Having been playing guitar for nearly 20 years I’ve been through a few guitars! Some have stuck around for a while, whereas the odd impulse buy or internet buy has been with me a matter of weeks. I really wish I’d kept hold of some my earlier guitars, mainly for sentimental reasons. So I’d thought I’d look back at my first few guitars.
1996 Washburn Acoustic
I purchased this at Gloucester Music Co (a fabulous shop that sadly closed) in July 1996. I think my dad paid £135 for it. It looked something like the one pictured above, but had a darker wood grain and a scratch. It was a full size dreadnought and I remember it being quite difficult to play! I learnt all of the basics on this and 5 months down the line managed to convince my dad that I needed an electric guitar. Sadly, I no longer have this guitar, my sister lent it to one of her friends and I haven’t seen it since.
1996 Fender MIM Stratocaster
Christmas 1996 saw this wonderful axe come my way. This guitar helped me really get into lead guitar playing and coincided with forming a band and an obsession with Jimi Hendrix. This was purchased from Duck Son and Pinker, again a Gloucester music shop that no longer exists. It came with a Fender Champion 25 watt amp. The guitar had a maple neck and was finished in midnight wine red and is probably the reason I love red guitars to this day. I’ve tried to replace this guitar and get hold of something similar, but haven’t yet found one. I sold this to a friend in 1998 after upgrading to an Epiphone.
1997 Epiphone Sheraton II
I bought this in the summer of 1997 at Roundhouse in Gloucester. It was a Korean made and was a dream to play. At this stage I was starting to get into more blues and jazz and guitar players that used semi acoustics. I kept this guitar until about 2009, when I sold it to fund another guitar. I regret letting this one go, it played very well, was versatile and good build quality. To this day I would recommend a 90s Korean Sheraton as an excellent first semi type guitar.
2001 Double Cut Away Les Paul
My first American guitar came around my 18th birthday, when I bought a Gibson Les Paul Double Cut Away in trans amber finish. Looking back it was a strange choice, it’s not a very traditional body shape or finish. It was used heavily for gigging when I was in an indie band at the time. Still, despite this, it was my first Gibson and I remember it feeling like the holy grail at the time! I sold this in 2008, it was gathering dust, mainly because my taste in music had changed. This is one guitar I don’t miss too much. I wished I’d kept some of these guitars, mainly because of sentimental reasons. If I could have one back I think I would pick the red stratocaster.