So, today is the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Show at the Dolby Theater here in Los Angeles! Who would have thought that you would hear Run DMC and Jefferson Airplane in the same sentence? Anyway, the taping of the show is tonight so I’ll talk about that more tonight or tomorrow but first I need to thank and honor my friends at Gibson.
So I’ve been playing Gibson guitars all my life and I’ve loved them all. I bought my 1958 Gibson J-50 in Dayton, Ohio at Pop’s Music Store in 1959. It cost a hundred bucks, and worth every penny. I learned to finger pick on that guitar… it’s the guitar I played Embryonic Journey on. Learned to pick, sing and write on that guitar. It was the musical story of my life for… well, a long time. When I’m gone it will belong to my son Zach.
IN 1965 or ’66, I bought a Red ES-345 Stereo at Sherman and Clay in San Francisco for about $400. I bought it on time… it seemed like a lot of money back then. That guitar became the guitar I developed my sound in the JA on. I owned a number of ES-345’s and ES-355’s back in that day, but that first red one was always the one. I gave it to my friend Maj when I was flush with cash and buying a lot of guitars. It was stolen from him in London and has been gone for over forty years.
When this Grammy Lifetime Award came up, I contacted my old friend Ron Moe down at Gibson Guitars in Nashville. I wondered what the chances were that there was an ES-345 around that I could use for the ceremony since we’re playing some live songs on the show. He said he’d run it up the flagpole to see if there were any salutes.
Enter his friend Mike Volz the director of Research And Product Development at Gibson, Memphis. Mike saw to it that his team hand crafted a replica of that 1964 Gibby, including the original wiring harness and matched caps and pots. The paint is off the charts… the hardware is lightly stressed and it plays like a dream. I’ll be using it a lot in upcoming shows.
This was totally unexpected… it is such a blessing! Many thanks to Mike and his team of craftspeople. And Ron… well, you know how I feel.
It is true that we’re missing Passover being here in LA like this, but it is a mitzvah of another sort.
…and let’s rock!