There have been many times I’ve felt as though something, someone, has been looking over me as I build or repair an important instrument. The whole Randy Rhoads Tribute bass was an example (one day I’ll tell the stories, they literally freak some people out), but another happened today. I’m doing some work on a vintage guitar, restoring, and relicing (paint touch ups, and cracking, aging, etc) it to its former glory. Unfortunately the owner passed away, but his wife wants it back the way it should be (it had some heavy mods that didn’t do it many favours). Everything has to be done to the highest level, and aged, to suit the guitar.
The bridge pickup was an aftermarket one, and the request was for me to find a replacement that better suited the guitar’s heritage. It was the only part that wasn’t original, other than the machine heads.
I found a few, ranging from $350-1200. All the wrong colour though.
A friend needed some Sperzels, and offered an ‘old pickup’ as a trade. It was the right one, so I let him know it would be going into this restoration, and everything was sweet. I couldnt believe my luck!
I’m putting the guitar back together today and lo and behold, the pickup I sourced was from that guitar originally. It has the original owner’s handwriting on the back, just like the neck pickup.
What are the odds?? The original pickup, back with the original guitar it came from, after 45 years.
I’ve just spoken to the lady that contracted me to do the work on her hubby’s guitar, and she was in shock. This isn’t the first time something like this as made her feel that her husband is looking over her.
I love my job.
Check out Perry Ormsby’s amazing work here.