Guitars Of The Week:
The Week of December, 13 1999 through December, 20 1999

Cobra Special
Tobacco Fade

How did that guy get in the picture? Here we are trying to show you beautiful guitars each week. We shot this normal picture of a guitar, just like we always do, but when the picture appeared on the computer, an image of a person playing the guitar appeared. So we took another picture but the image appeared again. Very weird. I’ve heard it said, but never believed it, that an instrument can embody the spirit of the original player for a very long time, maybe forever, but only if the instrument and the player truly were one.

We took this picture to our photo lab and had it analyzed. After intense study by our experts it was determined that the image in the picture is the image of Tom Anderson himself. (So that is what he looks like). What we now know for sure is that this guitar was owned, played and gigged with by Tom. Yes that’s right, this was Tom’s guitar but right now it is going to be living with Brian @ Brook Mays in Dallas TX. What an amazing guitar this would be to own. Let’s take a closer look at the guitar.

It is a Cobra Special, painted a beautiful Tobacco Fade color. The string length of all Cobras is the shorter 24 ¾-inch. This, along with the wood combination, yields a very concentrated and powerful, midrange tone. The Cobra Special sports a solid mahogany body, a mahogany/rosewood neck and our own Anderson P-90-type pickups--a P1 for the neck and a P3 for the bridge. The sound is so fat and clear. I’ve never heard a guitar of this type even come close.

This one is equipped with a vintage tremolo X-bridge, which also allowed Tom to blend these amazing soapbar sounds with a fabulous plugged-in-acoustic guitar tone or run the acoustic sound alone. Now if you look closely at the solid mahogany body you’ll notice the absence of the usual body contours. He just prefers the playing angle that results.

Tom is a big guy, which is why we don’t smart off to him much, so he opted for the 62 Cobra neck backshape. It is a big neck that is very comfortable to play. He enjoys how the neck increases in depth as the hand moves up to the higher frets. He also opted for black pickup covers so that he could have the matching half pickguard.

Okay, so we have established, without a doubt, that this is one absolutely fabulous guitar so the question remains, why would he let this beauty go? Well to answer that you’d have to know him a bit better, so allow me.

Tom is one of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure to know. On top of all this niceness, (hey, he may read this) he is a really good player. As you might imagine he is also a very focused and efficient person. He gigs almost every week but he does not like to haul gear. He especially does not want to lug a heavy amp around. Who does? Lately he has been on a quest to find an amp that weighs no more than a small box of Cheerios and has the huge tone of his large tube amp. Although his tone is always sonic perfection, he is not about to take more than one guitar to a gig. Even the cord can be a bit much at times. Jesse, who is the head wood guru here and an amazing player himself, jokingly remarked, “Tom, maybe you should have someone play the gigs for you and they can tell you about it the next day.”

I love to take several Andersons to the gig myself and switch guitars for different sounds and songs. Tom loves to take one guitar that will do it all and for him that guitar is a Cobra loaded with our humbuckers. It allows him to get three full-power humbucking sounds and three beautiful single-coil sounds. So, with the added assurance that one day he can make another P-90 loaded Cobra Special for himself, he finally allowed this one to be pried from his grasp. Although, when he was doing the final play on this Cobra Special, he seemed to play it an awfully long time and as he handed it to Steve he remarked, “This is a good guitar!” Well, of course Tom, its got your name on the headstock.

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