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I'm back to being a Gibson owner!


Tenzin
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Hello...I grew up and currently live on Long Island in New York. I'm the former Chief Technology Officer for a pretty major media company, think 'Rosebud' and retired, the first time, right after September 11th. (My office was in Manhattan.). I decided to go back to work after a couple of years and taught bilingual special education in a 'not so great' area in Brooklyn.

 

My first real guitar was purchased 'on time' (no one would have been dumb enough to give 17- year old me credit) for about $1k in the late 1970's-- a Gibson Hummingbird custom. I'm from the States, but was fortunate enough to study in southern England for about 10 years...of course, my guitar was one of the only things that made it there and back. I don't think it ever stayed long in the case. I had it on a stand and played it often. I switch between fingerpicking and flat picking and played a bit of classical, but a lot of Paul Simon, The Beatles (George Harrison in particular), Dylan, Grateful Dead… pretty normal for that day and age.

 

Fast forward to me being back in the States and having a child and my guitar went back into the case and into my office in the basement. I worked in an extremely poor area, so besides using about half a bottle of anti-bacterial stuff in my car, I'd scrub up when I came home.

 

That day, I came home and went to wash up, but there was no water, I checked the kitchen-- same thing. I called the Water Company thinking they must be doing work. They said they weren't so they sent someone. I didn't think anything of it.

 

I sat down with the newspapers and a few minutes later a knock comes on the door. I let the man in and pointed to the basement. A minute later I hear, "Holy F#(*@!" a pipe, about the size of my thumb, burst and there was water over the first step from the basement nearing the second step.

 

Very little wasn't lost. I had an office and most of the basement was finished...I think I had 6 bookcases. I hardly remember getting out my guitar and only checked on it when the shock was pretty 'set in' about 2 weeks later.

 

A few days ago, I got up enough courage to check on it, thinking it was a goner. It didn't appear to be badly damaged, so… I brought my 'old' Gibson Hummingbird Custom to the repair shop. It was in surprisingly good condition.

 

The repair shop was very close by and I had read a good recommendation so I felt I didn't have much to lose. He charged me $150, it needed a serious setup, the bridge needed to be shaved, nut replaced. All in all, I'm quite happy with it.

 

It brings back a lot of memories...It's most likely from the 1960's and I purchased it in the mid to late '70s. The neck is perfectly straight and it has an amazing action. (He put D’addario EJ16 strings on, which sound a bit bright/tinny coming from my OM...but that's easily remedied.) . It looks like it may rain so I'll post some pictures later.

 

The strange thing about it is there is no serial # printed inside the guitar, and what was printed on the headstock must have gone on after the laminate... I was young (and stupid) and must have just wiped the #'s off. The repair person said it's definitely not a knockoff, and from the type of label, it could only be as late as 1969.

 

It never played as well as it does now. I can't believe how enormous it feels compared to my new OM.

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