"Wood with a Past--Guitars with a Future"
This story started when Bob Ochs from New Jersey acquired the 600 year old
Mahogany that had been used for 50 years as the top of the main bar from the old
Absinthe Bar in New Orleans. Many luminaries including Jimmy Page, Mae
West, & WC Fields have played at the Absinthe. Presumably, they had all
sidled up to this slab of wood and tipped a few frosty lagers. Many a
character had imbibed at this bar. I am sure many a character had spilled
his or her drink on this bar. And, I'll bet good money that there were a
good many individuals who had puked on this bar. Jean Lafitte the infamous
pirate was a regular at the Absinthe so I am sure there was plenty of blood that
flowed freely on this ancient piece of wood. This wood was a piece of
This Mahogany was screaming to be turned into several
guitars. Bob Ochs's first inclination was to go to the Gibson Custom Shop
and have them build several guitars from this fine piece of aged mahogany.
To make a long story short, Gibson was less than interested in working with Bob,
in fact they pretty much ignored him and his project. Several years passed
and Bob was beginning to get discouraged because he couldn't find anyone who
would consider working with him to create several masterpiece guitars.
Project # 1
When Bob first came to me to enlist my help in the project, I wasn't too excited
at first. Jobs like these can be a pain in the ass.
In any case, we decided to give it a try. (I always like to do
something different.) The current plan is for 3 guitars. The first
project was to recreate an old style guitar for Bob's son, Tyler.
The next two are going to be a neck-through body, Radical styled model and a
rectangular Bo Diddley styled model.
out the Jams"
Bob's son, Tyler, is an avid MC5 fan (Motor City 5).
Fred "Sonic" Smith used an Epiphone like this one back in the 60's. Not
many people appreciated the MC5 when they first came out. They were a
cross between white Punks on Dope and Heavy Metal--"Iggy Pop meets Judas Priest"
or "Johnny Thunders meets Iron Maiden." They were also compared to the Who
by many rock pundits, although personally I don't agree. Fred Sonic
Smith was also a Mosrite Player
and he is responsible for influencing Johnny Ramone in that direction.