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Benny's Guitar History - Part Five

So after my interesting, musically worthwhile, yet quite bizarre experience with H-Pisces, I entered a period where I was somewhat dormant musically, especially from a live performance point of view.

By 2008 I made the decision to sell my beloved Universe Super Custom. My beautiful wife gave me one of those handy reality check talking to's that galvanized me into action, as it was silly to keep it the way had been.

Basically, although I had used the Super Custom during the H-Pisces stint; that band had basically started out acoustically i.e. we rehearsed and performed a host of Radio spots and live gigs as an acoustic act before gradually transitioning to a full on electric act. This means that in tandem with my incredibly timid treatment of the Universe while playing it; I didn't actually play it all that much, and it's 'Mint' condition was thankfully retained once it was all over with the band.

The trouble was, I still didn't want to fuck it up by playing it, and although I loved the extra string and the possibilities it presented; It was just sitting in its case for two years, while I still played my now ancient 555 (ignoring the RGX completely by this time, poor thing).

This situation was ridiculous as the bloody thing was worth quite a bit, and as my wife correctly pointed out, could easily finance one (and as it turned out, actually two) pretty nice 2nd hand Jems that I would actually play so I could retire the old girls.

So in 2008 this is exactly what I did.

Goodbye to the most awesome Universe I'd ever seen, and hello to....

EXCALIBUR!!!!

Yes folks, I'm not sorry at all to reveal that I always name the guitars I love after famous swords.

Excalibur was a mint condition Ibanez Jem77BRM - This is the short lived model with the completely chrome mirror finish bound front. It is actually the axe I am playing in the image I have used for all parts of this pointless blog.

As I mentioned previously; I bought a 2nd Jem at this time, or at least very soon after Excalibur.

Of all the Jem models that had passed through my hands during the eBay years; the one that was the biggest revelation was the Jem7DBK. This model was like a spiritual successor to both the revered PBK (mentioned in a previous part), and the BSB.

Like the PBK, the DBK had a stripped down aesthetic, and a lower retail price compared to the 7V (which I never liked).

Like the BSB, the DBK also had an industrial aesthetic. It also sported that curious slightly thinner neck profile. All Jems 'officially' have the same neck (just called the 'Jem' neck), but anyone laying their hands on a DBK (like the PBK before it), will notice immediately that it's slimmer and faster.

I had really enjoyed all the DBK's that I had bought and sold, so it was a no brainer to procure myself one. So I did, and she was called....

ALBION

Yes, another sword.

Armed with these two amazing axes, I gave the RGX to my niece Caitilin (although I actually have it back now), and sold the 555 to my best pal Chris.

Weirdly, Albion was so ludicrously playable and fast; I favored it over Excalibur for quite a few months. However, after another one of my wife's 'voice of sense' sessions where she quite rightly pointed out the folly of having a £1300 guitar that sat in its case while I played a £700 one. I bit the bullet and began wielding Excalibur in my as yet unworthy hands, and eventually forged her into what she is still to this day: My main squeeze, my wheelhouse, my home, the extension of my soul...my Excalibur!

Part Six coming soon

BENJAMIN J. PEGLEY

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