Holy Grail - Bucket List

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Holy Grail - Bucket List

Post by fuzzjunkie » Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:41 pm

I recently scratched a bucket list guitar off my list and I’ve seen a few Holy Grail level guitars acquired by other forum members. Yannis “Sez” his bucket list is complete.

Anyone else? Close? Can you Name 3-4 that you have, had, or still lust after?

When I first got interested in guitars there were 4 that I wanted badly. A Fender Telecaster, because most of my favorite players used one at one time or another. Will Sargent, Andy Summers, Daniel Ash, Pete Townsend, George Harrison, Keith Richard, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Joe Strummer and Albert Collins. I also wanted a Fender Jaguar because Will Sargent played one of those as well and it looked so cool. All the Gretsch guitars looked cool to me...Duo Jets, Sparkle Jets, Country Gentleman, 6120, the White Falcon, and in addition to a lot of the guys above, there was William Reid, Robin Guthrie, the Edge, Robert Smith, Martin Gore, and Johnny Marr playing Gretsch guitars from time to time. Finally there was the Rickenbacker 360. Of course there’s George again, and Marty Wilson-Piper from the Church, Peter Buck with REM, Paul Weller, then the Byrds, The Who, the Smiths, and Ride all made great sounds with a Rickenbacker.

1) Fender Telecaster: When I first saved up some money and started looking for an electric guitar, I wanted either a Telecaster or a Rickenbacker. For some reason I wanted a vintage one. I think because Page and Summers’ played early 60s Telecasters. I couldn’t find one for under $1000 though. Plenty of new and used 70s, but I just don’t like maple necks, and they all had maple necks. Since I couldn’t find a rosewood neck Telecaster that I could afford I thought I would search for a Rickenbacker. I saw a few bass guitars, but not a single 6 string other than one my friend played. He had a ‘66 that his dad gave him. Jazzmasters were everywhere though. 2-3 in my price range in every pawnshop in town, so I ended up with a vintage sunburst Jazzmaster. At a garage sale a year later I spotted and old guitar case at a garage sale my girlfriend dragged me to. I asked about it and the guy said it was in the attic when they bought the house. Inside was a beat up old Telecaster with a PAF humbucker for the neck pickup. Rosewood neck. I told the guy I had $250 if he wanted to sell it and he said “sure!” I ran home as fast as I could and grabbed all the cash I had! It’s a 1961, and it’s still beat up and a bit ugly, but it sounds amazing. Jimmy Vaughn tried to buy it off me after playing it for 10 minutes. It’s definitely a Holy Grail guitar. I sold the JM for a Fender amp to play it through.

2) Rickenbacker 360: A year later I finally saved up enough to buy a Rickenbacker. Ordering one from the local music store was the only way to get one, so I picked Fireglow over Black and 360 over 330 for the style. I really wanted the double bound 360 style like George played, and I could have got that shape with the 330, but since I was paying so much I went with the single bound 360 6 string since the only double bounds in the catalog were 12 strings and out of my price range. I had that guitar for 10 years. I liked the sound, but was always a little disappointed that it didn’t have the double binding or toaster pickups. I ended up trading it for a ‘63 Jazzmaster, because I decided I really missed the first one I had. Three years ago I decided I wanted a double bound 360 and I had the money to get one. Black or Fireglow, either was still okay. Almost as soon as I mentioned it, a friend said there was one at a local shop. I bought it that day. Fireglow 360, double bound 1964 style with toaster pickups. Pairs perfectly with a Fireglow 4001 that I have as a bass guitar. It took a while, but I finally had the guitar I wanted from the beginning.

