Wednesday, January 04, 2012

ATTN: Guitar Geeks Of The World

A question and subsequent story to warm the hearts of guitar geeks everywhere: what if your personal favorite guitar was lost for 31 years and then somehow returned?

This happened to rock and pop songwriter-guitarist-bandleader Peter Frampton, of Frampton Comes Alive who was, indeed, reunited with his favorite axe after 31 years. Indeed, to quote the title of a Peaches N' Herb song I never liked, "reunited and it feels so good."

Peter's vintage 1954 Gibson Les Paul Custom was literally the only survivor when a cargo plane that crashed on takeoff in Caracas, Venezuela. Of course, Peter didn't know this, as the instrument circulated in the three decade interim and ended up in the hands of a guitarist, customs agent and tourist board member on the island of Curacao.

Now, I heard Peter play in those days and recall a lengthy and very enjoyable set, propelled by the ringing tones and melodic conception of his rock guitar stylings. All these decades and many subsequent fearless plunges into complex, dark, dissonant modernism later, I still find that Peter's upbeat, tuneful British Invasion-influenced sounds - with 1960's popsters The Herd, his Frampton's Camel band, as a sideman with sonic chameleon David Bowie, and a member of Steve Marriott's hard rockin' Humble Pie - brings a big smile to my line-enhanced face.

Now, frankly, gorgeous as the varied Les Paul models are, I'm more of an SG and L-5 man, myself!

Then again, if the very Les Paul Jr. played with steamrolling abandon by Luther "Ariel Bender" Grosvenor in Mott The Hoople were to fall into my hands. . .

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