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Shut up and play yer guitar

I'm having custom work done on my bass by a guy in Michigan who does amazing work. Here's his website:


He's going to do a truss rod cover for me in ebony with my initials in mother of pearl: PJV. It's my tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan, who had his initials prominently displayed on his guitar.

The piece I'm most excited about, though, is a custom pickguard he's making, also out of ebony. He's going to inlay a full-body image of Felix the Cat in jade and mother of pearl, with a piece of red acrylic for his tongue. Because the new pickguard will be black, he's going to inlay Felix in an oval of maple, giving a halo effect so Felix's black head and body will stand out. This will be a beautiful complement to my bass body's colors.

I've already replaced the silver-topped black plastic control knobs with chromed knobs with mother of pearl tops. If it sounds as if I'm going overboard with that material, all of the fret inlays on my guitar—as well as an inlay noting that my bass was produced during Gibson's 120th anniversary year—are mother of pearl. The black cat will tie in nicely with the edge of the bass body, which is black (the finish is called satin fireburst) and with the headstock, which also is in black. And the chrome knobs complement the bridge, pickup covers and tuners, which are all in chrome.

When I'm done, I'll have a bass that's unlike any other. And damn! My playing is coming along too. When I practice, there's nothing on my mind but the music. If I'd tried this when I was younger, I would have wanted to become a rock star and would have failed. Now, I'm old enough to not have those delusions. I just enjoy playing.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 5th, 2015 09:55 pm (UTC)
Would you consider bringing it in for show and tell when it's done? I'd love to see it.
Jan. 5th, 2015 10:49 pm (UTC)
Sure! But I won't bring an amp in so as not to afflict your ears (again).
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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