‘The Real Ones’ - A history of G&L


Note that the entry for the ASAT in G&L’s September 1, 1987 price list contains an interesting footnote: “Available W/3 Single Coils & 5-way Switch”. Although never receiving separate entries on any price list, this refers to the now famous ASAT III model produced between 1987 and 1991. It has the “Nashville setup”, very popular amongst session cats, with a marriage between a Telecaster body and Stratocaster pickups, in this case a set of S-500/Skyhawk Magnetic Field Design (MFD) pups, with the ASAT III w/S-500 pups being more common than those with Skyhawk pickups. These rare ASAT III HSS w/DFV and ASAT III Signature HSS have their bridge pickup replaced by a GHB pickup first used on the short-lived HG-2. The footnote quoted above was always included in the price list description for the ASAT model up to and including the January 15, 1991 price list but omitted for the ASAT Signature when it first appeared on the January 15, 1990 price list and thereafter, even though the ASAT III Signature (HSS) clearly exist. The ASAT III made a short resurgence in the BBE-era between 1996 and 1998 as demonstrated by the 1996 Catalog below and the July 1, 1997 and February 1, 1998 price lists, to be subsequently replaced by the ASAT S-3 on the November 1, 1998 price list.

The next step in developing a 3 MFD pickup ASAT was at the request of John Jorgenson, among many other things of The Hellecasters fame. Around late-1989/early-1990, he had been touring with a then brand spanking new Comanche (V), of course in his signature sparkling finish. But he liked G&L to use these pickups on an ASAT body with a similar finish and Dual-Fulcrum Vibrato as found on his Comanche, leading G&L to develop this prototype which was only completed around 1994/1995 according to John and subsequently used by him on tour. It took until the 1997 Winter NAMM show before the ASAT Z-3 became a full-fledged model in the G&L lineup. Full production started around mid-1997 and the model has stuck around ever since including as a ASAT Z-3 Semi-Hollow. In 1999, Tim Page created the 2 pickup ASAT Z-2 as part of the Buffalo Brothers Special Editions. A collaboration with another member of The Hellecasters, Will Ray, led to a slight variant of the ASAT Z-3. The Will Ray Signature model was introduced in 2002 and is has a souped up Z-3 MFD bridge pickup and a string bender. This model was discontinued at the end of June 2015 even though it remained to be available as an economy Tribute model a little longer.

Advertisements and catalog pages relevant to the models discussed in this chapter are included below. They are also part of the 110 ASAT guitars pictured in the ASAT Gallery.