Magazine article Guitar Player

The Ragin' Cajun

Magazine article Guitar Player

The Ragin' Cajun

Article excerpt

IT'S TIME TO TELL ANOTHER tale of guitar safari goodness: a story about a much played and loved--but not abused--1955 Gibson Les Paul Standard, one of the first batch of Tune-o-matic equipped Les Pauls produced in late 1955. As you can see from the picture, it has been played heavily but miraculously it has never been cracked, broken, or repaired in anyway. I think I was the first person to ever look at the control cavity, given the years of nicotine, liquor, and rust this guitar had accumulated on the screws after so many years playing in the bars and juke joints of the New Orleans area bayou and southern Louisiana.

To set the scene, we find ourselves having a day off in New Orleans on a cold gray Monday. As usual, my tech Mike, Colin (our bass and keyboard tech), and I are bored. We do a quick Google search of area guitar shops, and we're off to wreak havoc on the local merchants. On this particular day we hit three shops without any luck. It is now about 4 o'clock and there is one shop left on my list but it isn't nearby. It's called International Vintage Guitar.

We show the driver the address and he asks, "Are you crazy? That's a pretty rough area, fellas." Being adventurous (and seekers of great guitars and guitar stories) we convince him to take us over the bridge and into Algiers Point. As we get closer to the shop, the neighborhood gets more residential and a little scarier. Finally we pull up to a little white house with the smallest blue guitar-shaped sign out in front. …

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