Just came from the annual Vintage Guitar Expo, at the Tacoma Dome here in rainy WA state. Been attending this for so many years I can't count. And it's grown every year. Now that it's in the hands of a very capable enthusiast it's grown to be the quintessential presentation it is.
It's always sensory overload, and this year was no exception. Dozens and dozens of exhibitors all flogging vintage and newer guitar, amp, and related gear. If you're a guitar geek like me this is like being a kid in a candy store!
Saw lots of very sweet instruments, and several that I'd love to have. Problem there is that vintage gear has totally spiralled outta control and they're well beyond my means. But it sure is fun to window shop.
Some sweeties included a couple Les Paul Gold tops from '52 and '68, priced at $17K and $12K respectively. Great shape, both of them. Actually that's a pretty good price for them, that is if you have the do-re-mi!
Also saw a pristine '62 Mustang in Dakota Red, all original, for a mere $1600. Back when I was teaching I had many students with Mustangs and while they were considered an entry level Fender they had great tone and playability. And the 3/4 scale has much appeal.
Checked out several early '60's Gibby 335's for $12K and upwards. Always loved those semi-acoustic electrics.
And there were many acoustics as well, most notable was a mint '66 Gibby J-200 for $6500. What a beautiful guitar!
Amps, there were a bunch. But nothing that tripped my trigger. I was "kind-of" looking for an early '60's Vox ac15, but it was not to be. Saw one recent production model but wasn't interested. Did see one '60's ac30 but don't remember the price.
One of the greatest things about this show is that they also feature concerts by notable artists. Both Sat/Sun at the show there are 6 performers in a separate hall. There is no extra charge for this, and one can wander in at out at will.
The sound system is second to none, and they have 2 big video screens set up on each side with a high-def camera focusing on the front person. Plus several remote cameras that can capture the drummers from above, the keyboard guy's hands, the bass guy, and so on. Altogether a very professional package.
First performer was an unknown to me - Adrain Galish. He had his backing tracks on digital so was playing solo. And he didn't fail to impress! Never heard of him before this, but picked up 2 of his CD's after his performance. The man knows his way around a fretboard!
Next performer was Larry Mitchell, accompanied by a local bassist and drummer. Again, an artist I had been previously unfamiliar with. Gotta say he tore it up and I was suitably impressed. His tone and technique left me in the dust! Looks like I'll be checking out more of him.
So no, I didn't splash out on any gear. Gotta win the lottery or something in order to do that!
Most expensive axe at the show was a '60 Les Paul Standard. Rare yellow/red burst finish from Joe Bonamassa's private collection. Pristine. Joe was the second owner. From my local vintage guitar shop Emerald City Guitars. A mere $325K......