While Amrit was shredding through C86 earlier this morning, we ran across an article in the Wall Street Journal (yeah, so) about peeps paying a pretty penny for distressed guitars — basically folks at the plant get a hold of high-powered solvents, sand paper, hammers, etc., to make new guitars look old. Never been a fan of distressed jeans and this seems significantly dorkier (especially when you find out that Tom Murphy, the head of Guitar Preservation Inc., is “a former professional music who in the early ’80s played guitar in Marie Osmond’s touring band”).
Thing is, is Murphy (and folks at similar companies) aren’t just making these scratched axes for rich doctors, lawyers, and martial-arts fighters-cum-“amateur” blues men jamming on their weekend Harley’s…
Dude’s built replicas played by Jimmy Page, Joe Perry, Eric Clapton, and Andy Summers, among others. Whaa? Via WSJ:
Fender is producing copies of Police guitarist Andy Summers’s 1961 Telecaster — which he bought used in 1972 for $200 — which are authentic right down to the broken bridge and quirky custom electronics. The 250 replicas are being offered at $15,000 each … This summer, Mr. Summers is using three of the replicas on his band’s reunion tour; he is leaving the original home in Los Angeles. The British-born guitarist says that visually and musically he can’t tell the difference between the doppelgangers and the original, whose battered paint job he compares to “a map of a foreign planet.”
Sting’s playing a replica of his 1955 Fender Precision bass, but unlike Summers, his is a one-off, not something you yourself can purchase.
Reportedly, when Summers caught a glimpse of his first factory-aged guitar at an L.A. studio he had a “quantum-physics moment”: “I said: ‘It’s back at my house. How’s it here? It’s an impossibility!”‘
Speaking of impossibilities, hypothetically, if you could waste loads of money on a distressed axe, whose would you choose?