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2008 Gibson Les Paul R8, Chambered

Les Paul R8, Chambered
Tobacco Sunburst
Exceptionally Fine
"Don't you friggin move a muscle," G2 whispered as he pressed the barrel of the Desert Eagle .50 cal against my left temple. "And I ain't hardly bullshittin' either," he said. I stood there motionless, barely taking a breath and as I waited to see if the right side of my head was going to explode, Lee walked into the room with this guitar and another plain top R8. "That's right, G2, keep his ass honest 'cause we're going to settle this right now and if he don't get it right, I want you to blow that tater clean off his shoulders"...

To explain the above, we have to step back a couple of weeks to the Spartanburg guitar show. Lee had purchased this guitar earlier and left it in the booth for me to record. As I was notating the serial number, I whispered something under my breath like, "A freakin' chambered Les Paul. Who the hell wants a chambered R8 that probably sounds like a drunk mule blowing a trombone. I can't believe that big galoot bought," and that was when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned my head around to find a very displeased, 6' 3" business partner standing there and by the look on his face, I knew I was in for it. Little did I realize how much "in for it" I was...

Now I have to tell you all about the man known as G2. He is an unofficially retired government agent that specializes in interrogation, psychological warfare, and enemy termination. I don't know where Lee and he met, but I am convinced it was somewhere near the gates of Hell because this dude scares the crap out of me. On the few occasions I have met him, he never spoke above a whisper and continuously filed his long, dagger-like and perfectly manicured nails. He probably uses them to pluck out puppy's eyes for all I know and I'm just sayin' that the further apart we are, the better off I like it. At least as far as my nerves and general well-being are concerned.

So here I am with a ginormous handgun pressed against my head and Lee's warming up a Soldano half-stack. I ain't moving, G2 is chewing on a toothpick and Lee's plugging things up. Not a sound in the room and while I cannot believe that I'm about to get shot for complaining about Lee buying a chambered guitar, the scary part is he called in a death-breath assassin to do it for him. I didn't know it was all that serious. Lee looked over at me and said, "Turn around. I'm going to play the same thing on both of these guitars and if you don't guess which one is chambered and which one ain't, you'll be meeting your maker and I'm not talkin' 'bout a trip up to no Pearly Gates, either you complaining son of a gun.

I turned around and now G2 has the barrel of the Desert Eagle pressed firmly into my somewhat sizeable forehead. He's smiling slightly and working that toothpick like an extra in a crappy, second-rate Western movie. "I never did like you," he said and I swear I just wanted to pee in my pants right then and there. "I hope you get it wrong just so I can paint that wall behind you with your brains. Not that you have any," and I just closed my eyes and waited for Lee to start playing. He warmed up for a minute and said, "Here goes, Cub. Don't mess this up." I held my breath as he ripped into the intro to "Rock You Like a Hurricane" by Scorpions. He played into about halfway through the first verse and stopped. I heard him switching guitars and then repeat the exact same music. No changes at all- just the same thing back to back.

I heard him set the second guitar down and walk over to G2 and me. He leaned over to my ear and whispered, "Well, Mr. know it damn all. Wich one is chambered?" I'm shaking like a shool girl at a biker rally, G2's got that gun pushed into my face and I just know I'm gonna die any second. "I don't know," I said. "They sounded the same to me. You really did change guitars, didn't you?" Lee, highly agitated, snarled at me, "I did change guitars and the whole reason we're here is because you never stopped to think that maybe I played this guitar before buying it. Maybe I already knew it sounded good as hell and that maybe you don't see 'em in this color that often and JUST MAYBE I know what I'm doing. Lee stepped back and for a split second, I thought he wasn't mad anymore. Then I saw his eyes change, "Screw it, G2. Shoot him," and before I could have my next thought, G2 turned his head from Lee to me and pulled the trigger on that .50 cal.

I think my first words upon waking were something like, "Must have been the hand of God," because I couldn't believe I was alive. The story that was relayed to me days later was that, after squeezing off that pistol, the recoil veered off to the right, slamming into Lee's eye and giving him a shiner worthy of any good John Wayne film (that's justice served in my book for putting me through all this.) The bullet ricocheted off my tater, flew up through the floor and shattered the guest bathroom toilet (the one we refer to as the Commander 5000, because it takes on all comers and welcomes all challenges.) That led to a flooded second story, which led to a very large insurance claim, which led to a police investigation because G2 shot off a firearm inside the Douglasville city limits. That led to Lee and G2 getting arrested for attempted murder and me running what will soon be called Little Elk's House of You Damn Right. Since I'm the new boss (with a slightly grooved noggin), there are no longer any dissenting views around here and if I say that this guitar sounds as good as any Les Paul R8 we've ever had, you can take it to the bank. So sayeth the Little Elk...

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