[Slowhand] Gibson guitars

jess mayers orpheusrocker21 at yahoo.com
Sat Jan 5 12:40:29 EST 2008

Hi JB,

Hope you're faring well in your neck of the woods. I saw your post on the 'Slowhand-Digest' re: Gibson guitars of the 1970's. At that time, not having enough money to buy one, I settled for whatever I could afford. I was in a band at that time with a bass player who bought a Martin guitar that, within a year, had issues with the pick-guard and with the wood splitting on the back side. It was a costly repair, covered under warranty. It's only been in the past 10 years that I could get pretty much get what I want (always looking for a good deal). That's how I came upon my Takamine in a pawn shop several years ago. I played the Takamine, then a comparable Gibson (I forget the model number), they both were excellent, the Takamine was going for two hundred dollars less, that's what I went with. Fast forward to this past December. I wandered into a Guitar Centre near where I live, to get a part for my Telecaster, a guitar tuner and some picks. Then for 'shits 'n
grins' (can you relate?) I strolled over to the guitar side of the store to play a Gibson ES-335. I told the manager, 'Toondog', my interest in the guitar and, not planning to buy anything, he told me, boy do I have a deal for you. He led me back over to behind the cash register where a brand new, gorgeous, 'Lucille', ES-355 (B.B. King model) was on display, 1/2 price (it lists for $2800). I took it down, played it, fuck, this is a gorgeous guitar. Still, at 1/2 price... I happened to have a 10% off card in my pocket for the Guitar Centre, I asked Toondog if they'd honor the card, he got back to me a few minutes later that, yes, they would. It included a plush Gibson custom guitar case. So, I bought it, out the door, at $1375. Beautiful axe. On top of that, after I got it home, I noticed that it had a rattle on the 6th string, I took it back a few days later to see if they would do a 'set up' on the guitar. They told me to take it to their contract Luthier, so I
got a full guitar set-up, comped, that would've cost about $150. Beautiful guitar.

Now with all the talk bantering about on the digest Gibson quality going down... no, this guitar is a beauty. The upper end guitars - electric or acoustic - are still works of art. The mid-range stuff, for the masses, those may be questionable. It's all in the eye of the beholder. I say, play it, make the guitar purr, see if it sounds and feels right. Then make a decision.

onwards - Jess

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