I am extremely picky when it comes to my guitars and I never really found a company that could create one that has everything I want in a guitar. I’m still not exactly there yet, and I am not sure I ever will be, but I wanted to introduce my newest member of my guitar family, Rockelle.
Something happened at my final performance in Buffalo, NY in June of 2000 that forever changed my life. Since I was moving to Phoenix the next week, I sold most of my gear in order to start fresh when I arrived in Arizona. This includes the $350 Epiphone Dot and small Mesa Boogie combo I have been playing that night. At the end of the night, I was paid in cash for the guitar and amp and I would never see them again.
Normally this is not a big deal. I have bought and sold many guitars before and after this night, but something magical happened that night during the final solo. The guitar seemed to come to life in my hands with the perfect mixture of mid range and overtones. I really regret selling that guitar but it put me on a quest to find that tone in another guitar.
After arriving in Phoenix, I tried out a bunch of other Epiphone Dots and ever more expensive Gibson models but I was never able to find the tone I was looking for.
I knew what I wanted to have so I reached out to many custom guitar builders and gave them my vision. One company agreed to build my instrument and came up with this prototype:
This guitar had everything. It was fully hollow, with bracing like an acoustic guitar, had a killer looking bridge and tail piece. Sadly they were never able to complete this build due to time constraints.
Then I ended up finding a custom builder in Los Angeles that was able to put together Rockelle:
She is not perfect but I really like her. She is a semi-hollow body, 22 jumbo stainless steel frets, custom bridge and tail piece and has 2 f-holes. The pickups are ’59 Seymour Duncans. The headstock is at the perfect angle for tuning stability and great tone. The pickups have a standard 3 way switch with 2 mini-toggle switches to select between series, parallel and single coil tones.