Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Comment Round-Up

Because of the nature of this blog, lots of people find it for the first time because they are Google searching for a particular guitar or amp. Lots of comments get left on past stories that probably don't get seen by regular readers. So, I thought maybe I'd start a new thing from time to time and round up the latest comments about archived stories. Here goes:

Regarding the story about the Gibson MK-35: "I bought my MK-35 in 1977, still have it, play it daily and it sounds better with each passing year. Had some issues with it way back when, bridge lifted and I sent it back to Gibson for repair. When it came back they had refinished it in Sunburst, it was originally natural. took a little getting used to but I came to like it after a while. It is a different looking beast for sure but mine plays well and sounds good. Came new with three different bridge saddles so that you could do your set up, just loosen the strings as slide one out and another in. I did put the pickguard on after much deliberation, sometimes wish that I hadn't but probably would have worn the finish off if it hadn't been installed. It's a good old guitar now, wouldn't trade it for the world!" -- Anonymous

Regarding the story about the Fender Flame...I received an email from the current owner of the guitar who wanted to contact the person who contributed the story to see if he wanted it back. Here is what resulted: "I just heard back from the current owner of this guitar. I don't think I can afford to buy it back. So it goes." -- Alex

Regarding the Cort Jim Triggs model: "I just bought this exact guitar. It's beautiful and has amazing tone. Thanks for the story." -- Ed

Regarding the the Music Man RD 112 One Hundred amp: "About 15 years ago, I was living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and there was a 210HD at a local music store for $200. I loved it and was THIS close to buying it, but as I was playing primarily hard rock, I finally decided against it (not without agony). Now, older and wiser, how I wish I could go back. And here's one that somehow didn't get away. As a 16-year-old metalhead in the mid-80s lusting after a modified Marshall stack, I wasn't too impressed with the tiny tweed Fender practice amp given to me by my aunt, after my uncle passed away. He had MS, and I never knew he played guitar until she gave me the amp. For some reason, I held onto the amp, because of sentimental value I guess. And now that I'm a 39-year-old playing everything from rock to blues to jazz and even metal, I've grown to understand just how awesome that 1955 Fender Champ sounds!" -- Chaotic Smelt

Regarding the Alvarez Yairi DY58 9-string acoustic: "I read and loved your piece on the DY58 9 string Yairi. I found mine in a similar manner at a pawn shop around 1985. The guy at the couonter didn't know what he had (for that much neither did I at the time). I played it once and then immediately knew I had to have it (I spent my Rent Check). I'll never forget the guy at the pawn shop saying "I recon it was a 6 string before,but it looks like somebody added some tuning pegs to it....I'll let it go for for $300.00...I'll through in the hard shell case just to get it out of here". SWEEEEEEET...I still have it but I don't anything technical about it. Like what wood did they use on the fret board, sides, back and top? What inspired them to make it and is it true that John Paul Jones of Led Zep may have used one?" -- Michael Perea

Regarding the Guyatone Bass: "I ever seen Guyatone Bass '70s at a second hand music instrumental shop. The body is like Yamaha Guitar '70s. The weird thing is that it has switch up-down to switch the pick up, just like guitar. So I wonder if it is really a bass, I thought it's a guitar that had been modified into bass. The sound is very very mellow when the switch turned to UP. It's brighter and harder when turned to DOWN." -- Erlangga

Regaring the Princeton Reverb amp: "Hi, I'm from Switzerland. I'm a percussionist. My son Simon loves playing guitar and he's very good at it. Now, for business reasons I met a customer in his office, and there, in the corner, I saw this cute amp with blue writing "Princeton Reverb." Later I found out it's a Fender 1977. I asked the owner if he's still playing. He said "No, and I have also an Electric Guitar." It was a Fender Mustang 1978. I told him that I would like to buy it for my son and asked him how much it would cost. "$400" he said "both!" Well, guess what I did...They look brand new and sound awesome! " -- Anonymous

And also this: "Good call on the pawn shops. I remember going to them and always seeing junk that was overpriced to boot. I specifically remember a highlighter-colored Charvette hanging in one." -- Alex

Regarding the story of the Epiphone Crestwood I used to own with the name 'Johnny Ruddy' scratched into the back of the headstock: "I bought the 'johnny ruddy' crestwood recently on eBay for $450 and shipping...I love it!" -- Anonymous

Thursday, December 25, 2008

1994 Rickebacker Jetglo 360

Submitted by Ellen Rugowski

Let me introduce myself. My name's Ellen. I'm a Gen Xer. I've been playing guitar for just shy of 30 years—part of that time as a lead guitarist in semi-pro rock bands. I come from a guitaring family. My grampa was an acoustic guitar luthier [(he made me my first guitar, when I was little) who also played jazz guitar in Big Bands; my uncle (my Dad's youngest brother) still plays off and on in pickup bands.

