Saturday, May 10, 2008
Dickerson Lap Steel and Matching Amp
I used to work in San Juan Capistrano, CA at Snowboarder Magazine and it sat right in the direct center of about 8 really good thrift stores that I could hit at lunch time now and then. If I went one direction I could make it to Las Golandrinas for cheap Mexican food and still hit 3 great stores. The Salvation Army in San Clemente used to have an "antique" section that they would put anything that they remotely thought was worth a little more than the regular junk. It was funny what they would deem "valuable."
One day I walked in and there was a late '40s Dickerson lap steel guitar and matching MOTS amplifier. I figured they were going to want an undeserving fortune for it. The week prior to that they had somehow received a Fender Rhodes piano and matching amp and it was sweet, but not worth the $4000 they wanted for it. I'm not joking. So when I saw the Dickerson set I figured I was going to end up arguing with the manager about the real value. To my surprise they only wanted $125 and five minutes later it was mine.
I took the set home and hesitantly plugged the amp in. If you've seen the back of one of these things you know how scary they can look electrically.
Long story short, it all worked great and sounded pretty cool. I knew, however, that this was one of those items that should be in the hands of a real lap steel collector, which I'm not. I cleaned everything up and headed down to Guitars West, an old dealer that used to be near my house that has since gone internet only or disappeared or something. They always had really cool stuff and I wanted a Strat. We struck a darn good deal and I ended up walking out with a nice Japanese Fender Stratocaster in Fiesta Red.
That's it. That's the end of the story. It's not much. Oh, a quick disclaimer: I couldn't find my photos of this set, so I have found exact matching photos on the internet of the same thing. Please Lord, forgive me for stealing these internet photos. Phew.