This page has existed in one form or another since 1996. First on the Hendrix College web server, then at OURnet. A previous version of this page got me some attention a few years ago at the Arkansas Times.
Anyway, back in 1996 I think I had four guitars. Today I have twentysomething. Most of them bargains, too. Many of them are signature models. I never set out to be a signature model collector, I just have a thing for guitars that are a little out of the ordinary. And given the vast quantities of ordinary guitars sold out there, the peculiar ones are usually cheaper.
Fender Japan Richie Kotzen Telecaster TLR 135RK I traded my blue Kotzen strat for this green Kotzen tele. This may have been a mistake, as I learned after the fact that only two blue Kotzen strats exist. Oh well. This has become my main guitar over the years, which is surprising since I own so many thin-necked Ibanezes.
Ibanez Universe UV77RE This was the guitar I’ve wanted since I started playing, and yet never once in my travels did I ever come across one. Not very many were made initially back in 1990-1992, so when Ibanez announced in 2010 that they were reissuing the model in a limited run of 100 guitars, I knew I would have to get one. Based on the serial number I09501, I’m led by persons more knowledgeable than I to believe that this was the first guitar of 100 made (I = September, the first month they were built, 09 the year, 5 indicates Universe, 01 for the first in the batch).
Fender Eric Johnson Model OK this one was less of a bargain, but I did get it for around cost because a local music store was going out of business. Ordinarily I don’t like to pay more than $1K for a guitar, but this was as good a deal as it gets for this guitar.
Fender Strat Elite I looked for one of these for a long time. Made for only a few years in the early 80s, the Elites didn’t didn’t sell all that well, but Ty Tabor of King’s X took his and used it to define one of the most unique guitar sounds I’ve ever heard. Maybe some day I’ll get around to acquiring the amp he used, a Gibson Lab Series.
Ibanez Jem 77FP This was purchased in a fit of temporary insanity from Rudy’s on 48th St. It’s a 1988 model, signed by Vai on the back. It’s probably the most stably tuned floating trem guitar I own.
MCI Guitorgan A guitar with an organ toneboard inside it. Here’s a demo video I made.
Ibanez PGM100RE Another case of Ibanez reissuing a guitar where it seemed like they were doing it just for me, so it’s almost like I had to buy it. Years ago I had an original PGM100 but traded it for the PGM300 below plus a PGM30. Glad to have one again. There’s just something excessively rad about pink F-holes on dark blue with pointy inlay.
Ibanez PGM300 This is a Paul Gilbert model that was available only in limited release in the States. She’s got a great sound and is surprisingly versatile for an Ibanez shred machine. Tone Zone/JEM single coil/PAF Pro configuration.
Fender Custom Dweezil Zappa / Eddie Van Halen The body and neck of this guitar were made by Larry L. Brooks of Fender USA for Dweezil Zappa, and then assembled by Lee Garver and painted by Dan Lawrence at GMW Guitars. The guitar is actually displayed on the GMW site as an example of their custom graphics. I bought it at a Zappa.com garage sale.
Ibanez Universe 7P 7-string I’ve had this guitar the longest. Purchased in 1995 while they were out of production, just before Korn came along and suddenly every company was making 7-strings.
Ibanez “Lawsuit” Les Paul In the 70′s Ibanez and Yamaha were known for making copies of Gibson instruments at a fraction of the price with arguably better quality. If this instrument is any indication, they were doing an extremely good job.
Kramer Nightswan This one was languishing without a bridge at Xanadu Music and Books in Memphis. I think I purchased it entirely out of nostalgia. I had a Nightswan years ago. I’m not much for lightning bolts, though. It’s in terrible shape, actually – the headstock has been broken in two places and the finish is cracking at various points.
Starfield Cabriolet SJ Limited I found this at the Blue Suede Shoes Antique Mall in Bryant. It’s a brand that Ibanez made in the early 90′s but was discontinued because they were just too interesting and unusual to survive in the surprisingly conservative world of guitar buying.
