The world of yowhatsshakin

 
 

The smallest guitar in my collection, with only a 19.1” scale length. Built by Tacoma in the town of the same name, before they were taken over by Fender Musical Instruments Corporation and effectively run into the ground. Designed by George Gruhn and Terry Atkins, the P1 Papoose had a cedar top with the distinctive paisley sound hole pioneered by Tacoma, mahogany back and sides, and mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard and bridge. Instead of pins, the bridge had slots in which the ball ends of the strings were captured. The neck was bolted on by 2 hex bolts from the back. This little guitar is tuned a quint higher, i.e. from A to A. Since their website basically ceased to exist, try accessing this 2005 Tacoma catalog on web.archive.com. Page 12 has some info on the P1 Papoose.

 

Tacoma P1 Papoose

The story behind this guitar

Year:                  1998

Serial number:    5323

Strings:               D’Addario EJ16 Phosphor Bronze Light (12-53)

Until their demise early in the 21st century, my favorite guitar shop was The Zobrist on 1st Avenue in downtown Seattle. Small, independently owned, with great people working there. Thanks to someone like Ron Stoehr and his trusty assistant Andy Salzman, I got introduced the ‘other’ guitars by Leo: G&L. During one of my visits, this Tacoma Papoose was for sale for a mere $150. So I convinced myself I could buy another guitar if it was a present for my wife ... Right! Of course it was for myself! It didn’t have a case but they had some old, badly discolored (bleach?) but fitting gig back. The guitar is supposed to have a clear decal on the top in the shape of a pickguard, but on this one it seems to have been torn off, causing some small damage to the cedar here and there. The scratch marks seem to indicate where one of the previous owners started peeling off the sticker. But it is still cute ... (While I type this, I can’t help envisioning Susan Sarandon as Annie Savoy in ‘Bull Durham’ berating Tim Robbins as Ebby Calvin ‘Nuke’ LaLoosh: “Cute?! Cute?! I don’t want to be cute! I want to be exotic and mysterious!” I have this inkling this guitar is about to slap me around too ... Ouch!)