Gear talk for the GAS-afflicted.

Gear Vault #2 – Street Lethal

Gear Vault #2 – Street Lethal

May 13, 2012

So, unfortunately I was unable to finish the review of the Carvin V3M vs Mesa Mini Rec – my new mic didn’t show up on Saturday :( I’ll be collecting it tomorrow though, and am hoping to have the first part of the shootout up on Tuesday! I’d say something about the post “going live” on Tuesday but I don’t think I’m quite that much of a wanker just yet.

In the absence of a new review, I thought I’d do the second Gear Vault post in the meantime!

And dipping randomly again into my photos, I found this:

Man – looking at this now, I really wish I still had it! A somewhat rare example of a Japanese made Ibanez PGM30 (I say rare because most of the PGM30s you will find are made in Korea – I had one of those too, but that’s another Photobucket dip away!). The nice walkway in front of the house indicates that it was my final year of uni, so… 2008.

I’m a long-time fan of Paul Gilbert and his mind-bending brand of shred, which combines both physics-defying alternate picking and string-skipping, but doesn’t skimp on melodic content.

Also, he uses an electric drill on his guitar:

If you’ve never heard of Paul Gilbert, then… well, you probably have, but don’t know it. He first hit the scene as a young guitar prodigy, forming the poodle-haired glam metal band known as Racer X, but later going on to grace international airwaves with similarly-haired but much more light-hearted band Mr Big. If you haven’t got it already, Mr Big did “To Be With You”, a smash hit and now-classic campfire/acoustic singalong song. It’s a pity that no one remembers the rest of their stuff (Extreme – More Than Words, anyone?), cos it’s really quite cool. 80s haters, stay away.

Anyway, I digress. Paul was one of my earliest influences in terms of technical playing, and I jumped at the chance to own a guitar with that same iconic look – pristine white, faux-F holes, and reverse headstock (because reverse headstock guitars, much like red cars, DO go faster).

Unfortunately, soon after this I think I got into a “heavy” phase in which I’d only play really pointy, extreme guitars – so like a dumbass, I sold it. I went off RG-type guitars in general for many, many years, so I guess it makes sense. Ironically, now I’m getting quite into Strat-types, and kinda wish I hadn’t gotten rid of this. I haven’t seen a well-priced PGM for sale in NZ in awhile, so add that to the list of “kicking myself for selling” guitars.

What guitar or style of guitar have you done a 360 on years later? And had you sold it by then, or were you smart enough to just chuck it in the closet until you liked it again (and could afford to do so)?

I’m going to leave you with that thought (please reply so I don’t feel too lonely), and a clip of the brilliantly versatile Paul Gilbert with his Beatles tribute band Yellow Matter Custard – also featuring Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater) and some other dude on bass. Wait for the solo, it will melt your face. Twice.



  1. Hamish (@hamo_d) says:

    I sold my shreddy Kramer with Floyd and EMGs to buy a Les Paul (Epi variety, I’m not that rich). Now I really want another superstrat. Don’t regret selling the Kramer though. Me and that guitar had just parted company in my head.

  2. thesamurai says:

    Haha I’m familiar with that – I tend to mentally distance myself from guitars that I know I’m going to sell. Hope your dastardly plans for acquiring that Charvel are still on-track!

  3. druz15 says:

    Man would love a PGM, not a shreddy guy but love Paul Gilbert.
    Haven’t really sold any guitars I’d later regretted, as I usually upgrade to better instruments, but everytime I see a photo of the Ratty Strat, I get a bit regretful, even though it’s tone was not what I needed at the time, it was a beautiful playing guitar and looked badass.

    Sweet blog Ed

    1. thesamurai says:

      Cheers Druz. Yeah the site is still WIP, am adding functionality as I go, cos I’m completely new at this whole thing. Just added an email alert subscription thing – feel free to be the first to sign up, haha.

  4. Ouch! How did you let that one get away?! Of course my complete Paul Gilbert fanboyism means that I’m pretty predisposed to total gear lust over this one – always wanted a PGM (though I’m not exactly ‘just making do’ with my Fireman replica!).

    1. thesamurai says:

      Haha yeah, what can I say – letting some get away is part of trading through so many guitars (as well as being young and stupid!). Hopefully a PGM will make its way back to me again someday! Ah the Fireman, what a beautiful guitar that one is.

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