Guitar Talk, Pt. 1: Show & Tell

Paul’s Strat takes a solo trip to Puerto Rico


I’ve been playing guitar now for 55 years, and sometimes I wonder how many of these wonderful instruments have I owned over all that time, I’m thinking well over 50 but that’s just a guess. One that I know for sure was my first electric guitar that I bought used when I was 13, a beautiful 1957 Gibson ES175 that I have actually enclosed a picture of.  Yes, that’s me in Laurel Canyon playing the beast. It was an ungodly orange thing but sounded beautiful.  I’ve since had it redone with a sunburst finish, but my mistake was changing the tailpiece and that changed the sound drastically. Oh well, live and learn I guess. I played that guitar for 6 years and even did my first professional gig at the Whiskey A’ Go-Go, but from there I got a Les Paul junior that I used for a few years in my garage band, The Led Enema, until I broke the headstock. That was when I finally got my first brand new Stratocaster in 1969, that I still own today and used it all through my career with Little Feat. One day it took a trip on its own, thanks to Delta Airlines, and spent 6 months in Puerto Rico.  I immediately went and bought another one in 1974, a used 1972 Stratocaster that I  still have as well. By some miracle Delta Airlines returned my black Strat, so now I had two and was on my way to collecting guitars. 

Now I needed an acoustic guitar for the arsenal. Took a trip down to the guitar center where I got my 1969 strat and pulled every Martin D28 out and opened all the cases. Danced around and strummed each and every one of them, and the one that rang longest was bought on the spot, It’s a beautiful thing, and was most useful when I recorded Missin’ You on the “Time Loves a Hero” record, and after that it traveled all around the country with the original Bluesbusters, myself and Catfish Hodge, just honky tonkin’ around the east coast. There’s been 3 dobros, oops now its four since I just was given one, a wonderful Martin D 35 12 string from sometime in the late 60’s or early 70’s – and my latest Martin I’ve been recording with is a Martin single cutaway 14 fret guitar like none I’ve ever seen. I have tried to find the age through their serial number list but its not there, I think it may have been a proto type for their OMC-28E series, but so far I haven’t gotten any reply from Martin about it, but it sings like a bird. Thanks to Gibson and Epiphone, I have gotten an endorsement and therefore a boatload of acoustic guitars, the workhorse that I travel with always is my Epiphone EJ200 and its just a really good sounding electric acoustic guitar in all kinds of situations, from concert halls to small clubs. There is one more acoustic guitar that I am partial to and that is a custom A Davis guitar that has the most incredible tone, but it was so expensive it will never see the belly of a 747, this is my home and recording guitar only.

More electric guitars over the years were a couple of Yamaha electric guitars, like a Gibson SG that they gave me  in Japan on a tour there when Lowell was alive, a few music man guitars that Leo Fender gave us when he sold fender and started music man, another Les Paul junior and a telecaster that was made for the blue brothers movie, a new Epiphone Sheraton and at least 4 custom made guitars the latest of which are 2 sweet Buzz Feiten creations, one with Strat like pickups and one with humbuckers, just getting used to that super nova right now. Wow 55 years has certainly seen a few axes in these hands and I am sure I’ve left a few out but then it has been 55 years – next blog I will talk about the sounds of the different guitars.



Chris T.:  What’s your favorite all around acoustic


Paul:  My favorite now is my Martin cutaway


Do you have many Gibsons?


Paul:  I've only owned 1 Gibson acoustic,


One off luthier builds?


Paul:  Yes an A.Davis guitar that sounds amazing


What’s your favorite Strat & why?  Trem or no?


Paul:  My teal blue has been my go to guitar since 1987


A strat plus, one of the first and I do use the tremolo bar


Maria H.:  Do you name your guitars?

Paul:  Never have I named a guitar, however with my guitar techs we've had a code, like blue (standard tuning) brown (open A) black (open G) so that's kind of a name I guess