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Thread: Tele madness

  1. #1
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    Oct 2010
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    Tele madness

    I took a couple of pics for another site, and thought I post em here too, as there are more than a couple of other pickers here.
    Asian import of unknown origin - determined by no serial #, crap hardware and fret edges that would slice your hand....bad.

    Ridicously cheap! I have done a lot of minor luthier repair and setups, so put in Fender Custom shop noiseless Pups, Stew-mac upgrade bridge saddles and for now the tuning pegs are not a problem. Straightened the neck, filed and crowned the frets and dressed the edges, and it's "safe" to play.

    Neck is mahoghany/maple laminated neck thru design on a mahoghany body, with a "cap" of redwood burl. The bridge reflected the flash bad, so no post on the lower portion that is burled...also cracked from lack of attention from wherever to here.
    The Universe is inlaid all the way from 2nd to last fret to headstock in mother of pearl and abalone... I have never seen another, but again.... it was not custom built..... just a lucky find for a sucker for that Tele vibe!

    Any other proud 6string owners?

    Michael
    btw - for those scrutinizing the pics....yes, I broke the hi E off and was too lazy to put one on for this quickie photo op
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails neck view_r.jpg   inlay view_r.jpg  

  2. #2
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    That's some sweet-looking inlay. Isn't it great to take an unplayable guitar of questionable heritage and make it into something worthwhile?

    Proud owner of several 6-strings. One of my favorites is the junkiest one of the lot.

    Did you ever know or meet Bob Brown? He's a great ABQ jazz guitarist who used to teach at Luchetti's. (He was one of my teachers, and he might still be teaching somewhere for all I know.) I taught in the studio next to his at the store, then when I left, Steve Maas moved into my studio. Anyway, Bob gigged with a vintage Gibson (an L5 as I recall), but he taught lessons with an old beat-up Sears Silvertone that he'd put Grover tuners and a humbucker on. It played like a dream and sounded great through a clean practice amp. One day a friend of mine offered me her brother's "old junk guitar" for spare parts. I figured it was a throwaway guitar, but told her I'd take it. Turns out it was Harmony that was a spitting image to Bob's Silvertone. (They were both from back in the days when Harmony was making Silvertone guitars...in America.) I tweaked the neck a bit, evened up the frets, and put good strings on it, and it also played like a dream, even with the stock tuners and pickup. So following Bob's lead, I used it to teach with, too. It was a good way to show some 14-year-old kid with a brand-new Les Paul that the guitar doesn't necessarily make the player.

    Then there's Spot, my BC Rich Mockingbird. It got it's name from the dimple I wore in the face between the pickups with my right-hand pinky. It's Koa and maple, solid neck through the body, handmade by Bernard Rico, and as I understand it, a prototype to the Mockingbird line. (Long story about that.) Previously owned by Mikey Wright, then R.C. Garriss, but I've owned it now for about 30 years. (Dang, I'm old.)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    (Dang, I'm old.)
    I'm not saying you're old Vaughn, But I heard that when you were born, the Dead Sea was only sick! Just a rumor, never been proved!

    By the way, nice guitars both of you guys!
    Jesus was a Woodworker

  4. #4
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    long winded existential meandering through the past...

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    That's some sweet-looking inlay. Isn't it great to take an unplayable guitar of questionable heritage and make it into something worthwhile?

    Proud owner of several 6-strings. One of my favorites is the junkiest one of the lot.

    Did you ever know or meet Bob Brown? He's a great ABQ jazz guitarist who used to teach at Luchetti's. (He was one of my teachers, and he might still be teaching somewhere for all I know.) I taught in the studio next to his at the store, then when I left, Steve Maas moved into my studio. Anyway, Bob gigged with a vintage Gibson (an L5 as I recall), but he taught lessons with an old beat-up Sears Silvertone that he'd put Grover tuners and a humbucker on. It played like a dream and sounded great through a clean practice amp. One day a friend of mine offered me her brother's "old junk guitar" for spare parts. I figured it was a throwaway guitar, but told her I'd take it. Turns out it was Harmony that was a spitting image to Bob's Silvertone. (They were both from back in the days when Harmony was making Silvertone guitars...in America.) I tweaked the neck a bit, evened up the frets, and put good strings on it, and it also played like a dream, even with the stock tuners and pickup. So following Bob's lead, I used it to teach with, too. It was a good way to show some 14-year-old kid with a brand-new Les Paul that the guitar doesn't necessarily make the player.

