Friday, February 19, 2010

Vincent Spicer's Gibson ES-333

The guitar I've given Vincent Spicer, of the cartoon band OilCan Drive, is a Gibson ES-333 hollowbody. It has a great woodsy tone to it when played through a clean amp and when it's overdriven it sounds amazing. It's the perfect compliment to Ryan's Fender rock and roll guitar sound.

One of the things I have loved about doing the OilCan Drive music is giving each member of the band, each character, their own voice. Meaning, when I play this guitar on a track, it's Vincent. He doesn't need to speak for me to know it's him. All I need to hear is this guitar playing and I know it's speaking for Vincent. It's a great feeling to give your characters more of a life than an illustration on a page. Even if that life is simply a guitar sound and the way he plays it.

The guitar is pretty much stock, just the way I bought it. I had toyed around over the years of changing out the pick-ups but, honestly, they sound great and pulling apart this guitar and possibly not putting it back together in right working order is a bit scary. So, it sounds just the way it did when it came off of Gibson's manufacturing floor in Memphis, TN.

I did, however, put a nice number five decal on the body of the guitar. I've always loved Pete Townshend of The Who and he's been a great influence on me as far as guitar playing and songwriting go. During the hey day of The Who in the seventies Townshend always had a supply of Gibson Les Paul guitars with different numbers on them. I think it was to signify how each was set up and which corresponded to each different song. So, I wanted to pay a small tribute to that.

But, why number five? What does it signify, you might ask. Nothing really. I just liked the shape of the number, having both rounded parts to it as well as straight lines. I felt it fit the body nicely. There may be a small story in there somewhere as to why Vince chose to put a five on his guitar. Maybe it's the number of his old military unit. Or maybe it's the number of men he lost in battle that fateful day when he lost his left arm (Vincent has a robotic cyborg left arm for those of you not in the's why he started playing guitar in the first physical therapy for the new robotic left hand.)

Only time will tell what the number five means to Vincent and why it's on his guitar.

Here's an illustration of Vince with the guitar (which I didn't reference at all when I drew's why it's not spot on and I haven't added the f-holes...yet.) At least it has his number five on it.

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