My guitar collection - G&L


This guitar is the 6th Lacewood built for shop foreman John Rodriguez, a talented luthier at G&L at the time. Like Dale Hyatt’s Lacewood Commemorative #1, this triple-bound ASAT Classic has a body consisting of a Honduran mahogany core sandwiched between a top and back of Australian lacewood veneer and all gold hardware: ASAT Classic bridge, pickguard, control panel, knobs, neck plate with S/N, closed tuning machines w/tab, and strings. The #26 has a beautifully flame maple neck but this is the only Lacewood with an ebony fingerboard; half of the others have a maple board, the other half rosewood. Among the first 6 Lacewoods, it only shares its 12” fingerboard radius with #9. With non-Lacewood Commemoratives #19 thru #23 and #25, it was entered in the sales log under invoice “#4888” on “11-11-91”. Note the hyphenation of the serial number on the neck plate (“26-of-1000”), an idiosyncrasy also exhibited by some other Commemorative neck plates.

Consult my Commemoratives page or the Registry on the Guitars by Leo (GbL) website for more information on these unique guitars.


Lacewood Commemorative Edition #26

The story behind this guitar


Serial number:

Neck date:

Body date:


After the repaired G-200 with rear-loaded controls, my sixth G&L purchased from Gary Maki. And one with a long story. As stated before, Commemoratives are hardly ever seen for sale. John Rodrigues had sold this #26 to Andrew Campbell, a musician and test player for G&L, many, many years ago. But in late-November 2012 Andrew put it up on eBay of all places. Only problem? I happened to be in the Netherlands to celebrate the retirement of my thesis advisor and only learned about it on return while reading the posts on the GbL website. Fortunately for me, it ended up with Gary with whom I have an excellent relationship. So although I felt completely bumped, knowing the person who snatched it up brought some solace. In early-June 2013 he wrote me that, since he now had retired from work, he also wanted to get out of the G&L collecting business. So here she is, the other crown jewel in my ASAT collection and one of the “holy grails of G&L guitars” in her own right. It was nice to see the initials of the late Gene Engelhart, a legendary (in more than one way) assembler at G&L, pop up in the neck pocket again. Officially this is one of the first BBE-era instruments as is evidenced by the Certificate of Authenticity “signed” by Mrs. Fender which, with John working for G&L, must have been no problem to get at a later date since Leo’s induction into the Hall of Fame was still in the future when the guitar was completed. But allow me to point out that both neck and body date stamps precede those of Lacewood #5, the other Lacewood for which dates are published in the Registry. My inkling is that for the first 6 Lacewoods at least all bodies, and likely all necks too, were produced in the same timespan of say a week (a hypothesis I will be able to test when #1 arrives). And of course she got played and sounds wonderful especially when dialing back the volume a bit. Very articulate and clear with snap and twang warmed up by a delightful admixture of mids. But for most of her stay with me, she will be a museum piece. Suits her just fine!

The story behind this guitar


26 (#26 of 1000, built for John Rodriguez, one of 7 Lacewood Commemoratives)

OCT 22 1991, marked ‘#1’, ‘E/B’, ‘Comm’, ‘John Rod’

OCT 17 1991, marked ‘GRE’

Optima/Maxima Gold Strings Electric Guitar Roundwound 2028 EL (9-42)