September 11, 2015

Guitars I Have Known, cont.


So, continuing to rummage through the junk under the bed -- see below --I pulled this out. It's a Les Paul Custom I acquired sometime in the late '80s. According to the Guitar dater serial number lookup thing, it was made in Nashville on August 19, 1983 (Production Number: 3) -- more info. than I needed, probably, but kind of fun to know. I've heard people say that all the post-Kalamazoo Les Pauls were "weight-relieved" or "chambered", i.e., they had huge hunks of wood hacked out of them to make them lighter, and I agree that that seems like a terrible, terrible thing to do. But there's no way this particular one was "relieved" in any way. It's crazy heavy, shoulder-destroying heavy, the heaviest guitar I've ever lifted, the guitar equivalent of a medium sized anvil or a set of encyclopedias. So I guess some specimens must have escaped the chambering.

It was my main guitar for a couple of years there in the late '80s/early '90s, after my old SG's neck snapped off. (I had it repaired but looking down at the scar made me sad.) Then when I got the white Junior in '91 or so I immediately retired it, partly because of the weight, but mainly of course because pretty much nothing could compete with a Les Paul Jr. from 1957, funky though it always was.

I gotta say though, this thing is solid as they come and hasn't suffered at all from being bashed around by a guy who didn't know how to play for a stretch and then neglected, forgotten, and stored under a bed for 25 years. Been playing it all morning (through that old Mesa Boogie Mark IV I used to use back then) and it's a stout dependable beast, all the sustain you'd want, and a great tone considering the fact that it has those humbuckers. Plus, if I were ever to have to face a horde of marauding Viking warriors on stage, I know the guitar I'd choose as a shield. Sturdy, man.

Posted by Dr. Frank at September 11, 2015 09:13 PM