    Then there's Spot, my BC Rich Mockingbird. It got it's name from the dimple I wore in the face between the pickups with my right-hand pinky. It's Koa and maple, solid neck through the body, handmade by Bernard Rico, and as I understand it, a prototype to the Mockingbird line. (Long story about that.) Previously owned by Mikey Wright, then R.C. Garriss, but I've owned it now for about 30 years. (Dang, I'm old.)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    FLASHBACK FLASHBACK FLASHBACK...
    I met Brown when he was playing new orleans style banjo in a Pepino's pizza joint, then Id see him at luchetti's. I toyed with studying with him but never had the time and energy to commit to jazz - but he WAS/IS (?) the jazz man, like Steve was the godfather of rock in this zipcode!
    I have one Ibaez elec and an Ibanez nylon str acc/elec, the rest of the choir is all orpahed electrics of various species. My fave tele is the squire tele custom with P-90's. In fact I may join that church.. the church of HONK! ALL parts replaced and serious neck/fret work.... call it a POS..I call it beautiful. oh... and the ol pawnshop acoustic picnic beater -all mahoghany.
    Trivia - I would bet you money, marbles or chalk that the BCRich was Tim Pierce's if M Wright had it, and RC got it off him when they were in Trouble. Very good lineage there amigo! Timmy used to make that badboy sing and squeal delightfully (I saw Tim a few yrs ago, and he gigged with a tele with a HB in the bridge with a stat Pup in the ctr. Man Im getting a contact high from just wading through the bars tracing all this.... thank goodness I aint driving tonight

  5. #5
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    As far as I know, the one Tim had was a different one of about the same vintage. (In fact, wasn't Tim's a Seagull?) The story I heard on mine was that Bernard took it to the Guitar Shop to get everyone's opinion of his new model, and Mikey ended up buying it. (This one doesn't even have a serial number on it.) I think you're right about RC getting it from Mikey when they were in Trouble. I ping Mikey every once in a while on Facebook...I'll have to see if he can clarify the history.

    Another story...back in the day when Trouble was playing, there was another band called Turbo. Dong Kim, the Korean owner of Bogart's, had problems pronouncing either name. Bogart's had upstairs and downstairs stages, so two bands played 6 nights a week there. It was great when both Trouble and Turbo were playing there...you'd call the bar to find out what bands were playing that week, and hear a recording of Dong saying "This week: Tubbo upstaya, Tubbo downstaya." He also had trouble saying "Off the Wall", which was our band's name. More than once the newspaper listing for that week showed us as "Off the War". We'd give him grief about his accent, but he was good-natured about it.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  6. #6
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    Michael, that is really a nice looking inlay job, I'm glad that you were able to bring that guitar back from the dead, nice going!

    The rest of the stuff you and Vaughn are talking about, well I can read the words, but man, it is like a different language or something

    Very cool, just the same
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Mooney View Post
    I'm not saying you're old Vaughn, But I heard that when you were born, the Dead Sea was only sick! Just a rumor, never been proved! ...
    Dan, when I was a kid, we only played the pentatonic scale, because five notes was all we had. The other notes weren't discovered until I was a teenager. When I was playing in the bars, I had a coal-fired amplifier that ran on steam. The fog effects on stage were awesome, but they didn't show up that well since we were using candles for stage lighting. But I feel lucky, because Michael's older than me.

    Stu, Michael and I knew a lot of the same people from the Albuquerque music scene, but we knew them at different times. We've crossed a lot of the same paths, but never ran into each other until about the time he showed up here.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    The rest of the stuff you and Vaughn are talking about, well I can read the words, but man, it is like a different language or something

    Very cool, just the same
    Stu, that conversation flew well over my head too.

  9. #9
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    Well, Here's my BubbaCaster. (I've posted this before). Just a cheap Grizz Tele Kit I put together with a sparkly finish. IT was a quick and satisfying build, and I have to say actually plays pretty well. There's something satisfying about having a guitar that you don't have a lot of money in that makes it easy to tweak and mess with until it plays the way you want it too....

    It's my goto 'lectric right now...

    I'm still finding sparkles out in the shop from doing this project....

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bubbacaster_done.jpg  

  10. #10
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    Nice one Brent! Sparkly is totally legit on a tele.... actually, anything you do to a tele seems legit!

    Ok #1 - I am the oldest guitar wanker still wanking - Studied hard and as part timers sets in, 5 notes is all I remember some days There I've said it.

    #2 Vaughn and I are in the middle of that 30yr re-union where nobody remembers anybody, except everbody that ain't there....

    #3 I bought my 1st Gibson 335 with hardshell case NEW for $600.00 (see #1 above) So I refuse to pay thousands for crap with the Name. I play out less every yr, so who cares what I show up with.... (let the ol guy give it a go....if he gets wankheimers, pull the plug and tell him thanks)
    My wife says she dont give a rat's behind what brand it is, go to the headphones and shut the speakers off. Hounds just want a cookie.

    Im just goofin here, but I've been playing music since I was 7, and when I found the guitar - my life changed. I made some bad decisions, and had to pay the consequences for those decisions. But when the smoke cleared (no pun intended) I found that it was the #1 expressive activity in the world for me and no one could replace that or take it away. So yeah, I like taking the little orphans and dressin em up, because EVH will still sound like EVH with whatever guitar you hand him. Vaughn's right in that the industry leads kids to believe the instrument makes the player - NOT so!

    I got into woodworking because I wanted to be a luthier. Worked in a furniture factory, worked as a repair / touch up apprentice, gone to international luthier conventions, learned blueprint reading, etc.... So I putter around occasionally in the garage, and for whatever reason, I decided to buy a lathe. WOW...move over guitar! Seriously. So here I am, wise guy wit intact, a dash of ADD, pinch of OCD and a good heart. Im here to learn how to turn beautiful wooden things, and open minded to learning from you all.
    Last edited by michael james; 12-18-2010 at 09:45 PM.

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