During the 1990s, I was a Gibson Girl big time. But, I decided that I'd like to have a Ric as a second guitar. In the early '90s, I never seemed to find one I liked or could afford. But, in February 1995, the opportunity occurred for me to buy a Ric at a Milwaukee area music store (Cascio Music) that I could just afford. The guitar in question was a 1994 Jetglo 360. It was originally ordered by a guy in 1994 who refused it (according to what I was told at the music store) due to a minor finish blemish. The guitar sat in the music store collecting dust until I bought it, making me the original owner of the guitar. I grew to like my Ric 360 to the point where my main guitar (a 1980 tobacco sunburst Gibson Howard Roberts Fusion) was basically collecting dust (a tall order, considering I play a lot of heavy rock - but the Ric was better than it at clean stuff, and could still sound surprisingly good, playing the heavy stuff). I ended up selling the Howard Roberts Fusion, and my Ric 360 became my main guitar. I called my 360 "Baby" (because I often used to say to myself, "come to mama baby, it's time to play").

In August of 1999 I was between bands. I hit a money crunch.

I'd sold off my good amps (Mesa Boogies), and was feeling that I needed a change in sound. I could not justify economically at the time having 2 guitars, so I traded my Ric 360 for a Fender Toronado at Mars Music (remember that chain of music stores?—its been out of business for years). Within two months of doing this trade, I realized just how much of a fool I'd been for getting rid of my Ric 360 and wound up regretting my decision. But, I'd pretty much written off ever seeing Baby again, and I was so broke that a Rick was financially out of reach for me anyway.

I am a regular on the Harmony Central Electric Guitar Forum. When many of the members get a new guitar, they will often post an NGD (New Guitar Day) thread. On Nov. 1, I read an NGD post from a member, who'd gotten a Ric 650 Atlantis (I remember posting on the thread, congratulating the guy, and telling him that I used to have a Ric 360 that I missed and wished I had back). After reading this NGD Ric 650 thread, I decided out of curiosity to take a look online to see what was available in Rics. Those I saw on eBay were a bit pricey for me (I'm still paying off bills from the same hard times when I sold off Baby). Just for a laugh, I decided to look on the Music Go Round website for Rics. I just about had a heart attack! A Music Go Round store about 35 miles away from me had listed (with a photo), a 1994 Jetglo 360 for sale! Not many Rick 360s were sold in Wisconsin (where I live) back in 1994 or 1995. All I could think was "ohmigod! is that Baby?" The next day I drove to the Music Go Round to check out the 360.

I took a look at the guitar. Sure enough, it was Baby. I found the minor head stock rash I'd put on Baby back in 1998, when I didn't watch where I was going, and bumped the headstock into a wall. To say I was floored is putting it mildly. I asked if I could play Baby (I even brought a guitar strap with me). As soon as I strapped Baby on and started playing it was like meeting an old friend again. I started ripping off licks as though I'd never quit playing Baby 9 years ago. Baby seemed a bit thinner sounding than I'd remembered it sounding in the past. I wondered if it was the JCM2000 I was using at the Music Go Round, especially since a guy near me was getting a nice thick sound out of a Strat with single coils from a Peavey Valve King. I plugged into the Valve King and started playing again. Yep, it was the amp. Baby sounded nice, rich, and full, both clean, and at full on grind through the Valve King.

Then and there I decided that I had to get Baby back. But it's price of $1300 was more than I really could afford (I even grumped to the salesman that the price was $400 more than I originally paid for the Ric 360 when it was new). But I wanted Baby back. So I adopted a "whatever it takes" attitude. So I wouldn't lose Baby again, I ended up having to trade in the three mid- and low-priced guitars I had, just to put Baby on layaway (it's a good thing I did so— while the sale was being written up, a guy called asking about Baby). Two weeks later, with a bonus from work, some of my paycheck, and the sale of a ham radio on eBay (I've had a ham radio license for almost 31 years) I scraped together the rest of the money to finish paying for my Ric 360 and I took it home for good.

