Thursday, April 24, 2008
Gold Fender Stratocaster Frankenstein
The sum of it's parts was greater than the individual pieces. That sounds like something a football coach would say to motivate his team into playing better together. But that's probably the best way to describe this guitar.
It started out as a gold metallic Squier 20th Anniversary Stratocaster. However, the neck looked like something someone made out of some fresh pine 2 x 4's from Home Depot. The neck looked bad and felt cheap. But I liked the gold body. I found it for super cheap on eBay one night when I decided that a gold strat would be cool to have. But I had a specific picture in my head...the pickguard and other plastic parts had to be traded out for those vintage "mint green" replacement parts you can get. And I figured eventually the pickups themselves would need to be replaced.
I was talking to my friend Alan Deremo, who just happens to be the former bassist for John Denver and a lot of other famous folks, as well as the current bassist for Colin Hay of Men At Work. Alan is a lot like me in that he loves to look for and find interesting guitars and guitar parts and anything guitar related. The difference is, when you walk into his music room at his house, you are instantly jealous of the amazing guitars and basses hanging on his wall. He pretty much has a "one of everything" sort of collection. There's a Strat, a Tele, a Les Paul, an SG, a Rick, an Epiphone Casino, a J-200, a twelve string, and, well, you get the picture. He's got some nice instruments. Whenever we get together we just talk guitars.
I told him about my little Strat project and he told me he had an excellent neck for sale from a '62 Reissue Japanese Stratocaster. PERFECT. We worked out a deal and the neck was mine. I ordered the rest of the parts and started to put it all together. At some point I decided to have the fine folks at The Guitar Shoppe of Laguna Beach (which was near my office, lucky me) put the neck back on for me and set up the guitar. What a great decision that was. They told me later that the bodies of Squiers and Fenders are built ever-so-slightly differently, which means you can't just slap a Fender neck on a Squier body without some shimming and adjustments. They did it perfectly and the guitar played beautifully.
Quite possibly the best neck I've played on aside from my Nash Telecaster.
The next project for this guitar, had I not sold it, would have been to replace the pick-ups. This all came at a time when I decided to spend way too much money on the black Ehlers Jumbo that you can read about here, and it went on the chopping block. I really do wish I had this one back if for no other reason than to get that neck! Sorry Alan, the neck is gone.