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Posted this on the AGF but I thuik some folk here may appreciate it too !


In the mid 80's I was living in London and had just started my my first job. One day I walked into a guitar shop in Richmond and saw a lovely old Gibson J45 hanging on the wall behind the counter. It felt so comfortable in the hand and sounded sweet as a nut but the used price was over twice my monthly earnings so back on the wall it went. Cut to 10 years later, still in London and playing as part of an acoustic duo. I needed a new guitar to replace my battered old Eko so I headed to my favourite guitar selling venue Denmark St. Sure enough, lots of possibles and in particular I was was offered a 'too good to be true' deal on a J45. Something about the price didn't fel right and even then it was about 50% more than I had planned to spend so the result was I walked away. I later found out the shop was going into liquidation and was selling off the stock so it was probably a genuine deal and an opportunity lost but there you go.


Twenty years on and in a better financial position I had some nice guitars in my possession but still felt the urge to try and scratch that J45 itch but knew I couldn't possibly justify the outlay. I'd tried a few over the intervening years but never found one that spoke to me , certainly nothing that was a patch on that first one in Richmond. In fact one or two were decidedly average and I wondered if my memory of that first one had played tricks on me and a J45 was not for me


So about a month ago I wandered into a large music store and saw a J45 on the wall and asked to play it. Immediately I was taken aback at how sweet and deep the tone was. Couldn't put it down and played for about 30 mins. I couldn't really justify the spend on yet another guitar so eventually put it back just as someone else came in to try the same guitar. 'That is a really sweet one' I said to him. "If you are after a J45 I doubt you'll find better'. I walked away with no regrets, but little by little the urge grew to maybe rekindle the J45 quest (I'm sure many of you have been there - once the GAS seed is sown it tends to take root slowly but surely!)


Mindful of the advice on this forum to 'try as many Gibsons as possible before buying' I played a whole bunch of J45s over the next 2 weeks including custom true vintage. Unfortunately none of them did anything for me so it seemed this just wasn't going to be. The week after I was in town with my wife. She had to return a dress so I said 'why don't you do that and I'll meet you in the guitar shop'. Walked in wondering if the guy after me had bought the J45 but no, there it was on the wall. Took it down and 'wow' that same sweetness and deep tone I remembered. Was so busy playing for the next 20 mins that I didn't notice my wife coming in.She stood and watched for a while - 'That guitar sounds fantastic' she said 'You have to buy it'. Well, I didn't need telling twice. Worked out a deal and left with a shiny standard 2018 model in my grasp. I guess after 35 years It was third time lucky . Its all about finding the one that speaks to you and recognising it when that happens. So a week on , still as thrilled and enjoying every minute of it. Fantastic sound, so comfortable, that certain mojo. Perfect.



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