3)Fender Jaguar: From the first time I opened up the sleeve to Echo and the Bunnymen’s Crocodile LP and saw Will Sargent playing and odd looking, chromed out guitar I have wanted one. The photo was black and white, but I convinced myself the Jaguar (it took me a while to find out the model name) was Sonic Blue. Good luck finding a Sonic Blue Jaguar in 1988. I looked for years. I had a Jazzmaster. Where were the Jaguars? I ended up settling for a 1962 sunburst Jag in 1991. I still have it. It’s a great example of a Jaguar, but it wasn’t Sonic Blue, so I kept looking. In 1994 a local shop had a refined 1963 Jaguar in Surf Green. It played nicely, so I decided it was close enough. The photo was black and white, maybe the Bunnymen guitar was Surf Green? Since it was refined already I wouldn’t feel bad painting it Sonic Blue myself. I convinced myself it was close enough. Then I met Will Sargent and asked him about the eponymous guitar. I found out a few things, he isn’t a gear head and doesn’t like talking about gear, the Jaguar wasn’t his, but was on loan from Jake Brockman, he never liked the sound of those recordings that I loved so much, and most importantly, the guitar was “Salmon Pink.” Damn! I could have had a vintage Fiesta Red Jaguar a couple of times if I had known that sooner! The only Sonic Blue one I’ve ever seen was at a guitar show for 3 times what I paid for my Surf Green and wasn’t near as nice looking or sounding, but I had come across several Fiesta Reds. So much for my Holy Grail! Will Sargent preferred Telecasters and Gretsch guitars to Jaguars. He’s playing one again these days, in CAR, but it has Firebird pickups in it. I eventually parted with the Surf Green and an Olympic White Jag and only kept the sunburst because it’s the best sounding of the 3. Maybe I will trade it for a Fiesta Red one someday, but I will probably just keep it and forget chasing that Grail, that wasn’t really a Grail after all.

4) My most recent, a Gretsch Silver Falcon. I have wanted one of these since I first saw Robert Smith holding one on the cover of Guitar Player back in 1995. I always liked the look and sound of Gretsch guitars. Billy Zoom and his Sparkle Jet. George with his Duo Jet and Country Gentleman. Pete Townsend’s 6120. The gaudy White Falcons played by Neil Young, the Edge, and Martin Gore. I tried a few, a ‘55 Duo Jet was probably the nicest guitar I’ve ever played, but most were too expensive or in poor condition. I had a Country Club that was slowly falling apart for a year or so, but it wasn’t a Silver Falcon. I finally decided I had waited long enough, so damn the costs I was going to have one. Guess what? I only wish I had done it sooner!

3 out of 4 ain’t bad. I do have a vintage Jaguar and a Jazzmaster, they just aren’t bucket list guitars compared to the others.

So, let’s hear your story. No need to be as detailed as mine. Did you have one that disappointed and you kept it or sold it on? Are you still chasing “the one” even though you have one already? Can’t get the one you love, so you love the one you’re with?
Last edited by fuzzjunkie on Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Holy Grail - Bucket List

Post by mackerelmint » Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:49 pm

If I have a holy grail, it's something I hate so I can destroy it.

SRV's guitar would be that for me. Someone steal it for me and I'll grind it to dust and flush it down a toilet. And post it to youtube so people can cry about it.

I have so many constantly evolving ideas about what I want from a guitar that there's just no such thing as a "normal" holy grail for me.
This is an excellent rectangle

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Re: Holy Grail - Bucket List

Post by s_mcsleazy » Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:04 pm

in my case. there is very few guitars i want to buy with intention to keep it stock. however, i did get to try one of my bucket list guitars and it wasn't as good as i hoped. however i'll say what my bucket list is and why. p.s. their in no order

1. epiphone et270. this one comes down to my love of unwound. plus im really curious about the trem on them. i've wanted to learn how to do metal work to build a similar trem but i'm still curious to try one. my friend calls the colour of them "tomato soup burst"

2. aria legend plexi jagmaster. i have a soft spot for plexi guitars and jagmasters so this one is a no brainer. personally i would love one of the clear ones then cut a black guard for it with my usual set of pickups.

3. aria dm-01 in pink. so the bucket list guitar i tried was a univox hiflyer phase II and it was a cool guitar but the neck and the trem were horrible. the neck reminded me too much of modern epiphone necks where their really flat on the back but curved on the sides of the neck. for me, the aria dm-01 would be a great guitar but..... i only want one in pink because i love pink, yet never seen one in person.

4. a blackguard (mid-late 70's) jazzmaster. one of the best jazzmasters i've ever played was a blackguard. however it was way more than i was willing to pay at the time. i've only ever seen 2 in my life though. i've actually seen more 60's jazzmasters in person than 70's. i keep joking and saying "when i get the money, i'm going to build my take on a blackguard and give it my favorite pickups, bridge and it's going to have a baseball bat ash body.

5. travis bean tb500. i love all travis beans but the tb500 is the one i'd most likely try to own.