The more I play Baby the more I'm reminded as to why I basically moved heaven and earth financially to get it back almost 2 months ago after so foolishly letting it go nine years ago. Two nights ago I was given a profound reminder of my Ric 360's value to me.

As I mentioned earlier, I like to play heavy rock (metal, thrash metal, hard, rock Stoner Rock , Doom, etc.). I also like using my Ric 360 for the heavy stuff. Many players don't realize that the Rickenbacker Hi-Gain single coils and the Rickenbacker humbuckers have just as much output (in some cases more) as your typical humbucker. While playing two nights ago, my Jetglo 360 proceeded to floor me by sounding both brutal and beautiful in equal measures. The clarity and the crunch, with that wonderful Ric high end shimmer (but NO shrillness) made me want to keep playing and playing. I didn't even consider plugging in my other guitar (a Danelectro Hodad). I can't wait to play out live with Baby! My Ric 360 is NOT for sale! I will NEVER make that mistake again!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Thanks for a great first year! I have enjoyed all the stories that have been sent in and love all the feedback to my own stories. I hope you all get all the cool guitar gear you want for Christmas! My new Jodi Head custom guitar strap just arrived in the mail and I'm pretty pleased. Be safe!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Les Paul Special and Fender Strat

Submitted by Wade Tam

I’ve got a story about my first two real electric guitars whose stories are intertwined, so here goes it. A few years ago, I was living and teaching in New York City and, during one of my free summers, I was hit by the music bug to join a band and start playing guitar. I had always toiled a bit with an old acoustic that my godmother had given to me as a gift, but, being a piano player, I never truly mastered the instrument. Well, this time around I walked into the famed Manny’s Music on 48th Street and was simply amazed by the stunning array of guitars adorning their walls.

There were hundreds of shiny, beautiful Fenders, Gibsons, Ibanezes, Rickenbackers, and everything else that just shouted, “BUY ME, NOW!” to an unassuming young teacher like me. I had come in a few days before and had purchased a Squier Affinity Strat, but, dissatisfied with my choice, I came back to find a better guitar. With a friend in tow (who I had dragged out with me . . . and he was on vacation), I finally decided on a MIM Fender Satin Stratocaster. It was an absolutely stunning guitar—gunmetal blue satin finish, rosewood fretboard, black pickguard, and the reassuring “Fender” logo on the headstock. The guitar looked mean, but played like a dream . . . even my impatient friend commented, “That guitar is just bad-ass.” Well, I took that guitar home proudly and played it every night through a Fender 85 and BOSS DS-1 pedal (with a few complaints from my neighbors . . . they would return the favor with God-awful gangsta rap).

A year after I purchased my Fender, I was venturing downtown when I stumbled into 30th Street Guitars, a little hole in the wall that is stocked with an awesome collection of vintage guitars and gear (if you’re ever in New York, check this place out . . . the owner is pretty damn cool and has the best prices around) [ed.note: WILL DO!]. I didn’t mean to buy anything that day until a 1996 Gibson Les Paul Special in cherry red stared straight at me and begged me to be played.

Well, I took it off the wall, plugged in, and lo and behold, we had a winner.

The guitar played amazingly, had a fantastic punch for rock and a glassy tone for jazz from its P-100s (wannabe P-90s that are configured like humbuckers), and looked like Bob Marley’s Les Paul Special. I was hooked and the price was right . . . $600. I put a down payment on the guitar and did some research at home; many people disliked the P-100s, but I found an endearing, warm, and diverse quality about them . . . you could play almost anything with that guitar.

A few days later, I made the decision to buy the guitar, but unfortunately at the sacrifice of my beloved Fender Satin Strat. I walked into the store with my Strat in one hand and my tax refund in the other and bought the Les Paul. I would play that Les Paul until I moved back to the Bay Area and JetBlue (damn those guys) refused to allow me to take my Les Paul as a carry-on and checked it into baggage claim. You can guess what happened . . . they snapped the headstock clean off the guitar. I eventually had it repaired, but the guitar never played or sounded the same, and I sold it some country picker in Berkeley for $350.

