As mentioned in previous posts here and here, there was quite a range of opinion on how much this guitar would sell at auction. And looking at the news feeds above, even the media can’t seem to decide. Somewhere between $250,000 and $350,000USD. Much less than the forecast of $2 million.
Jim Irsay bought the guitar. Irsay is the owner and CEO of the Indianapolis Colts. He has a guitar curator, Christopher McKinney, to manage his collection of roughly 175 guitars. That collection also includes Jerry Garcia’s Tiger. Irsay paid $957,000 for that guitar.
Jim Irsay’s net worth is about $1.75 billion. He also holds guitars that were previously owned by George Harrison and Elvis Presley.
Okay. The flight deck of a Boeing 737. But not the real one. Well, I suppose it is real in a simulated way.
If flying in a garage can be viewed as real.
James Price spent roughly $150,000 to build the ultimate flight simulator. And he accomplished that goal including the acquisition of a real Boeing 737 flightdeck.
And here I was hoping to get a decent quality yoke stick for my birthday. I think I have to set my sights a little higher.
James talks about his project in this video. Amazing what passion and focus can achieve.
After I posted this story, I came across Laurent Airgon. Another enthusiast from France. He also built a fully functional Boeing 737 simulator.
The Fender Custom shop released this 1954 Heavy Relic Stratocaster in 2014. The instrument had an MSRP of about $4,700USD. It celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster. George Gruhn sold the first production Stratocaster guitar made in 1954 for $250,000USD last year. I guess a guitar can be a worthwhile investment. If you pick the right one.
But how much would it cost to build your own boutique Strat?
We would need a neck and a body. MusiKraft is a logical candidate. It is Fender licensed and it offers high quality components that you can customize to your own needs.
I would order a 10” radius neck with heavily rolled edges and a bone nut at a cost of $395. And a one piece swamp ash body for $475.
Since I want the same kind of relic treatment as the 1954 Strat, I would have them send the body over to MJT Custom Aged Guitar Finishes with a shipping charge of $40. I would have to spend about $500 to relic the neck and body.
I would need to get some distressed hardware and Callaham Vintage Parts would be able to help me out for about $300. And about $20 for shipping.
I still need some pickups and for those I would head over to Sliders. A nice set of Classic 57s would do. Roughly $350. Plus shipping.
A bit of wiring and assembly, and a really nice G&G guitar case, and I should be able to finish things off for another $250.
So, let’s see. We would likely close in on $2,500 for an overall cost of the parts.
Whether it would play as well as a Custom Shop Stratocaster is another question. They do nothing but build amazing instruments. I, on the other hand, have only ever assembled one guitar from parts.
And I don’t play that one.
My son is a big fan of the Walking Dead. And a big fan of zombies generally. So this post is for him.
At the 2015 NAMM, the Fender Custom Shop highlighted some of their more unique instruments:
The second guitar from the left is a bit hard to make out so perhaps a closer view is in order:
Ah yes. A Zombie Stratocaster. Handbuilt by John Cruz. He is the individual pictured just to the right of the guitar.
John Cruz started working at Fender in 1987 and went over to the custom shop in 1993. He has been a master builder since 2003. I’ve played a few of his guitars and they are awesome.
This is what John had to say about the Fender Custom Shop Zombie Stratocaster:
“It’s my tribute to The Walking Dead series, which I’m a big fan of,” said Cruz. “Even though it’s not really the characters, it’s a tribute to that genre. I wanted to show a different side of me, that I could do some artistic type of stuff, as well. And something that caters to different musical forms.”
Joaquin Lopez did the painting and Ron Thorn did the inlays. In this video, John talks about the instrument:
Joe Bonamassa is an avid guitar collector. He owns hundreds of guitars.
“I tour nine months a year,” Bonamassa told Gibson.com, in a 2011 interview. “What am I going to do, come home and noodle with it on the couch? Go, ‘Wow look at this, I’ve got a ’59 Les Paul that never gets used, maybe on a recording here and there.’ I’d rather get a nice case for it–which I did–hire an ex-secret service agent as my security guard–which I did [laughs]–and take it on the road.” In an interview with AmericanBluesScene.com, Bonamassa praised the ‘59’ Les Paul’s extraordinary tone. “I have over 300 guitars, but out of all of them, that one is definitely my favorite.”
He was also asked about the Les Paul Black Beauty which is going to auction tomorrow evening. Speculation is that the guitar might fetch upwards of $2 million. Here is what Joe had to say about the guitar:
As for Bonamassa, he says he wouldn’t pay $10,000 for it. That’s after paying $410,000 for one of his Les Paul guitars. Those are all Standard sunbursts from 1958 to 1960.
