Tuesday, June 10, 2014

If you could have any three guitars...

  You make art with a guitar in a way that is rather unique; it's not unlike the way you make art with a classic car, if such a thing were possible (in my book, it is). In and of themselves, guitars are art. Playing a song with a guitar is kinda like carving David with the Venus di Milo. Anyway, it's almost Northside weekend here in Brooklyn, I'm about to see a million bands, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't silently judging the guitar choices of each and every last one. Don't think I'm a snob though, I don't give two shits about how much an instrument costs. That being said, there's a legitimate reason to judge bands by their instruments.

  I'm a Fender guy, and every guitar I've ever owned has been a Fender or Fender-knockoff (except for my acoustic, but that was a gift). This is because as a teenager, I was obsessed with Sonic Youth. Gibsons, to me, stood for dick-head frat boy jock metal/grunge crap. Bands show their influences by the guitars they choose, almost as much as notes they play. I hate to divide the world into two camps based on gear, because it's more complicated than that... but if you can find me a decent band that includes a guy playing a Les Paul through a digital multi-effects processor into a Mesa Boogie full stack, I'll buy you a beer. Hell, I'll buy you a case.

I only had time to grab one pic for this article and this is it. Scrawny punk, Mustang, Hendrix hands. Deal.

  There are clubs/DIY spots in this city where the sound is so bad, it actually makes more sense to judge a band buy it's gear. At least you'll know where they came from.

  I asked a bunch of local guitarists what they're playing, and what their three dream guitars would be. I'll start it off:

Stephen from The Planes

  Current Guitar: White Fender Mustang, Japanese made from 1997. Bridge pickup switched out for a 90's stock American standard Strat pickup. Pickup switching rigged up like a Les Paul.

  Dream Guitars:
    #1. Jazzmaster with a stock neck pickup and a super high output humbucker in the bridge.
    #2. Squire Strat from the 80's with the giant headstock (surf green or sonic blue).
    #3. Mustang with Jmaster style tremolo; an actual Fender version of this.

Micah from The Teen Age

  Current Guitar: Sunburst and cherry red Mexican Telecasters.

  Dream Guitars:
      #1. Gretsch G5810  (note. that's the rectangular Bo Diddley guitar)
      #2. Music Man Albert Lee HH
      #3. Fender Pawn Shop Jaguarillo

Marisa from Big Quiet

  Current Guitar: Rickenbacker 330 in fireglo.

  Dream Guitars:
      #1. Rickenbacker 360 12 string in montezuma brown
      #2. 1958 Gretsch 6125 in smoke green -Cadillac anniversary edition
      #3. Phantom mando guitar in Salmon

Mark from Summer Saints

  Current Guitar: Thinline Tele

  Dream Guitars:
       #1. Black Rickenbacker 330
       #2. 60s Strat with the big headstock
       #3. Bob Mould's Flying V

Josh from Old Monk

  Current Guitar: Gibson faded SG special - worn brown.

  Dream Guitars:
      #1. Gibson SG vintage (early 60s) with 2 P-90s, and a bigsby  - red
      #2. Gibson SG Custom with 3 PAF humbuckers, gold hardware, and a bigsby - white
      #3. Gibson SG Custom with 2 coil-tapped PAFs, and a bigsby (duh) - black

Amanda from Crazy Pills

  Current Guitar: Offset Fender build Jazzmaster assembled by Totally Wired Guitars

  Dream Guitars:
      #1. '59 Gibson es335
      #2. '67 Fender Telecaster
      #3. '30s Martin D28

Jeff from Dead Stars

  Current Guitar: 2008 Mexican Classic Player Jazzmaster (black)

  Dream Guitars:
      #1. 70's Fender Mustang (light blue)
      #2. 60's Fender Jazzmaster (sunburst)
      #3. 60's Guild Jetstar (red)

Stephanie from GHOSTESS

  Current Guitar:  American standard Strat, champagne

  Dream Guitars:
       #1. Gibson Les Paul.. faded tobacco, ice tea or black i'm not good with decisions... 
       #2. Telecaster, all black
       #3. Gibson Memphis

Jessica from Heliotropes

  Current Guitar: Mexican made Strat with Seymour Duncan humbuckers.

  Dream Guitars:
      #1. American standard strat, with red silver and white lace sensor pickups: I want the cream color.
      #2. A Mustang, because I'm 5'4 and sometimes get sad when I am dwarfed by my instrument.
      #3. I want one of those semi-hollow Teles too. They sound incredible.

Jon from The Black Black

  Current Guitar: Black Gibson Les Paul Studio -> Black Gibson Les Paul Special

  Dream Guitar: 
      #1. Black/Maple Fender Telecaster Standard
      #2. Telecaster Deluxe
      #3. Fender Jaguar or Mustang I guess...

