Not long ago, this year, it was my 20th anniversary of marriage to my wonderful partner and wife. In celebration, and recognizing that we each know what we wanted best, we bought our own presents. She got a rock, I got a steampunk guitar!
I think I must have seen one in my surfing online, and got a Jones for it. Found the wonderfully talented Tony Cochran and his wacky art. He is a syndicated cartoonist and artist who came to love modifying electric guitars with a steampunk twist. Each guitar has a name and a short history. I bought The Aladdincaster!
This electric guitar was modified in the early 60s by a young lady who inherited a spiral brass Spirit Cylinder from her Father. Spirit Cylinders are containers for “thoughts left behind” by souls who have departed and no longer need them. At least that’s what merchants told her Father in the Moroccan bazaar where he purchased it. He perished a short time later. The daughter was a struggling musician in Southern California and paid some electric guitar tech guru $100 to hook the Spirit Cylinder to her bridge pickup. She then pawned the guitar and ran away with an AWOL sailor to live with gypsies in Hungary. It’s not known if she ever had nerve enough to play the guitar after the modification. I won’t do it . . . perhaps you’d like to try.
My good friend, Roy, is having a guitar made by a young new luthier from New Paltz, who is not yet known, but is breaking in at night and weekends by designing and building guitars for his friends. We shall keep him nameless as this passion is being executed while he holds his day job.
Roy is a flat picking acoustic jazz guitar player, when not on his day job. He got me re-started on my playing career when we became close friends four to five years ago. He’s been looking for a new acoustic, for many months. He did decide on buying a great Taylor, not surprising to me as he loves the Taylor neck design. But wanted more — and by chance knew this luthier who was willing to work for cost.
Roy met this luthier through his family. He’s an advertising agency type, in his early 30’s with a passion for woodworking and guitars. Together, Roy and he picked out the woods, body type neck shape, style, etc. The gallery above shows a multitude of build photos. The luthier lives near this vantage point, and regularly climbs near New Paltz, so his headstock logo takes the shape from the local out-jutting rock.