This reader’s clever Explorer-style doubleneck bass and guitar project ended up conveying a lesson about embracing your imperfections.
I glued the cracked body back together, and planned to restore a guitar and make it look like my 1985 ZZ, but I wondered about the spare body and neck. Someone suggested making a doubleneck like James Hetfield’s, and since I’m a bass player and also a huge Rush fan, a doubleneck with a bass on top and guitar on bottom sounded fun. “Xanadu,” anyone?
After some mockups, I cut both bodies and glued them together, keeping the Explorer-ish shape. I had some spare parts lying around from other projects, so I used them. Since I was doing this project on a shoestring budget, and didn’t know any professional painters who would work for free, I decided to paint it myself. I found articles about DIY instrument painting using off-the-shelf colors and rattle cans. By this time, it was October, and in typical New England fashion, we had a freak snowstorm. The temperature and humidity were all over the place, and inexperienced me trudged on with painting and sanding, hoping to finish the project before Christmas.
“Since I’m a bass player and also a huge Rush fan, a doubleneck with a bass on top and guitar on bottom sounded fun. Xanadu, anyone?”
The biggest headache of all came from a little piece of wood in between the guitar neck and the neck pickup that fell off during sanding. Without thinking, I cut the excess neck pocket where that piece was, mounted the neck, and went on doing other things. I inadvertently had changed the scale length of the guitar, which would keep me from properly tuning it. This was apparent when I tried to play a simple G chord—it sounded horribly out of tune. I had to move the neck back to its original position and there are visible scars from the mistake, but there’s not much I can do about that now. This project taught me a lot, especially to accept who I am: not perfect. I’m not, and the doubleneck is not either—and I’m okay with it! It’s a fun instrument to play and one of my favorite-sounding basses!
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Developed from hands-on analysis and digital scans of the original neck and body profiles.
Nashville, TN (December 11, 2015) -- A replica of Alex Lifeson's own '70s Gibson Double Neck, crafted in close collaboration with the Artist. This limited run of 100 EDS-1275's is a replica of Alex's famous Farewell to Kings Double Neck. Based on hands-on analysis and digital scans of the original's neck and body profiles, each one is a precise re-creation of the guitar that Alex acquired in the mid-1970s and one that would go on to become a visual and tonal icon. "I acquired this (white) one in 1976, along with a cherry one, which I later gave to Eric Johnson," said Lifeson. "It's been with me ever since, playing a constant role in the Farewell to Kings tour between 1977 and 1983, then again from 1991-1996, primarily for the song 'Xanadu'. It was used to record the songs 'Xanadu', 'Something for Nothing', 'Vapor Trails' and others." Now, in very limited numbers, Gibson Custom is proud to offer the original "two-in-one" axe with undeniable stage presence based on Alex Lifeson's own.
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