Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pirate Pat's Lost Treasure || 1976 Black on Black Stratocaster || Old Guitars

I think I need not mention my love affair with the guitar.  If you have read any of my earlier posts it comes across quite evident.  When one ages, we tend to acquire more things.  From the previous spoken love, I started collecting guitars.  The true guitar behind the 1976 stratocaster is actually a 1964 Fender Jaguar.

I love the off-set shape of the jaguar and wanted a vintage one.  This preceded me learning the valuable lesson of "never buy a guitar on eBay".  I was misled by this online dealer that I decided to attempt to acquire a jaguar from.  Vintage City Music out of Lansing, MI sold me an "all original" guitar.  Jaguars are known to be complex instruments.  When I received it I couldn't figure it out.  The bridge pick up seemed dead.  I called up Guitar Showcase and they pointed me toward the direction of Mark Brown, whom I am forever indebted to in the guitar buying world.  I took the guitar right over to Mark.  He told me that the neck had been refinished, possible fret job, new reproduction tuners and the neck pick up needed to be rewound.  All in all about $700 worth of work to get it up to snuff.  I said, "ah, I got ripped off" and Mark so eloquently replied, "How much did you pay for this guitar? $2500.  You didn't get ripped off, with the work you would have a $3200 guitar, about the price of a vintage jaguar in good condition."  I love his thought philosophy.

The jaguar story does have a good ending.  They had a 24 hr. return policy, and honored it as "24 hr. business days" and took the guitar back with me paying the shipping.  Now I had cash burning a whole in my pocket.

60s Smugglin' Pat
The cosmos must of aligned wanting me to have, our family friend, Pat Ryan's 1976 black stratocaster.  I met Pat through my uncle Craig.  This guy was a real character; boisterous laugh and parrot on his shoulder.  Pat had a rough go at the end of his life.  He lost his wife, Carol, from a obscure ailment and this sent him into an unfortunate tailspin.  He couldn't hold down a job leading to a depressed & broke dude.  He stated it was his buddhist teachings that made him want to get rid of all of his prized possessions and live a simple life.  Looking back on it now and think he was just preparing for the ending.  Unfortunately Pat took his own life at the age of 58.

80s Jammin' (note Blackie in the background)
Before the end, he approached me about buying his 1976 Black on Black Stratocaster.  It was in good shape with just the tuners being changed.  He wanted $1900 for it.  I was flush with the return cash of the jaguar.  I wanted a vintage instrument and the opportunity to try and help a buddy out.  I did give him the caveat that if he ever wanted his Strat back, I would give it to him for the money I paid.  He said he would not be wanting it back.  An unfortunate truth.  This is the story of how I am in possession of a beautiful 1976 Stratocaster.  He said he bought it because David Gilmour of Pink Floyd fame played one.  But he said he never played it that much because he was much more of a Gibson man.  I understood this philosophy because I am more of the opposite.  I love Fender guitars.  And this one was a beauty, right down to the instruction manual and extra springs.  I did have Mark Brown set it up for me and the tone pots needed replacing and I also had him put back on the original tuners.  It plays and looks great.  See for yourself...


And this is how it sounds......

Patrick Joseph Ryan 1951-2009

No comments:

Post a Comment