I've been watching these videos lately called TED-X Talks in an attempt to fill my mind with goodness and positive thoughts. That said, my head is so full of bubbliciousness, I told Lee that I just couldn't come up with a story for this 35th Les Paul. He said, "Well, why don't you just write about the scale length and the nut width?" I shook my head- that wouldn't do because it would not be in accord with the union rules around here so I asked him to give me two random things off the top of his head and I would take it from there. He thought for a second and said, "Okay. The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Eddie Van Halen." I thought for a second, processed the two subjects and exclaimed, "I got this."
In the late 70's, my BFF, Philip Farmer and I used to go every Saturday night to what was called the Midnight Movies in Mableton, Ga. They basically showed two late-night movies there- Zeppelin's "The Song Remains the Same" and "The Rocky Horror Picture Show". Phillip's older brother, Eric would drive us around (he neither smoked nor drank) and often times, we would be accompanied by our third partner in crime, Derek Varnadore. The three of us would get Eric to buy us each a quart of Old English 800 or Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill and off we'd go. It really didn't take much to get us lit back in those young days of wickedness and if we were really lucky, Derek would have a joint rolled up in pink Job 1.5 strawberry papers. Trust me when I say that I fell asleep more often than I finished watching either of those movies.
So as this all relates to this Les Paul, Meatloaf was in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and that led to my recollection of seeing him fill in for Ozzy Osbourne at the 1983 Monsters of Rock Concert in Nuremberg, Germany. That led to me also remembering seeing Van Halen the next year in what would be David Lee Roth's last show with Van Halen in the same venue, Zeppelinfeld. During this show, Eddie Van Halen came out with a tiny Les Paul for one of the songs- that particular song I cannot remember for obvious reasons. But, I do still have pictures to prove it, so in thinking about that tiny Les Paul, I thought of Frank Pine, from the MyLesPaul community. He makes miniature Les Pauls and they are stunning in their accuracy and detail. Frank is a straight guitar pimp whom I admire greatly and he also has some of the finest Les Paul's I've ever laid eyes on. The part of his collection that I have personally seen is simply to die for and if I wasn't in this business, I'd be very envious of the guitars that he owns.
So, in thinking about the really cool guitars Frank has in his collection, my mind shifted to this 35th Anniversary Les Paul. It's virtually new old stock and shows no signs of ever even being played. I did find a slight finish flaw on the back, but given the extraordinary condition of the guitar, I quickly forgave this small sin. I also gave bonus points for the original wrapping paper being present and after shooting the pictures, my mind started to wander again. Wrapping paper, rolling paper, Led Zeppelin, back in '78, rockin' in Eric's maroon Electra 225 with my boys, where have all the years gone, etc.
Man, if those are the memories that can be elicited by looking at a guitar, then I'll just sit here and do this all day long...