Monday, March 17, 2008
The $100 Guitar Wall, sixth in a series
Here's a familiar guitar to anyone who's shopped for Smart Wife's baby t-shirts and onesies. It's a Fender Squier Bullet Special, a lotta words for a really cool, stripped-down Strat.
I've always been partial to single-pickup electric guitars. Maybe it's due to my own limitations as a picker, but there's something about the sound of a snarling bridge pickup that seems like Universal Rock Tone Incarnate. My Telecaster became an Esquire after I'd hooked both E strings around the Lindy Fralin neck p/u replacement one too many times mid-song (and look at Brad Paisley's paisley Crook Esquire, lots of nice space there, unencumbered by a neck pickup). Not to mention the fact I NEVER USED IT ANYWAY. And my extremely groovy Agile 2500 with three P-90's... you can guess which one I use. Now I'm the proud owner of an Epiphone Les Paul TV Junior '57 Reissue that I intend to get a lot of use from, another with just the one roaring pickup.
This guitar is also high on the Cool List because it only has a volume knob, just like Malcolm Young's signature model Gretsch. I've never been much of a tone adjuster; you watch a player like Carlos Santana, and he's always messing around with his tone knob. That's why he's Carlos Santana and I'm me.
The Bullet has had its "hot" Fender humbucker replaced with a genuine Gibson pickup, courtesy of Mark Bryan. Mike Costanzo, our friend and former guitar tech, popped it into the Bullet (well, with a little filing around the edges of the opening so it'd sit in there right). I thought the chrome cover would look nice on the black pickguard. Then I got one shiny silver knurled Tele knob and set-screwed it into place. After I sanded the brand name off the headstock, I added Roman numerals along the top of the neck so I'd know where I was at any given time, although it's still something of a crapshoot. It's not the most set-up instrument I've ever owned (I think Chris really doesn't rate it very highly), but it's served me well for demos at home and for when all my other guitars are out with Hootie somewhere. My home hot rod.
Bought at the New Orleans Guitar Center location for around seventy dollars, ten bucks for the knob and the pickup was free... a significant member of the $100 Guitar Wall, even though it's usually back in my studio and not hung up with the others.