Gear talk for the GAS-afflicted.

Gear Vault #4 – Round the $%^&ing mulberry bush

Gear Vault #4 – Round the $%^&ing mulberry bush

Jul 18, 2012

So, I realize I’ve actually been quiet for awhile now. As I mentioned on Facebook recently, I’ve actually been busy brewing all sorts of schemes for Samurai-related awesomeness, including a long overdue feature on my beloved Marshall Slash AFD100, some talk about my very modest but growing mic locker, starting a long-term comparison of guitar strings from various manufacturers, as well as a couple of giveaways, and more!

That’s right! There’s going to be free stuff coming your way in the very near future. Who likes free stuff??? Yep, we all do. I enter competitions and pathetically never seem to manage to win two fourths of f-all, so I thought I’d reverse the situation and let you guys win something instead.

Anyway… this is meant to be a Gear Vault post, so I’ll stop yammering about all the future plans for now.


Since I started playing, I’ve always loved Les Pauls. And my favourite LP (other than a nice, black Custom) has got to be a tobacco burst Standard. It’s clearly a bit meaner, a bit more badass than your standard sunburst.

So one day I was doing my usual trawl through the used instruments on TradeMe (for you guys outside of NZ, that’s like our eBay) and saw this sweet looking tobacco burst LP Classic. Back in those days, an LP Classic was basically the same thing as a Standard construction-wise, except it had “aged” inlays and high output pickups. It looked awesome, and at least the inlays were a kind of faded yellowy colour instead of the terrible mould green ones.

The reserve started off pretty low, so I thought, “Why not?” and idly put a bid in a couple of hundred dollars above it. This was still a good 300 bucks below market value for one of these at the time, so I figured I’d never win it. Why do I bid on things expecting not to win? I don’t know. I have a problem.

So I went to bed, and forgot about it. Woke up the next morning with an email in my inbox… “Congratulations!!…”


Apparently it ended late at night and everyone else had forgotten to bid on it.

So, I got myself a Les Paul:


Pretty sweet, right?

So I had it for awhile, and damned if it wasn’t the best one I’d ever owned. But I tend to go through phases with these things, and I think I went through a “Oh, I don’t need a Les Paul” phase. I was wrong.

Either that, or I’d just bought an ’89 LP Custom and figured I didn’t need this one. I was also wrong. That LPC was beat to shit (not in a good way!) with divoted frets worn down almost to the fretboard, and required major refret surgery before it could even be made playable, and even then… it was just an okay guitar.

Anyway it was one of those two thought processes. Both wrong.

I ended up trading the LP Classic off to a guy for a beautiful Jackson PC1, pictured here with a clothesline of some sort:

Quilt top, flame maple neck, etc etc. Pimptastic, beautiful guitar… but it just didn’t really work for me. Super 3 in the bridge was too dark (swapped out for a D-Sonic), neck pickup not really that useful, and what in the hell do I do with a Sustainer???

So that eventually got traded for something else… but that’s another story.

Basically, I got rid of my “good” LP, and was stuck with an “okay” one. I actually gigged the black LPC for quite awhile before selling it off. Can’t remember what exactly followed that, but I usually have one Les Paul-ish thing at all times.

Anyway, fast forward a few years… and I’ve gone through a PRS Singlecut Trem, a ’91 LP Std, a new Gibson LP Studio Tribute, and so on, but nothing really filled that gap. I was again trawling TradeMe (yes, most of my stories start this way) and I spotted a really familiar looking guitar…


Could it be?

Serial number… match!!

Long story short (probably too late for that at this point), I emailed the guy I originally traded it to, he put me in touch with the shop he’d traded it to, and they put me in touch with the guy they’d just sold it to.

And then I got it back. Precioussss.

Success, motherfuckers.

Anyone got a crazy back and forth and back again gear story to share?








  1. Ben says:

    Sigh… T-Rex Mudhoneys.

    Bought one new. Sold it. Bought another. Sold that. Bought a TC Electronic Vintage Distortion (exactly the same pedal with a different brand name on it). Got my original one back. Sold both. Traded some pickups and got the original one back then sold it again. Quite glad I don’t know where that original one is now…

    1. thesamurai says:

      Hahaha I’m glad I’m not the only one! So… are you planning on buying one again, or did you end up finding an overdrive that suited you better?

  2. Clarky says:

    I had an ex girlfriend like that….

    1. thesamurai says:

      Saw her on an auction site and recognized her serial number??

  3. Percy Ottershaw says:

    Aw cmon now you’ve had a LOT more than just a couple of Les Pauls – we here at the SIS have counted at least 6 you’ve had PLUS PRS, Ibanezes plus other weirdo guitars and amps. So ‘fess up and tell us about why they went west (the Les Paul 60’s tribute with P90’s for example you bought back from overseas last year) or we may open our files and send Kingdom music your current address and phone number so you are sooty’d silly with Christian calls night and day. No presure of course – LOL.

  4. […] got my trusty Gibson LP, plugged it into the Rock Box Distortion, and ran it into the Marshall-style channel of my Line 6 […]

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