My guitar collection - G&L


Many a great artist plays or has played an G&L instruments, but the company has not had too many active endorsers. Carl Perkins, famed composer of “Blue Suede Shoes”, was known to play a Broadcaster. Two British guys named Peter, Frampton and Green, have both been seen playing an ASAT (Special) on stage and in the studio. Jerry Cantrell, of Alice In Chains fame, has been playing Rampage and Superhawk models for decades. As mentioned here, Guitar Shorty played both Legacy and Comanche models. I have always found it a demonstration of good taste that Jaap Kwakman of the Dutch band 3JS uses an ASAT Special Rustic, a model not even officially in the lineup. More recently, Danny Kortchmar and Steve Postell have been seen playing several (customized) G&L guitars in Waddy Wachtel’s all-star band The Immediate Family. But one other band sticks out: The Hellecasters. Each of its 3 core members has had a G&L signature model, even though 2 endorsement deals went south. Those associated with John Jorgenson are found in the next pages. Jerry Donahue is associated with the ASAT JD-5. And finally, Will Ray has his own decked out signature model. But that is not how he started out. Having heard John’s ASAT, he was so impressed with the sound and quality, he used John to get into contact with G&L’s Artist Relationship manager. What they built him is this ASAT, Will’s very first G&L to boot. As Will states in the accompanying provenance, the swamp ash body is not finished in an extravagant color: Clear Blue. But it has the 2 Jumbo Magnetic Field Design (MFD) single-coil pickups and usual ASAT wiring harness (3-position pickup selector, volume, tone) on a black powder-coated control panel. Two small screw holes and a piece of teflon tubing through the black powder-coated Saddle-Lock bridge for the B-string bear witness it once had a Hipshot Will Ray ‘Helle-Bender’ B-bender. Will also changed the tone control to a black Strat-style knob and placed grease pencil marks on the control panel for easy access to his favorite tones. The hard-rock maple Bi-Cut neck has a 7½” rosewood fingerboard and black G&L branded Schaller closed tuning machines. In conjunction with installing the Hipshot, Will also placed a roller string tree on the headstock as well as another small screw to give the G-string a larger break angle over the nut. It also still has the script “by Leo Fender”, in line with the neck date stamp. That decal was discontinued on any G&L headstock the next month! The current version of the ASAT is named ASAT Special and more information can be found here:


ASAT (Will Ray’s first)

The story behind this guitar


Serial number:

Neck date:

Body date:


Will listed this guitar on both eBay and Reverb. After it had gone through a couple of listing cycles, I contacted Will personally and we hashed out a deal. He sent it to me in a G&L gig bag with some interesting notes on it. But I still had a spare case laying around and that’s its current home. The back of the headstock has some interesting remarks in pen: “plays great!” (it does!), “Ch St”, and the date “11-21-09”; “92?” likely alludes to the year this guitar was assembled. The last S/N listed in Dale Hyatt’s sales log is G030001. Since Dale retired November 4, 1991, it must be later than that date. This would explain why the harness on this guitar is commensurate with e.g. this 1993 ASAT Special, even though it has CTS pots from week 39 in 1990 (September 24-30). As Will writes in the provenance, this guitar was extensively used in Wylie and the Wild West and (early) The Hellecasters and brought on tour as a backup guitar.

The story behind this guitar

1990 (as per the date stamps, but likely assembled in 1992)

G030501 (previously owned by Will Ray)

DEC 19 1990, marked ‘¾B’, ‘RH’, ‘Reg stock’, ‘-S-’, ‘#’

MAY 6(?) 1989

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