6. squier vista supersonic. so i got into offsets when i traded my SG special that was heavily modded for 3 guitars. a cij jaguar (CAR) a jagmaster (silver sparkle with wrhb's) and a squier supersonic (blue sparkle) but my bandmates at the time hated them so i sold all 3 for a SG and an ibanez rg (please forgive me) i've got a silver sparkle jagmaster and i have a jaguar i love (but i do plan to build another sometime) but i still want a supersonic again. or maybe even the purple fender one
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Re: Holy Grail - Bucket List

Post by i love sharin foo » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:06 pm

I really had to think about this one. I'm still thinking, really. As I remember, a good vintage, original finish Jazzmaster was one of the first guitars that I REALLY wanted. And that came after I'd gotten my first Jazzmaster (a Japanese model). It really ignited my desire for an old one. I went through a handful of refins before I acquired any with an original finish. I kept the one that I liked the most. I still have it.. a sunburst '64 which I bought in about 2002 or so. I didn't own a Jaguar until 2005. I had written them off because of poor experiences with a couple old Mustangs and their 24" scale. BUT, I was wrong! I went through a few before the original finish desire set in with those, too. I decided to try to aim for a custom color that time. It ended up being a '65 in Olympic White which I still have. I sold a '66 Jaguar and a '66 Jazzmaster to make it happen. It is easily my favorite guitar of all time. Then I grabbed a nice sunburst '64. THEN I said, fuck it, I really need an original custom color other than white... leading to my Candy Apple Red '64. I still love Jazzmasters, but I consider a Jaguar my home base.

Other than the Jazzmaster and Jaguars, I REALLY wanted a Travis Bean. At that time they usually sold for about $1000-1400. I was too busy going through old Jazzmasters to direct any money toward one figuring eventually I would do it. Then overnight it seemed like they all disappeared. Then whenever one came up for sale, they were about $3000. I found a nice '79 TB1000 Standard with an Imron coated neck (I was dead set on the Imron coating). It was also a later one with the thinner body and was Magnolia instead of Koa. All things that I liked. This was probably 2005 or 2006 I think. That was a really big accomplishment. I love that guitar. I'd really like to get an earlier Artist with a Koa body and bare neck.

I have had a half dozen vintage Gretsches but always wanted a nice full thickness hollowbody with Filtertrons. I discovered the early 6119 Chet Atkins and fell in love with the single FIltertron in the bridge position. It was like the Esquire of the Gretsch line up. All rock and roll, and no bullshit. I found a nice '60 and still have it. That was another milestone. It took the better part of a decade before I found the right one and was able to make the money work out. Absolutely no regrets. It is one of the best playing guitars I've ever had the pleasure of owning.

I still have two more on the list that I really want, in due time. The big one is a '50s Gretsch Duo Jet. '50s and '60s Gretsches are a veritable minefield. There is a very real risk of paying out a bunch of money and getting one that is good only as a display piece. The neck reset and rotting biding issues are not overblown at all. I think that is why the market for modern Gretsches is so good.. the consistency. The second on the list is a lot cheaper.. a goldtop Les Paul Deluxe. If I had my choice, I think it would be an '83. Solid body, no volute. I was set on a '74 from Rumbleseat in ~2001, but ended up trading the '62 Jazzmaster I was selling to fund it instead for a '66 Jazzmaster. I would later sell that '66 as one of the two to fund my '65 OW Jaguar.

I also have two that "got away". I didn't realize how important they were until after the fact. Eventually I'll reaquire them. '94 Guild X170 Manhattan and a '97 Jerry Jones Baritone. Those are actually the only two guitars I truly regret parting with. The Guild was AMAZING. I think I had to sell it to pay car insurance :fp:
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Re: Holy Grail - Bucket List

Post by marqueemoon » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:27 pm

I was going to say I'm done with vintage guitars, but if a clean Kay Vanguard with a single pancake pickup (or the Truetone/Old Kraftsman variant) were to pop up locally at a reasonable price it would be hard to resist.

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Re: Holy Grail - Bucket List

Post by marqueemoon » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:00 pm

i love sharin foo wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:06 pm
a '97 Jerry Jones Baritone.
Damn. Ok. I also regret not buying a Jerry Jones when they were affordable.

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Re: Holy Grail - Bucket List

Post by zhivago » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:06 pm

Great to read everyone's stories! Here's the deal with my list...

