Rare, Strange and Wonderful

This is the Bigsby "palm pedal" It bends only the G and B strings. This looks like the horseshoe version for Tele's and the like but there is also a long tailed version that I've seen on a few 335's

Gibson wants to make money. It’s a business and businesses in this country look for clever ways to separate you from your hard earned greenbacks. Back in the 60’s, when I first started buying guitars, the case didn’t come with the guitar. It cost extra. You could walk out of the store with just the guitar but most people were spending so much money, they weren’t likely to let their prized new Gibson be subjected to the usual slings and arrows. So you ponied up the 49.95 for the hard case. But they had other ways of upping the entry fee into the world of expensive guitars. You could buy all sorts of extras. You could add a Bigsby for a few extra dollars, an extra cable? a few sets of strings? a bottle of guitar polish? some picks, a string winder, a capo, a stand and maybe a Fuzztone. These are all very common add-ons and every music store proprietor worth his “nut sauce” knows that this is where the profits are. Every once in a while I come across an accessory that is most uncommon. How about the Bigsby palm pedal? It mounts pretty much like a normal Bigsby but it has two (or up to 6) arms that bend the strings individually. I think you can set them up on any 2 strings you like although I’m told that they typically are used on the B and G strings.  I’ve seen this on a 335, although they are much more common on Telecasters. Probably has something to do with country music players. If you see one of these on a 335, let me know. I think it would very cool to own

Gibson case cover. These are über rare, especially one with the Gibson name on it. this is the only one I've ever seen (and it's mine).

one. Another accessory I’ve recently come across is a Gibson case cover. I’ve seen maybe 4 or 5 of these in 20 years. They are most often seen are very high end Gibsons like ES-5’s or

Super 400’s. I guess when struggling young players bought a Gibson back in the day, it was hard enough to spring for the case, let alone a case for the case. I wonder if there’s a rain cover for the case cover so your case cover doesn’t get wet?  How do you value these cool old oddities? I guess you throw ’em up on Ebay and see who bites. The one pictured is on a 61 ES 345. The other oddball accessory I see every now and then is strictly a Fender thing but I wonder if Gibson ever tried to market something like it. Fender, in the early 60’s licensed someone to make something called a “body guard”. That’s not a guy in sunglasses and a Smith and Wesson. It’s a form fitting plastic cover for the back of your guitar which was meant to be left on the guitar while you played it. It’s purpose was to keep your belt buckle from scratching the hell out of your finish. We’ve all seen “buckle rash” on a used guitar so it seems like a good idea. While Gibson’s finishes always seemed a bit harder than Fenders (you could gouge a Fender by dropping a pick on it), I don’t recall them ever marketing anything like the Fender body guard. I remember when I got my first real “professional” guitar-a 64 Fender Jaguar-I inquired about the body guard. It was something like $29.95 and way out of my price range considering I only paid $225 for it at Manny’s on 48th Street. . A side note: If you put your precious Fender guitar in the case with the body guard on it and left it for 30 or 40 years, the foam backing would react with the nitrocellulose lacquer and DESTROY the finish. I guess there’s a certain poetic justice in that.

This covered the entire back of your guitar and kept you from ruining the finish with your belt buckle. Unfortunately if you left it on long enough it would ruin your finish without the help of your belt buckle

2 Responses to “Rare, Strange and Wonderful”

  1. Capo fan says:

    I begin playing guitar and I want to improve myself, where could I learn to become a guitar hero?

  2. OK Guitars says:

    Practice every waking hour of every day. Listen to the great and emulate and extend what they do. Some natural talent helps as well. Duane Allman dropped out of school so he could practice all day every day. I don’t suggest this unless you have gobs of talent. You can’t play great with bad technique. take a few lessons at least and get started doing it right. There are plenty of great players who never took a lesson but if they had, they probably would have gotten better, faster. Nothing, and I mean nothing can fully compensate for not having some innate talent. As soon as you realize you aren’t blessed with it, lower your sights. You can dream as big as you want but somebody is going to keep taking your job and you may end up collecting garbage for a living which actually pays pretty well but probably isn’t what you want to do.

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