Okay—maybe not steal. “guitar Player Editor Arrested at Nashville NAMM Show on Magazine’s 50th Anniversary” is not a headline you want following you around. So, although there were tons of fantastic guitars that I’d love to review, play, and/or own at the summer NAMM show, July 13-15, these five instruments made me want to win the state lottery and immediately bring them all home on the plane with me.
ART & LUTHERIE
No photo I’ve seen does true justice to the gorgeous faded cream finish on this parlor guitar. It quite literally stopped me dead in my tracks as I was rushing to an appointment. I had to stop for a while to grab it off the stand and play it. The sound was focused and shimmery, and it felt great in my hands. Chalk up another NAMM demerit for tardiness.
LES PAUL SL
If a brand new Les Paul for under $100 doesn’t get you all revved up, you might want to check if you’re still breathing. The legendary design has been tweaked with two Epiphone single-coils and a poplar body, but the SL is no toy. I played a couple on the NAMM floor, and they felt nice and solid and they sounded good. Bargain!
GEORGE HARRISON ROSEWOOD TELECASTER
Ever since I saw films of George playing this dark beauty during the Beatles “rooftop concert” on January 30, 1969, I’ve lusted after one. Who wouldn’t? The new edition is pricey, but it’s less than half of what you’d pay for the Fender Custom Shop version. Just don’t take too long wrestling with your desires—only 1,000 of these wondrous planks will be produced worldwide.
Martin archivist Dick Boak has been a good friend to GP for decades, so it’s a very groovy thing to celebrate his Custom Signature Edition dreadnought bearing his artwork—especially on the eve of his retirement next year after 40 years with the company. What a fabulous testament to his long, inspiring, and brilliant service to the guitar!
REEVES GABRELS DIRTBIKE
It’s no secret that I’m a Gabrels fan—duh—but how could I resist a signature model finished in the stunning metallic hues of his 1966 Schwinn Stingray and ’71 Honda dirt bike? Oh yeah, there’s also one Rail-hammer Reeves Gabrels Signature pickup and a Wilkinson WVS50 IIK trem. No option but surrender here.