Archive for the ‘Guitar’ Category

William Harper – My Son – 10/23/1997 – 01/05/2016

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

Every parents nightmare, and close to three weeks later I still can’t believe I’m living it.

The light of my life was extinguished in the early morning hours of Jan 5. What wouldn’t I give to hold you my son, one more time and tell you I love you William Harper? I love you so much for the 18 years you brought joy to my life, and the hole in my heart will never be filled. You will be missed more than you could ever imagine.

Every parent wants their kids to be happy, to succeed, to do better than they themselves did, to show them things, to teach them how to live, to see them fall in love, live life to the fullest, to be proud of them and to make them proud of themselves.

I am so, so sorry, so brokenheartedly sorry, that I was not able to show you, to somehow convince you, that life is such a special gift for us all, such a joyous, non-stop adventure of sights, sounds, places, people, experiences, pleasure, pain, challenges, failures and victories. Why couldn’t I see the pain you were in, why couldn’t you tell me? Why didn’t you want to tell me?

You were a great kid, smart, talented, fun, and I love you with all my heart. I will never stop treasuring the 18 years you gave me. I’ll never forget all-night Halo video game sessions where we kicked some serious Covenant butt. Or sitting outside listening while you took guitar lessons, I was always SO impressed with the talents you demonstrated, then being so proud when you performed. Being your coach for baseball, going paddling, fishing, riding motorcycles, shooting, jumping on the trampoline and to the rock climbing gym. Lately, us going out for Sushi and a Movie. That was the best.

I’ll treasure every moment, and while at times it will be difficult, I promise you I will never let the sorrow of losing you overwhelm the great joy it was to have had you. You were such a great kid and young man, so much honor and so many great qualities, Wow, what a wonderful man, husband and father you would have been. You really did us all a disservice when you exited early my buddy.

I love you and you your short life had a great purpose. Our family is stronger now with you watching over all of us, I am a better man now, knowing that you are always there with me, and one day, I am going to stop someone from making the mistake that I believe you made. The hole in my heart will never be filled, but the thoughts of your kind, wonderful spirit will never leave me. And some of your great qualities will become a more dominant part of my life.

Maybe I will see you again one day when my time is up. And after I kick your ass for doing this, we can laugh about the old days, the things we did, and you can be proud of how I lived the rest of my life. That will be the best day, but until then, I am going to take care of your Mom and your sisters, and we are going to live a life that you will be happy to watch. We are depending on you to pull guardian angel duty over us during this time, we’ll be depending on you for advice, coaching, protection and inspiration.

Oh… We are proud of you also for helping so many individuals live better lives though your generous donation of organs and tissues, and the $2,000 plus donations that are being made to ‘A Gift for Music’ programs, so kids that didn’t have it as good as you, will have the opportunity to change their lives through music.

That’s just the sort of thing your Mom and I would expect from your kind, caring soul Mr. Harper.
I love you forever William Harper.

William Harper a few Pics

William Harper Life Celebration Page

William Photos

Tommy Emmanuel… WOW!!!!!

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Tamara, William and I went to see Tommy Emmanuel in concert at the Plaza in Orlando last night.  Oh my gosh! That guy is amazing.   Acoustic Guitar like you’ve NEVER heard.       They both LOVED it, it’s hard to impress William sometimes, but there was no doubt about it this time.

I’ve had several of his albums for a while, but to see him play this stuff live is simply amazing.    I bought these tickets way back in October when they first when on sale and we had GREAT seats, 3rd row, SUPER close.   You could see everything he was doing, well kind of, it was pretty fast, and the sounds he gets from his guitars don’t really seem possible.   I’ll definitely go back to see if if the opportunity arises.

Let me re-phrase ‘Great Seats’, they were in a great viewing and listening area for the venue, but THE SEATS IN THE PLAZA IN ORLANDO ARE ABSOLUTLEY HORRIBLE.  They are worse than any high school auditorium, or public venue I have ever seen.   I don’t think I’ve EVER been anywhere with such tiny, crammed together seating as this place.  TINY TINY metal chairs, no arm-rest, and about 10 inches from the seat in front of you.     You could not possibly leave your seat without having everyone else in the row actually leave the row.  I’m not a big guy, nor was the guy sitting next to me,  but we were shoulder against shoulder.

I’m honestly not sure I’ll back to the Plaza with their current setup.   IT was only an absolutely incredible performance by Tommy Emmanuel, that made the night a grand success.   So remeber, TOMMY EMMANUEL… if you get the chance to see him, GO!

22:04 5k and a guitar finished

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Ran a 22:04 5k last week, kind of surprising with my lack of training lately, but cool, dry weather was a help.    Time to start cranking up the mileage though.

