Latest Entries »

Five guitars….15 pickups!

Here’s a picture of my five triple pickup guitars.


We had a gig last Saturday. My drummer bought some new cymbals and he needed a new stand so we left early and went to Guitar Center. As he looked at the cymbal stands I wandered around. I walked over to the used section and saw it. An Epiphone Ace Frehley Les Paul in blackburst. They wanted $375. I asked to see it and try it out. The pickups were nice and hot. They’re supposed to be Dimarzios and as far as I could tell they were. I asked if it came with a case and they said no. But the salesman said “Let me look in back and see what we have. He comes back with a hardshell case. I asked how much and he said he’d throw it in for free if I bought the guitar. SOLD! So I had to shoehorn the guitar in the back of our SUV and off to the gig we went. After the show I came home and did some research. There’s a used sunburst Epi Ace Frehley for sale online and they’re asking $699 for it. Other websites value the blackburst Ace between $750-$1200. I’m pretty happy with my find.

Damn you Youtube!

I’m not sure how I stumbled on to the video. But there they were. Two British dudes talking about an Epiphone Les Paul Florentine. Gibson introduced the Les Paul Florentine years ago. It’s a semi-hollowbody Les Paul. I don’t have $4000 to buy one. So when I saw that Epiphone was going to offer one for $599 I jumped at the chance. And I’m glad I did. I had to get it through Musician’s friend because it’s a limited release guitar. Boy was I happy when it arrived and it had a cool flame on it. Hooray for me!
LP florentine1

Triple Pick Up Heaven!

I still remeber standing in the record store staring at the cover of Farmpton comes alive. That Triple pickup Les Paul Custom calling my name. Why did it have 3 of those thingies? (I didn’t know anything about electric guitars when I first saw the cover.) Over the years I’ve owned probably 4 Gibson triple pickup Les Pauls. Customs, Standards and Classics. But those days are gone. I can’t justify $2000 plus for a Guitar anymore. So now I buy cheaper…decent quality guitars like Epiphone and the Asian made Deans and B.C. Richs. I was checking out the sale section of Musiciansfriend the other day and I saw a thumbnail of a B.C.Rich Mocking bird. I squinted and thought “Is that a triple pickup??” I clicked on the thumbnail and sure enough it was a triple pick up Mockingbird. I thought “How sweet it would be to have one of those. Then I saw the price. $399. $399!!! Really? I read the reviews thinking it was a cheap crappy guitar. (Considering other models of the B.C. Rich triple pickups were prices at $900.) But the reviews were favorable. So I pulled the trigger and bought it. It arrived today and I have to say I’m pleased with it. It’s built well. Light and the finish is really nice. So now I have 4 triple pickup guitars. Yay for me!triple PU heaven

I’m sure if I were 18 or 19 I’d have fun playing in a rock and roll band. But I’m 48. I’m sure if I were 18 I wouldn’t mind lugging around equipment and getting shafted on my pay because I’d be having fun and probably would be getting laid. But I’m 48. My guitarist lives in Johnstown and has been in a band out there for years. So he has contacts and can get us gigs. My drummer grew up in Cambria county and he has contacts there. I live in Pittsburgh. At 48 years old I’m just not too keen on driving 2 hours one way to a gig. Then getting there and having the bar owner screw us out of the agreed pay. There’s been times where I’ve basically paid to play somewhere because of gas money and food and parking. Seriously if my band mates were to call me and say “We’re done” I wouldn’t cry. I’d sell my shit and party! Don’t get me wrong. Once the drive and the load in is complete and the set up is done and we start playing, I have fun. But then we have to tear down and drive home at 1am. Again maybe if I was 18 I could handle it. But fuck…I’m 48! Oh…and let’s not talk about how I feel the next day! Haha! Here’s a picture of us playing the motorcycle rally in Johnstown. We had a sucky time on the bill and most of the people watching us were way behind the barracades.10462585_1527088387519796_2407638409425719147_n

As you know I love cruising Craigslist. There’s a guy who has been posting an Epiphone Les Paul for the last 5 months. It’s a Slash edition and I guess it’s a limited production guitar. The dude is asking $875. I’m sorry but I’m not paying $875 for an Epiphone. I did some checking and the guitars are going for that price…but seriously. I mean paying a huge amount for a guitar will not make you play better. It is true that a $500 guitar will sound and play better than a $50 one, but I no longer get why people buy $3200 guitars. I’ll be the first to admit that I once collected high end guitars. But I lost a shit load of money doing that. Now I buy decent Epiphone models for a fraction of the cost of Gibsons and I probably use them more. So you can keep your Artist tribute guitars. You can keep your factory reliced guitars. You can keep your reissue guitars. Just give me a decent axe and a decent amp and I’ll be happy.
The other thing that I roll my eyes about is the guitars with all this gingerbread on them. Epiphone just released a Les Paul with a USB port on it. It also has mono and stereo jacks. Really? Asking price is $1250. Will all that stuff make me play better? No. I’ll stick with my little $350 Les Pauls thankyou.