1. Early 60s Fender Jazzmaster
Like many on this forum, I was a teenager in the early 90s. Alt rock was all the rage on MTV. Bands were playing these really strange looking guitars. Some were covered in stickers, some had swapped pickups for humbuckers, and I could never tell what these guitars were. Remember - NO INTERNET. A few years went by and I found out that there were Jaguars or Jazzmasters...I often would think they were the same guitar. Eventually I settled on wanting an early 60s Jazzmaster. The reason: J Mascis, closely followed by Thurston and Lee. It took me a long time to arrive to my '61. I bought it at age 27, and I am now 41. It initially came to me in pieces and an Ash body. At the time, I wanted a black Jazzmaster, so I ended up selling the Ash body and getting a '61 Alder one. I refinished it myself, and nowadays I sometimes toy with the idea of having a pro re-do it. This was my only electric guitar for years. I've played almost every gig ever with it. After my old band split up I even sold it for a while, but I managed to get it back a few years ago. After a much deserved re-fret it plays and sounds great.

2. A 1950s P90 Gibson Les Paul Custom
Well, I love Les Pauls...I guess it comes down to the era I was forming as a music listener...Guns N Roses were all the rage, and while everybody wanted the Sunburst that Slash played, I was more intrigued by the three-pickup black one that Izzy would sometimes play. The blocks on the fretboard and the split diamond decoration on the headstock were the icing on the cake. When I finally had access to the internet and guitar forums I found out about the "Alnico/P90" Black Beauties...just seeing a photo of one for the first time started a search for a guitar that took me almost a quarter of a century to acquire. I managed to get my '56 almost 6 years ago, and it is still the best guitar I've ever played. the honey moon just never ended.

3. An early 60s Gibson SG in White.
Jimi Hendrix. He played a large guard white SG Custom for a while. One day, at age 15-16 I bought Guitarist Magazine. It had a two page spread with a really good photo of Jimi's guitar. That was it, game over. The guitar was so pretty, and again as above, the blocks and the split diamond decoration made me go weak at the knees. After a while I saw the variations of the guitar. A smaller guard and the four different tailpieces it came with. The Sideways Vibrola version was love at first sight, and knowing that they sported PAF pickups was an added bonus. Alas, each one I hunted down over the years almost always had the pickups missing. Some also had nasty breaks, doweled holes, added stop-tails....and they were always over-priced. I gave up looking for one a couple of years ago, but a month or so ago, the stars aligned and I magaged to snag one that does have some repair work (like all my old guitars), but it is repair work that I can live with. So there we have it, that is my '63 SG/LP Custom. One of the last ones to sport Les' name on it and a bona-fide rock machine. The guitar screams and literally plays itself.

4. A 1930s/1940s Martin 000-28
Damn you internet. Once I discovered the vintage section of the Martin guitar forum it was game over. I had always felt that Dreadnought guitars were a bit too large and bulky...even for me at 6'4"...They always felt like instruments meant to be played standing up and as my tastes drifted towards fingerstyle music the search for something smaller was on. The moment I saw a 000 size Martin I just knew I had to get one. Old ones are rare as hen's teeth in the UK, so acquiring one certainly was not easy. I managed to find one with enough repair work and wear that brought it to my price range. So 1943 000-28 it is...the cut-off point for the scalloped bracing is the end of '44 and my guitar is within the war-time "ebony rod" range.



Honourable mentions of guitars that have stirred my interest over the years:
1. Late 50s / Early 60s PAF ES345...got a thing for Sunburst and split parallelograms - finally scored a nice '64RI last year :-*
2. Gretsch White Penguin - Got a Vintage Select RI earlier this year although at times I don't get on with the large neck, or the loud chime behind the bridge :-/
3. Early 60s Fender Telecaster Custom in Sunburst - I'll get a RI one some day :)
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Re: Holy Grail - Bucket List

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:36 pm

i love sharin foo wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:06 pm
I still have two more on the list that I really want, in due time. The big one is a '50s Gretsch Duo Jet.
Same here, specifically a G6128T.

I've read about the hit & miss nature of these old Gretsches enough times to worry about buying something without playing it first (which would most likely be my only affordable option here in Europe) but as luck would have it there's a G6128T '53 "Vintage Select Edition" that's a modern interpretation of the original & I gather issues have been addressed. They're far from cheap but more obtainable than the originals.

