The world of yowhatsshakin


Many a great artist play or have played 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. Jerry Cantrell, of Alice In Chains fame, has been playing Rampage and Superhawk models for decades. Guitar Shorty, subject of the previous guitar, plays both Legacy and Comanche models. I have always found it a demonstration of good taste that Jaap Kwakman of the Dutch band 3JS uses a ASAT Special Rustic, a model not even officially in the lineup. But one other band sticks out: The Hellecasters. Each of its core members has had a G&L signature model. Even though 2 out of 3 actually had an endorsement deal go south. Some models associated with John Jorgenson follow 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. His very first G&L is the subject of this page. Having heard John’s ASAT, he was so impressed with the sound and quality, he had John bring him into contact with G&L’s Artist Relationship manager. What he got is this guitar. As Will states, the swamp ash body is not finished in an extravagant color: Clear Blue. But it has all the goodies in 2 Jumbo Magnetic Field Design (MFD) single-coil pickups with 3-position pickup selector, black powder-coated Saddle-Lock bridge and control panel. At one time, the bridge was replaced by a Hipshot Will Ray ‘Helle-Bender’ B-bender unit and the 2 small screw holes in the butt still bear witness to that. Will changed the tone control to a black Strat-style knob placing grease pencil marks near both volume control and tone control for easy dial-in of his favorite tones. The hard-rock maple Bi-Cut neck has a 7½” rosewood fingerboard and black chrome, 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. The current version of the ASAT is named ASAT Special and more information can be found here:


G&L ASAT (Will Ray’s first)

The story behind this guitar

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

Serial number:    G030501 (previously owned by Will Ray)

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

Body date:         MAY 6(?) 1989

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

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!), “92?”, “Ch St”, and the date “11-21-09”. The year “92?” alludes to when the guitar was likely 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 wiring harness on this guitar is commensurate with the pre-BBE ASAT Classic, like the ASAT Special on the previous page, even though one still finds CTS pots from week 39 in 1990 (September 24-30). As Will writes in his COA, he used this guitar extensively in Wylie and the Wild West as well as early while in The Hellecasters and brought it on tour as a back-up guitar.