Finished a guitar this weekend, a conglomeration of parts, the body was originally a white Made in Mexico Fender Stratocaster that belongs to Tamara, she took it with her on a John Mayer Cruise in hopes of getting an autograph on it.    The neck is from a 24 inch scale Jagmaster that belongs to William, and the bridge a Made in USA Fender Tremolo bridge.  Metallic Copper paint on body and matching headstock.    The two humbuckers sound great, and it plays real nice.    I love the 24 inch scale neck.

Finished my Blackguard Telecaster

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Long time, no write.     Since my last post I’ve done a lot of stuff, as far as the guitar projects I mentioned last blog, I did finish one of those…A Blackguard Telecaster, built from Pine, with a Butterscotch Blonde finish.   I actually ended up building it as an Esquire, ( no neck pickup), though if I run across a vintage Gibson humbucker, I may cut the pickguard and add it, ala Keith Richards Micawber guitar.William declared it the best playing guitar in the house.  I’m loving it.

(have a 1970’s Fender Silverface Champ Amp supposed to be delivered today too, can’t wait to hear that)

The Cedar body is getting close, I’ve just been having so much fun playing this one, I’ve not taken the time to finish it.
Reflection Reflection 2
 FrontTwo Guitars

New Guitar Builds

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

My first guitar builds where I built the body from scratch.  Building a old school Butterscotch Blonde Blackguard style Telecaster with pine and one from Cedar that will have a clear natural finish…

For the Blackguard I’m using Fender Blonde color, then amber/yellow tint on top of that..

Still have some sanding/cleanup on the cedar before I start clearing coating it.

It’s like this now, waiting for clear/tinted clear


















But it started like this…


Here with Reranch  Fender Blonde applied…  This is NOT Butterscotch Blonde, it’s Blonde and actually is whiter than this pic looks.

Next comes various concoctions of color to get the neck tint and ‘aged’ Butterscotch to simulate 50 years of smokey bars, sun and yellowed lacquer…

It’s getting there,  but I have to decide when enough is enough.  This is pretty close to exactly what I want, I think I’m going to shoot some clear, then some LIGHTLY tinted clear.   Same for the neck, I’m going to do clear, then decal, then tinted lacquer and clear till it’s right.

I have some sanding and prep before I shoot clear on the cedar, but when I wipe it down it really looks pretty.  With a nice polished clear over it, it should come out nice.

Metallica and Motorcycles

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

William and I scored cool tickets in a Suite at the St. Pete Forum in Tampa Bay to see Metallica.  What a great time, these guys played to a FULL stadium for close to 4 hours.  They were awesome.  William plays several of their songs on guitar and was loving every second of it.

AND, tomorrow I’m taking a day off work, and hopping on the FJR for a camping trip to North Carolina with a couple of buddies.  What a great time that’s gonna be.    Leave very early Friday, get back late Sunday.


Packed house and I don’t think a single person left early.Great show!

Gotta have some fire!Gotta have fire, we could feel the heat from our seats and we werent’ that close.
William with a women that befriended him at the concert.William with someone he met at the concert.  They were rockin.

img00125-20091003-2337.jpg William’s concert friend.  She was trying to get William down to the stage at the end of the concert.


What a surprise!

Friday, August 21st, 2009

What a cool birthday present I got from my family today.    Tickets to see Joe Bonamassa at the Plaza Theater!!!

I’ve got a couple of his CD’s and really like them.  He’s in his 30’s now, was a child prodigy guitar player, opening for BB King when he was 12 years old, etc.   Electric blues guitar, but he puts a pretty heavy Rock slant to it.  Really good stuff.

In any event, he’s coming to Orlando in November, and I get to go see him, Thanks Tam/Em/Will/Ash!!!!

Joe Bonamassa Plaza Theater

I’ve currently only got two of his CD’s but that’s about all I’ve been listening to lately, ‘The Ballad of John Henry’ and “Blues Deluxe”

His DVD from a performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London looks pretty cool, trailer below.

Gibson Les Paul Studio Refinish

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

Here’s my latest project, which I’ve FINALLY finished.  I bought a trashed, beat up Gibson Les Paul, and did a complete refinish in it and the hard shell case it came in.  It was pretty dinged up and dented when I got it. 

This is when I got it.  It was filthy, dented,  fretboard was dry as a bone, electrics in cavity did not work.  Hard case was included but was broken and looked like it had been kept in the back of a pickup truck driven on dirt roads for a year or so. 

Strioped and Sanded to bare wood

Stripping the paint off front and back…

Stripped and sanded down to bare wood.

Blue Aniline Dye applied to top

Mockup to get an idea of what it will look like…  Some clear laquer has been sprayed, but not all of it, and no polishing yet…

Les Pauls are made with a mahogany body, with a maple cap on top.  that is the top 3/8 inch or so that is carved.  What you see here, is the stained mahogany, the natural color of the edge of the maple top, and then the blue dyed top.

After assembly and final polish…