It’s something we guitarists never expect, but 4 years ago I blew a grand on a Gibson Les Paul Classic, now this was back in the days when such instruments cost about £1300 and we hadn’t gotten used to the sub grand Les Paul in the UK, the dollar being slightly higher then. At the time I paid a very good price for a beautiful guitar. I’d taken my time and gone through 20 instruments to buy her. I used her on many gigs as my main guitar and also the demo’s I was recording at the time.
Then about 2 years ago I realised I needed something with a bit more bite….A telecaster was the answer. After being underwhelmed by Fenders modern American series. I tried a Japanese Grey import 52…with a huge beefy U shaped neck profile….it was love..apart from a few issues….I wanted to change the 3 saddled bridge to a modern one, then maybe put a in a humbucker, like a Hot Rails or something…well somebody else had chanced upon the same idea as me and had similar tastes he’s called Richie Kotzen, hairspray model, former member of Poison/Mr Big and legend in Japan. I’m not normally into the idea of signature guitars, but Mr Kotzen seemed to have a very similar set of tastes to mine. His tele had a phase switch on the bucker giving fat or thin type sounds, plus a contoured body with bound top and jumbo frets so despite the huge neck widdling potential is assured…..
However the guitar is only intended for the Japnese market…..so after some considerable research….before too long I’d located a dealer who would export to the UK and was bashing the plastic at Ishibashi music and 3 days later my dream Telecaster arrived.
Now 2 years into ownership and the Tele is my main guitar, which is something of a problem….after getting used to that huge neck….the Gibbo’s slinky 60′s profile feels way too small, so guess what….I never play her. My grands worth of Les Paul idles away in its case untouched for months on end. Last time she was seriously used in anger was for some recording last year.
So with the release by Fender Japan of the Richie Kotzen Stratocaster, a similar, ash bodied, Huge necked guitar with custome wound DiMarzio’s I’m starting to think that nows the time to flog the Les Paul and get another Kotzen signature Axe…?
To Be Continued…