This guitar was built in Burlington, VT by Creston Lea from a piece of white pine from my family’s barn, which dates to the 1850’s. A discount P-90 in the bridge, rewound reissue Fender Wide Range Humbucker at the neck, Bigsby and hand cut metal pickguard. Check this LINK for more pics.
Open the pod bay doors, Hal.
Made by Creston out of another piece of wood pulled out the barn from the property where I grew up. Jazz master body shape and contours, two Lollar Wide Range humbuckers, Mastery bridge, Bigsby.
1965 Martin D-18
Purchased at Artichoke Music in Portland, OR after I had moved from that lovely, rainy town. Played on ‘Sweet Life’, ‘Songs in a Northern Key’, ‘Tell it to the Dust’ and ‘The Wounded Astronaut.’ Jud Ehrbar fell on it after a night of carousing in Raleigh, NC. Too much Jagermeister I do believe.
Off the rack reissue from Epiphone. Feels good and plays good. Other than the new tuners it’s all stock.
Built by Long Island luthier Bill Bonanzinga. Based on a classic Gibson acoustic design. This was the main guitar used on the self-titled AP record.
All mahogany 000 size guitar. Real nice player. I had a K&K pickup put into it by my friend Jake at Antebellum instruments. It sounds great plugged and unplugged. Been my main ride on the road these days.
This is a small bodied 0 style guitar made by Guild. It’s been through the ringer — all sort of scratches and nicks and cracks and poorly glued seams, but it plays sweet and sounds nice. Scored this one from Antebellum Instruments in Vermont.
Found in a thrift store in Poughkeepsie, NY. Played for the entire first Varnaline show ever at Brownies (RIP) in New York, NY. Soon retired from most live work due to erratic player/machine interactions. Used on ‘Man of Sin’ and ‘Songs in a Northern Key.
This Jazzmaster dates from the 80’s or 90’s. Given to me by Jim Vincent. This guitar was pieced pack together after being destroyed. The body was broken into three pieces. Jim lag bolted and glued the entire thing back together and repaired with bondo. Painted with Tester’s model paint.
My main guitar for most of Space Needle and about half of Varnaline. I traded an early 60’s Gretsch Anniversary for this guitar from Rainbow Music in Poughkeepsie, NY. (Wish I still had that Gretsch….) I bought this thinking that a Strat could take any abuse I may dish out. I was right until I dropped/threw it one night during a Space Needle gig at the Cooler in NYC. Didn’t discover until about a week into Varnaline’s Lollapalooza tour that I had broken the bridge and cracked the body.
Here’s a cool 000 sized, ladder braced guitar. Made by Harmony for Silvertone/Sears.
I’ll let Creston tell you about this one:
Anders Parker is back for the third round….He let me set the controls for the heart of the sun and I emerged only half-baked. 12-strings, fantastic lo-budget Faux’trons, paint matched from memory to Anders’s favorite drugstore baseball hat, stripes that gave me a headache. Mark Spencer saw the back of it and exclaimed, “That looks like Apollo!” Space is the place. Head over to my website to see what all the secret fuss is about. Basswood, curly maple, jingle jangle morning.
It’s a bass. 4 strings, a couple pickups, etc… I particularly like the color — Sage Green metallic.
I bought this thing when I was living in Portland, OR in the early 90’s. A great guitar which I toured with quite a bit. I believe it’s been on every record through ‘The Wounded Astronaut.
The amp head slips into the back of the cabinet for easy transit. Used for the first Space Needle tour I believe. Picked this up back in my Portland, OR days. Much of Songs in a Northern Key was recorded with this amp.
Of unknown origin. I think most of the electric guitar on ‘Man of Sin’ was recorded through this little gem.
1976 Fender Deluxe Reverb
Guitar amp of choice these days. Acquired a few days before leaving Raleigh, NC. Traded a 1968 Gibson SG Jr for it. On ‘Tell it to the Dust’ and ‘The Wounded Astronaut.
Vintage tape echo machines. The Echoplex was used on ‘Sweet Life’, ‘Songs in a Northern Key’ and ‘Tell it to the Dust’. Space Echo on ‘Tell it to the Dust’ and ‘The Wounded Astronaut’.
The ever changing, never satisfied pedal board….Some combination of these.
Rapid deployment force. User interface usually unstable/corrupted.
Traded, Injured, and Retired
This was a present from Flossie Walker. Used exclusively on the “Flossie Walker Radio Hour”. Strung with black tape-wound Rotosound strings, just like Macca.
Bought this on the road in Portland, Oregon to replace my Tobacco Sunburst after I relaized that it was broken. Main guitar for latter half of Varnaline days.
This is first guitar that Creston made for me. It’s a pretty straight forward version of legendary, unforgiving Fender Telecaster. (I owned a Tokai Telecaster when I lived in Buffalo, NY years ago that was abused in many ways. I lost it somewhere on the west coast. I have always wanted another and Creston was the guy to make it happen — literally.)
Found in a pawn shop in downtown Denton, TX. Used for a couple of tracks on the self-titled AP record.
A funky little plywood archtop inherited through some convoluted family exchanges. Played on Indian Summer Takedown (‘Songs in a Northern Key’) and probably a few others from that era.
Nice little small bodied guitar. Toured with if for a while, but can’t seem to recall when or where. Bought in Raleigh, NC.
More Fender! From St. Louis.
This amp was given to me by Jim Vincent in Raleigh, NC. It was non-working for quite a while but came to life nicely. Used a lot during my days in the City of Oaks. Shown with a modified Fender 2×12 cab.
I have no idea where or when I bought this thing. It’s been hanging on the wall for quite a while. Makes an appearance somewhere on ‘Songs in a Northern Key’, but I can’t for the life of me remember where.
This is a mandolin-scale electric 12-string guitar. It’s an ocative higher than your run-of-the-mill 12. Found it in Amherst, MA. Wasn’t sure I was going to drop my hard earned gold pieces on it until I turned it over and discovered the mother-of-pearl inlaid unicorn on the back. Elf rock!