MY MAIN GUITAR
Six years ago I got word that my guitar, “Bell”, a 1975 Guild D25M which I have had since I was 19, had its final truss rod adjustment. The tech informed me that if he turned it any more, the neck would snap. The only way to repair it would be for the neck to be taken apart, which would cost hundreds of dollars. A new guitar was in order.
I went to the Guitar Center in Kendall/Miami to check out what they had. At that time I lived nearby in Cutler Bay. Guitar Center had an acoustic guitar room that had two sections. The far section was the high end guitars. I went in there first. I played Martins, Gibsons, and Taylors, but the problem was, at that time I couldn’t afford any of them. So I went into the other room and played the less expensive guitars.
The issue with these guitars was that they all sounded like they were made of cardboard. They weren’t even close to being in the same league as my Guild. I guess I played about five and then decided that I’d try it another day. My Guild was still a great guitar and at the moment, still played great.
As I was about to leave the room, my eye caught a stunning, blonde guitar. Surely this guitar was in the wrong room. I went over and picked it up. I played three notes and two chords and said “Holy smokes!” It sounded rich and full, just a great tone. I stopped and looked at the price tag. Three hundred and eighty nine dollars. I couldn’t believe it was so inexpensive! Needless to say, I bought it right there and then.
The guitar was an Ibanez Special Woods series. This model was made out of ash. Now ash is a wood that they make guitars out of, however not acoustic guitars. About half of the electric Fender Stratocasters are made of ash. The Louisville slugger baseball bats are as well.
The guitar sounded incredible when it was plugged in. The top end was clear and quite strong for an acoustic guitar. The bottom end was brassy and very ballsy. Actually, that’s quite a lame description of it. The bottom end sounds like a 155MM Howitzer. No joke. It’ll kick your ass into next week. When I cut my album, producer Dan Simpson was doing a sound check in the studio. After plugging in mics and getting the readings, suddenly he came rushing around the corner asking “What the hell do you have there anyway?” looking at the guitar in amazement. At that point in time he proclaimed it “The best steel string acoustic guitar for recording in Key West”. Dan has been recording and producing in Key West for thirty seven years.
The specific model is a an Ibanez EW20ASENT11202
Serial Number is SQ 07111410
It was two months after I bought the guitar that I moved to Key West. I name all of my guitars, however this guitar had been around for six months and still didn’t have a name. I had been going to an open mic at Harpoon Harry’s diner regularly and there was one night that I just wasn’t in the mood for playing, however I did want to support the event, so I went without my guitar.
When the organizer of the show saw that I didn’t have my guitar with me, he pleaded with me to play and use his Yamaha. I finally agreed and went up to play.
A girl out in the crowd hollered “Where’s your beautiful guitar?”
Without any hesitation I replied “I left The Blonde Bombshell home tonight”
Suddenly, it was christened with a name!
However, it wasn’t done yet. Remember it is made out of ash?
The full name of the guitar is: “The Blonde Bombshell With The Great Ash”
Photo by Ralph DePalma, Key West
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