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A Few Notes & Thoughts on My Gibson Guitar Collection (Part 1)

Rik Emmett


As everybody knows, I’m a confirmed Gibson guy, currently ‘racked’ with two Les Pauls, a 345, a 356 and a 1275 doubleneck.   

My Gibson history runs as follows:

•1968 to ’71: In high school, I used to be able to sometimes borrow a friend’s cherry 335 (which launched the romance).
•1972: In my first year at college, I had an ES-150 DC in a walnut finish. Great tone, and an addictive feature – a master volume knob on the lower front bout.
•1976: In Triumph, I bought a used white doubleneck SG that had factory 2’s stamped in the headstock.
•Late in 1977: I also acquired a natural finish Flying V.
•Also in 1977, I borrowed Doug Hill’s (owner of Phase One Studios) black Les Paul Custom, and used it on tour for over a year before he diplomatically insisted on its return, and I reluctantly gave it back to him.
•In 1981, I bought a Howard Roberts Fusion, and used it extensively as the rock guitar on the Allied Forces album.
I’ve sold off chunks of my guitar collection at different times in my life and, like any guitar collector, there were guitars that got sold or traded in, as my tastes shifted. But I’ve always favored arch-top designs. Eventually (mid-’80s), my guitar collection became a bit unwieldy. Part of it was, when I left Triumph in ’88, I also left behind the convenience of the Metalworks studio, and the Triumph warehouse, as a storage facility. And I could not afford to have the proper humidity-controlled facilities for the really choice stuff, like vintage guitars. I also went through a period where I was building my own digital recording studio in my basement, and needed to sell off some guitars to raise cash to buy new digital stuff that would become obsolete annually. Hak-kaff.
Anyway, that was when and where my black Les Paul Custom Lite, pictured on the cover of the Absolutely album, went. Funny, a chunk of digital studio gear, like a DA-88, is worthless now. The forest fire of digital technology keeps burning through ‘value,’ via obsolescence, with every fiscal year's ‘new and improved’ models and versions of software and hardware. But if I'd held onto that Les Paul, it would have continued to increase in value. Live and learn.


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