Over Easter weekend, three other guys and I had the chance to play "Help!" from The Beatles at church (that sounds strange, but Pastor Jeff worked it into the sermon quite nicely). Anyway, during rehearsals the week before, I was playing my Eric Johnson Fender Stratocaster, but the tone just wasn't cutting it for that song. I needed something with more bite...something truer to George Harrison's tone on The Beatles' recording. So, Cory (my brother-in-law and church music director extraordinaire) decided to rent a guitar for me.
I asked him to find Gibson ES-335, a Gretsch 6128T, or Gretsch a 6119HT -- figured those would produce the tone I was looking for. Turns out the rental place didn't have any Gretsch guitars, but they did have three Gibson ES-335's. However, Chuck Berry (of all people, hahah!) beat me to them. I guess he had a gig that weekend. :) Cory ended up settling for a Gibson ES-150DC (which is pictured above).
The body of the ES-150DC looks very similar to the body of the ES-335, but the 150 is a full-hollow body with a depth of 3", whereas the 335 is a semi-hollow body with a depth of 1¾". At first glance, I thought it was a 335, until I picked it up. Though, that really didn't matter because I fell in love with it when I plucked the first note. It sounded beautiful! The neck pickup generated a rich, fat, warm tone; and the bridge pickup gave me the perfect treble/mid tones that were sure to cut through on "Help!".
I actually got to play it for Friday night's praise and worship, which was a blast. Later, I was able to take it home for the rest of the weekend...got it cleaned up, took some pics (which are featured on my slide show on the right), and fell in love with it even more. The guys and I ended up having a great time playing "Help!" for the congregation in each of the four Easter Sunday services. Nevertheless, the time came for me to part with that wonderful instrument, and, naturally, I was a little bummed about that.
I haven't stopped thinking about that guitar, and for the last two weeks, I've been checking around eBay and some other sites for another ES-150DC. No luck -- until three or four days ago! There's a place in St. Louis called Killer Vintage, and they specialize in vintage gear (go figure!). As I was browsing their inventory, I stumbled upon a nearly identical Gibson ES-150DC to the one I had played a few weeks earlier (click here to see it). This one is a 1968...even better!
So, this past Wednesday, I spent my lunch break at Killer Vintage, talking to the staff and playing that guitar. The guys at the shop were really cool. They treat everybody with respect (unlike many other guitar depots), and the '68 Gibson ES-150DC was fantastic. Man, would I love to have this guitar! Right now, the $2,299 price tag is a little out of reach. But, that doesn't mean I should flush this desire of mine down the toilet. Mark my words, I will add this to my collection someday!