I recently watched “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and thought that my ’59 Replica Les Paul was much like Sauron’s ring; always finding a way back to its master. The reason I was thinking this is because ever since I started making a concerted effort to sell it, the sales have either fallen through or in one case I actually got a buyer, but he returned the guitar for some stupid reason I can’t recall. In any case, the guitar seems to gravitate back to me. I recently got another buyer lined up, but he ran into some money issues and had to back out.
All this led me to think: Is this a sign? Am I meant to keep this guitar?
Then yesterday, on a whim, I decided to use it for my church gig, so I put it in my gig bag and packed it up. Now I hadn’t played “Ox” for a couple of months – and not plugged in – so I was actually a bit excited to play him after all this time. I got my rig all set up, then slung the guitar on my shoulder to tune it. To my amazement, the Ox was still in tune! I had to make a couple of minor adjustments to the tuning, but I couldn’t believe that the tuning didn’t drift all that much. That really made me grin and think to myself, “You know, it’s the mark of a great instrument…” Whether that’s actually true or not, I don’t know, but that was my perception…
Then I switched on my remote unit and started playing. I had forgotten just how sweet the sound is that this guitar produces. The old-growth mahogany and Brazilian rosewood fretboard, combined with the Wolftone “Dr. Vintage” pickups create this dreamy, sustaining tone. On top of that, the asymmetrical neck makes playing this guitar scarily easy!
After warming up a bit, I stopped, looked at my band and said, “I’m crazy to sell this guitar. The way it sounds and how it feels makes me think we were made for each other. Nah, I’m taking this guitar off the market. I’m glad the last sale fell through” My band mates just chuckled. They knew how much I loved playing this guitar.
I think one of the things that compelled me to sell it in the first place was how bright the guitar was through my low-wattage amps, plus the speakers I was using, that had a bit more upper-midrange emphasis. But with an amp like my DV Mark Little 40 that has a nice, tight bottom end, combined with the fat Jensen Jet Falcon 1 X 12, they counteract the guitar’s natural brightness to produce a rich and luscious tone that’s still sits in the upper-midrange, but is bolstered by a great low-end. Needless to say, I was absolutely loving this amp.
So it looks like I’m keeping this guitar for now. I may again consider selling it in the future, but right now, I’m keeping it. What about my R8? Well, “Amber” will never be sold. She’s my all-around guitar and has a much warmer and deeper tone than Ox. I’m going to try gigging with both, using a different guitar depending upon the song.