To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before – Part 1

The first in a series about guitars that I once owned…. and sold on like an idiot.

I’m a sucker for nostalgia. Reminders of different times in my life that I enjoyed and would love to relive. Being that guitars are a big part of my life, I sometimes reminisce about guitars that I used to own and for one reason or another sold on and wished I had back. As I’ve spoken about all the guitars I currently own, I thought I’d delve into the memory banks and talk about some of the guitars that have helped me on my journey to guitarnerdom.

One of these past loves that I really enjoyed owning was a quite rare Takamine GX200.

Back in 1992, I’d been playing guitar for about a year and my main (and only) guitar was a black 1991 Gibson Flying V. While this guitar was fantastic for a heavy metal head like me… it was impossible to play sitting down. I’d stupidly sold my red Squier Stratocaster to buy the Flying V (as for some reason I thought guitarist’s could only own one guitar at a time. I know… weird right?) so I was desperate to find a guitar that I could sit down and practice my shredding with. I wasn’t playing as much as I wanted to as it was a chore standing up for hours trying to run through my scales… when there was a perfectly good chair in my room not getting used.

My Dad & I were in Melbourne visiting my grandparents and had decided to watch an Aussie Rules (football) game with my Uncle Alf. On the way to Princess Park, we walked passed a small pawn brokers and decided to have a quick look. I saw a weird cream coloured guitar in the front window and thought it looked pretty cool. Knowing pretty much nothing about guitars back then, I knew that Takamine were a good brand… and this guitar had the same headstock as their acoustics did so it must be ok.

Plus this guitar had a set neck sort of like a Gibson. But better looking. It had been carved away so that I could get right up to the top frets. I didn’t know much about guitars… but this had to be a good thing. This sealed the deal… this guitar was damn nice.

Best yet, I could sit down and play it! This example was $120, and Dad said if I wanted it he’d buy it for me. (My Dad is pretty awesome.) So I walked out with the guitar and stored it in our car’s boot (trunk) while we watched the game. The whole game I was thinking about playing my brand new axe, and this was the start of my guitar obsession. That moment… the thrill of finding an awesome (& weird) guitar in a pawn broker is an addictive feeling. It’s the thrill of the hunt, I guess.

When I got home back to Griffith, I played the hell of that guitar. I was just starting to learn lead guitar, so the comfortable neck and awesome fret access made this guitar a dream to play. Plus it was so well made. The knobs were recessed into the body and the colour looked cool… sort of Randy Rhoads-ish.

My playing was progressing well and I had joined a local metal band called ‘Lobotomy’. (Check us out here!) While it played fantastically, my Takamine was starting to show it’s shortcomings… mainly the bridge pickup squealed like stuck pig when played through my cranked Peavey Bandit. My band mate Anthony replaced the bridge pickup with a Dimarzio he had lying around and I was sorted. This guitar had excellent sustain and the ‘chunk’ I needed. Plus the Gibson type hardware meant it stayed in tune.

So for the next year I honed my metal chops on this guitar. I loved how easy it was to play, how comfortable it was strapped on and also that I was the only one in town who had one. And now that I knew a little more about different guitars, I thought it sort of looked like Strat crossed with an SG with the bests of both combined into the one guitar. All the Strats body carves were there, with the SG’s horns and hardware.

Anyway, my poor little Peavey Bandit wasn’t cutting it in my thrash metal band anymore. I needed something a lot bigger to keep up with my bass player’s bass stack and guitarist’s Marshall. A local guitarist was selling an 80’s Laney 100 watt tube head and 4×12, so I did a trade for my Takemine, Peavey Bandit and a bit of cash. Just like that, after over a year of loyal service… she was gone.

I think the fact that I’d gotten this guitar so cheap meant I didn’t give it the respect it deserved. While I absolutely needed that Laney half stack to play live, I probably could of kept the Takkie and gotten the amp as well if I wanted… but you know, at the time my main guitar was my Gibson Flying V, not my ‘sit down’ guitar. So away she went to who knows where.

After nearly twenty years of thinking about this guitar, one exactly the same has come up for sale on US Ebay, which is where these photo’s have come from. Unfortunately the seller wants a lot more than the $120 I originally paid for mine, so with that plus the insane US shipping prices now I can’t justify buying this. But hopefully one day I’ll get one again. This was the guitar I learnt my scales, riffs, licks… the guitar I finally nailed the solo to ‘Crazy Train’ on. I miss her.

**** update. My friend Anthony just sent me this photo… my Takkie has turned up! Anthony’s doing a setup on it for the current owner. Man, I would LOVE to have this guitar back!


Also, guitarnerd reader Don has sent me some photos of his GX200 with the optional tremolo.