NOGD: a new, old JM. Caution: involves mullets.

Discussion of vintage Jazzmasters, Jaguars, Bass VIs, Electric XIIs and any other offset-waist instruments.
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Paul-T
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NOGD: a new, old JM. Caution: involves mullets.

Post by Paul-T » Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:49 am

this is the story of an old Jazzmaster, which has taken a new turn.

I found it in late 1979 or early 1980; I was turned on to it by Tom Verlaine, of course, and was working in a guitar shop where I kept a 77 or 78 brochure, with a Daphne Blue JM on the cover. I'd seen Elvis C using one in Leeds in 77 (covered in gob), and (a young skinny, crop-haired) Robert Smith playing an Olympic White one in Hull, summer of 79. The area sales director for Ohm amps found me one in Manchester, which he said had been butchered, but resprayed by Gordon Smith. June 1963. £180. When it arrived I was overjoyed; apart from anything, it played beautifully, that characteristic chiming sound, and once set up, perfect intonation, the most in-tune guitar I've ever owned (alongside my Tele, which I got in 1991).

I used this on every record my band made; it never let me down live, always stayed in perfect tune. You can hear it here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFYEsHiFxAk

Here is it in action. Please excuse the mullet. I think this show was in Gary Numan's home town, or orgaised by his fan club, the audience was entirely Gary Numan clones.

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One time after the last song, I threw it face down and it stayed slowly bouncing up and down on the trem, feeding back, the most awesome sound ever. When we came back for the encore it was still in perfect tune. I've had numerous offers to buy it, including from Robin Guthrie (who I don't think owned a JM before trying mine). Since acquiring it, I occasionally used a Gretsch 6120 (better Feedback) and a much later a blackguard Tele> BUt this has remained my key guitar.

After our last record company, Red Rhino, went bust I moved into working for magazines, and my JM helped me walk into my first job. I told the editor at International Musician that vintage was A Thing. My audition piece was on affordable classics, which featured my guitar. SO It helped get me the job I've had pretty much ever since. Which has always been heavily JM-slanted. Ive seen quite a few J Mascis, MBV and maybe Sonic Youth pics on here that I commissioned for the guitar mag I went onto... any band with a JM always got good consideration.

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And here's how it looked from 1979 to the summer of 2018.

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And the headstock. Didn't know that much about why somebody would do this until I found this site.

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Last edited by Paul-T on Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:56 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Paul-T
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Re: NOGD: a new, old JM. Caution: involves mullets. And blondes.

Post by Paul-T » Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:52 am

I've gotta be honest... for the last 20 years I've alwyas played open G, so the Tele has been my go-to. But over the same period I've always wanted to get my JM resprayed in nitro. My backup Strat, one fo the first Squiers, I'd had resprayed white in a local garage to match my JM, it looked great (since stolen). Then around 1987 I bought a 12, stripped to the wood, which I had refinned Candy Apple Red by Clive Brown. I lent it to a friend... never quite got it back. I agreed to sell it cheap; his band was Gay Dad so that guitar did make it to Top Of The Pops, something my JM was never likely to do!

the other guitar I really love is my black guard Tele. But that will have to go soon to pay nipper's uni fees. I'll be losing one iconic instrument, wiht amazing texture, so reckoned if I'm cutting down, I'd get the JM finally sorted.

SO this year, I sold old jeans, a camera lens, shoes, Bowie and King Crimson promo CDs, some first edition books and a bunch of vinyl singles to raise funds for a refin, again by Clive Brown, whose fees have gone up by a factor of three in the last couple of decades; he's better known, and does Johnny Marr's guitars, among others (he fitted Johnny's Buzzstop). I discussed it with guitar expert friends whether I should try someone else... but figured as this is the one guitar I will keep forever, might as well do it properly.

Getting the restoration was like subscribing to an expensive private school. I had to book it in around 12 months earlier, was told there would be a slot in April but he only had time to start in June. I

I only really found out about the Tielman Brothers via this site; I'd heard my guitar had come from Germany so this confirmed it. I did want the front of the headstock veneering and taking back to wood but thought I'd leave the back, to show its history, but Clive kinda refused as I think he wanted to see how well he could conceal the holes. And he did a good job.

But the best surprise was when I arrived in his Ripon wrokshop, he looked at the thick polyester paint, and said "that might be ash underneath". By the time I'd driven home he'd stripped the body. Beneath the white were traces of a red refin, presumably by its Indo-rock owned in Germany. Under there was the pencilled body date and... a blonde finish.

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Re: NOGD: a new, old JM. Caution: involves mullets. And blondes.

Post by Paul-T » Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:57 am

The irony was that, where other people might have done a great job of an Olympic white guitar, Clive is the first person to really master a blonde finish. He's been a big influence on Carson Hess, who a few people here know. Finally, justification for the expensive option (which turned out to not be so painful, once I sold my promo CDs of All Things Must Pass for £100, with other similar insane results from bits and pieces I ebayed).

I left him to choose how much to relic, simply saying I wanted it as little as possible, only to match the hardware, and the existing state of the body dings. I love that paler blonde and asked to keep it pretty pale. Clive has had a almost mint l/h blonde JM thru his hands so he knew the colour well. My only hard-line instruction was not to age the checking (some restorers add a stain once the body has come out of the freezer to emphasise the lines).

