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Old 02-14-2018, 06:45 AM   #1
jcannon04
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Default Gigging with vintage instruments

This question is about maintaining instruments on the road.

I'm into a lot of classic rock and all the great rock guitarists like Clapton, Page, etc. all had these great instruments that came out of the 50s and 60s, and they had them at a young age. We've all heard the stories of gigging in the backs of vans and gigging in bad weather. So how did they maintain such nice instruments?

The reason I ask is because these days we live in an age where we all know how things like temperature and humidity affect guitars. If I had a Gibson I'd be afraid to take it out of the house, so how is it that my heroes had these great instruments and seemed to take them everywhere, rain or shine? Is the simple answer "no guts, no glory?"
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:46 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by jcannon04 View Post
So how did they maintain such nice instruments?
There's a couple different facets to the answer here. Ultimately, it boils down to:

They didn't take much greater care than we do today.
The instruments underwent periodic overhauls.
Many of the instruments are in pretty rough shape.
They retired certain instruments after a while, and they bring them out on special occasions.
Hard cases are a must, and do a great job of protecting an instrument.

For reference, here's my ~76 LP that has spent ~35 years of it's life gigging in the NEast. It's both beat to shit and in really good shape. It's on it's 4th toggle switch, Grovers replaced the Klusons after they wore out, 1 refret (kept the nibs), 2nd input jack, pickups re-dipped. The finish is cracked/checked in the front due to winter gigs.

Oh yeah, and while it's in a real 70's Gibson case.... It's the second case I've had for the guitar after the first one died.






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Old 02-14-2018, 11:35 AM   #3
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Some old instruments did not survive in good condition.
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:13 PM   #4
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Guitars are made of wood and metal; they are not pussies.... they can handle a good bit of abuse.
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:37 PM   #5
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Its a tool and you buy a good one and you use it until you need a new one. I gigged with one guitar(Gretsch Clipper hollow body single pickup) for almost 20 years. I never thought about needing a second or third guitar. After I retired from gigging in 1985, I added several guitars and retired the Gretsch. Its still playable but sits in its hard case in the corner.
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Old 02-14-2018, 02:13 PM   #6
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That's really cool That LP is road hard and put away.....well dry
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phingerboard View Post
...they are not pussies.... they can handle a good bit of abuse.
#pussiesaredurabletoo
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:14 PM   #8
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Yes, well, yes they are.
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:53 PM   #9
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Get your minds out of the... ummm... whatever.
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Old 02-15-2018, 03:59 PM   #10
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Sorry to put this thread back on track...

50's and 60's guitars weren't vintage instruments in the 60's.
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