Not a famous rock guitar today. I will have the famous Rock guitars part 5 next weekend. This post is a little self-indulgent…no a lot.
I thought this guitar had an interesting story. My family made guitars for country stars in the 50s through the 70s. George Jones and Leon Rhodes are two artists that had them. They made quality acoustic guitars that compared to Martins… they also made mandolins but very few electrics. They were all high end instruments. Many were custom made for artists. They go for big prices now. My dad didn’t like making electrics because he said the craftsmanship wasn’t in them like acoustics. He told me son they are like a two-by-four with strings…ok Dad…but I got what he was saying.
What makes this guitar interesting is it was made in the mid-sixties. It then sat on a shelf for over 25 years. In 1991 I got this guitar and I was the first person to ever play the thing.
A relative gave me this hollow body electric guitar that was made by his dad. Two of the same style guitars were made at the time…the other one was sold. I have it’s sister that languished on the shelf for years.
When I got the guitar it had everything except the pickups and tuning keys…so it had never been played. I have a friend who had two Dimarzio humbucker pickups and he installed them plus Grover tuning keys…it also came with a vintage Bigsby Vibrato Tailpiece.
Now…getting a little technical… these pickups were very “hot”…I don’t mean stolen but with a very high output…very loud but clear. One guitar tech told me they were the hottest humbucker pickups he ever heard.
When you have a hollow body guitar and very hot pickups… they can make a guitar feedback at high volumes. It took me a good 2 years to really learn how to play this guitar properly without it getting away from me. It was like placing a jet engine in a car. I have some guitar friends who love it and it’s sometimes called “The Beast.”
The trim and the pickup toggle on the body had tarnished yellow by the time I got it. My favorite color is green…and good thing because this one is a very unusual sunburst green.
I’m going to alter it bit coming up soon. I’m going to replace one of the humbucker pickups with a P-90 and give it a little variety. We will see how that sounds.
The guitar compares to a Gibson ES-335 or a few Gretsch guitars. The beast has a growl like no other. Out of all of my guitars this is the one I pick for dirtier sounds…
Vintage Bigsby Vibrato Tailpiece