“What it is is a carved up old Les Paul Custom that Les modified and gave to Tom,” says Bonamassa. “I think Tom has the best of intentions with the guitar but Tom, because of his closeness to Les, may have an unrealistic value in his mind.”
One more sleep before we find out for sure.
The EVH Wolfgang Custom Relic has a 1.5″ thick mahogany core with a half-inch arched maple top. The guitar also features Wolfganf Zebra humbuckers, TonePros and more. The full feature list is here.
Fender now builds out the line of EVH guitars and amps. The EVH Wolfgang Custom relic is the most expensive instrument with an MSRP of $7,999.99USD.
And why am I even looking at EVH guitars?
Well, not for me. I love my custom shop Strat. The reason is that I caught Eddie’s recent interview at the Smithsonian. He is a couple of years older than me — which means he is getting quite old — but he still plays incredibly well. And he features the amps and guitars that carry his initials.
The interview provides some insight into what drove him to push the boundaries of the electric guitar especially in three areas: tapping, tone and volume swells.
There is no doubt that he was one of the most influential players of the 20th century. And it is great to see him pick up his instrument and play all of those lines at 60 years of age. Check the video at around 25 minutes if you want to see and hear him play.
I have been learning how to fly this aircraft: the Boeing 737-200. The screenshot above is taken with my FlyJSim 732 aircraft using the WestJet livery. Boeing has a comprehensive set of resource materials about the aircraft here.
The 737-200 entered service in 1968 and the cockpit certainly has a vintage feel about it. More of a clockwork environment. Hard to believe that this was the flight deck of a commercial aircraft. Here is a screenshot of the cockpit from my airplane:
Here is a shot of an actual Boeing 737-200 — newer version and this one is equipped with flight management computers:
Getting the aircraft ready to fly from a cold, dark start took a surprising length of time to learn. The aircraft has quite a few systems. This video really helped me to work through the basics although, as you can see from the table of contents, this is not for the casual aviation/flight sim enthusiast.
0:00:00 – Intro
0:03:45 – Cockpit layout & quickviews overview
0:08:46 – Identifying the supplied POH and the applicable pages of interest
0:13:30 – Overhead panel flow logic
0:14:50 – Turning on the battery
0:16:48 – Loading the passengers (PAX) & fuel
0:20:12 – Connecting and using the external ground power and air cart
0:21:58 – Working through the overhead panel & activating the systems
0:33:31 – Overheat and fire protection panel
0:39:24 – Continuing w/ the overhead panel – APU start, APU Generators, and warning lights
0:45:18 – Equipment cooling, exit lights, PAX cabin signs, wipers
0:47:49 – Window heat, pitot static heat, anti-ice, hydraulics
0:51:50 – The Cabin ~ air conditioning, packs, cabin pressurization panel
1:02:06 – Aircraft exterior lights
1:03:37 – Flight director and autopilot – flight director indications
1:10:15 – Marker beacon lights test, clock set, autopilot disconnect light, set flight instruments and check RMI flags
1:13:54 – Hydraulic quantities, ground proximity annunciators, flap/gear inhibit switch & inop lights, landing gear lever & lights
1:17:00 – Takeoff configuration indications that are available on this model
1:18:08 – Comments on “as installed” items
1:18:42 – Anti-skid, autobrakes, engine instruments & annunciator lights check
1:22:50 – Setting the navigation radios for departure, skyvector website & route intro, airways, SIDs, setting the initial courses on the HSI’s
1:41:11 – Weather radar, transponder, stabilizer release knob — skipping these three
1:42:00 – “Christmas Tree” Lights test, autopilot panel, standby & flight instruments check
1:44:30 – Stab out of trim, speedbrake lever & lights, thrust & reverse lever, flap lever
1:46:19 – Brake lever and important troubleshoot tip! Engine start lever, stabilizer cutout purpose
1:48:22 – What info you need for takeoff – using Vcard, speed bugs, flap settings, initial altitude, etc.
1:57:40 – Setting the fuel panel, turning on the pumps
1:58:45 – Turning on and checking the hydraulic pumps and quantity check
1:59:53 – Setting stabilizer trim
2:00:41 – Engine start procedure
2:07:06 – Before taxi procedure ~ final systems that need to be turned on and settings before departure
2:16:07 – Let’s taxi !!
But, if you are using X-Plane 10 and you are flying the Boeing 737-200, this video is very helpful for working through the checklists and getting the engines ready to go.
Trevor has posted the title track for New World on Soundcloud. The CD will be released this spring. I engineered and mixed the project. Enjoy!