I'm from Wales, which is a country about the size of Wales.
I was attracted to Fender offsets due to the alternative/indie bands using them, mainly The Cure and Sonic Youth.
It was early 1997, I wanted a Jaguar, as I was young and attracted to all the shiny bits.
The music shops in my home town were dominated by either pointy shred machines, or Strats and Les Pauls.
I was going to have to go to the capital, Cardiff, to satisfy my offset craving.
My first stop was a family owned music shop which historically catered to classical and traditional music. I took a sunburst Fender CIJ Jaguar 62 reissue off the wall, plugged it into a reissue Fender Twin, and jingle jangled away.
After a few bars, another customer became mesmerised by my jangle ju-ju, and began to accompany me on some shop display bongos. This stuff happened all rhe time, it was the 90s, the era of born again hippies, hand drums and didgeridoos (I didgerididn't).
The shop owner became irked by the pleasant music, and a store assistant was ordered to banish me from the premises (he was reluctant and apologetic, and invited me to return on a day when the owner was not present). I took my leave.
The next destination was Cranes of Cardiff, where I was welcomed and taken to a demonstration room with another sunburst reissue Japanese Jaguar, and a vintage pre CBS Jaguar in candy apple red, which had faded with age. The room had a choice of amps, I plugged into another Fender Twin reissue and compared the two guitars. I liked them both and decided that I would go for the Japanese re issue*, as it was £750 versus the £1200 asking price for the real thing. I planned to return in two weeks time with cash to buy the Jaguar.
Back home, one week later, on the way to the record shop, as I passed the local pointy guitar emporium, I spied an offset anomaly in the window, a CIJ Jazzmaster reissue in candy apple red, with matching headstock. It wasn't a Jaguar, and it wasn't the colour I wanted, but out of the sheer novelty of this alien artefact having materialised on planet pointy, I decided to try it out. After a play, I liked it more than the Jaguars that I had played, so even though it didn't look as cool as the Jag and the colour was a bit glam rock, I was interested.
I asked for the price, the manager said "£450". I asked "are you sure?", then "are you sure you're sure?", but the price was still £450. When I asked why it was such a good price the manager bragged about the prowess of the shop and the great relationship they had with Fender**. Wearing my best poker face, I calmly produced my debit card and bought the guitar and a cheap bass gig bag to carry it home. Once I had passed the shop window, I made a fast getaway.
I had bought my first offset guitar, at £300 less than than I had planned.
* In hindsight I should have bought the pre CBS guitar for £1200, but who could have known the way vintage prices would go later.
** I gave him a fair chance to realise his mistake. To balance the karma, when I sold the guitar years later it was for a bargain price to a friend.
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