Man, those were two fantastic guitars I wish I had back . . . . I guess we live and learn as now I have a nice 2008 Tele, a Gibson Advanced Jumbo, and a Seagull S6 that I won’t give up.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Story Update

Back in February, I told a story of a Taka J-200 copy acoustic that included some fairly disparaging remarks about the store I bought it in. Not too terribly long after I wrote and posted the story I got an email from the owner of King's Pawn, the store in question. She had come across my story and was horrified that my experience in her store was less than fantastic. She apologized and, to make it up to me, let me know that, if I was still interested in the Rivera Hundred Duo Twelve amp they had (you'll have to read the story), she would give me a ridiculous deal on it. Today, months later, I walked into King's Pawn in Escondido, CA and, even though it was super pre-Christmas busy, got a nice "hello" and another employee offered her help if needed. I asked for the owner and introduced myself as the jerk who complained about her store online. The Rivera amp I was in love with was still there and, true to her word, the owner hooked me up with the most smokin' deal in history. I just got finished plugging it in and jamming on it and it's an amazing amp.

So, thanks to Heidi and everyone at King's Pawn...I truly do appreciate that she took the time to correct a situation in this world where customer service is dwindling and stores put customers last instead of first. You can bet I'll be poking around King's Pawn (the friendliest store in town) again regularly.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Gibson Firebird III 1965

Story submitted by Dan Brinkmeier

In 1973 I was barely out of high school and I bought a ’65 Gibson Firebird III from an older hippie-type college student who lived in an old farmhouse outside of my hometown of Mount Carroll, Illinois. I had been playing bass a bit and had just started getting into guitar. One time when I was there he offered to sell me one of two guitars he had leaning up against the wall, the Firebird and an old Telecaster; he wanted $125 for each, which was a lot of money for me at the time. I chose the Firebird because it was so odd looking, and it had three pickups, not just one pickup like the Telecaster.

He warned me that it didn’t stand up very well against the wall but fell over a lot.

I learned how to play guitar on that Firebird. It was completely stock when I got it, with a dark-reddish Mahogany finish, and it had a whammy bar. The sliding pickup switch on it eventually stopped working and I put in a toggle switch, and also replaced the original white plastic tuning pegs with nice Schallers because the original pegs wouldn’t work anymore...the guitar had fallen over so much while leaning against the wall. I bought a 50-watt Fender bass amp head with a huge bottom and I played the Firebird through that for many years.

I lived on a small farm and would just leave the amp and the guitar (in it’s beat up old case) sitting on a hay rack out in the machine shed, and walk out and plug in, turn the amp up all the way and just play. The thing really echoed through the shed and out into the countryside. Later, when I would come home from college in the summer, I rented a nearby abandoned farmhouse from a neighbor to use as a painting studio and kept the amp and Firebird there all the time so that I could play when I wanted with friends. I can’t believe I just left the guitar there sitting in its case on the floor. The house wasn’t locked, so anybody could have come along and just taken it when I wasn’t there.

Later on, when I went to grad school at Iowa State University in Ames in 1983, I found that I just didn’t play the Firebird anymore, So, one day I just got up and took it to a tiny guitar shop on Main Street in Ames and sold it to the guy there for $250, which I thought was a lot of money. I went down to a small town south of Ames and used the $250 to buy myself a used acoustic guitar from a guy in a wheelchair—a Guild D35NT. I still have that Guild, and when I play it I often think of that Firebird and wonder where it is and whether it is still out in Central Iowa someplace. I recently bought myself an Epiphone Firebird copy. I really like it and play it all the time.

Danelectro Nifty-50 Guitar Amp

A few years ago I went to Charleston, SC with my wife to visit family. We were there for a week and I was getting antsy. I wanted to go look around at some pawn shops and thrift stores in a new never know what you are going to find. My wife and mother-in-law were doing their best to accomodate me but were getting a little over it. As we drove past downtown I spied one last pawn shop and asked them to pull over. Sitting on the shelf was this slightly dirty Danelectro Nifty-50 guitar amp. I was in a big hurry, so I just asked the guy how much and if it worked correctly. He said he'd take $35 for it and it worked perfectly. Deal. I didn't even test it.

As Scooby Doo would say, "Rut ro."

So, later in the day I get it home and clean it all up. It looks pretty nice but I do notice that one of the knobs didn't turn all that easily. We were flying home to SoCal that night, so I wrapped it up in a layer of bubble wrap and a few of my dirty t-shirts and underwear and put it in my big suitcase. It's not a large amp and this worked perfectly. It's solid state, so no worries about tubes. The next day I pulled it out and plugged 'er in for the first time. Hmmm. The volume control doesn't work correctly. Well, not at all actually. It's just on. At least it was on. The only way to control the volume was to adjust the tone controls. And the headphone jack didn't work.

