The world of yowhatsshakin

 
 

On July 24 2012, about a month after G&L first published the list of prototypes of basses and guitars on their website, the lists were extended by several additional instruments that were put up for sale. On the guitar side, 4 ASAT models were added which were not merely guitars but something a little more. These were pieces of art produced in a collaboration between G&L’s Custom Creations Department and artist Johnny Garcia. All of them would become available through Martin Music Guitar in Memphis, TN. The first listed is ‘Cowhide’, an ASAT Special Deluxe (CLF 56578, completed January 6, 2010) with the top covered by a real cowhide. The fact that the headstock is also covered on the front by cowhide (with a cut-out where the brand and model decals are displayed) may explain why this is the only one in the quartet without a CCD logo on the back of the headstock. Then comes a beautiful Transparent Red satin finished ASAT Classic nicknamed ‘The Roses’ (CLF 56577 completed January 6, 2010) with an intricate floral pattern on body and headstock. The intent of this piece was to make the engraving look like a tattoo. (This design was so much liked that G&L commissioned Johnny to do a limited run of 20 ‘The Roses’ Bluesboys at the very end of 2014.) Next, an ASAT with a Native American/Southwestern theme: the ASAT Special Deluxe ‘Santa Fe’ (CLF 56776 completed January 7, 2010) finished in a beautiful satin Transparent Turquoise.


And finally the subject of this page: an ASAT Classic nicknamed ‘The Wrangler’ also completed January 7th. It shows an engraved bull skull on the lower bout with barbed wire “binding” around the swamp ash body and on the headstock around the tuning posts. For all engraved/branded guitars, G&L wanted the artwork to be tactile through the finish leading to exceptionally thin coats on all of them. For ‘The Wrangler’, master painter Malcolm McLamore set out to create a new finish and hue which 2 years later became known as Nearly Naked (NENA) Honey Ale when introduced in the 2012 Special Collection. ‘The Wrangler’ is also the first G&L with a Baltic Amber pickguard provided by Paul Chandler also seen in the 2012 Special Collection. This guitar further has 2 Tele-style MFD pickups and a Clear Satin finished #3 (i.e wide C-profile with 1¹¹⁄₁₆” nut) hard-rock maple neck with 12” East Indian rosewood fingerboard. For more info, one is referred to the prototype page at: http://www.glguitars.com/prototypes/guitars/index.asp.

 

G&L ASAT Classic ‘The Wrangler’

The story behind this guitar

Year:                  2010

Serial number:    CLF56757 (prototype, one of 4 built with artwork by Johnny Garcia)

Neck date:         none, marked ‘AC RW #3’, ‘#278810’, ‘component material’, ‘8/9’

Body date:         SEP 11 2009

Strings:              D’Addario EXL110 Nickel Wound Regular Light (10-46)

When the 4 Johnny Garcia guitars were listed, it was hard not to stop looking at every single one of them. ‘The Wrangler’ spoke most to me for a multitude of reasons. First, its beauty of course. But as stated above, it also acted as the true inspiration for the 2012 Special Collection and therefore has some relevance to the history of G&L in general and the ASAT in particular. The prototypes also include a listing for an ASAT Classic Bluesboy (CLF60700) in NENA Honey Ale finish and Baltic Amber pickguard but that guitar was finished only March 21, 2012 and subsequently replaced in the Collection by the ASAT Classic S. But the creative juices all started flowing with this prototype. Just another ASAT Classic one could claim. In the end though, its artwork, esthetics, and thin finish make this guitar extra special. Unfortunately, when UPS initially delivered, the package was somewhat damaged: a sharp blunt object had plowed into the side of the box. If you are interested in the whole process it took to get it back into prime condition, please read these blog pages. Rightfully so, all Johnny Garcia prototypes come in a CCD hardshell case, as introduced for the C.L.F. Centennial ASAT built around the same time as these guitars and G&L fortunately was able to replace the damaged case with another. The neck date is 9/11/2009 but since the website states is was finished January 7, 2010, I’ll keep it a 2010 model. The spec sheet is even dated 7/30/2012, just before the guitar got shipped out. A gorgeous looking instrument and great sounding, as expected from an ASAT Classic.