Monday, 27 June 2011

Richie Sambora / Bon Jovi's double neck guitars

So last week I'm working hard and there's a little que building up outside the door. I work my way through the guitars coming in and going out until a guy with a large cloth sack and an American accent introduces his self. He's in need of a particular jack socket - one that I've always had problems with in the past and try to swap for a different brand if possible - when he reveals what in the cloth sack...

..its Richie Samboras twin neck telecaster! This is Takumi, Richie's guitar tech!

We have a chat about what he needs, we discuss another guitar that has a problem and I invite him to the workshop tomorrow to use a bench (I need to clear a ton of stuff out of his way) and offer to help in any way I can.
Next day, he rols up with two twin necks - both with problems that need fixing before the show that night at Old Trafford Cricket Ground.

We set to work, with countless interuptions by everyone dropping in and on seeing the guitars chat to Takumi about what its like being on tour with Bon Jovi. He's happy to chat and let the guys take a picture or two with the guitars, but I can tell we need to get these guitars back for line check asap. An hour later, both guitars are ready to go, problems sorted.

Back at the venue Takumi takes time out to show me all around Richie's rig (there are some serious vintage guitars in there!) and is more than generous with his time, showing me around the backstage guitar tech's area. I've toured with bands (on a smaller scale) and have a lot of friends who tour with very big bands, but this set up is incredible. Part hi-tech building site and part travelling circus with everyone joking with each other but ultimately 100% professional. I love it, when everyone does their bit well there's no need for nerves and there's a calm, family air with these guys. Very impressive.

As I insist I should leave (Takumi has a million things to do and I'm really getting in his way by now) he shares some plectrums from the bands he's worked for with me (seriously, we all know these things are just little pieces of plastic but a handful of Van Halen, Prince, AC/DC plectrums ... means a lot to me) and off I go, winding my car through the crowds, looking for an exit.

Later that day I see the twin necks on stage and the phrase "seen a million faces, and rocked 'em all" goes through my mind.

Thanks Takumi!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

What a beauty!
A gorgeous Gibson L-5 custom...who said they don't make guitars like they used too!?

The switch mount is worth looking at, it is suspended in a heavy duty rubber mount - kind of like a shock absorber - which makes it seemingly tricky to tighten.
The whole thing comes out relatively easily, the switch can be tightened properly and put back in place.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

I had a call yesterday from Bernard Harvey, currently on tour with the pop phenomenon Justin Bieber who had a real problem with his new Spector bass - the nut was cut way too low and was buzzing like crazy on the first fret.

He dropped buy soon after and I made him a new nut from scratch for his custom gauge 5 string bass. Its a new model, the Coda. Fantastic instrument from a great manufacturer, Bernard mentioned it was his favourite bass virtually from day one. And it looks great on stage too!

Here's the inscription from Stuart Spector on the back of the headstock.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Jah Wobble's Ovation Magnum Bass

I was happily working away in my workshop when a bass line just started to permeate everything in the shop - my workshop and head included. Immensely loud but in no way intrusive, I knew that Jah was coming in - this was obviously the man just plugging in and doing what he does.

As a player he has influenced many, and its not hard to see why. Just playing a massive groove without even meaning to, he's just checking out a new amp in the shop but people are drawn from all over the floor to see where that noise is coming from.

It was genuinely an honour to work on, didnt need much really, it had been looked after by Aidy for several years. Very light fret dress and clean up, couple new knobs and set up. I gave it a good clean with Virtuoso Cleaner & Polish and its looking grand.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

A beautiful old Gibson ES 175, in for a re-fret but only needed a fret dress and the electrics fixing up...what a gorgeous guitar!!

Very little wrong with it after all these years, its had a good spruce up before its off to Ronnie Scott's in London for a night of great music.

Love it!