Yeah, works perfectly.

Needless to say this amp didn't get a lot of use and I had a friend who was wanting to learn to play guitar. So, I gave him the amp to mess around with. I guess it's a good thing it was so cheap, but I have learned my lesson about testing stuff in pawn shops. I get the feeling that they aren't very thorough when taking items into the shop, so it's got to be on me to make sure it works. I wouldn't mind having another one of these one fact there is one on Craig's List today and that's what spurred my brain to remember this one. Of course, the headphone jack on it doesn't work. Figures.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Story submitted by Bill Bielby

It was my first electric guitar, an 8th grade graduation gift in 1961. In early April, my Dad and I went to Zordan's Music on South Michigan Ave in the Roseland area of Chicago, and Al Zordan was showing us new guitars in the $100 range. Even in those days, before Japanese imports, $100 didn't buy much of an electric guitar.

So, Al says, "Wait a minute."

He goes in the back room and brings out this beat up hard shell Les Paul case. He opens it up and framed in the pink lining is a '53 Gold Top with P-90s, except it isn't gold but midnight blue, almost black...what is sometimes called "oxblood." The pearl inlays had aged considerably and it was obvious it was a guitar with miles on it. But, apart from cosmetic wear, it played perfectly. So, we agree to buy it on layaway and every week for 10 weeks we headed for Roseland and gave Al another $10. Al also explained that the previous owner was a South Side blues artist known as Guitar Red.

Guitar Red (Paul Johnson) was a bit of a legend to aspiring guitarists on the South Side in those days. He recorded for Excello, Checker and Chess, and was known for his flamboyant playing style -- over his head, behind his back, even played the thing with his feet. Anyway, in June of 2002 I had tracked down Al Zordan to interview him for my book project on the early rock scene in the South Suburbs of Chicago. I hadn't seen him 35 years. We of course talked about my first guitar, and he mentioned that he had seen Red perform in a suburban club recently, and eventually I was able to track down Red and interview him in his home on the South Side. Red entertained me for hours with stories (including the one about playing that Les Paul with his feet) and with songs ranging from "Moonlight in Vermont" to "Little Wing."

In '63, my band, The Newports, needed a bass player. So, I traded that Les Paul in at Zordan's for a Hagstrom bass.

I'm guessing that guitar would be worth about $20K now.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fender Lead II

I was racking my brain trying to think of other guitars that I used to have and, DOH!, how about the very first electric guitar I ever owned? In the early '80s I lived in the small town of Enid, OK for a couple of years. I have documented this previously a number of time (most lovingly here), so I'll spare you the details of most of it. However, the important thing is that my good friend Russ tells me one day that he's got an electric guitar and amp that he'd like to sell and, hey, would I be interested? I had only owned an acoustic up to that point and thought that sounded like a darn fine idea. I will tell the story of the amp next time, but just to whet your whistle, it was a Hiwatt head with a very cool Musicman cabinet. I had NO idea what I had.

Anyway, the guitar turned out to be a Fender Lead II. This was the late '70s, early '80s student model put out by Fender at that time and was very much in the image of a Strat. The one I had was all black with a black pickguard, had two single coils, a fixed bridge, and was maybe ever so slightly smaller than a regular Strat. The guitar actually played really well from what I remember and was a sweet guitar. I looked them up on eBay today to see what was for sale and there is one pretty much just like it for $350. I checked the items already sold and they seem to sell for $250-350 for the most part. People have them advertised for more, but that doesn't mean a whole hill of beans.

As my Great Uncle Willie used to say, "It ain't what it's worth, it's what it brings."

By the way, that old redneck saying is included in my book...yes I'm sort of an author..."Redneck Words Of Wisdom," a collection of real redneck sayings that real rednecks really say. How do I know? My wife is from South Carolina. 'Nuff said. Anyway, click here to check it out and maybe even get a copy for someone for Christmas. Or just to read on the toilet.

Back to the guitar. This is the official description: Lead II, 1979-1982: Two specially designed X-1 single coil pickups, one at the neck, and the other at the bridge. The X-1 pickup was also used in the bridge position on the "Strat" and the "Dan Smith Stratocaster" models. 3 position pickup selector switch (neck, neck and bridge, bridge), 2 position phase shift switch (in phase, out of phase) which operates only when both pickups are selected (middle position). Master Volume and Tone Control.

