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Monday

Relic Guitar Evolution...

Where is Relic Guitar Headed?

photo: www.mandango.eu/news
(Best to read in the voice of Andy Rooney)
Nov. 30, 2011
Last week I thought that a "Pepper Spray Relic" might be cool. A patina of orange spray swiped across an Olympic White Strat or Tele. But then Black Friday events at various Wal-Mart stores kinda killed all the romance, symbolism and just plain fun of getting pepper sprayed. 

A friend recently asked me if anyone knows what happens to relic guitars after they've seen rough service, y'know, actually being played. Like, has anyone put enough extra miles on their Rory Gallagher Strat to make a difference-- and is there a "Relic 2.0" out there yet? Good question!

This caused me to ponder various things, since I really don't know the answer. I mean, does Fender warranty the finish on a relic model? You know a relic guitar costs more, right? This is correct, except I once saw a relic Tele on the Musician's Friend website listed as a "Scratch and Dent" item, and marked down-- swear to God!!!

Ever seen fat free half & half or extra butter light microwave popcorn in the supermarket? These products exist too.

I suspect that many relic guitar owners don't really put much added wear & tear on their guitars. It's even possible that a few odd types may even baby these instruments-- maybe polishing the finished sections and treating the worn areas with deck sealer or something... Keep 'em in a humidor too! Like Lenin's Tomb or something for when company comes over.

Another idea we've entertained is the "Rehab Relic", which is a trashed guitar that has then been poorly refinished-- very poorly. Rehab is cool y'know. Or how 'bout a "Botox Relic"-- this would be a guitar with small checking throughout a finish that only looks good from far away, with maybe an ever so slightly deformed pickguard, or knobs of differing sizes. A "Shedding Relic" could have several finish coats that are always flaking away like baklava. Imagine Fiesta Red chips constantly on your clothes and furniture. You bet!

Yeah, I got ideas alright. Maybe that's why Fender invited me to lunch and a tour of their new visitor center and Corona facility during the upcoming NAMM in January. It's great ideas like this that make things happen!

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