4 - THE SWISS CHEESE GUITAR
I started working at age 12 painting album covers on the backs of dungaree jackets for $20 each (most people asked for Iron Maiden's first album or Killers) Ibanez just came out with the Roadstar series of guitars, which were Stratocaster copies with a better vibrato bar on 'em. When I was 14 I saved up enough money to get one selling at the store I took lessons at - the wood was cracked, it was last year's model, it was $180. It was a 1983 Ibanez Roadstar RS135BK (bought it July 3rd, 1984) First thing I did when I brought it home was pry the paint off it and sand it down to the wood.
(pic taken Feb 16th, 1985)
This is another guitar that went through alot of changes. Put a humbucker by the bridge. At one point I hung old skeleton keys all over the guitar - made the guitar too heavy. I left it as is for a while. Put a Floyd vibrato and a locking nut on it eventually. I wanted to make the guitar look like someone took a big bite out of the body. My dad had a bunch of drill bits - I drilled away the wood where ya rest your picking arm, and in the end it looked like shit. So I kept on drilling and eventually it looked like Swiss cheese. I went to an auto paint store with a slice of Swiss cheese and told them I need to match that color. They hooked me up and I painted it yellow. In the early 90s, DiMarzio re-wired the guitar for me, with a Chopper pickup by the neck and a Tone Zone by the bridge. They put in a single volume knob and a 5-way toggle switch - 1) bridge pickup, 2) bridge pickup as a single-coil, 3) both pickups, 4) both pickups out of phase, 5) neck pickup.
This was my main guitar until I hooked up with Vigier in '97. When Vigier built the "Bumblefoot" guitar, I laid the cheese guitar to permanent rest.
(pic taken Feb '97)