15th November 2011
Photo with 3 notes
GUITAR STIMULUS SALES!! UNVEILED TOMORROW!! BIG!!
Like me on Facebook for new postings and upcoming cool stuff!
9th November 2011
Photo with 9 notes
I’m getting lots of requests from email, twitter, tumblr etc fans for pics of the Abombcaster. Here she is! Rumor Has it…Found buried with an unidentified body in an Alabama cornfield in 1971. Cleaned up pretty well: has new strings.
Like me on Facebook at Facebook.com/TonyCochranGuitars
Click on the picture to get to my Facebook.
8th November 2011
Link with 1 note
My search for storied guitars took an odd turn. Sometimes it’s the odd devices that get me jazzed. One guy even had a guitar with human teeth used for the knobs on the tuners. He was a professional boxing referee and collected the teeth for 20 years. Another guy once tried to sell me a hollow body Gibson that had a secret compartment fitted with poison darts and a blow gun. I don’t know why, but I don’t make this stuff up. One of my favorites is the one I have on my work bench right now. It needs a new volume pot. It’s a Strat look alike clad with aluminum from the Porsche James Dean died in. The guy I bought it from said a friend of a friend swiped a door from the car. (The car has never been accounted for, by the way.) He deskinned the door and used the sheet aluminum to shore up some bad cracks in the body of his guitar. He had documents. I believed him. Enough said.
1st November 2011
"Is this a three quarter size bass guitar?" I asked. "Yeah, got it from a dude in New Hampshire. He had a clown act he did at parties and such and a full size bass stuck out of his pants too far." I didn’t ask for elaboration. Didn’t need it. Didn’t want it. "Thirty bucks? Why so cheap?" Oh jeez, aren’t I the master of haggle? "It’s a piece of crap," he said. He was obviously the master of salesmanship. "Take twenty?" I waved the bill. "No, thirty, and that’s firm." "Twenty-three?" I pulled some crumpled ones out of my shirt pocket. "Done," he said. It was the extra 2 knobs and the little box wired to the side that caught my attention. I needed to compare it to a diagram I had at home, but it looked like a dual amber capacitor housing and, if it was, this was a very good thing. Sixteen of these were made by Robby Hubson in 1968 exclusively for the Winslow and Sharp guitar works. They never worked like they were supposed to and, even worse, no one knows now what they were supposed to do. Just as it sat, it could easily fetch a grand and, if it lit up when amped, the sky was the limit. I whistled happy happy tunes all the way home.
25th October 2011
Link with 4 notes
I had never seen a guitar with one of these. Not in real life, anyway, only in old pictures … very old pictures. I wondered if it worked. “Peter Frampton owned it. He sold it to Jimmy Page,” the owner pleaded. “Jimmy Page sold it to Jimi Hendrix in 1986.” “I bet he hardly used it,” I said. “Only once and that was at that there big We Are The World concert,” he offered. This was fun. “Remember that?” “Oh, yes,” I said. “I couldn’t keep my foot from tapping.” I flipped the heavy beast over. ” I’ll give you 20 bucks,” I said. He looked shocked. “For a guitar that Slash himself owned? Are you nuts?” I knew who was nuts, but I wanted the pickups. I WANTED the Chambered Star and Dot lever. “Oh, did Slash buy it from Jimi?” I asked. “No, I think he bought it from Prince,” he said. “Fifty bucks,” I countered. “Last offer and I get to use your bathroom before I go. Take it or leave it.” I slung the guitar over my shoulder like a fat rifle. I gave him my best dare you to say no look. He stuck out his hand. We had a deal.
24th October 2011
Photo with 19 notes
Private Eldon R found this instrument in a steaming pile of rubble in 1964. He was patrolling a burned out village on the Mekong Delta. It was in remarkably playable condition despite some charring and corrosion. The village chief would not say how it got there, but he sure seemed glad to be rid of it.
21st October 2011
The Russian guitar under the house trailer wasn’t Russian at all. It had a hammer and sickle stenciled on it and the guy claimed that a communist named Keith Richards had owned it back in the late 60s before he was a Rolling Stone. I told him, as far as I knew, Keith Richards was an avowed capitalist. “He is now,” he answered, “but this was his back when he was poor and stuff and a member of The People’s Army.” That’s when I knew the guy was delusional. He could see that I was leaving. “Then he sold it to a guy in the Yardbirds,” he tried next. “Eric Clapton!” He looked at me with one eyebrow raised. “No,” I said. “Jeff Beck?” He was pleading now. The thing was, I liked the pickups on it. I had never seen anything like them. Dark, narrow rectangles that looked like the tops of tiny ancient car batteries … and triangular magnets! Who ever saw triangular magnets? But the neck was warped like a rotini noodle and the body appeared to be a fine combo of linoleum over plywood. Junk. I flipped it over in my hands. My heart almost thudded to an elated halt.
18th October 2011
He offered the guitar to me like it was a giant fudgesicle. “I got it in a deal with Satan,” he said. He was short, fat and all his visible skin was covered with badly drawn tattoos: flames, skulls, devils, you know, generic wicked. I laughed. “I don’t know what you gave him for it, but apparently Satan only had to cough up a $50 piece of crap from Kmart.” How is it these idiots make so many deals with Satan? Why don’t they hit up St. Joseph or Raphael or somebody like that? Casper the Friendly Ghost would come up with a better guitar than this. It was pink, I swear. Barbie pink. Mary Kay pink. Hannah Montana pink. The kind of pink you’d see on the diseased toenails of a cheap cheap hooker. “It’s pink,” I said and my lip curled in perfect disdain. I walked away. It you go guitar hunting, beware the old pat “Got it from Satan,” story. Satan doesn’t make guitars and if you believe he does you’re probably already signed up in his minion book. Pink? Give me a break.