Yamaha Blues Saraceno Signature Model For some reason this is the guitar for which I get the most offers. Sorry, guys; I’m hanging on to her for awhile. Keep checking Ebay. Fairly rare, the guitar was made and played for a few years in the early 90′s by guitar whiz Blues Saraceno, a fine guitarist who is probably the only player of a caliber to replace both Eric Clapton in a re-formed Cream and C.C. DeVille in a constantly re-forming Poison.
Customized Ibanez RG 7 My very own custom-swirled Ibanez 7 string courtesy of Herc Fede.
Ibanez RG550 Thank you, Craigslist, for connecting me with another guitar I’d always looked for but never found. And this time for a comparatively negligible cost.
Ibanez JPM100 P3 If there were more people in the eroded hills of northern Arkansas that cared about guitars or Dream Theater’s music, I probably would not have received this fine instrument (thanks Eric and Homer!).
Ibanez Voyager Officially the pointiest guitar I own, another Craigslist bargain.
Ibanez Iceman From Dan’s Chelsea Guitars, this is a Korean model, but it’s a big slab of mahogany with an EVH humbucker in the bridge so it’s a hard rocking thing.
Kremona Rondo I picked this up at East Village Music. Kremona is a Bulgarian company that makes high quality instruments that are cheap in the US due to the advantageous exchange rate.
Eko Beatle bass Not technically mine – but I’ve been babysitting this bass for my friend John since he moved to England many, many years ago. I doubt he’ll ever take it back. And if he asks for it, I’ll ask him how much he wants for it.
Rickenbacker 4001 Bass According to the Rickenbacker website, this is a 1980 model. Purchased for a paltry sum I won’t reveal. The paint was stripped at some point and re-coated in a poorly applied gloss. Even the fingerboard. I had to have the pickups professionally rewound.
Gibson MK-72 This is a really unique guitar. Something I never thought Gibson would come up with. The Mark series were produced between 1975 to 1979 and featured a sloped shouldered body, spruce top, round soundhole, removable pickguard, bound body, mahogany neck, 14/20 fret fingerboard, fan bridge, 3 different replaceable saddles, blackface snakehead peghead, 3 per side tuners.
Ensenada Classical I got this guitar absolutely free from my mom’s ex-boyfriend. It’s actually a pretty nice guitar despite the mile-high action.
Greco Something or Other I don’t know anything about the model, but it appears to be Gretsch-esque in its influence. I bought it for $150 on ebay. What’s more important is that on the back it’s autographed by Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn, Booker T. Jones, Wayne Jackson, Andrew Love, Eddie Floyd, Carla Thomas, and Marvell Thomas. And if you don’t know who those people are, then you best go find out.
Peavey Ecoustic This was purchased at Ashley Music in Harrison, where I learned to play guitar. She’s not very loud acoustically, and the body is so light that the headstock tends to fall forward if you take your hands off. Currently in the hands of my dad.
Romero? I found this thing for $99 in a Dallas pawnshop (same one I got the Ibanez RG7621 below, actually). It’s apparently a custom job by some guy still learning how to make guitars. Turns out the handmade pickups are dead, so this will probably get stored away until I can get around to buying and installing new pickups.
Epiphone Joe Pass Purchased for $300 at Music City Pawn Shop in Sherwood, this guitar was a necessity for taking jazz guitar lessons from Ted Ludwig. It’s about as good an archtop as you’re going to find for the price.
Other Assorted Gear
Fender Deluxe amp
Kustom 15 watt tube amp (for $125 these things rule!)
Line 6 Delay Modeler
Digitech Whammy Pedal
Ibanez Airplane Flanger
Morley Bad Horsie Wah
Crate BX-50 bass amplifier
Digitech DSP256XL rackmount
Boss DR-550 MK II drum machine
Tascam Porta 7 Ministudio
Zoom 505 effects unit
Jean Cartier Tenor Saxophone
Casio SK-1 Sampling keyboard
2 no-name keyboards I got at a garage sale
Assorted tin flutes/recorders