Saturday, October 15, 2005

gear aquisition syndrome

Just so everyone knows, I've got G.A.S.

Thats gear aquisition syndrome, for those who don't know. G.A.S is the ailment that causes normally rational people to think that if they just aquire enough gear (the RIGHT gear), they will attain the success as a musician that has been eluding them.

I've recently decided that I can finally make it as a rock-star guitar god if I only had a Gibson Les Paul Custom!. I've primarily been a strat man to date, so this represents a shift for me.

Unfortunately, an LP custom costs about $3499 brand new. Thats right, gentle reader. $3499. Why would anyone spend that much when they could buy something vastly more useful, like say, a used toyota camry or a popcorn cart? Well, I don't know, but I didn't want to spend that much. Im not that big an idiot. Also, Im too broke.

Used, LP customs run about $1200-$1500 depending on things like age and condition. I was bidding on a pretty nice looking example on eBay when I started wondering about these Orville guitars.

What were they? They looked at first like Les Paul knockoffs. Usually to be avoided, for a variety of reasons. But wait, these are actually made by Gibson!.

It seemed too good to be true! Gibson USA quality at half price or less? The only major difference being the "Orville" name instead of "Gibson". Apparently Gibson wanted to sell the venerable Les Paul in Japan, after suffering a long run of copycat manufacturers stealing their time-honored design. They sued the japanese companies for copyright infringement, which Japan responded to by placing a 100% tariff on imported guitars. Gibson decided to go ahead and produce the guitars there, and bypass the tariff altogether, but the name 'Gibson' was already trademarked there, so they went with 'Orville' (Orville being the first name of the founder..Orville Gibson).

So anyway, rather than ramp up their own facility in Japan, Gibson turned to the company that had been making the best ripoffs and worked out a licensing deal to produce 'Orvilles' for sale there, and only there. Not sold in the U.S. because the quality apparently rivaled that of the USA shop. Some would even say it surpassed it. So no import to the U.S. Can't get 'em here.

But now theres eBay.

A couple sellers, ultrabass7, guitargai, and mijsixstringkatana all sell Orvilles on eBay, along with some other Japanese 'lawsuit' guitars, such as Tokai and Burny.

I believe in Japanese quality. They've always been able to make stuff better, faster, and cheaper, right? I had two MIJ Fender Strats that played just as nice as any USA shop strat, so I figured there might be something to it.

So, I was able to buy one for $600, in black, and a white one for $535.

The black one is very nice. I should be getting the white one soon. So look out. I finally have what I need to be a guitar hero, just as soon as I get a new amp, and some cool new effects pedals, and a flared skin-tight lycra jumpsuit with lightning bolts on it.

I just thought of something I dont want for Christmas

I don't want anyone to say "Shake it like a polaroid picture" in reference to anything, whether it be dancing, walking, making a milkshake, freezing to death, or otherwise.

I like that song too, but IhopeIhopeIhopeIhope blacks on boys it doesn't make it into the common vernacular. It probably already has and I haven't noticed it yet, but before too long, someone in a pizza hut commercial or something will say 'Shake It like a polaroid picture to get a new p'zone' or something like that. Then I will want to die, but not before taking everyone else with me.

I don't want that for Christmas.