it, and I sent it off to be refinished by a friend. He couldn't get to it, for over a year, so I got it back from him and refinished it myself.


It was a bit of a challenge, what with the random replacement wood patches, excessive spray paint and the infamous Gibson lacquer finish.



Perfect? No. Lots better than I expected, once I had it stripped? Definitely.

ES-125

 
This one has been on my Want List since George Thorogood released his cover of Move It On Over, in 1978. In April, I ignored all common sense and bought this 1959 ES-125 TC from Hart Music, in Grand Junction. I couldn't afford it, and I don't use it enough to justify owning it, but I truly love having it around.

Bigsbymania



I liked the Bigsby on the Flying V so much that I added one to Cooper (my Les Paul Special). I also took the original humbuckers out and replaced them with Gibson P-94s. At that point, I had the closest thing to Neil Young's Old Black that I will likely ever have. 


 Then, I got a B-6 to put on the old Japanese guitar I used on the first SFOB cd, but it really didn't work very well. The string tension was inadequate, and I couldn't figure out a good way to make it work.

 So, I got a B-7 body, swapped all of the moving parts from the B-6 onto it, and installed it onto the BFG.


 Throughout the year, I found myself never playing the Dillion Moderne copy, due to the fact that I didn't have a Bigsby on it. Truthfully, the cost of all those Bigsby tail pieces was beginning to pile up, so I ordered a Bigsby knock-off to go on the Moderne knock-off. Interestingly, this version actually allows for a lot more tonal change than the actual Bigsby. A true Bigsby will drop the tone by a half-step. This thing drops about three whole steps. I really have to watch my technique when I play it!

Misc.

 I put the old cheap Affinity Telecaster back together with an aftermarket neck. So, I once again have a guitar that I love the feel of, but detest the sound it produces. Eventually, this thing is getting a P-90 and, probably, a Bigsby.

 
 For the motorcycle trip I took to Columbus, Ohio (and Tennessee, and St. Louis, etc.), I slammed together a travel cigar box guitar. I cheated and used an old Memphis body and neck as the base of the build, and added a cheap P-90 in case I ever decided to plug it in. It works pretty well, and gave me a guitar to strap onto the motorbike without having to worry about damage.

I had some struggles with amps, this year, and ended up with a couple I don't really need. I might end up having to sell a few, just to clear up some room here in my studio house.

There were other guitars and basses and such which came into play, this year, but these were the highlights, to me.

As I said, earlier, it was a much better music year than bicycling year, for sure.

x

2 Comments:

At 2:18 AM , Blogger Fabricio Plato said...

Hello Jon! How are you? Here i'm fine! What a beautiful bikes and guitars you have! I'm from Brazil, i'm posting here in your blog because i've read an old comment about a Diamond Back Avail 700c, it was your bike of the moment, right?

Here in BR i found one DB Avail but googling i don't find too much results. THis bike really exists? lol... Can you make a post about it? I think that bike will be awsome for me!

Thank you very much and it was very good to read your blog!

Fabricio

 
At 7:58 AM , Blogger Jon said...

Fabricio, thank you for the kind words. I will gladly do a post about the Avail. Watch for it to show up soon.

 

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