Blue Hugh Music Re-Boot

Blue Hugh Music Re-Boot

It’s been since 2016 since I wrote my last Blog, and I’ve been busy in these intervening years. Learning classic rock material and playing with my band “Jackie” has been really rewarding. To see one’s skills taken up a notch is really the source of deep satisfaction. I’ve still been buying and selling instruments and gear, repairing guitars (some time spent with my pal, luthier Russ Lackey, has really helped me sharpen my skills), fussing with all aspects of those bolt-on guitars, and generally going down the “rabbit hole” of high end esoteric gear has been no less intense than before!

So I’m back with a new plan… to dig deep into the rural fabric to acquire rare, boutique, and perhaps vintage gear for sale on this site, to expand my Blog for all of us “cork sniffers”, maybe to teach geetar a little bit through Zoom or when safe, face to face – the “over 40 beginner/intermediate crowd being my inspiration.

So one last little bit of gear talk, the tip of the iceberg, so to speak… as a lifelong Strat player who loves humbuckers too, I have found, after decades of trying, that I just don’t get along that well with Les Paul ergonomics… so here’s a vanity pic of my 3 latest flames (so to speak – only one actually has “flames”)… Gil Yaron – the guitars that keep giving back – the deeper you look, the more there is to see… Johan Gustavsson – an Oxblood Futuremaster, unusually refinished. But what a refin it is! The Jeff Beck “Oxblood” theme (including aging) by the extraordinary folks a Historic Makeovers. Enjoy…

Leaving That Old Guitar Better Than You Found It… Paying It Forward!

Call me crazy, but there’s something invigorating about respectfully restoring those vintage instruments for the next generation! As I move through middle age, I finally realize that these wonderful vintage instruments will be around alot longer than all of us. It’s partly a tribute to future players and collectors to make sure that these instruments are left in better shape than we found them – at least, that’s my view. If you have taken a vintage Tele (this was long ago, I assume!) and routed it for a neck humbucker or a middle pickup (I know I have…), don’t feel disheartened. We didn’t know! That was the time! One of my first projects was to take a 1959 Gibson ES-345 that had been mercilessly hacked under the Varitone knob and to have it properly restored with a proper, matching, circle of wood grafted as invisibly as possible. Not inexpensive. But a joy to see it through (sometimes it’s as simple as finding the “right” vintage knobs or tuners or plastic for a guitar – so it’s not always a monumental task)! BTW, that was a GREAT 345… maybe THE best… I wish I still had her! Here are the before and after shots… thanks to Russ L. for the work… it might not look like a big change to you…

1959 ES-345 With Nasty Work

1959 Gibson ES-345 BEFORE…

1959 ES-345 mod after Russ' repair

1959 Gibson ES-345 AFTER…

The Varitone ring ended up concealing 80% of the damage… so even what you don’t see at least has a measure of CLASS to it!

Another cool thing I had been inspired to do concerned yet another ES guitar. I found an absolutely killer 1961 ES-335 that was perfect from the 2nd fret down… but the rest of it… broken headstock, plain black overlay glued over the face of the headstock with no logo or cutout to access the truss rod, non-original tuners… yuk! So I had a new neck made and relic-ed. We used the original Brazilian fingerboard, binding, and truss rod from the old neck! A brilliant job by Gord B.! Also a great, great, guitar!…

1961 ES-335 re-neck

1961 Gibson ES-335 re-neck… with the old neck in the foreground.

'61 ES-335 Headstock

’61 ES-335 Headstock – new construction but aged to look authentic and fit with the rest of the guitar.

There have been countless other “interventions” on my part!… piecing together a ’59 Fender Esquire from all the right parts, re-doing worn-through neck block inlays and binding on a 1964 ES-335 and then finding the right knobs and plastic, finding the “right” period correct neck for a 1965 Strat, poperly re-setting the neck on my ES-350 (it had been re-set slightly out of alignment), … Re-setting the neck, converting to humbuckers, re-finishing and aging a 1952 Gold Top Les Paul (currently in progress)…and finally (there are many other projects that I haven’t room to detail here)… fixing, as invisibly as humanly possible (thanks Gord!), the baby fingernail sized “bo-bo” on the back of my 2011 Gustavsson Bluesmaster… behold…

2011 Gustavsson Bluesmaster "bo-bo"

2011 Gustavsson Bluesmaster “bo-bo” on the headstock back.

2011 Gustavsson Bluesmaster front view

Ahh!… now that’s better… the sunny side up pic of the glorious Gustavsson Bluesmaster.