My Raven Telecaster was shaped like a Tele, but was hollow. A very shitty guitar, but it was Electric and looked like Robbie Robertson’s guitar and Roy Buchanan’s guitar. I was young. 19 or 20 and I played it via patch cords through a stereo system….bad idea…..Blew up my dad’s Radio Shack (Realistic) speakers which are not built for spikes in the signal…who knew?…. I eventually did get a proper (if underpowered) amp and it all sounded like shit. This was before I figured out the important things about an electric guitar are: feel, noise of pickups, tone, tunability. More so than “cool factor”. A Telecaster is cool. A shitty knock-off is not. Also amplifiers are as important as your electric guitar.

I bought it at a flea market, and I don’t remember what I did with it. I have a vague recollection of putting it on consignment somewhere. If someone bought it, I am truly sorry. I may have had $20 taken off of some other musical equipment.

Another 2 guitars I used to own in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s that kinda sucked were; a Gretsch Tennessean and a Fender Jaguar. I put them together because I bought them both around the same time and traded them both in at exactly the same time.

Gretsch used to make fine guitars and this one may have been one at one time, but I could never coax the one I owned to behave. It had a warp and a twist to it’s neck and the pickups were excessively noisy. She never tuned up right even with a stroboscope. I liked the shape and feel of the guitar, and the f-hole decals were kind of cool, rather than actual f-holes.  I have since played the exact same model and it was dreamy. I traded my Gretsch and another guitar (the Jaguar) eventually for a guitar that I still own.

looked like this….

The Jaguar had had the finish stripped off. I liked the look, but it meant that it was of less value than other stock Jaguars. I liked that it was shaped like a Strat and that it had the name “Fender” on it. Trouble with that guitar was in the setup. Back in my early twenties I didn’t know you could get your guitar’s intonation and neck adjusted for maximum playability. With Fender guitars in our climate, it need s to be adjusted seasonally.  I now do it twice a year with the two Fenders I still own.

The Jaguar never behaved or sounded the way a Strat or a Tele did. The pickups were thin and dry and unforgiving. Everything about these two guitars depressed and frustrated me. I had two “name” guitars that were actually “lame” guitars. I still had other guitars, but I wanted something to Rock out on.

looked like this one

Other ones that passed through….

In retrospect, I could have and maybe should have had a luthier look at these guitars and if I had invested a bit, they might have become cherished. A set-up can do wonders.

img_1238

I bought a white Stratocaster in 1986. It was more cream or pearl coloured. I have almost no recollection of this guitar except that it weighed a lot and that I sold it in Winnipeg.

Over the years I have had many crappy student’s guitars cross my desk, given to me. I would fix em up and give em away or lend them out to students who can’t afford one. Almost all of these ones have been nylon string classical guitars. Steel string guitars under a certain quality are like cheese cutters. I still own six or seven nylon string guitars, but I imagine I will give them away when I stop teaching. More than once I have found guitars by the curb missing a string or two, but entirely salvageable. Many people give up too easily.

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