So what the heck happened to the Lead II? If you are old, like me, you might just remember when Fostex came out with the very first 4-track cassette recorder. I remember seeing an ad in a guitar magazine for one and I couldn't believe it. How was I going to get one? HAD TO HAVE IT. I drove on over to Stillwater, OK (home of the Oklahoma State Cowboys) to a music store that had one. These Fostex recorders were expensive. The X-15 if I remember correctly. I told the guy I had to get one and asked if they took trade-ins. He said they did and I carted in the Hiwatt head, the Musicman cabinet and the Fender Lead II in it's original black tolex case and asked if they would trade straight up. The guy knew a sucker when he saw one and told me I'd have to pay the tax. I did and walked out with a little box that fit in the front seat rather than a carload of gear that I'd arrived with.

Now he may have gotten the better of the deal in retrospect, but that little 4-track recorder put me on a path of songwriting and home recording that I continue on today. In the meantime I've bought and sold dozens of guitars and amps. So, I'd have to say it was well worth the trade in terms of what was right for me. HOWEVER, now that I look at these photos of the Lead II, I really want one. Quite a bit. Very cool guitar. I just got my Christmas bonus at work and depending on how I ration it out, I might just have to consider a Lead II.
Hey, one more thing...I got the photos of the Fender Lead II at this fan site. There is a TON of information about the Lead series guitars there and you should check it out.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Nice Write-up in Premier Guitar Magazine

Just thought I would share that the fine folks at Premier Guitar magazine wrote a nice review of this blog. I'm especially grateful because they have a great magazine, so to be recognized by them is a nice honor. THANKS GUYS!

Be sure to check out their website as's pretty darn chock full of content. I found out from their news section the Reverend Guitars is making a Pete Anderson model that looks really cool, so it was well worth the perusal.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fender Musicmaster 1973

Story submitted by Darren Ewing

The short version of how I came to acquire the Fender Musicmaster in 1978 goes like this; I had a pool table, he had a guitar. A trade, straight-across, and a backbreaking trip up the stairs to deliver the pool table, left me the proud owner of my first electric guitar. I had taken lessons for a few months with a cheap classical guitar, but I was young and full of angst, and the Raffi twanger just wasn't fulfilling my dreams of metal health. So when the opportunity arose, I went for it.

I needed the room for my drums anyway, so getting rid of the pool table was a relief. The trouble is, the drums called to me louder and stronger than did the guitar. So, for the next 30 years, the Fender sat, largely unused in the original case.

Occasionally I would take it out and strum the strings, but it became clear to me as the years rolled on that I wanted to be Neil Peart more than I wanted to be Eddie Van Halen.

A guitarist friend of mine nicknamed the guitar: The Banana. It's odd, off-yellow coloring puzzled me. I found out later that the original color of the instrument was actually white. Being that the Fender Musicmaster line came along in the late '50s in order to create an affordable line of student sized electrics, apparently the choice of paint was one of the cost cutting measures employed to ensure affordability. I'm not aware of any white Musicmaster's that haven't turned yellow, though I'm sure they exist.

I tried several times to ascertain the year of origin of the guitar, though I'll admit, at first, I only made a half-assed attempt. Unable to determine what year it was manufactured, I chose to hang on to the guitar, thinking maybe I had stumbled across the deal of the century. Last year I decided the guitar needed to get used, so I took it to a professional for a setup and a nut replacement. He determined, from looking at the serial numbers on the original pots, that it was made in 1973. Hmmm. Not exactly pre-CBS, but not exactly uncool either. With a new nut, strings and intonation in place I took the guitar home...where it sat yet again. I didn't really need the room and I didn't really need the money, so I just left it in the closet where it had always been.

I suppose it was my tendency toward sentimentality that made me feel sorry for the old girl. She was something of a classic, and she was not being appreciated. I took her out one last time, plugged her into my practice amp (I'm still something of a guitar hobbyist) and realized that this relationship just wasn't going to happen.

I placed the guitar on eBay, and I'm confident that she has gone to a place where she will get the love and attention that she never got from me. It's been only a few weeks since she left the familiar confines of my bedroom closet, so I still don't know if I'm going through separation anxiety or not. I only hope that wherever The Banana resides, she remains a-peeling.

Sorry. No really...I...I just couldn't resist.