Many moons ago, and I do mean many, a friend at school sat me down to teach me the chords to Hey Joe while he noodled the solos over the top and sent me away with Em and G in my pocket to practice songs like About a Girl at home. I wasn’t good, but I was hooked.
I saved up my paper round money and my Christmas money and headed off to the local guitar shop in the seedy back streets of Luton to buy my first guitar. A right of passage as I passed by the shelves of new and old without a clue, looking for an affordable axe to get me started on that journey.
That guitar, that first step, that most prized possession was a Givson somethingorother... in guitar terms it was a piece of s**t. Givson made cheap guitars out of India in the same way that the Chinese now make cars that look like German cars... they have all the component parts but they aren’t exactly the same thing!
So through the “won’t stay in tune“ years I learnt the basics and cherished this plank of wood until I tuned 18. I then had a bit of inheritance burning a hole in my pocket so promptly shuffled back off through the mean streets of Luton to buy myself a new Squire Jagmaster (the now sought after MIJ Vista Series one). Thankfully, that one stayed in tune!
The Givson has stayed with me though, by the time the Jagmaster took over the Givson was being personalised with stickers a la Billie Joe Armstrong and Tom Morello and had had some new tuners to try and solve its basic problem, but to no avail.
Eventually, about 10 years ago I decided to rebuild and customise it. I pulled it apart and stripped down all of the parts and started to hatch a plan.
My intent was to repaint, add humbuckers, new scratchplate in a slightly different shape and at least a Jaguar or Mustang bridge to add the ability to set the intonation. In order to do that, some areas of the body needed filling and some needed routing. The body appeared to be mahogany and I managed to acquire an offcut of mahogany that could fill one of the pick up holes and part of the switch cavity. This was done using little more than a chisel and a coping saw and is just about passable as an infil!
I templated new scratchplate on CAD and printed it out in readiness for the next stage and was waiting to get access to CNC in order to cut the plate. At that stage I had yet to develop a number of the skills or assemble to the tools I used on the Bullet project and it kind of stalled while I got on with other stuff. That paper template has stayed on that guitar through 3 house moves and various other life events!!
Having finished the Bullet, I still had an itch for another project and while browsing various eBay listings it dawned on me that this was still sitting unloved in the corner.
Time to resurrect!!
The plan is still to refinish in nitro-cellulose with a Fender style neck and painted headstock, custom logos and some fun humbuckers. The pickup surrounds are Seymour Duncan tripleshots... I’m honestly going to have to remind myself what they do! Definately something to do with phasing and maybe cool tapping.
I’ve had a rethink on the scratchplate already and have decided on a more subtle Mustang style plate rather than that pointy aggressive style of the original template. The tremolo tailpiece is also junk - I was going to try to lock it out with a metal bar, but having started to adopt some Mustang styling I’ve decided to go with a Mustang trem as well... so long as it fits that small space.
Go to have to come up with a better name than a “somethingorother” I don’t think there’s that much space on the headstock!!