A guitarist in Israel swapped a bass for a walnut-finished Gherson SG copy, and then turned it into an ode to the late Ric Ocasek.
Hometown: Netanya, Israel
Guitar: Early-1980s Gherson SG copy, nicknamed “Candy-O”
My story starts about two decades ago, when I bought my first (and last) bass guitar. I was trying my luck as a bassist. However, I’ve found out that it’s rather hard for me to sing and play bass at the same time. I also realized that I’m a much better guitarist than bassist. So, I put the bass in its gigbag and left it in the closet for a long time.
One day, I asked a friend if he’d fancy having a bass (he’s the lead guitarist in one of the bands I play in). He jumped on the opportunity and brought me an early-’80s, walnut-finished, Italian-made Gherson SG copy. He said he liked it, but it was too heavy for him. He also said his Gibson SG is much lighter and so it became his go-to guitar.
The Gherson wasn’t in its best shape and needed to be serviced. The humbucker rings were swollen, the original bridge was replaced (it had a black Gotoh ABR-1 bridge), the logo was almost completely gone, and the electronics were rather dusty. Nevertheless, the guitar was still in a playable state.
As someone who really likes power pop and post-punk music, I saw a late-’70s performance of the Cars playing “Just What I Needed.” At the first palm-muted chord, I noticed that the late Ric Ocasek played a heavily modified, walnut-finished ’70s Gibson SG.
The Gherson looked rather similar, so I decided to modify it as a tribute to Ocasek’s guitar (at least visually).
I bought the following parts: a cream-colored DiMarzio PAF ’59 humbuckers set, cream pickup rings, cream toggle knob, cream toggle surround, chrome Gotoh Nashville bridge, faux pearl Gherson logo for headstock restoration, a dead spot 75 mm mirror, four aged black speed knobs, and a relic-style Cars’ logo.
I took the guitar to my local tech, Yotam Harduf, for modifications. He remarked that I bought the correct parts and matched everything rather well. Still, he needed to do some mods, especially with the pickups’ legs as these were rather long (like in old PAFs). He also set the guitar up to perfection.
The coolest part is that I’ve befriended Elliot Easton, who was the lead guitarist in the Cars. I sent the guitar scratch plate to him in California to be personally signed by him.
Although this is by no means an exact replica of Ocasek’s guitar, the first song I played once I got it back was (you guessed it) … “Just What I Needed.”
The guitar sounds fatter and punchier with some balls (I didn’t have a twin humbuckers guitar before). It’s a sound that I haven’t experienced as I’m accustomed to a brighter sound. (I play mostly Telecasters.) It made me want to bash a lot of chords and palm mute the strings. Also, due to the generally hot nature of the pickups, it made me turn up the amp volume and overdrive the amp.
I really love the new sound and feel that the guitar is really mine now that I’ve given it my own personal touch. I’ve nicknamed my guitar “Candy-O,” after the Cars’ hit from 1979.
Send your guitar story to firstname.lastname@example.org .
- Last Call: Your Guitars Own You - Premier Guitar ›
- Bad Brains: The Big Takeover That Never Was - Premier Guitar ›
- Interview: Elliot Easton - Hello Again - Premier Guitar ›
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters are designed to offer a fat midrange and a smooth top end.
Billy Corgan was looking for something for heavier Smashing Pumpkins songs, so Joe Naylor designed the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One pickup. Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters have a fat midrange and a smooth top end. This pickup combines the drive and sustain of a humbucker with the percussive attack and string clarity of a P90. Get beefy P90 tone plus amp-pummeling output with the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One.
Patented Railhammer Pickups take passive guitar pickups to a new level with rails under the wound strings lead to tighter lows, and poles under the plain strings offer fatter heights. With increased clarity, the passive pickup’s tone is never sterile.
Railhammer Billy Corgan Signature Z-One Pickup Demo
For more information, please visit
Designed for utmost comfort and performance, the Vertigo Ultra Bass is Mono’s answer to those who seek the ultimate gigging experience.
Complete with a range of game-changing design features, such as the patent-pending attachable FREERIDE Wheel System, premium water-resistant and reflective materials, shockproof shell structure and improved ergonomic features, the Vertigo Ultra Bass takes gear protection to the next level.
The Vertigo Ultra Bass features:
- Patent-pending FREERIDE Wheel System that allows for wheels to be attached on the case in no time, giving you the option to travel with it seamlessly
- Upgraded materials, including a water-resistant 1680D Ballistic Nylon outer shell, plush inner lining and new reflective trim for maximum backstage and night visibility
- Enhanced protection with a shockproof shell structure and heavy-duty water-resistant YKK zippers for protection from the elements
- Improved ergonomics and functionality including added back support and load-lifting detachable shoulder straps with side release buckles
- Flexible storage options with added space for touring essentials
Mojotone will manufacture and market over 60 of their speaker cabinets and amp kits as “Licensed by Fender.”
This partnership marks Fender's recognition of Mojotone’s dedication to its craft, quality of products, and dependability of knowledge. Beginning November 29th and ranging from $327 - $1,016.
Amplifiers were among the first products to wear the official Fender seal. A qualified electronics technician by trade, Leo Fender developed his iconic amplifiers during the mid-1940s putting innovation at the forefront. To this day, Leo’s influence and innovative spirit can still be heard in today’s amps, as that same iconic, clean Fender tone continues to color new music around the world. As a result, the process for completing the exclusive licensing deal required Fender to carefully audit Mojotone’s amplifier kits, wiring diagrams, electronics, hardware, construction methods, and more to ensure this innovation carried on through the partnership. Mojotone’s many years of intense research, quality production, and favorable reputation solidified the deal.
Mojotone has always been determined to provide its customer base with the most sought-after parts with their insider industry-knowledge. They have spent the last 25 years helping musicians recreate what they deem to be the most famous and easily-recognized tones and aesthetics in the music industry. When purchasing Mojotone products, like Fender products, customers can be assured of unmatched quality and craftsmanship.
For more information, please visit