The other one is still uncertain but basically a great, like really fucking great sounding acoustic. I tend to lean towards vintage, purely from what I've read about those old Gibson & Martin guitars but, who knows, I may just happen to find something that ticks all the right boxes & is a fraction of the 3 to 5 grand price tag I so often see when I window-shop online.
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Re: Holy Grail - Bucket List

Post by shadowplay » Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:48 am

I'm in a hellish conference call so I have the time to go in depth.

Galvanised; it's a classic for a reason and every kid wants one for deep Oor Wullie style self refection.

Enamelled; a bit like offset guitars these are starting to soak up some very unwelcome associations with twee country style kitchens and rustic flower arrangements but there's no really alternative if you want to look stylish while milking a goat.

Rubbermaid Professional Plus; the Queen of plastic buckets and who doesn't like to smirk at the brand name?

Vileda Easy Wring; much like your Les Paul and your Marshall stack these are ubiquitous and work as a system with the Easy Wring replacing your cock substitute and the Turbo Mop taking the place of your obnoxious rawk amp and your pinny taking the place of your leather chaps. Handles all you can throw at it from stone steps, to marble, to lino to wood floors.

Generic Black Builders Bucket; for when you just need a 'fucking bucket' for everything from washing a car that doesn't deserve a Rubbermaid, to window washing, to hauling rubble, to mixing plaster, to making sure wet tee shirt contestants are well doused, to using as an impromptu urinal when you're doing building work a few floors from a khazi, the generic black builders bucket has you covered from 99p. There's also somethign really satifying about swinging your GBBB around on it's free moving handle.

D
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Re: Holy Grail - Bucket List

Post by Despot » Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:53 am

To be fair D ... non of those options appear to have been sanctified by a higher power.

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Re: Holy Grail - Bucket List

Post by Despot » Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:57 am

In terms of guitars rather than buckets...

Jazzmaster - a good one. I found a '62 that I love, and it's my main guitar.

Acoustic - a good one - which in my case is a 1950 J45 that's been through the wars, but sounds all the better for it.

Gibson with humbuckers - a good one, preferable to have an ES. At the moment I have a pretty great '69 SG Standard, which is not the type of guitar I'd have thought I'd end up with, but which I love. I had a '62 ES345, but given that we're moving house that money had other uses so it got sold. I'd love to have an old ES, or Epiphone (and might even have a line on a really nice Epi if a few things align around the move...)

That's pretty much it for me - a Gibson ES guitar will cover an awful lot of ground, whether it's P90s or humbuckers. For things that need a single coil sound, Jazzmaster. And an acoustic to belt on when you absolutely need to be heard during a power cut.

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Re: Holy Grail - Bucket List

Post by shadowplay » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:09 am

Despot wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:53 am
To be fair D ... non of those options appear to have been sanctified by a higher power.
So you say but I'm convinced god communicates through Oor Wullie and clean floors and Eric Clapton isn't god he's just a beardie racist earache catalyst. Btw what did you think Mary Magdalene used when washing Jesus feet, a pig trough?

I forgot to include an Oak bucket, just like guitars where every sensible Christian rocker has replaced his old fangled wooden guitar with an Ovation, most bucketeers have went metal or plastic but the traditonal Oak bucket is the pre war Martin of the bucket world and the only way to really pile on the likes on bucket forums where huge flamefests break out over the veracity of a 'futuristic' iron handle over a traditional rope handle.

D
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Re: Holy Grail - Bucket List

Post by Despot » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:19 am

Excellent.

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Re: Holy Grail - Bucket List

Post by Arthon » Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:47 am

#1 '58 Goldguard Jazzmaster - THAT'S the guitar for me!! Preferably Blonde and preferably the prototype with the maple fretboard. Since, it's quite impossible to find in Canada, and probably alot of $$$$$, I have a CS that do the job quite well. I would also be shy to buy such a old and costly guitar without someone very knowledgeable on my side.

I have many other guitar that I would want ('56-'57 Strat, '55 Tele, '58 Flying V, '56 Les Paul), but I have only one Holy Grail.
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Re: Holy Grail - Bucket List

Post by Squirrel » Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:20 am

I've only got two "bucket list" guitars:

1) A 1950s Gretsch "Jet"-type guitar. Already acquired, in the form of my 1956 Gretsch 6121.
2) A '60s Gretsch Tennessean. I have one, but it's from late 1967 and therefore has the ugly Baldwin knobs. I may replace it with a slightly older one if the opportunity arises, but I'm not too bothered.

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