Nov 3, 2013
I had a couple of hours free last weekend, and decided to do something that I seldom ever do – take a group shot of all my guitars. I’ve only done this a few times in my guitar playing life, mostly because the collection is always in a state of flux. Digging through my photos, I had a cool little trip down memory lane, so I thought I’d share with you guys how my tastes have or haven’t changed over the years…
Phase 1: Pointies
I guess I must have been around 18 when this photo was taken. I was going through that phase where you just want to buck the trend and not play the usual Strat/Tele/LP type guitars that everyone else was – not that I had the money to buy those things at the time!
1. Unknown plywood LP copy. Bought as a project, made zero progress and sold shortly afterwards.
2. Epiphone Flying V. I think I got this pretty cheaply, but otherwise I remember nothing about it.
3. Jackson Kelly KE3 – Eerie Dess Swirl! As a Japanese made guitar, this was the most high end instrument I’d owned up to that point. The paintjob was a psychedelic swirl, it had a Floyd and sweet sharkfin inlays… basically everything I’d ever dreamed of as a young shred/metalhead.
4. Dean ’79 Series ML. My Dimebag phase. Great guitar, was brought back from the States over the summer holidays by a friend who strapped it to her skateboard. I only wish it’d had a Floyd for true Dimeness.
5. Westone Spectrum something or other. I scored this for $200, and it was the first neck through guitar I ever owned. At the time, all I knew was that the USA Jacksons that I so coveted were neck through, and thus, this guitar must be in a similar ballpark of awesomeness. It wasn’t.
6. BC Rich NJ Series Mockingbird. My first good electric guitar, which I bought when I was about 15 or 16. A pretty cool guitar, but it neck dived like a bitch. Bought it because Slash used a Mockingbird that one time.
Phase 2: Brand Name Baby!
Slowly beginning to realise that iconic guitars/brands are iconic for good reason.
1. Gibson Flying V Faded. An awesome model with rare ebony fretboard and crescent inlays, I’d end up owning about 3 of these over the next 5-6 years. Unfortunately sold them all off in the end – wish I still had one of these. They don’t pop up locally as often as they once did.
2. PRS CU22 – my first PRS! Probably the most expensive guitar I’d ever owned at that point. Whale Blue finish which had faded to a really sweet looking blue jeans sorta colour. Starting me down a road that would take me through quite a few more PRS…
3. Jackson KE3, as before but now upgraded with Bill Lawrence L500XL/R set. More Dime homage-ness.
Phase 3: Going Custom!
It’s not really a family shot, but I thought it’d be cool to include this photo. The culmination of a few years of guitar buying/playing/selling was that I felt that I was ready to spec out my very own custom, inspired by my favourite “shape” guitar, the Jackson Kelly. I got Ash Customworks to make me a custom guitar that paid tribute to Marty Friedman’s Kelly (flat top, no bevels) as well as to BC Rich heritage with the visible neck through.
So here we are. I’ve gone through 10+ years of gear evolution, chopping and changing, figuring out what I like and don’t like, the culmination of which is my current bunch of guitars, all of which suit a particular tonal/stylistic purpose. Of course, it’s still going to keep changing, but I think I’m finally getting closer to a core collection which I’ll be happy to keep for many a year to come.
1. Peavey Wolfgang Std. I picked this up for a great price, and instantly fell in love with it. The neck profile is my soulmate. It even smells terribly of cigarette smoke from a previous owner, as befits an Eddie Van Halen guitar.
2. Gibson LP Classic. I sold this one foolishly a few years back, and languished without a great LP for awhile. By some stroke of luck I saw this up for sale (3 owners later) and grabbed it back. It’s never going anywhere again. Pimped out with BKP VHII in the bridge and SD Alnico II Pro in the neck, as well as a Graphtech piezo bridge system. Oh, and coil splits. It does everything except make coffee and sandwiches.
3. PRS Singlecut with a cool story behind it. Lots of pics on our forum here, come ask me what the story is and I just might tell you. http://forum.sixstringsamurai.co.nz/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=371&start=20
4. Fender AmStd Strat. For years I hated Strats… now I love ‘em. However, I might collect LPs or Wolfgangs or whatever, but to me I only need one Strat. This one works just fine
5. Ash Customworks Kelly. This guy went on an exchange program to a good friend of mine, but now it’s back. I think it’s back for good.
So… that was a quick glimpse into my gear journey so far. What do your family photos look like? Share them with us in the comments, or come post pictures on our forum for all to see!