So here is Clive, with my restored guitar. And let's see how it looks.

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Of course, there's less 'yellowing' under the pickguard, aka "tan lines".

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The work on the back of the headstock is pretty supernatural...
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And here's the front.
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Last edited by Paul-T on Wed Nov 21, 2018 1:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: NOGD: a new, old JM. Caution: involves mullets. And blondes.

Post by mackerelmint » Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:10 am

That's a great story and a great restoration. Hard to believe that headstock ever had tuners up and down the wrong side. :wacko:

The aging was done very tastefully, too. Not many can do what he did, that's for sure.
This is an excellent rectangle

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Re: NOGD: a new, old JM. Caution: involves mullets. And blondes.

Post by DeathJag » Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:27 am

I enjoyed the read sir! Insane about the wait time, wow. Sweeeet mullet!

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Re: NOGD: a new, old JM. Caution: involves mullets. And blondes.

Post by Larry Mal » Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:34 am

Great story Paul!
Back in those days, everyone knew that if you were talking about Destiny's Child, you were talking about Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Larry.

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Re: NOGD: a new, old JM. Caution: involves mullets.

Post by estranged » Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:57 am

wow, he really worked some magic on that! Nice JM!

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Re: NOGD: a new, old JM. Caution: involves mullets.

Post by mbene085 » Sun Nov 18, 2018 6:00 am

I can't believe that work on the back of the headstock. Phenomenal!

Great story too. And the end result was just perfect!

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Re: NOGD: a new, old JM. Caution: involves mullets.

Post by lalalandstudios » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:17 am

Was the headstock repaired with veneers? Just wow....

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Re: NOGD: a new, old JM. Caution: involves mullets.

Post by jvin248 » Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:13 pm

.

amazing headstock repair. Can you get a description of the steps to get there? Video of how he does it?

.

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Re: NOGD: a new, old JM. Caution: involves mullets.

Post by mgeek » Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:31 pm

That's absolutely incredible...what a great job.

Is it possible to see the join in the veneer, knowing it's there and really getting in close? I had a good ogle of the pics and couldn't see any signs of it

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Re: NOGD: a new, old JM. Caution: involves mullets.

Post by otis » Sun Nov 18, 2018 1:05 pm

Wow, what a great restoration!
I can spot the circles in the headstock, but you really must know they're there in order to see them.
Nice blonde finish and a fantastic tort guard!
I'm curious: does your guitar feels and sounds different now?
I can swear my '64 does sound less lively after her (neck and body)refin, as if she has to be played for years again before she will find her sweet spot. maybe I'm just imagining this, but I don't think I am...
Anyway; your guitar looks fantastic! enjoy it!

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Re: NOGD: a new, old JM. Caution: involves mullets.

Post by Paul-T » Sun Nov 18, 2018 2:51 pm

thanks folks!
otis wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 1:05 pm
Wow, what a great restoration!
I can spot the circles in the headstock, but you really must know they're there in order to see them.
Nice blonde finish and a fantastic tort guard!
I'm curious: does your guitar feels and sounds different now?
I can swear my '64 does sound less lively after her (neck and body)refin, as if she has to be played for years again before she will find her sweet spot. maybe I'm just imagining this, but I don't think I am...
Anyway; your guitar looks fantastic! enjoy it!
I can see a circle on the front in the right light. on the back, he's painted in the grain to join the two sections; so you can work out where the join is, even if you can't see it. The tight radius curves on left of the neck itself kind of butt into another grain line and the joint is near that point. But there's only that kind of logical inconsistency, you can't really believe it's another section of wood, partly because the overall colour is so perfectly matched.

I'm so glad that, having waited for so long to do it, that it turned out to be a surprise finish. Which feels weird, beautiful, but strangely unfamiliar too.

Good point re the sound. I am waiting for my amp to be repaired... but it quite possibly doesn't sound as good acoustically (or likely i'm over-thinking). that could be simple neglect as this wasn't the guitar I had out on a stand so I haven't played it enough for a while. There is actually a weird high resonance or ringing on it which I'm trying to work out, almost like a reverb. But some of that overall difference might be I'm listening over-critically. I'm getting my Champ adapted to use an external 10 inch speaker cabinet so for the first time I'll be able to run a tube amp quietly, and I think it's all gonna work out ok.

I think it really just needs some playing. And going back to standard tuning is weird. But all part of the fun.
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Re: NOGD: a new, old JM. Caution: involves mullets.

Post by timtam » Sun Nov 18, 2018 5:01 pm

Paul-T wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:49 am
I used this on every record my band made; it never let me down live, always stayed in perfect tune. You can hear it here
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFYEsHiFxAk
Cool story.

I don't remember hearing Nyam Nyam in the post-punk era, but your band and that JM sounded alright ! Produced by Peter Hook I see.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyam_Nyam_(band)

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Re: NOGD: a new, old JM. Caution: involves mullets.

Post by kosmonautmayhem » Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:36 pm

Great story and great restoration. Old blondes are one of my favorites to see! This turned out really well.

Thank you for sharing. Its really exciting to see a post like this one. Cheers!

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