Today’s Daily Gear Obsession focuses on those special guitars that have gotten away from me by way of trade, sale, or financial necessity. I have owned close to 100 guitars since I began playing in 1997 and there have been a few that I wish I had not gotten rid of. Today I will discuss two of the four that I wish I still had in my collection.
Epiphone Les Paul – The special thing about this guitar was that it was my first guitar. I walked into Guitar Center in Covina, California on Halloween in 1997 (a store where I would later end up becoming the Operations Manager). I was ready for my first guitar purchase and was targeting a Les Paul style guitar because Slash was the whole reason I wanted to play guitar. I remember the first time I entered that store on that fateful afternoon. I was greeted with the sights of guitars everywhere; they were on the wall, on stands on the floor, and in the hands of customers wailing away on a cacophony of competing riffs. The first three guitars I remember seeing was a Music Man EVH model, a Gibson Ace Frehley Les Paul, and a Gibson Jimmy Page Les Paul. These three guitars were all fantastic and all out of my price range. I then found the Epiphone Les Paul, ebony in color with a sign on the neck stating it was on sale because it was a scratch and dent model. There was a little dent in the side of the body, most likely from a customer who wasn’t careful with it when trying it out. The guitar was in my price range and was a Les Paul, albeit an Epiphone, but I was thrilled. I had this guitar for a few months and then traded it for a white Fender Standard Strat…like Jimi had at Woodstock.
Fender Jimi Hendrix Tribute Strat – My Hendrix infatuation lasted for a few years. When Fender announced that they were releasing a Hendrix tribute to his famous Woodstock guitar, I was excited to get my hands on it. This guitar was right up my alley. This wasn’t the Fender that I swapped for my first Epiphone, this was my first American made Strat. One of the coolest feature that I liked about the guitar was that Fender had put the logo backwards on the headstock as a mirror image of Jimi’s original guitar. This guitar allowed a right handed player to see what it was like to play a left handed guitar set up for a right handed person. I had to adjust the way I played this guitar because the controls were flipped, I wasn’t used to the knobs being right under my palm. This allowed the player to experience the same type of set up that Jimi used. This was a great guitar and I regret having to sell it.