Tuesday, March 15, 2011

If you build it

I have something of an affliction: I am both an artist and a craftsman, which presents some interesting challenges. For one thing, I keep coming up with projects for builds I could do; on the other, I don't necessarily know how I'll do it.

Its a problem compounded by my data hoarding tendencies, so its very possible that, somewhere, I have the instructions for doing these particular projects, if I can only remember where the damned thing is.

Did I mention that I am not the most organized person (few... collectors are) and given the fairly wide fields of interest and a curious mind, I am somewhat subject to what could be called procrastination?

Actually, the problem is prioritizing. Many of the projects are not necessarily that long to implement, its that I always com up with different thing that should/could be done RIGHT NOW that getting anything started is a project unto itself... and the vicious circle completes its round.

Rambling intro, but now, the story. About twelve years ago (roughly) I decided that I could get a little more serious about making music and, to that end, I should get some sort of instruments. Also, some band mates. Getting people to join a band isn't that hard (good/reliable is an entirely different deal), but getting instruments is a bigger bitch when you are on minimum wage. SO you start scrounging. One of my splurges at the time was a good old Korg Poly 800, a synth that I like a lot, but which pretty much gave up working, probably after falling on the floor too many times. The other "find" was an electric guitar I found in a thrift store for $20.

At the time, I was flabbergasted, I mean how often do you find electric guitars (or any non-toy instruments) for that price, ever? It was a good deal I though. But there was a pretty good reason why it was there, at that price. The Ibanez (my first electric!) had a split neck, so not all that much in demand. I cant say that the whammy bar was any better, but there's ways around that.

So the neck got replaced (not by a proper replacement, just one that fitted) and we used it as badly as we could. Eventually I got my hands on several other guitars and the Ibanez was put away and nearly forgotten. Out of sigh, out of mind, right?

More or less. It has remained on the back burner, as a source for whatever parts that I could use for another project (I never did get around to build the ATG) but as a hoarder... er collector, I have more ideas than results, so it mostly ends up as boxes of parts, never getting used.

On my way back from work one day, I picked up a seemingly fine Gibson Epiphone Flying V body casually dumped into the trash. I picked it up, with the idea that I'd rebuild that bad boy at some point using, why not, the parts of the pretty listless Ibanez! The idea was there, and both relics laid buried in the closet.

The idea was still simmering on the back burner; anyone who knows me is aware of my leaning towards slow foods and long simmering, and that also applies to some of my less edible projects. The Flying V will get rebuilt, a crazy Frankenstein of a beast, but there's not much of the Ibanez that I'll salvage out of it.

See, it turns out that the Ibanez is probably the crappiest guitar I have. Even the entry level no-name strings I have have better electronics and sound that that sad, sad beast. I might salvage the pickups, but that's pretty much it.

As for the V, I seem to have to go and buy the parts, bit by bit, that I'll need. It'll still be a monster, it might well be not-so playable, but it'll be a monstrous beauty. If I have to eat less snacks, I will build it, and it'll be a unique baby indeed.

Don't mess with the man who collects old junk; even he doesn't what what he'll hit you with!

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