Leslie from Haybaby

  Current Guitar: Ibanez artist series

  Dream Guitars:
      #1-3. I dont have any specifics. I dig Danelectros and Silvertones, but practically every guitar I've ever had has been an Ibanez. I like their metal sustain and wide necks because I learned to play punk guitar on a classical acoustic.

Gavin from Libel

  Current Guitar: Gibson Les Paul Special, Fender Jaguar (MIJ)

  Dream Guitars:
      #1. Fender American Standard Telecaster (preferably vintage)
      #2. Gretsch Hollow Body (not sure which - vintage preferred)
      #3. Vintage Gibson Acoustic (50s preferably)

Christian from The Meaning of Life

  Current Guitar: 2 Fender Stratos that I got on craigslist very cheap. And a 90's Korean Squier Strato that I got with my first paycheck EVER back in Santiago de Chile.

  Dream Guitars:
       #1. John Lennon's guitars. Should I go to visit Yoko @ Dakota and talk to her? Guild Starfire.
       #2. Rickenbacker 355... 
       #3. or that blue-ish Fender Strato.

Somer from Clinical Trials

  Current Guitar: Mid 90s Fender Mustang

  Dream Guitars:
      #1. Another mustang-  older vintage, maybe from the 60s. 
      #2. Another mid 90s one (mustang), and mod it with something fun like a P90. Yeah, I know, it seems like a Cobain obsession. The thing is, both those guitars are super light, perfect for a scrawny punk like me. An the neck of a Mustang makes my hands feel fast and huge like Hendrix.
      #3. Univox Hi Flier

Tarra from Sharkmuffin

  Current Guitar: Fender Jaguar and a Danelectro 12 string.

  Dream Guitars:
       #1. Fender Mustang
       #2. That Silvertone guitar that has the amp built into its case.
       #3. Eastwood blue shiny baritone guitar

Jeff from Orca Age

  Current Guitar: Thurston Moore Jazzmaster

  Dream Guitars: 
       #1. An all orignal 59 Jazzmaster!
       #2. Neil Young's Old Black (given that in this alternate reality he can keep playing at as well)
       #3. My own custom Jeffmaster - Natural vintage tinted amberish color - reddish but still brown tort pickguard, regular JM pickups, maybe a tele in the bridge. vol tone knobs but bypassable (direct to output) no rhythm circuit. 7.5 radius but med jumbo frets. 

Michael from Low Fat Getting High

  Current Guitar: Currently I rotate between a Fender custom shop Strat, it's daphne blue with the middle pickup removed.  The pickup selector is a dial with a tone mod in the circuit. I also use a Mexican Fender Jazzmaster with swapped out pickups. The neck is a custom gold JM pickup made by Curtis Novak, and the bridge is a Seymour Duncan JM standard pickup.

  Dream Guitars:
       #1. Seafoam green Italia Mondial
       #2. Distressed white Fano alt de facto sp6. (had my eye on this before Fred Armisen popped up on the Seth Meyers show with this thing too....)
       #3. Gibson SG standard. Walnut.

Robin from Slang King

  Current Guitar: Two SGs, one is a silverburst, the other is black, a reissue of the '61 that I got in 1997.

  Dream Guitars:
       #1. SG GT in muscle green even though I've heard it's a terrible guitar.
       #2. Fender '59 Strat (American Vintage), in Sherwood green metallic
       #3. The last one I'm not sure. Maybe a bass. SG or something better...I'd have to try some out or get recs from bass playing friends... Though just for ridiculous kicks, what about a flying V, hahahahaha!!!!

Steve from Clouder

  Current Guitar: Gretsch Electromatic

  Dream Guitars: 
       #1. Any Rickenbacker
       #2. An old ass Fender Jazzmaster
       #3. A coral electric sitar

And there you have it! Les Pauls rank pretty low on the list here. Strats make a stronger showing that I would have thought. Seems like Fender would be wise to make more giant headstocks. Rickenbackers are popular among this set, despite their relatively small market share in the outside world. 

Thoughts? Come find us at any one of the three Hearts Bleed Radio showcases this weekend and let us know! Check out the preview, and RSVP below.

Don't forget to "like" HBR on Facebook ---> here.


  1. Hmm...no love from Stephen for SGs, huh?
    Digging the Gretch Jetstars, those are siiick.
    Awesome lineups, see ya'll Saturday!

    1. Benji, It's cute how you don't have Facebook, so you have to comment on the blog.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. The pickup selector is usually a dial with a tone mod from the circuit. I also use a Mexican Fender Jazz master with swapped out pickups. The neck is a custom gold JM pickup of Curtis Novak, and the bridge is usually a Seymour Duncan JM standard collection.

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