Guitars Of The Week:
The Week of November, 15 1999 through November, 22 1999
Hollow Drop Top
Koa Top on Basswood
I don’t know how it happened but I knew what I must do. I slipped Chris’ beautiful Cherry Shade Hollow Koa Drop Top into a padded gig bag, strapped it to my back and stepped out the front door of Tom Anderson Guitarworks into the cool, crisp night air. There was a large full moon in the sky as I swung my leg over the Blue, Wide Glide, Harley Davidson. This must be Steve Mueller’s Harley. Steve Mueller is head of sales for Mesa/Boogie and lives in Dallas. Why his bike was sitting here, I wasn’t sure but I knew he would mind if I used it.
I zipped up my brown leather jacket and turned the key. My gloved hand hit the starter button and the big V-Twin thundered to life. There is nothing quite like the sound of a Harley engine as it breaks the silence of the night. I gave it a couple of quick revs, slipped it into gear and I was off.
It didn’t take me long to clear the city. I was now out on the open road. It was a beautiful night. I leaned back and put my feet on the freeway pegs. I noticed that I was still wearing my pajama bottoms and slippers—weird. I was headed for Kaukauna, Wisconsin and Electric City Music. Electric City is our dealer in that part of the country. They have been an Anderson dealer for a long time and they are very enjoyable people. They had ordered this Hollow Koa Drop Top for Chris. It was suppose to ship with all the other guitars but for some reason it didn’t go and I knew Chris wanted it--and we weren’t about to let him down.
It is a long ride from California to Kaukauna, Wisconsin but as the sun was rising, I hit the Wisconsin State line. The trip had gone by in the blink-of-an-eye and I don’t remember even stopping for gas. Each side of the road was now lined with corn fields. The beautiful rows of corn gave way as I rolled into town. Although I had never been there, I knew just where to go. I idled up to the front of the store, shut down the big V-Twin and eased the bike onto its side stand.
I walked up the steps and into the store. What a cool place. It was very comfortable, with lots of nice wood—a very warm feel. Jim, Dennis, Chad, Kevin, Eric and Chris (the customer) greeted me. They are all fun, smiling guys. The owner is Jim. He has created a wonderful Music Store—a High-End Instrument-Wonderland. They have so many cool things in there. Thank you Jim.
Dennis has become a good friend. He is one of the greatest guys ever, an amazing player and an Anderson lover since 1995 when he got his first Classic. He just recently said to me, “I’ve had my Anderson since ’95 and I still think Anderson is #1.” They were all a bit surprised to see me. I explained that I rode here to deliver Chris’ Hollow Koa Drop Top. They were glad but seemed more interested why I was wearing my pajamas.
I popped open the case and they all audibly gasped. It was this Hollow Drop Top. The hollow chambered body has a beautiful koa top with a basswood back. There is something about this combination. The tone is rich, full and clear with an articulate upper-mid but not much high-high end. It really doesn’t sound hollow because the koa’s tone is so up front. The neck is maple with a Madagascar rosewood fingerboard. Once again a magic combination with the hollow chambered body. It adds a bit of breathy middle and fullness to the bottom-end. Chris opted for our Small “V” neck backshape. Man was this cool to play. It’s not what you’d quite expect, a vintage backshape on a more modern-type guitar. I loved it and so did he. He fainted and we had to revive him. Well, what do you expect, he was in love. The pickups are an SA1R in the neck position, an SA1 for the middle and an H2+ for the bridge. All these pickups sound, full, fat and clear, a perfect match for the sound of this wood.
I turned to go. My job was done here but the room looked different. It started to spin. I felt a tapping on my shoulder. I looked up to see Tom Anderson. I guess I fell asleep at my desk again. He is such a tolerant man. I checked and Electric City’s guitar had been picked up by UPS and was on its way to Chris. Oh good, all is well. I was a little worried how I was going to return Steve Muller’s Harley to him anyway.
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