1974 Gibson Les
|When I look at this
guitar, the first thing that comes to mind is "young and dumb" - make that plain
stupid. Purchased new in early '76 by my Father, this was my first "real"
guitar. As can be seen, I wasted no time "improving" it.
|First, I just had to put
a Dimarzio Super Distortion pickup in her - in spite of the fact that she had
mini-humbuckers. So, I spent a few hours carving out the bridge pickup cavity to fit the
full size Dimarzio in there.
|Then, I had the bright
idea to put a Kahler on her. This was the early '80's and I thought it would be cool to
have a locking trem on a Les Paul. I quickly learned that a Les Paul with a locking trem
no longer feels like a Les Paul - at least to me it didn't - so as a result, the guitar
sat in it's case gathering dust for many years.
|Bottom line is that when
you're young you tend to do stupid things - this is very near the top of my list.
|Fast forward to 2004. Looking at what
I had done to this guitar broke my heart. I no longer enjoyed playing it in it's current
state, but couldn't sell it due to sentimental reasons. The only logical thing to do was
to get it re-topped and restored to a respectable state.
|After doing much research, I decided
to have Ed Roman do the restoration as his re-topping
work is second to none, and in August 2005 I took her to Las
Vegas to commence having the work started.
|I had originally
intended to go with a 5A curly maple top with a rootbeer finish, but as I was looking
through the wood I spotted a gorgeous piece of spalted maple and decided to go with that
|Ed's shop basically
completely rebuilt the guitar. In addition to the retop, new frets were installed along
with black binding. The neck was oiled and left unfinished. Tone Pro's bridge and
tailpiece, Sperzel tuners and gold covered Duncan Black Backs complete the package. All
electronics were replaced as well. A big thanks to Ed and Alan Dreher for the outstanding
job on this guitar. It took 10-1/2 months from start to finish, but in the end was worth
the wait. Finally, on July 3, 2006, I was able to again enjoy playing this sentimental
guitar once again.
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