My names Kevin and I don't have a problem.
My Guitar history goes back to about 1971 when as an eleven year old I was asked what I wanted for my Birthday. I hadn’t a clue but later I watched TV and a band called New World came on and played guitars.
That was it, I’d have a guitar. Well it was in the days of few cheap student guitars of quality so I ended up with a Honner acoustic which was shyte, only I didn’t know any better. Traditional cheese grater action and poor construction. The front sank as the neck pulled up and then the bridge popped off. But I loved it and persevered none the less. At school our woodwork teacher gave informal lessons one lunchtime a week,( Paul Constantine I owe you more that I could ever tell you at the time). A school classmate had a Top 20 electric guitar and a valve radiogram converted to an amplifier, He never played it as a spoilt little rich kid but was kind enough to loan it long term to me.
I eventually saved up enough to buy my own ‘electric’ guitar from Woolworths. After a year I bought an amp from them too. Here is an identical guitar to mine when new
I modded the guitar putting one of the single coils in the middle and adding two cheat humbuckers and taking out the trem spring.
Here it is with our first proper gig at sound check.
Next I got offered proper gigs when I started work because I had transport, so I needed a real guitar and in 1978 the best I could finds was the Aria PE1000 so I bought one.
And I needed a proper amp, the rhythm guitarist was older and had several amps so he sold me his (then) 10 year old Marshall 50w plexi head.
I still have both of these and gig them all the time.
After a couple of years I needed a commercial tone (it was 1981) I needed a strat, So I hunted for the one that suited and bought this.
A hardtail 1976 CBS era 3 bolt microtilt that weighs a ton. But the neck was comfortable and the previous owner had added a DiMarzio in the bridge position. It was chipped a little even then and I hated the colour but it suited me to play. I still have this guitar and with a 5 way switch added it is otherwise original. I set it up with a fret level, neck set and nut jobbie to play like butter. This guitar is still with me and has probably done more playing time than the Aria over the decades. Here are some pics.
Anyway during the late 80s early 90s the band were doing some Go West and such like so I needed a whammy equipped guitar to be Alan Murphy and I bought an Aria Wildcat in black. I can’t find pics of mine but one of these. http://www.arkay.de/temp/Wildcat/wildcat2_02.jpg
Nice enough but It didn’t last more than about 3 years.
I wanted acoustic on stage and didn’t fancy a bowl back so got one of these.
Washburn SBT21 in white
It played easy enough and little to worry about in the feedback stakes, alright for strum along in a band context.
But I decided to go for a real looking acoustic and sold the Washburn to a folk singer !!! and bought this.
It’s an Epiphone PR350s (passive) electro acoustic which for the time sounded OK unplugged and pretty good into the PA too. Decent headstock shape and a solid top.
Then I settled down had kids and got married so the guitars remained PE1000, 76 Strat and Epi. I also gave up bands for about a year when the youngest was in gestation etc. Then I got a call to join an 8 piece soul band who only planned gigging one or twice a month, Think Commitment/Blues Bros etc.
Well I joined them for the next 18 years (phew) a bit more regular work once we got going, but 4 and 5 part harmonies, 2 girl vocalists and a horn section driven by an Ex Army Sgt Maj drummer was bloody great If I say so myself. Line up changed over the years so that in the end just bass and myself were original lineup. By this time I was happily singled again. I lost my singing voice (bummer) and consoled myself with a brand new 2006 Gibson ES335 TDN
Took a while to bond and I had Martyn Booth run his hands over it once it was about a year old and nicely settled.
Final purchase was A like Ashe telecaster, Always wanted a Tele and these were highly rated.
I’m not over struck on the modern neck/frets so it will go on the block one day when a used 52 Reissue Blackguard comes my way.
Amp wise the Marshall Plexi has always been my gigging amp, most of the last 25 years through a pair of JBL 12s.
Non standard name plate and one changed valve holder but otherwise original right down to the vinyl cover. So reliable over the decades (not withstanding valve changes as required).
I bought a marshall AVT20 combo for house use in the 90s and later added a Tiny Terror for a year or so.
I got rid of the Tiny Terror a couple of years ago and bought a fender Hot Rod Deluxe because I found out the potential value of the Marshall and decided that wouldn’t go to some jams/pub gigs any more.
So I’ve been bandless now for just over a year and as I approach 55 I don’t find that daunting for the first time in my life. This week I am again doing 7 nights solid in the theatre orchestra pit playing for a panto which is great fun and discipline. I do the odd dep gig and I’m happy with my gear, I have bought wisely or been lucky andmost of my stuff is keeper. Like I said the Tele will be traded up to a Vintage 52 Reissue at some stage but otherwise I’m all gassed out (famous last words).
I'll stick this on the end, last gig of the soul band Aug 2011