Tom was delighted when he opened it. The invitation read:
“Dear Tom and all,
You are now well known for your magnificent Cobras. Please, your presence is requested at our annual Naag Panchami Festival celebration in which we will pay homage to the Cobra. We are expecting around 100,000 visitors to attend. Could you come? Please bring one of your favorite Cobras with you. The festival will be held in the town of Bahti Shrila, India next weekend. Looking forward to seeing you there.”
How could we say no to such a gracious invitation? A celebration paying tribute to the Cobra is quite an extraordinary honor and 100,000 guitar players all in one place—how cool is that? There were bound to be some great jams spotlighting Cobra’s fat and singingly expressive lead tones.
But which Cobra to take? The decision was rather difficult until we released the latches and opened a case that revealed this charming and rather mysterious Transparent Black Cobra. As if the superlative quilted maple top was not enough, I lifted the Cobra from its case and held it close. I was reminded once again of its soothingly sculpted contours and relieved by its rather light weight mahogany body. It only took one strum to disclose how resonant this wood combination can be when Anderson gets a hold of it. It resounded like a clap of thunder that sent me scrambling for the spec sheet to check and see if this one was equipped with .011 gauge strings. It had .010s. That’s Cobra for you. I glanced down at my left hand. The sleek T/A Standard neck shone with a unique flat black treatment. Besides looking completely cool, the smooth-as-silk satin finish allowed my hand to fly effortlessly from note to note.
This T-Black, Cobra’s H1- and H2+ pickups should be a great choice for our trip as well since their forte is muscular, full-bodied, medium-output humbucking power with beautifully musical articulation that can also be split three ways to unveil unparalleled single coil tones—quite unprecedented and appreciated from a guitar with a 24 ¾-inch scale length. Plus these popular and versatile humbuckers have the ability to command the stage through whatever amps they may have available for us in India.
Since this guitar was envisioned and ordered by Tim and the guys at Atlanta Music Brokers, men of great foresight, we gave a quick call to ask if we could take their guitar to a festival honoring our Cobra before shipping it to them. They were flattered and happily gave their consent, wishing us a bon voyage.
As we walked down the main street of Bahti Shrila there were people everywhere and they were cheering. We felt fortunate—fortunate to be here and fortunate to have our guitar appreciated in this unexpected way. What could be nicer? Just then I glanced to my left as Charles looked to his right. Jesse and Ralph just stared straight ahead. Tom happened to be looking up and admiring the deep blue of the Indian sky when we all exclaimed simultaneously, “SNAKES!” Tom, still looking up, gently replied, “I know, Anderson Cobras, isn’t it nice?” “NO! Real snakes! Serpents! Cobras! You know, Latin—Elapidae!” Tom jumped at least 8 feet straight up but never let go of the guitar. We were in the middle of a village full of people and they all had their own Cobras alright—but real Indian snake-type cobras.
I grabbed our guide book and looked up the Naag Panchami Festival. It read: “Annual event dedicated to the worship of the Indian cobra also known as Naja naja. This famous Festival of the Cobra has been going on for over 1000 years and still takes place each year in India. The festivities culminate with a contest for best cobra with the winner being covered in vermillion powder.”
We made our way to the center of town and spoke with the curator. We explained that we had received their kind invitation and we did bring our Cobra but it is not a cobra but an electric guitar made in America. He seemed quite delighted and asked if we would play as part of the festivities. Tom agreed and we broke into song. When we had finished they were so moved by the tones that the Transparent Black, Cobra had offered them that they covered us with vermillion powder and sent us blissfully on our way.
• MODEL: – Cobra
• FINISH: – Transparent Black with Binding
• BODY WOOD: – Quilted Maple Top with Mahogany Back
• BODY WOOD BACK COLOR: – Black
• NECK WOOD: – Mahogany with African Rosewood Fingerboard
• HEADSTOCK COLOR: – Black
• NECK BACK FINISH: – Satin Flat Black
• NECK BACKSHAPE: – T/A Standard
• NUT WIDTH: – 1 11/16ths
• SCALE LENGTH: – 24 3/4-inch
• FRETS: – Heavy
• BRIDGE: – Fixed Bridge
• TUNING GEAR: – Split Shaft
• HARDWARE COLOR: – Chrome
• PICKGUARD: – n/a
• NECK PICKUP: – H1-
• MIDDLE PICKUP: – n/a
• BRIDGE PICKUP: – H2+
• SWITCHING: – 5-Way with Push/Pull on Tone Control for 6 Sounds
• PICKUP COVERS: – n/a
• PICKUP RINGS: – Cream
• STRING GAUGE REQUESTED: – .010-.046
• DESTINATION/LOCATION: – Atlanta Music Brokers/Atlanta, Georgia