The world of yowhatsshakin

 
 

The previous ASAT Classic is not the only special one G&L built. Actually as the next few guitars on this site will demonstrate, the ASAT Classic is the model most used for very unique versions of the ASAT. In 1988, Dwight Yoakam had pulled Buck Owens, Tele-twanging leader of the popular Buckaroos, out of the semi-retirement Buck had been in ever since the untimely death of Don Rich. Buck’s trademark (and Don’s at times) was to have some of his guitars painted in (patriotic) Red, White, and Blue. On February 27, 1991, when Buck had a gig at the Crazy Horse Steakhouse, Newport Beach, CA, Dale saw the chance to showcase the latest model in the G&L line. Unbeknownst to Buck, he started the build process for 3 special ASAT Classics in the RWB color scheme, rare (for a Classic) soft maple body, all gold hardware (including pickguard), gold Leo Fender signature on the upper bass bout, single volume and tone control, 3-way pickup selector, Bi-Cut maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, and bound headstock(!) One has a #2 neck (7½” radius, 1⅜” nut), one with (pre-BBE) #3 neck (12” radius, 1¾” nut), and (pre-BBE) #4 neck (25” radius, 1¾” nut) knowing Buck did not like traditional neck specs with his big hands. Dale also made sure the 2 hand-wound ASAT Classic Magnetic Field Design (MFD) pickups were slightly overwound. With guitars, George, and Leo in tow, Dale paid Buck a visit before the gig. Story has it Buck was brought to tears when Leo handed him the guitar Buck liked the most which he then played all night. Dale himself kept the #4 neck Buck Owens, the first built of the 3 with a completion date of 2/22/1991. In the Guitars by Leo (GbL) Gallery, a picture shows Dale holding this guitar in front of the Crazy Horse Steakhouse. Pages 62 and 63 in “Guitars from George & Leo: How Leo Fender and I Built G&L Guitars” show pictures of Buck holding his guitar, with its distinctive engraved pickguard, when George and his wife Lucille visited Buck’s Crystal Palace Museum & Theater in Bakersfield, CA, some years later. When visiting the Buck Owens site, clicking the Museum button just right of center at the top, and hovering over the G&L with clearly visible teat, only mention is been made of the “Fender company”. Rumor has it that guitar is currently owned by Marty Stuart. The 3rd was sold to collector Paul Lombardo, recipient of the first Cherryburst Commemorative #4. He sold it in 2015 to Odd Erik Lauritsen who plays it in his Norwegian Buckaroo Tribute Band. The ASAT Classic ‘Buck Owens’ is so rare, it’s not even a Rarebird on the GbL site!

 

G&L ASAT Classic ‘Buck Owens’

The story behind this guitar

Year:                 1991

Serial number:   G029004 (from Dale Hyatt collection, first of 3 ASAT Classic ‘Buck Owens’ built)

Neck date:        FEB 20 1991

Body date:        OCT 31 1990

Strings:             D’Addario EXL120 Nickel Wound Super Light (9-42)

I was actually looking for either a pre-BBE Comanche V or Comanche VI. And look what I got in the same deal! My friend and G&L historian Gabe Dellevigne, provider of much (and more) of the info on this page, was surprised noted collector Larry Garrett, who bought it directly from Dale, was willing to part with it. But here we are, with no arm twisting involved. One of the most famous and rare G&Ls in my collection; only the ‘The Rembrandt’ outshines it. And yes, between 2011 and 2014 G&L build at least one ‘Buck Owens’ Legacy, ASAT, ASAT Classic, and ASAT Deluxe with Blue, Silver, and Red metal flake finish (aka USA Metal). But that demand was only driven by the original Buck Owens Classics. I am so stoked. Gabe says it is the best ASAT Classic he has ever played. Oh my, do I agree! The #4 neck with its relative flat board is indeed something to behold. But what touched me most was unexpectedly finding a personal note left behind by the late great Gene Engelhart when checking out the wiring. Thanks Gene. Your attention to detail has made many of my guitars the treasured pieces they are and will embody your spirit for years to come.