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Reader Guitar of the Month: Vox-Style Teardrop

Reader Guitar of the Month: Vox-Style Teardrop

A guitarist channels the musical mojo of his late bandmate with this Brian Jones-inspired axe.

Name: Jay Graboski

Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
Guitar: KT Teardrop

This teardrop is only mine to submit because the original owner is no longer with us. My former bandmate Kraig Krixer (pictured above with the guitar in the 1980s) passed away in 2011, leaving behind his small collection of vintage guitars. In the early ’80s, Kraig commissioned luthier John Thurston (the “T” of KT Guitars in Dickeyville, Maryland) to build a guitar styled after Brian Jones’ Vox Mark III from the mid ’60s.

When Kraig died, his brother Cris sold most of the collectable guitars easily, but not the teardrop. I purchased it when I found out it was available. Not only had I coveted this guitar, but Kraig and I shared many musical experiences in our band OHO, and I considered him my friend.

The luthier remembers making the guitar. “We made the guitar for Kraig in ’82 or ’83,” Thurston says. “It was his idea for the Vox look and he wanted the cut-out area at the base of the neck to access the higher notes. I think we were using DiMarzio pickups and he requested a phase switch.” The volume pot was installed in reverse to facilitate pinky swells and the pickup configuration is Tele-inspired, but with a humbucker in the neck position.

I later engaged local luthier Nick Anthony to install a Stetsbar tremolo and a Lindy Fralin bridge pickup, and the phase switch now “stutters” (on/off). I saw the Stones perform at the Baltimore Civic Center in ’65 and Prince Jones was playing his Vox, so my dream of owning a guitar like this languished for 40 years, yet was eventually fulfilled under sad circumstances. This guitar hangs at the ready on my bedroom wall to remind me of my late guitar buddy. I truly believe it’s imbued with Kraig’s mojo, which, I have heard, goes on forever.

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