Act Two

It certainly makes sense to write about the Gibson made semi hollows like the Sheraton and Riviera but also the solid body Epi/Gibsons like the Crestwood, Wilshire and Coronet. Not only because I really like them but they are great, under appreciated guitars as well.

First, I’m moved by the comments from all of you. It’s very gratifying to know that you aren’t just reading my posts but you’re also paying attention. The premise of the last post was to get an idea of what you think might make sense for me to write about now that I seem to have exhausted most of the topics related to 58 to 64 ES guitars. There were a number of folks who thought I should cover Strats and Telecasters. Others thought Les Pauls should be next. Still others like the idea of SG’s. Amps got a few nods as well. The obvious follow up is, of course, later ES guitars. Each “act two” has its merits but I think I need to narrow down the choices.

The reason I know so much about ES guitars is because that’s what I sell. Therefore that’s what I see. I don’t sell that many Strats and Teles and I don’t consider myself an expert. I also don’t play Strats and Teles very often so my opinions about tone might be a little skewed. So, I think we’ll eliminate writing about Fenders and besides, there are plenty of folks writing about them already. Newer ES guitars make a lot of sense but that topic has its problems too. Certainly 65-68’s are worth writing about but Norlins? I’d have a lot of bad things to say and where’s the joy in that? We could skip the 70’s and jump to the early 80’s ES guitars. I’ve written a fair amount about 81 to 85-the last gasp of a dying Norlin that turned out some really good guitars but I don’t think I’ll get anywhere near the thirteen years I got out of 1958 through 1964. The Henry Juskiewicz era at Gibson (1986-2018) is interesting but for me to write about them, I have to have them in hand and I can’t see starting to sell 90’s and later Gibsons just so I can write intelligently about them.

That leaves me some really good options though. I will continue to write about 58 to 64 ES guitars especially when an unusual one turns up. I think posts about Gibson era Epiphones are definitely worth doing. These guitars are vastly underrated, undervalued and underappreciated. They deserve some attention so, I’ll do some posts about them. I also think that writing about vintage Les Pauls-especially as they relate to 3×5’s makes some sense. For example, I might buy a 59 burst and write about how it’s authenticated and how provenance is such a big part of that market. I can certainly make comparisons between the Les Pauls I get and certain ES guitars (is a first rack 345 really a “burst killer”?). I’ve been doing a fair amount of business in 57-60 Les Pauls lately and I’m getting comfortable with the idea of writing about them but probably not Jr’s and Special’s-at least not yet.

Finally, I had a suggestion about writing about the best amps to use with ES guitars. Great idea but I’d have to try out an awful lot of amps to come up with a credible opinion about it. I do think I have the knowledge and experience to write about Fender tweed amps. I buy and sell plenty of them. I play them every day and I am nearly as passionate about them as I am about ES guitars. The problem is that so much of amp knowledge is technical and I barely know a resistor from a transistor from a big sister. I can address tone but I can’t tell you why it’s buzzing or “motorboating” whatever that is.

So, expect posts about 335’s to continue when I have something to write about. There will be posts about Les Pauls if I get an interesting one. I’ll discuss Sheratons, Rivieras, Casinos, Crestwoods, Wilshires and Coronets built from 59 until 68. If I get an interesting SG, I’ll write about that and a series on narrow panel Fender tweeds will be fun to write. That ought to keep me busy for at least a year at two to three posts a month.

Everybody seems to write about Les Pauls but I think that you might get a different perspective from me. I am buying and selling bursts but most of the transactions are private and you never get to see them. I let you in on some of the interesting inside stuff that you don’t generally read about. This 58 sold recently and was owned by a few rock stars.

4 Responses to “Act Two”

  1. TJ Smith says:

    Yes to all of the above. The authentication of a burst would be particularly interesting. You hear a lot about just how good fakes can be these days. Thanks for all the work you put into this site.

  2. Taran says:

    Great to hear Charlie, I’d love to hear about the tone aspect in terms of pairing vintage ES’s with which amps etc. I’ve alwas been a fan of the blog and I have a vested interest now Ive purchased my first vintage 345, I mailed you about it! May need some help with some parts. Thanks again for all the work you put into this blog

  3. Estelon says:

    Real ones or “repros”…I spent a couple of hours at Dave Davidson’s shop a few months ago. He had 6 or so sunburst guitars, most from Songbird. I am sure they were originals. In the late 1960s when we were hustling guitars $ 400-500 for a buy-in was a good price. A local guy in Larchmont (Kosta Kovachev) would often show me the instruments he paid $ 2000 for! No idea who he sold them to. Later the Pittsburgh guys would swap guitars with a guy in Ohio. It went back and forth for years…then Bonomo Joe paid $ 260K for a non-descript instrument from Skinner. This was a profound change in 2006. Once the prices reached this level, your instrument had to be in one of the “burst-books” replete with every scratch, dent or flaw, or the grommet kings would never accept it’s authenticity…

  4. Estelon says:

    So…in a round-about way, who is buying the Les Paul instruments ? The boomers are selling everything they own and Gibson has made more than 25,000 Les Paul Sunburst type guitars since 1990…

    Knowing who the current buyers are, me thinks, could be valuable to all enthusiasts.

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