This build is dedicated to the life and the memory of my son Jake
This is not meant to imply that a Les Paul was his favorite guitar, although he liked them he was more of a Strat guy, or that blue was his favorite color, although is was 🙂
What I mean is that the custom inlays were meant to represent my assessment of his spirit, and the connection I have with him.
Jake never quit.
Every time he got knocked down, he took a breath, gathered himself, and stood back up and tried again. No matter how sad, how hurt, how embarrassed, or how demoralized, and anyone with personal experience with addiction knows these feelings intimately.
No matter what low this disease brought him to, he never laid down for it. He kept fighting right until the end, and the fact that he ultimately lost doesn’t change that one bit.
He was a warrior.
We both felt a personal connection with the Samurai culture and Jake had traditional Japanese style artwork tattood on his arm of two samurai fighting demons. To him this symbolized his and his brothers fight against the demons of addiction.
He and I also used to practice Kosho shorei ryu kempo kata together, as well as Meishin muso ryu iaido. He always wanted to train with me. Unfortunately we couldn’t work that out logistically due to where we were both living at the time.
So the inlay on the back of the body speaks for itself. Its a single Samurai warrior and represents to me Jakes warrior spirit.
The original image comes from the 47 Ronin woodblock print series created by Utagawa Kuniyoshi in the early-to-mid 1800’s. Obviously I had to adapt it to the materials used for the inlay work, I think it retains the “vibe” of the original artwork
On the headstock are the Kanji characters that say “Bushido”, which translates as “Way of the warrior”
Bushido is a moral code concerning Samurai attitudes, conduct, and lifestyle.
I think it embodies his spirit, as well as my connection with him.
A couple pix show a matching custom guitar strap I had made for this guitar by Well Hung guitar straps.
For you Jake. I’m proud of you. I’m proud of the person you were, the man you were becoming, and the spirit with which you fought. I will love you always and look forward to the day we are reunited.
For guitar people, the specs on this instrument are:
22 Stainless steel medium-jumbo frets
24.625″ scale length
Genuine Mahogany body and neck
Hard Maple bookmatched top
Fingerboard and headstock inlays are white mother of pearl
Samurai inlay materials include various colors of mother-of-pearl, abalone, and recon stone.
Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates pickups
Schaller locking tuners
Tonepros bridge and tailpiece
unbleached bone nut