This is my 1986, Gibson Les Paul. I’ve had it since ‘86. It’s the possession I’ve had the longest in my whole life. It’s my best and oldest friend.
If you saw me play before 2001, you Probably only ever saw this guitar. About ten years ago, I kinda “retired” it. The frets were getting low and to do a fret job with the binding the way that it is…. ugh, spendy. $800+. I decided I’d only play it for bigger shows. Also around 2004, I started playing a lot more country music. I got a telecaster (the one that got stolen), and that became my main guitar for the next 14 years. Teles. I got it from water music in Stillwater for $1650. I still have the receipt and paperwork.
About two weeks ago, I pulled it out after playing Tony Houle ‘s Les Paul at the Schooner Tavern. I didn’t even throw new strings on it. Rusty as fuck, I wiped them off and played a show at Cowboy Jack’s (Woodbury) with Stephen Murray.
Have you ever had an old baseball glove, a pair of boots, or a fried you haven’t seen I years, but it was “just like yesterday” that you talked? That’s how it felt. I slid in like an old pair of boots. My hands played fast. My mind was free of worry. My thought came across, and were true. “Melissa” is back.
I brought it to Ted Vig at Vig Guitars , he made a set of really sweet 59 style pickups with a cap to brighten up the bridge. Then came the elbow grease. Years and years of grime. Stories. Messes.
I wish I knew what I had back as a teen, cuz would have never left if in the car a billion times in Minnesota winters, or sweltering heat. The photos will show the checking. I drove over it twice with my car (drunk obvi) in ‘97. Left it outside the The Terminal Bar and Flem TerminalBar Fleming hid it from me to rteach me a lesson. In 1989 it fell out of a stand and the headstock broke. I actually cried. In 1999 it got broken when I lived in a hippies house in Oregon. Moses Oakland (Leonard Shapiro) fixed the neck both times.
I going to play her til I need the fret job.
I love my teles, I love, my PRS, Dano’s, Harmony’s, Godin A-6 ultras, but she has my heart. Always and forever. Have any old pics of it? Share please.
Come hear her sing again at Javier Trejo at Mancini’s!! Mancini’s Thursday Jan. 9th at 7:30pm in the lounge. Thank you!!