Speedo’s Red Custom

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Part two of my on the road guitarnerd special… this time on Speedo’s custom backup axe.

So, last night was our second and last show with the Hot Snakes. Again it was a blast and again they blew me away. It’s just such a privilege to be able to see this band live after listening to their albums hundreds and hundreds of times over the years. Plus hanging out with them has been great too. I was able to get some info on this weird little guitar that John has brought on tour as his backup.

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I’d seen some photos of John playing this strange red guitar recently and wondered what the hell it was. At first I thought it was one of those new Squier Pawnshop series things, but it’s a lot more interesting than that. The body began life as a Daisy Rock guitar!

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Yep, that’s right. Daisy Rock… The guitars designed by Shecter for kids! John has modified the hell out of this guitar. First up, the pickups were replaced with some tasty 60′s Teisco-types. With John being a big fan of the Dearmond Goldfoil pickups, these units give a similar sound and are a lot easier to find.

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The pickups are wired like John’s other guitars… With a separate output for each pickup. The neck goes to the Vox and the bridge to a Marsall JCM800.

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The finish is a kind of rough but still cool looking homemade sunburst. There’s a lot of splatter and orange peel in the finish, but it looks great. It suits the general 60′s vibe of this guitar.

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The neck is a super slim 60′s Hagstrom (or was it Framus?) neck. It’s really similar to a Mosrite in feel… basically a fretboard with a headstock. Very comfortable. Again, like the Les Paul Pro, the action was super low and the guitar played really easy.

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John said that the only problem with this guitar is that the neck doesn’t intonate so well past the 12th fret, so that’s why it’s relegated to backup duties. He was a little disappointed as he put a lot of effort chasing the parts to this guitar and putting it all together to make it work… Plus it sounds fantastic, so the intonation thing was a bit of a shame.

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Anyway, thanks to Rick & John for having us play on their tour. And thanks to everyone who came to the shows. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.