This is the first in a series of instruments which began with a mental mock-up that I had been doing over and over in my mind in the months preceding a trip to Thailand. I was going there for the second time and I did not want to leave without the six. . .I had been trying to come up with something that would not sacrifice function but without spending money. The idea was to pillage my collection of guitars and spare parts and construct an instrument that would fit in the overhead compartment on the flight.
I was already tired of the specter of maintaining a fine instrument during a flight and who knows what might happen while gone in Thailand. I did not want the hassle created when the flight attendants know that they are doing you a favor at times when you ask them to find a spot for it.
Nobody wants the liability.
So I wanted to take a “beater” that did not matter what happened to it. I wanted to be casual about it wherever it was.
I could not find the guitar that I had in mind when I looked in all the places where it should be.
That is when my mind opened.
I chose the one in the picture which was the one that I had in my hands when I had my first great teacher. This is the guitar I learned on. The Atlas is where it happened for me… to connect to my creativity through John, who stood behind me and pushed my fingers down where they go… just like the man standing behind the boy who connects with what it is like to swing the bat the right way.
The Atlas was badly broken, but I could never discard it because I needed to be true to it forever. I envisioned a way that I could utilize the neck and make a secure joint with the strength and stability where the bridge should be and secure a pick-up as well.
I really enjoy the way the trapeze tailpiece double functions as a battery mount for the NiCad rechargeable. This was the most significant thing that I had ever made. Normally you have to put it together and take it apart several times before you get it just the way you want it. Not this time.
This one is techmically still a mock-up even though for two years it was my most used and reliable guitar. The pieces went together perfectly the first time. It has a body contour that fits so amazingly around your ribs considering how simple and blocky it looks. I have sized up changes many times over the years, but it is not often that your project falls into place as well as this. I will not change it. This guitar will always be sacred to me.
click on the group icture to see more