This is actually a detailed copy of a Les Paul Special with Junior styling, handmade by Charleston, SC guitar maker Joe Wilson. Or is it?
I have always been a Tele guy, but now and then I get it in my head that something else is what I really need...like a Junior. I’ve always thought that maybe a Junior would be cool. Ever since I saw Paul Westerberg playing one through a Vox AC 30 head with seperate cab I have envisioned owning one. But I also like the two pick-up configuration of the Special. So, one day while perusing eBay I came across this handmade guitar, owned by a guy who had the same thoughts I did. The pickguard on a Special is not as cool as a Junior, but two pickups are better than one. So, according to the auction, he enlisted the skill of Joe Wilson, who has built guitars for members of Alabama, and has a great reputation for working on high-end instruments (just click here to read about him). Evidently Joe built this guitar and even included real Gibson logos and parts. Not sure if you’re supposed to do that kind of thing really...I know Bill Nash had some legal troubles with Fender...but they’re there. You’d never know it wasn’t authentic if you aren’t one of those experts that get nitpicky about the details. Now, I say it was “evidently” built by Joe because some time later I decided to sell it...it just didn’t turn out to be my thing.
I called Joe Wilson at Shem Creek Vintage Guitars and let him know I was the owner of this guitar he had made. He was actually very gruff and short with me and claimed he never built the guitar. I emailed the original owner of the guitar and asked him what the deal was and he assured me that Joe built the guitar and perhaps he was a little hesitant to admit it to a stranger because of the overt Gibson copyright infractions.