My Guitar Gear Through The Years

My Guitar History

I have been playing the guitar in earnest since 1986. For my 16th birthday, my parents bought me my first electric guitar and amplifier, a Peavey T-15 and a Peavey Audition 110 amp. The T-15 was a beginner, student sized electric, with 20 frets, and a 20" scale length, and the amp, while small sounded great to me. I played the guitar often, through headphones mainly, and used to love to just look at this simple, well made instrument.

Before going to Hampshire College in the fall of 1988, I bought an Epiphone Sheraton II guitar at my local music store, to have something nice to take to college. I had seriously considered getting a Carvin DC100 guitar, but was leery of buying something sight unseen. The Sheraton was beautiful, with gold hardware, fancy abalone inlays, and that "Gibson semi-hollow" sound. However, the guitar itself was not very good. The frets buzzed everywhere, the bridge needed constant adjustment, and it would never stay in tune. After my second year of college, I decided that I was ready for a more high quality instrument. After careful research and thought, and riding high on a strong interest in Stevie Ray Vaughn, who died that summer, I bought a Fender American Standard Stratocaster. The Strat was my main guitar for 10 years (usually played through a Fender Princeton Chorus amp). I also used to own a Guild Songbird acoustic guitar, which is great to play around the house, but too quiet to keep up with other instruments in an acoustic setting (I ripped out the electronics years ago). See more about this instrument below.

In 1999, while working at Groton School, I joined an all-teacher rock band. This is an .mp3 of our version of Bob Dylan's "Positively 4th Street".One of the members acquired a couple of nice new guitars that year, and I started thinking that for my upcoming 30th birthday, I wanted a special guitar. My bandmate, John, turned me on to a great website ran by a very interesting guy (who has since deceased), Ed Roman. John had bought his latest axes at Ed Roman's, and I just couldn't stop reading his informative website filled with provocative articles and lots of pictures of expensive guitars. Ultimately, I decided to save Ed Roman as a backup plan, and started looking very seriously at the latest offerings from Carvin. The Carvin is a fantastic guitar, though I still suffer from G.A.S. (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome), and keep buying new gear.

In 2004 I began using GarageBand to make some rough multitrack recordings with my guitars. Hopefully someday I can take these demos and fine tune them into a real album. I've been posting my work on a site for internet users to upload their music. The name of the site is the "Low Standards", the name of one of my current projects . Check out my tunes!

In the summer of 2007 I discovered a local blues jam run on Wednesday nights at the Saloon in Wilkes-Barre. Dan, the host (a/k/a/ "Big Daddy Dex") is a super guy. I went about five times this summer, and it was really great to be able to play with musicians who are far better than I am. Also, it was my first time ever playing in front of an audience made up entirely of strangers. It's different, but I far prefer playing for friends, students and co-workers.

I moved to Richmond, Virginia in 2015, and after downsizing my guitar gear, I found an old-guy band and have had tons of fun playing and learning songs with "Country Creek". But of course, it made me "need" more gear...

Writing about my once and future guitars has made me think about all of the gear I have had through the years. Here is a summary of all that I can remember (most of it is written in present tense, though most of this is long gone):