This week has been full of test runs on the newsletter. A poem! A logbook! And now the first half-free, half-paywall post. First, everyone will see the fourth installment of GEAR TALKIN’™️ from Mark. After that, if you’re a subscriber, you’ll also see a section where I share a song recorded using the guitar he’s talkin’ bout. In case you didn’t know, I share a song of some sort every week behind the paywall.
GEAR TALKIN’™️ #4: 1919 Gibson L-1 Archtop
Jeff’s acoustic version of “Just Say Goodbye” (the original version is from Wilco’s Schmilco album) was played on his lovely 1919 Sheraton Brown Gibson L-1 Archtop acoustic guitar pictured below. Pretty, right? Right. That egg-shaped butt gets me every time.
This model went through a bunch of changes over the years, which is weird when you think about it. If it’s a different shape, why not name it a different model? I mean they have models that look identical to other models with only slight differences (deeper body, different wood types used) and each have their own unique model names. So here’s a guitar that changes almost completely a few different times over its history and it keeps the same name?! I don’t get it.
Anyway, Gibson first made this model as an archtop in 1902… for a time with a pickguard… then for a time without a pickguard. Then they brought back the pickguard. “Pickguard Classic”. Then soon after this one was made, they made it into a flattop model and THAT is the one that Robert Johnson can be seen holding in that great picture of Robert Johnson holding a guitar while wearing a hat.
Thanks, Mark! Now, here’s a recording of “Just Say Goodbye.” This song hasn’t been played a lot by me or the band. Not sure why… but it always feels “right” to me when I do play it, though. I guess some songs just need a little space sometimes. Like if you tell someone the same story a few days apart it’s annoying, but if you wait a few years they might get excited to hear it again. Maybe it’s like that?