The Mako Intruder  

Sometimes people do things that are difficult to explain. The guitar you are looking at is certainly one of those "things". This guitar is literally the prototype GuitarAttack guitar, finished in 1983.

The neck is a Gibson neck (with the headstock cut-off) from the Nashville Gibson factory. I was car shopping with a college friend in Donelson, a suburb of Nashville. My friend and I went to a guy's house who had a very clean '71 Mustang Mach I for sale.  However, what caught my eye was a box of Les Paul bodies next to the Mach I in his garage.  Come to find out this fellow worked at the Gibson plant, and he burned the bodies in his fireplace -- "the mahogany burns real good!" My bud decided against the car, but the Mach I guy let me root though the scrap heap. I pulled this neck, sans headstock, out of the box and headed home. Now what? I had a Gibson neck with frets and an ebony fingerboard. OK....

I worked at a feed store when I was in college, and there was a cabinet maker across the street. One Saturday I struck up a conversation with the cabinet dude and the "neck" came up. He said he would make a body and a headstock for a minimal fee. The body is white oak -- heavy for heavy metal, I guess -- and very old. I built the body to be comfortable while sitting down, and it is. It is unbearable to stand up with. In my old band I normally used it on one song, and one song only! The cabinet guy used these huge wood screws to attach the oak headstock, and to attach the body to the neck. It has never shifted, and I haven't seen any cracks yet.

It has Grover keys, a patent applied for Kahler tremolo, and a death-ray Bill Lawrence L500 Lead pickup. The single pot is from my Stun SG. It has had about five different finishes on it, but this one dates from about 1987. The first finish was a horrible Krylon red and white "Rising Sun" motif -- I think I had seen a S-Style owned by metal meister Jake E. Lee with a similar finish. I decided to give it a try, and, sadly, it was really second-tier.

Note:  See the touched-up screw holes just below the Kahler?  Those were from the Stun SG's sheetmetal Maestro trem.  Yes, that was the first trem on this guitar.


mako3.jpg (9253 bytes)

This photo was taken in early 1986.  To atone (I guess), I applied another Krylon enamel paint job -- black w/white stripes, ala Mathias Jabs of the Scorpions.  I initially thought the finish was pretty cool but I quickly tired of it. 

Note the cool touches -- white knob and the headstock logo.  I believe at one time I had a skull and crossbones on the lower horn (Dude!).  NOTE:  The black is sprayed on top of the red and white.  The paint at this point you say...really thick!

The current woodgrain finish was applied in early 1987.  One Saturday morning I awoke with an unusual amount of enthusiasm, and by the end of the day the mocking black finish, along with the red, white, and gray foundation was gone.  I covered the bare oak with a Deft walnut finish.  Interestingly, the guitar sounded different after removing all of those coats of paint.  It is difficult to articulate, but I would say the sound was more "open" with more high end.  Now I usually resist such descriptions, but in this case it is true.

This guitar was the one I used on all of my proto-metal recordings from the mid-80's. I quit using it when I went to Korea in late 1987 and I bought a very cool Fender Japanese Strat.  Actually, it matched my Japanese Fender P-Bass (still have it) -- candy apple red with a white pickguard.  I installed a Dimarzio Dual-Sound in the Strat, and wound up trading it for my HM Strat, which I still have.

I suppose the lesson learned from this guitar is that a non-luthier can have a better idea, and a homemade, crude guitar can provide hours of playing and listening fun. Go ahead -- give it a try.