I finally made it up to Mike and Mike’s Guitar Bar in the Seattle area. They have a very eclectic shop that needs to be visited regularly to truly be taken advantage of.
Thankfully social media and online selling forums (I’m looking at you Reverb.com) make that possible!
During my visit I saw a lot of cool guitars and amps, but this student model Epiphone caught my eye almost immediately.
It is the same thing as the Gibson ES-120T (probably made in the same factory, but I haven’t researched that so don’t take my word for it) that I have been lusting after in my local shop. Except that all the plastic is white (not my favorite) and the burst is the best one I have seen on these guitars. There is something about an amber burst that just makes me swoon!
I plugged it in and enjoyed playing it, but that single coil was noisy. I didn’t get it, but once again, I’m getting a better sense of what I like!
One of my local guitar shops had a Gibson ES-120T on consignment for a few months. I really liked it. But the single coil pick up and the price kept me from selling a bunch of other stuff to pull the trigger. But the neck felt really good to play and as a full hollow body guitar that was still thinline, it felt like a blues machine to me (sorry jazz people). I couldn’t wait to make it howl at the drop of a hat with feedback. It reminded me of that Hagstrom I had seen in Eastern Washington a while back. And it reminded me of the Gibson ES-446 I had lusted after in the same shop.
Then at the Tacoma Guitar Show I saw a ES-125TC with the cut away, single p-90 pick up, and a repaired neck (with new tuners that I prefer) closer to my price range. And they were discounting it a lot for the show. I almost got it. I even started discussing with a local shop owner also at the show what he might buy from me so I could buy this.
Then I saw the same vendor at the show also had a great Gibson ES-125DTC deeper in their display area. It was well outside my price range, but had the cut away, two p-90 pick ups, and played very well. I really like the two pick ups, but the neck didn’t play as well for me on the ES-125DTC compared tot he single pick up ES-125TC. I still liked it a lot, but it is not in my price range (right now).
A few days later another local guitar shop ended up buying the ES-120T and putting it up for sale (it is a mixed blessing when the shop owner messages you a picture directly). I played it again and recognized how good the neck felt that made me interested to begin with.
I haven’t get any of them. But now I have a much better idea of what I want in my next guitar.
- Hollow body
- Thin line
- two P-90’s
- Trapezoid tail piece
- Tune-o-matic bridge
Shouldn’t be too hard to find! Right?
WARNING – Lots of pictures.
G.A.S. hit hard at the Tacoma Guitar show. But I’ll get into the specifics on a future post.
I was surprised by how few pedal makers were there. But Lollar is based in Tacoma and it was really cool to see their booth.
I also met Joe Riggio who refinished and aged my 62 SG. He was happy to see some of his old handiwork, which was cool!
For now, here’s a bunch of cool guitars that caught my eye! You may notice a trend in where my interests are taking me.
Wow! These Epiphones are amazing. I love the mini-humbuckers and the fading burst, but the bigsby makes me curious. I did not ask to play either one.
Here’s an incredible Fender Starcaster, which were originally full hollow body guitars (unlike the reissues).
I love this guitar. It just looked so good. So well worn, but so well loved. I like these ES-330’s.
Some other great old Gibsons. I love the single cut away a lot. Those thin lines are so cool, but that middle P-90 makes me nervous!
And in an even more slightly more approachable price tag, here is a Guild.
Made me think about trading my acoustic national resophonic for this dobro resophonic!
And here are some really modern guitars that I really liked. The Parker is always a cool guitar, but the other one (sorry I forgot the maker’s name) caught my eye. I wish I had played it. EDIT: The guitar is from Letain Guitars.
I hope to go to the next one. And maybe next time I’ll come home with something besides pictures.
I have seen this band a lot over the years. And they area always best live.
I was first introduced to them when a coworker at my crappy college job putting price tags on candy bars loaned me the Orange album. Bellbottoms blew my mind!
This year, and I guess part of last year, they have been working on an album and performing all over New York.
As always, they played their trusty guitars.
Jon Spencer played his Zimgar something or other guitar and it looked like he ran it through a smaller Peavey amp, but the amp may have been for his harmonica or theramin. Judah Bauer played through two teles that ran through what looked like a Fender Deluxe and Fender Twin. Premier Guitar did an interview here for their last album (Meat and Bones, which I also saw them perform) and Judah Bauer rig rundown. I can’t compete with that, so check it out!
Forgive me, Internet, for I have sinned. It has been over two months since my last confession. I am still here. I am still alive. I’ve seen Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (again), attended the Tacoma Guitar Show, sold some equipment, purchased some equipment, almost purchased and sold more equipment, and dabbled with the guitar in that time.
- Have I joined a band? No.
- Have I learned a song? Almost.
- Have I lived life to the fullest? Trying.
- Am I back? Probably.
I haven’t written anything, but I have some pictures from the past few months that will hopefully turn into blog posts. I also don’t know if I have a lot to say right now, but am willing to try. I do have a certain gift for blathering on about guitars. I do have a new work schedule that has me taking on more child care duties. That has been a blast! My kids are awesome and, while I am by no means a perfect Dad, I can freely admit I would rather be engaged with them than playing guitar. But I do take some time to play while they make up songs, which is the best of both worlds. Perhaps I’ll post some of their diddies here in the coming months.
If you have any topics or gear you would like to see on Guitar Wanna Be, let me know. I’ll see what I can do!