Adventures in Culture part 13: Guitar repair workshop

I fixed this! 

I’m going to shock you: I REALLY like guitars.

Okay. That’s not much of a revelation, but I do like to don my lab coat, fire up the soldering iron and become a guitar repair guy. 

So, when my local charity shop had this little fella in need of a new home and a bit of TLC, I thought I’d get it back on the road to recovery - AND tell you the most important bits of guitar maintenance….

The new patient

The new patient

The naming process
The first (and most important part!) is giving your new instrument a name. I was a little against the idea at first, but being a Brit, it enables me to do what we do best: puns! In my collection I now have ‘Nelson’ Mandola, ‘King Edward’ the 1930s Regal brand guitar - and now this little gem.

The brand is a Jedson, a 1960s Japanese budget guitar, plugged in and cranked up to 11 by many a garage band across the decades. I thought of ‘Eric’, after the Japanese word for electric guitar ('Erekigitā'), but stuck with 'George', after the lead character from one of my favourite kids cartoons: the Jetsons.

George Jedson. George Jetson.

George Jedson. George Jetson.

A glamorous assistant
Every adventurer needs a sidekick. For this expedition, I had Old Man Jack, champion snuffler and snoozer. As you can see, he’s very helpful…

"It's a guitar alright, boss." Thanks Jack.

"It's a guitar alright, boss." Thanks Jack.

Getting Under the bonnet
Guitar geeks are like car enthusiasts: we love to take a step back from the machine, fold our arms, take a deep breath and say ‘Let’s open her up’. 

And when it became apparent that Mr Jedson wasn’t making a noise when I plugged it into an amp, it gave me the perfect excuse (not that I needed one) to get right up inside him. 

I’m really glad I did too! I discovered the electronic components were still in pristine condition, so a blast of WD40 got Georgie boy back into the land of the living.  

"Let's open her up" - getting inside George. 

"Let's open her up" - getting inside George. 

But, the best thing I found was a hand marked Japanese symbol, fresh from the factory floor over 50 years ago. What does it mean? Is it just a hash tag? A great find! 

It's a sign! But what does it mean?

It's a sign! But what does it mean?

New strings and a polish
Once the guitar is up and running again, it’s always best to buff it up and make it shine once more. Mr Jedson had many years of finger grime on the fretboard, so a wipe down and polish with some Dunlop Guitar Polish and a new set of Ernie Ball strings sorted him right out. Look at him shine...

George polished up a treat! 

George polished up a treat! 

And there you have it! A new addition to my collection. Look out for appearances from George Jedson (and myself!) at a gig soon. 

In the meantime, keep it under the bonnet.

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @stephensonrich

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