We had our first gig in 6 weeks over the weekend. I was chomping at the bit! The night we were playing coincided with a Pittsburgh Penguin playoff game. Being a Pittsburgher I understood when the bar owner told us we couldn’t power anything up until the game was over. In the first period The Pens were up 3-1. We figured we’d go on around 9:30ish. Then the game was tied. Lovely. Overtime. The bar owner called my drummer and said “Since the game is going into overtime and there’s hardly anyone at the bar I want to give you only $200 rather than the agreed on $400”. We talked him into letting us go on after the game and play it by ear. First overtime ends…still tied. Going into second overtime. We didn’t go on until after 11:00. We played 2 sets and the owner gave us $300. Like AC/DC said “It’s a long way to the top if ya wanna rock and roll.” I did get to use my new P-Bass and my new Rumble 350 bass amp. NICE!
Oh…and the Penquins lost in double overtime!

A few weeks back I saw an ad for a Dean Cadillac 1980 reissue triple pickup. I love triple pickup guitars. The guy was asking $350. I didn’t have $350. The ad eventually disappeared. A week ago the ad reappeared. This time he was asking $300. Again, I didn’t have $300. So I emailed him explaining that I didn’t have $300 but I did have a 2012 Epiphone blueburst Les Paul. He didn’t want to trade saying that he was more into metal and the LP just wasn’t a metal kind of guitar. He said if I couldn’t do $300…could I swing $250? Hmm…The Deans go for $599 new. So yes I’ll scrape together $250 for a $599 guitar! the cool thing is that in the meantime I sold my Epihone silverburst and it’s case so I had money for the Cadillac and enough to put into savings. Nice! So I met the guy and bought the guitar. It just needed a general cleanup and it sounds great. Here’s a pic of the triple pickup gang. My Framptonstein, the G-400 Custon triple pickup and the Dean cadillac 1980 reissue triple pickup.


As I’ve written in the past, I love Craigslist. I also love triple pick up guitars. I saw an ad a while back for an Epiphone G-400 Custom. It’s basically an Epiphone triple pickup SG. The guy wanted $300. I emailed him. Nothing. I emailed him again. Nothing. I texted the number he had in the ad. Nothing. I really wanted this guitar so I posted an ad on Craigslist calling this guy out. I get an email…but not from him. It’s some other dude who has one and would be willing to sell it to me. Turns out his G-400 has a Seymour Duncan and 2 Gibson PAFs onboard. Plus Locking tuners. Sweet! So I end up getting that one. Yesterday I found an ad for a triple pickup Dean Cadillac. The dude wants $300 but will consider an interesting trade. I emailed him and said $300 would be hard to come by at this time but I have a blueburst Epi Les Paul Standard. He writes back that he’s not interested in the Epi but could I do $250? The guitar brand new is $599! Hells yes I can do $250! I’m supposed to meet him Sunday. I just hope no one buys it from underneath me. Here’s some pics of the G-400 (along side of my Framptonstein) and hopefully the Dean Cadillac I’ll get in 2 days.




I’m funny where as I love Gibson guitars but when it comes to basses I’m a Fender man. I’ve always wanted a Geddy Lee Jazz bass but they were out of my price range. But now that I’m playing in a band I can sort of justify getting one. So I did. I used it at my gig at The Pittsburgh Hard Rock Cafe and it was a blast.
When I took my Framptonstein Epiphone Custom 3 pickup into Lawrence Music to get the new pickups put in they had a Antigua finish Fender Precission bass hanging on the wall. I love that finish. It’s kind of a rare bird. I didn’t have any extra money since I was getting work done on the Epi LP so the Antigua P-Bass would have to remain a desire not a reality. Over the next few months I’d think about the bass and a few times I almost went to check it out. But time or lack of money prevented me for doing so. A few weeks ago I put my two Epiphone basses on Craigslist and the Thunderbird sold. On the way home I stopped by Lawrence Music to see if the P-Bass was still there. When I walked in I saw that it was no longer hanging from the racks. “Oh well” I thought. As I turned to walk out I saw it hanging in a different spot. I asked to see it and after playing it I was hooked. As I was buying it one of the other customers commented that the finish looked like his mom’s kitchen…avacado. I’ll be damned….my mom had the same colored refrigerator! So I nicknamed the P-Bass “Mom”. As for the Geddy Lee bass, I heard Geddy once say that the band members of UFO used to tease him by calling him GLee. So the other bass is named GLee. Here’s a picture of the two of them. basses