My guitar collection - G&L


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 an 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 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 Two small screw holes bear witness to the bridge having been replaced by a Hipshot Will Ray ‘Helle-Bender’ B-bender at one time, with corresponding modification to the black powder-coated Saddle-Lock bridge by inserting a small piece of teflon tubing for the B-string. Will also changed the tone knob to a black Strat-style knob placing grease pencil marks on the control panel, as well as near the volume 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:


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 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.

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)