14th October 2011
Link with 6 notes
The highway through Pennsylvania is boring and I felt my mind wandering. When buying guitars, you have to know where to draw the line. One time a guy tried to sell me three fourths of a guitar. He heard I traded in the bizarre and the macabre … Mr. Guitar Noir, so to speak. The bottom 1/4 had been cut cleanly. So cleanly it looked like it was done with a chainsaw. The bridge was gone, so the strings were splayed willy-nilly like a spastic granddaddy long leg. “This looks like it was hacked off with a chainsaw,” I said. I pricked my finger on an errant G string. “That’s because it was hacked off with a chainsaw,” he replied. “Bobby was playin’ Freebird on it when Mayella kilt him with a wild swing of a two stroke Craftsman and Bobby had just put on a fresh chain too. He was gonna cut far wood after the game.” He pointed to what looked like a dried up Earth worm on the volume knob. “Skin, swear to God. And if you look at the back, the blood stains make the face of Castro!” My friend, there is a fine line between a storied guitar and just court evidence for a troubled marriage. I walked away. I told him the guitar was just far wood.
11th October 2011
Link with 1 note
We haggled a price for the guitar. I stowed it carefully in the truck and said a cordial good-bye. I had just pulled out of the driveway. I didn’t hit a bump. I didn’t make a sudden steering move. The radio wasn’t on. But, from behind the seat, chimed a single, slinky, skanky sounding G minor … strummed just once. Then there was silence. It didn’t do it again; not on the way home and not in my workshop later. It didn’t even do it for the lead guitarist of a very famous band (that I’m not at liberty to name here) who bought it without even trying to beat me down on price. I wouldn’t have come down on price anyway. It’s crazy, but sometimes I still hear that chord in my head. Witch wood indeed.
Why do you suppose it was G Minor?
10th October 2011
Photo with 5 notes
Pried from the cold, gray fingers of Jack “Wild Cat” Thompson. He was found dead and naked at the seedy motel just North of Bakersfield, California in 1958. Master of the dirty Honkey Tonk, he spent his life chasing cheap women and drinking cheaper wine. Rumor has it, the device at the bottom was what he called a “Seductorator”. He said it loosened women’s inhibitions: wouldn’t say where he got it.
20th September 2011
He said “I got a guitar that’s made of witch wood and galvanized bucket metal.”
"It’s not acoustic is it? I don’t buy acoustic guitars." A gentle belch punctuated the end of my sentence. He spit on the ground. It might have been tobacco juice or maybe just spit. "Oh, it’s electric all right," he said. "You can see char marks where it shorted out or something one time. I never played it. I swapped a guy for a log splitter I could never get running right, but turns out it just needed a plug and a little starting fluid. I was really ripped off, turns out. It’s real witch wood though. You familiar with witch wood?" I said that I wasn’t. He smiled. "Witch wood is wood that is from a tree that a witch was hung from until dead." He smiled again. "Rather than just until she was gasping mightily?" I asked. I’m a total riot sometimes, I swear. "Huh?" he said. "Never mind," I said. He spit again. "Anyhoo, it’s at home in my gun safe. Wanna see it? It’s pretty cool." I have an inner instinct that tells me when to roll the dice and when to pass. It fails me a lot. But it’s the only inner thing that still talks to me. "Let’s go," I said. "I’ll follow you." The Russian guitar in Pennsylvania could wait a bit longer.
15th September 2011
Guitar hunting makes me hungry, so I made a pit stop at Jim’s Fatboy in Marietta. I ordered a carotid clotting, double mayo, double onion. I would pay for that later. Some lanky guy, wearing the world’s dirtiest ball cap, walked up to me and said “Thatcher Truck?” I said that it was. “You buy guitars?” he asked. I paused before replying. I was in a hurry and did not want to look at one more banged up, neck warped, knob missinged, Stratocaster inspired First Act guitar that some bozo bought back when he thought he would be the next Randy Rhoads. I couldn’t say that I didn’t buy guitars because the door on my truck announced that I did, indeed, buy guitars and announced it in 10 inch letters, no less. At the end of my mental debate I decided it best to not anger one of the locals, and a mean looking one at that, and said “What do you have?” I regretted it immediately.
10th September 2011
Link with 1 note
I better go gas up the truck. I’m heading over to East Pennsylvania today. Someone phoned me about a guitar he found in the crawl space under his godmother’s house trailer. I asked him if it was preserved from the elements in any way and he said “Yes” but would not elaborate any further no matter how I hinted around. I don’t think the crawl space under a house trailer is ideal for the preservation of an electric guitar no matter how well it’s wrapped up. I’m not expecting much. But he did say, the trailer is a rare 1949 Noonan Land Baron Deluxe and there are not many of those left, my friend, especially with the copper plated side trim intact! So I’m going to look at the trailer mostly and hopefully the guitar will be a bonus. He told me it’s Russian. And Russian electric guitars … well, when’s the last time you saw one? He said the pickups are wood and pitch with little triangle shaped magnets. Woo Hoo! I’m outta here.