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Roadworn or just Knocked Up

I had always had a hankering for a Black on Black Tele, ever since I saw Steve Cropper at the Festival Hall, aided and abetted by Donald Dunn and Booker T. It was the sheer power of his Performance, very few have that command, Townsend perhaps.

The black body came to me by way of ebay. It was a bit of an odd one and nobody else bid - Left Handed but had a right hand bridge route - with what I was trying to do, it ticked all of the boxes, I would finally be able to get the pickup angle correct in relation to the strings and match the neck. I had a full set of nickel hardware for this one, another Vintage Hot Rod for the bridge and a Gibson Single Coil for the neck, it was all a bit beaten up like most of my Strats and had a few extra holes around the bridge, but I was getting really good a putting side dots on the underside of necks - they weren't perhaps the neatest in the world but there was only one person that was ever going to see them and that was me, so did the same cut an fill job. As I say, a bit beat up, but it had some semblance of character.

I have never had the desire to build a Roadworn Guitar, knocked up is far more my style. Years back, I had the definitive lesson in what takes to achieve and experience one of those guitars by seeing the definitive one in the making. Back in '79, I was working for Frankie Miller - great Band, Tex Colmer and Frannie Burn, the Ace rhythm section (How Long) Stevie Simpson (Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance) on Guitar. We were off in Wiesbaden doing a Rock Palast show with Rory Gallagher.

Rory took the stage around 8:30 and played a blinder. Around 10:30 his truck driver showed side of stage and said has he got to the encores yet? Met with shaking heads he headed back to his cab for another hours worth of sleep. An hour and a bit later and Rory was finally into the Encores, Frankie joined him and they did somethings like 5 or 6 numbers together before they finished. The man had been playing not stop (and brilliantly) at full on performance levels for 4 hours.

We loaded the forty footer out and hightailed it back to the Hotel. With Frankie, you could always be sure that the bar would still be open but what met us was a real eye opener - Rory was there with THAT Strat and still playing like a Maniac - the party broke up around 7am, He was led out the bar that they were trying to set for breakfast by his manager, still playing. Now you don't get stories like that with the power sander.

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