Fender and Gibson 4sale!


1967 Gibson Melody Maker & 1996 Fender Jagstang

I am going to try to sell a couple guitars starting this week. I have about 15 string instruments, which for New York City apartment living, is just way too many. I’ve always had trouble with the whole “selling” concept though. All of the instruments were a part of my life at some point and all of them appeared on a recording or in live performances, so they are a part of my musical heritage and history. At the same time, I haven’t played either one of these babies in a long time! and since I took up jazz and Gypsy jazz almost 5 years ago I really only play 2 of the guitars I have on a regular basis. When combined with all of the amps (5), amp cabinets (3 — 2 4×12, 1 2×15), guitar effects, and other assorted paraphernalia it adds up to A WHOLE LOTTA STUFF that I just don’t need anymore and don’t plan on using ever again. So I’m entering the seller’s market in the middle of a recession — Yes I know, timing is everything.

The first guitar I’m selling is a 1996 Fender Jagstang. This is the guitar designed by Kurt Cobain and released during Fender’s 50th anniversary. The guitar still has both of those stickers on the back of the headstock. I bought this because a friend of mine said that “celebrity guitars” are good investments and because I liked the color. I played it out for like 8 months or so, but it really didn’t work for me too well for reasons I’ll get into later. Except for a couple of dings, the guitar is still in great shape and plays just like it always did. I never tried to mod the Jagstang out in any way even though a lot of people at least put EMG pickups or something in place of the stock, which were universally hated it seems. There are specs HERE and HERE.

I’ve seen used Jagstangs priced anywhere from $550-$750, so I’m thinking $600. As I said, except for the dings, the worst of which you can see in this pic on the right, the guitar is the same as it was 15 years ago…hard to believe it’s been that long already. Below is a video of me playing with it for a minute…still has that sound. I don’t know why Rush came to mind. I DO know that my riffing skills are gone since they are completely at odds with Gypsy Picking. But for a guitar that ain’t been played in a long time (even the strings are like 5 years old at least) it sounds pretty good.

Basically this is a solid axe except for two things: There is a shut-off switch right above the pickups (weird!) and I used to tape it down for serious playing because I’d turn it off by accident in the heat of rocking out. Second, this is a guitar for someone with really small hands — perfect for kids, or someone who just starting out.

The 2nd guitar, a 1967 Gibson Melody Maker, needs a lot of work. I literally haven’t played this since the LA riots. Is that funny or what? I was doing a recording a Toxic Shock with Jim from the RATS and it was the Friday after the LA Riots when everyone thought they were going to “spread” to NYC. (They didn’t). Since then it sat in my closet and I loaned it to someone for awhile and it came back missing a pickup and with the plug-in jack all messed up, and then it sat in my closet again. But with a little bit of investment, this could be a nice guitar again. It needs a finish, a pick-guard, some new wiring probably, and a pickup. Everything else is original (I didn’t replace anything except for the bridge) and I do have the original bridge with the whammy attached. Someone who wants a project and likes these kinds of Gibsons should definitely holla! I never liked this guitar much for the same reason as the Jagstang. It’s built for someone with smaller hands and body. To me it was always like holding a baseball bat or something.The pickup that is installed works, and I tried recording something, but the jack is really messed up, so there is no way to get anything but popping and crackling.

So with this one I’m just going to put it out there with a Make Me An Offer kind of headline and see who bites. There was a time when I thought I’d fix it up and make into a cool guitar, and for awhile there, back in the day, it was at least functional. But I have a bunch of guitars I like, a lot of other things that demand my time and limited space, so I think it would be better to take whatever money someone would throw at me and let it go. That’s what this whole post is really about — letting go.


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