Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A long long time ago in a town far far away....

Seems like eons, ago I wanted to learn to play the guitar as just about all my friend played some form of instrument. Even my girlfriend played drums!
to be continued soon!
So I got hold of a sort of cool friend named Eddie, he didn't like me all that much but that is because he owned a 65 Fender Jaguar and could play just about anything if ya know what I mean!

Anyway, he sold me a Teisco one pickup guitar for 10 bucks and showed me a few chords.
Soon I was getting good enough to play rythm in a band called Blues Underwing. Don't ask! Well if you must know the band leader was nuts over Iron Butterfly so the name I understand is actually a species of butterfly.

Soon the Teisco became tiresome to play and really uncool as far as guitars went in 69'. So I found a part time job in a drugstore as the delivery boy for 20 bucks a week plus tips.
Wasn't long before I had enough for a better guitar so off to Manny's in Manhattan, NY I went.

There was a Daphine blue Fender Musicmaster there which I could afford, I think it was around $250. So I grabbed that eyeing a cream colored Fender Telecaster as I went out the door.

Well needless to say I just had to have the Tele but at $349.00 was just too much for the moment. I played the Musicmaster for a week and decided to go back to Manny's and try to bargain for the Tele in Exchange.

I walked out of Manny's with my new 1970 Cream Tele case and all for $300!

Well now I was cookin! Soon after I managed to purchase a Sound Amplifier at 100 watts and twin 12" jensens, thanks to Mom.

Life was good.... so I thought until one day against my girlfriends wishes, I loaned my new shiny Tele to what I hoped was my best friend to take with him to Boston for a gig he was playing there. I was dumbfounded to learn that my Tele had been stolen from backstage and that I would never see it again! Well I wasn't about to come up with more money for another, however my friend?, Chris said he'd give me another guitar as a replacement.

This was my first and totally accidental introduction to Hagstrom Guitars. He had given me a 1966 Hagstrom III in sunburst finish.

Well being young and impetuous, I decided to sand the Hagstrom down to raw wook and put a poly coat on it, what can I tell you, I was a hippie back then! Heh. And after getting married and a few kids, one day I dug out the Hag III only to remember that

I had also stripped out the electronics, pickups and controls etc in hopes of installing newer strat style pickups and controls. Little did I know then that this was just not possible as the Strat stuff would not fit in the shallow body cavity of the Hagstrom III.

I decided to try and restore the Hagstrom back as original as I could except for the natuyral finish, I would leave that alone. Well along came Ebay and I hunted for pickups and controls and anything else I needed to get the guitar back to playing speed. This restoration can be viewed on my website.

The next phase:
My wife decided that she wanted to buy another guitar for me, a Stratocaster! And of course an amp to go along with it - so one day we went to a local used instrument dealer where I fell for a Mexican made 1970's reissue Strat and Fender Deluxe 90 amp.
A cool deal for 750 bucks, I was in heaven! I finally got that strat I wanted as a kid.

However this was only the beginning. I got back on Ebay and with a little seed money I had saved, started buying burnt out Hagstroms and then refurbished them for resale, making some money along the way. Then I started buying everything! More amps, Strats, Rickenbackers, Gibsons, Tokai, Deans etc just to find out what I really liked. I even bought all the parts I needed to build my ouw Strat in Fiesta red. I started making a hobby of repairing and restoring guitars for my pleasure.
I love playing them all!

Most recently I became intensly interested in Zemaitis guitars. Now I can't afford 10,000 and up for an original Z so I purchased a Greco Reissued Z fo a fraction of the cost and it is one great piece of work!

I am now repairing guitars for The Music Center at the Tontine Mall, if you have a question about your own repair job, just shoot me an email and attach a picture of your project. I would be more than happy to help you out.