Ugly guitars (part 1)

Another warehouse find at Château PGC. A Gibson Modern Flying V in Ebony Prism color  AKA the Star Trek Guitar.  This is a 2018 take on the legendary Gibson Flying V.  However there is nothing “modern” about this instrument.  The modern Flying V has a mahogany body and neck with a contoured top. It is what the Gibson website says but the contour is hardly noticeable, if at all.  This guitar has a C-shaped neck (medium size) and an apex headstock.  In 2018 it came in 3 colours: Gold, Silver and Ebony Prism.  The ebony prism is more a kind of purple flake in daylight. The metal scratch plate and all hardware have  a blacked-out mirror-like  finish and it saves every fingerprint of whoever touches it.

Electronics are straight forward: an 496R in the neck and a 500T in the bridge. No split coil; out of fase or direct output here…  So where is the “Modern” on this Flying V Modern?   Foto op 12-06-20 om 21.31 #2

Only 99 instruments were made, 33 in each color. Probably some pilot- or test runs are also out there.  The fretboard is richlite with small pearloid block inlays. The output jack is placed on the bottom inside of the “V”.  So far for ergonomics plug it in and try to  balance it on your knee!

Gibson QC was asleep when this one was passing the test bench. The pickup selector switch is placed upside down; upward position is the bridge pickup and flick the switch downward for the bridge pup.

Despite all these flaws it is a great player. The action is low, intonation and setup are perfect! It is a Sci-Fi shredder and a future collectors item. Two years ago they were offered at a whopping $4500,-. Nowadays they catch a  $5500,- on the used market.

I like this guitar! It is strange but scarcity comes with an intrest and a price. One of the last oddball instruments from the Henri J era.  Ugly things deserve some love too!

This one is for sale!

 

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Boogie Loud!

Fireworks! What better way to start the new year! The Gibson Les Paul London Fog and a limited edition Mesa Boogie Mark I King Snake (Carlos Santana). I guess the neighbours will soon be knocking on my door!

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Gibson Les Paul London Fog – Mesa Boogie Mark I

Achtung Achtung! Xmas time!

It is almost Christmas!  Few years ago we had Antoine Pütz and Frenk Felix (aka !!Achtung Achtung!!) for a visit at Château PGC. After a good meal and a bottle of exquisite wine the spirits got high. With so many guitars around and a bit of “Merlot” inspiration this Christmas song popped up.  “Weihnachtslied” (German for Christmas Song) performed at our kitchen table.

The original version can be found here: Achtung Achtung

 

Outside the society… (Patti Smith)

I play in a coverband! I don’t say we are good at playing but we have fun and for some strange reason the local youngsters like it. Over time we have built a repertoire of sixties-, seventies- and even millennial songs. Being in a band with friends is great. It doesn’t matter what level of technicality you have or how virtuoso you are at your instrument. Most important is you can participate in a creative process with other people and experience the joy. Music connects people and playing in a band is great fun. It is why I stimulate young people to be musically creative in any style or at any level.

We now live in Youtube era and inevitable some of our gigs or part of them end up on the social network. Often shot with a phone camera and in crappy quality. I don’t mind. For me they are a library of memories, for some they are a pain in the ears. Our gig flicks rarely get views and thus more rare are the comments. But… I was surprised with one (only) comment. Not offended, not angry, …just surprised:

“Old white people singing a song with the N-word!” One of the songs on our playlist is Rock’n’Roll Nigger from the Patti Smith Group. A song from 1978. The female viewer was obviously “stunned” we had our go on a song with the repetition of a racial epithet. The vid did not even have 50 views and the first comment was an accusation of being an “old white man”? Well… that is how I understood as english is not my native tongue.

First of all you can’t say Patti Smith is an “old white”. I think (and certainly in 1978) she was more on the left side of the political spectrum, rebelling against the “old white (male)” dominance. If Patti Smith is a racist then I must be Big Bird from Sesame Street. Secondly, …didn’t she notice our singer is female and rather young (20)? Also one of the guitarists just turned 24, is that old nowadays? I got a feeling this commenting lady did not even see the clip. I am open for all critique: crappy movie, lousy song, poor quality, bad musicians,… all these things are fine by me. But posting your prejudice comment without knowledge is plain stupid. Probably Mrs K is just a grumpy old women, … my idea.

GMP Guitars – Roxie

Wow, what do we have here? A custom made guitar from the GMP luthiers in San Dimas, California. In the early nineties they built a guitar for Ryan Roxie (Alice Cooper band) and thus introduced the Roxie line of guitars.

In 2010 GMP celebrated their 20th anniversary and the Roxie guitars were still their benchmark guitars. Behold the 2010 Ryan Roxie Standard in green metal flake with the “Ghost Skull” graphic. Nothing standard about this guitar. It has some unusual features.

First of all this guitar is heavy! A solid poplar/maple body, no chambering or weight relief. If you suffer back pain, don’t play this one. Eat your wheaties if you want to chop with this axe. The neck is quarter sawn mahogany with a maple fretboard. Body, neck and headstock have a silver metal flake binding. This guitar looks stunning. All green flake with a cool skull graphic. The fingerboard sports 6100-frets and big diamond green flake inlays.

The scale length is 25,5 “. A set neck, the upper frets are easy to reach due to the contoured neck heel. The headstock has an abalone inlay and is equipped with Sperzel locking tuners. The Roxie features a Graphtec nut and a TonePro bridge with stopbar tailpiece.

Monster tones come from the Rocket Guitar Pickups. An “Old School Classic” in the neck position and a “Satellite” pup in the bridge. Rockets are amazing guitar pickups handmade by Willy Houston.

This instrument comes wit a G&G custom case in green and black tolex. COA and case candy included. There is nothing standard about this Roxie Standard. Luckily I have the perfect amp to match: The Diamond “Phantom” (also part of Ryan Roxie’s rig). The amp will be reviewed in another article and I shall include a vid with this Roxie Standard.

Cheers!

GMP Roxie Standard – Green Metal Flake Skull: €3250,- Diamond Phantom – 100W class A amp head: €2200,-