My guitar
girlfriends throughout the years

My first guitar of note was a Japanese Futurama acoustic, which I purchased for 15 pounds when I was fifteen. Her neck eventually warped so badly that I could only play slide on her once I learned the technique, a blessing in disguise. I put a pick up on her and played her through a Futurama amp while I learned Elmore James!

Then, after over three years with Fleetwood Mac of going through various cello-bodied guitars, from Kay to Gibson, I finally settled on an old Gibson SG Les Paul (circa 1962), which Abel, a Children of God member gave to me, saying he didn't need her anymore! I ended up playing slide on her for the next 25 years.

Up until then, while in Fleetwood Mac, (besides a stint with a 59 Fender Stratocaster, and a Gibson Flying V, which was so ungainly I couldn't even sit her on my lap), I hadn't been too sold on solid body guitars for slide. But Leslie Paul SG fit the bill for some reason. I even tried another at the time to see if it was anything to do with name brand model, and it wasn't! It's one of life's inexplicable things! (Oh, I forgot to mention that for a few months up until I left Fleetwood Mac, I was having a pretty good fling with a tonally responsive, cello-bodied German blonde called Hofner Verythin!)

As I mentioned before, for about 25 years I used Gibson Leslie Paul SG for playing slide. For playing chords and regular finger-style activity, I went through a few others, including some nylon high-strung models, all of which I left behind in the countries in which I was staying at the time, taking only Leslie with me when departing. Nevertheless, I think you'd be interested in those I had left behind in port!

The first one was a petite red Fender Musicmaker, a beginner's guitar that had a clean innocent tone. I played rhythm and a little lead on her for about three years or so from 1971, and she travelled with me from the USA to England and onto France, where I left her behind. Then in 1978, I acquired a Leo Fender's Musicman Stingray in Los Angeles, and I used her for about 6 years of recording, spanning my years in Italy, Greece, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Macau. She looked okay, had good tone, but her high maintenance of heavy weight and the dastardly need of a 9v battery for her active circuitry limited her functionality. It was with little remorse that I parted with her.

I then had little use for a finger-style electric until, while in Japan, a director of Yamaha's R&D dept. gave me a blue prototype of their newly introduced Mark II guitar. She resembled a Strat, had a maple neck and a five-way switch, but her pick-ups were weak. Although I played with her for quite a bit of recording while in Brazil and Ensenada, Mexico, I was not too impressed, and traded her for a Dobro case in San Diego 10 years later.

Dobro (new and old) >