Guitars That Got Away chronicles the many guitars that I bought and sold in my life, as well as a few I did not take the opportunity to grab at the time. Everything from Fender Stratocasters, to Gibson Les Pauls and everything in between.
1939 Gibson L-50 Archtop
Upon entering Johnny Wade's home that was full of interesting old guitars, amplifiers and lap steels, I saw this rather worn old Gibson L-50 Archtop guitar, which he handed to me to play.
1956 Fender Stratocaster
This is it, the holy grail of my guitar collecting days, a guitar with so much history within the Australian music industry, it became known as the Johnny Wade guitar and was at one time owned by Martin Rotsey from Midnight Oil.
1960 Fender Stratocaster
Thinking back, it was amazing that my first ever Fender Stratocaster was a 1960 Pre L slab board in the gorgeous Candy Apple Red finish! How lucky was I?
1961 Fender Stratocaster
When my friend first got his hands on this 1961 Fender Stratocaster in what was, and still is a ultra-rare custom colour of Sherwood Green, we were amazed as we had not seen anything like it at that time, sadly thieves felt the same way!
1962 Fender Stratocaster
On my first ever visit to San Francisco in the early 1980s, I happened into a Guitar Center store to see what they had in the way of vintage Fender guitars. It was then I spotted this 1962 Strat with the most amazing flamed maple neck.
1963 Fender Stratocaster
I bought this guitar when no one else did, which was odd given it was 100% original, in a rare colour and was absolutely brilliant! So what was the deal, why was I the lucky one?
1965 Fender Stratocaster
1966 Fender Electric XII
On a trip to California in the early to mid 1980s, I ventured into Norman's Rare Guitars and found this gloriously near mint 1966 Fender Electric XII in Ice Blue Metallic finish, and simply had to have it!
1975 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe
This guitar was only made in one year, 1975, and was commissioned by the Sam Ash music store chain in the USA. They also commissioned a sparkle blue finish which ran for a couple of years more, so this guitar is pretty rare.
1976 Fender Stratocaster
Somehow, the guitar came out a horrible mustard colour and not anywhere near Shoreline Gold. At this point I had lost all interest in the guitar and sold it to Brad Shepherd of the Hoodoo Gurus.
1982 Fender Stratocaster
These ‘Smith’ Strats were a precursor to the first reissue guitars announced in 1982, and released in 1983. I decided to get a ‘Smith’ Strat and this gold on gold example came up for sale at Mahars Vintage Guitars, USA which I landed for around AUD$2,050.
1984 Fender Stratocaster
This 1984 Fender Stratocaster ’62 Reissue in Vintage White finish was absolutely mint, and purchased in the hope that these first batch of vintage reissues would soon take off in value.
1987 Kramer Pacer American
When the American Made Kramer Pacer arrived in Australia, I jumped on board and loved the guitar and the sounds it offered. I wrote so many songs on this guitar and totally regret selling it.
1989 Fender Stratocaster
This 1989 Fender Stratocaster American Deluxe was never meant to be anything special, but having let it go, it leaves a lasting memory as it was simply such a good guitar.
2001 ’61 NOS Stratocaster & Telecaster
I purchased this Ice Blue Matallic Stratocaster and Telecaster set somewhere around 2010 for memory, they are a rare Custom Shop set with serial number 10 of 10 and both are as mint as the day they came out of the Fender factory..
2002 Gibson Les Paul ’59 Historic
This Gibson Les Paul Standard ’59 Historic Reissue was meant to be owned by Andy Summers of The Police, in fact it was on hold for him, but things do not always go to plan now do they?
2003 Fender Stratocaster
If ever there was a Fender Stratocaster that I should have never let go, it is this one. A one off Jon English Masterbuilt that unless you looked at the neckplate you would never know it was not a vintage Strat.
2003 Martin OM-28 John Mayer Signature
A treasured investment in a Martin that I had hoped would go up in value, and it did, quite a bit. However when i went to sell it, I discovered it had been stolen!
2004 Fender Stratocaster 50’s Masterbuilt
This 2004 Fender Stratocaster 50's guitar was Masterbuilt by Jason Davis, and featured a baseball bat sized neck and gold parts.
2004 Fender Stratocaster 50th Anniversary
A Masterbuilt celebration of the guitar that started it all, the 1954 Fender Stratocaster, and this guitar was perfection!
2005 Fender Custom Zebra Telecaster
This 2005 Fender Custom Zebra Telecaster is without a doubt one of the most beautiful Telecaster's I have ever seen, and stupidly I let it get away!
2006 PRS Private Stock
For a while, I was paid to photograph some amazing guitars, and every time I saw a PRS Private Stock, my wallet got nervous.
Tim Farris INXS Telecasters
One day in a vintage guitar store in Sydney, in walks these three Fender Telecasters that belonged to Tim Farris from INXS. The guitars were in for insurance appraisal and we took the opportunity to photograph them.
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