Knit Flix

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Yesterday morning Roger said, "I have to show you something," and handed me his phone displaying a photo of a Les Paul. I was confused. Why was he showing me a photo of a guitar that looked like the one that was destroyed 5 years ago?


I zoomed in.

I zoomed in more.

Oh. My. Goodness.

The text that accompanied the photo said, "IT LIVES!!!!"

Flashback to August 1, 2008

The long story: Nothing short of a plane crash or getting run over by a truck...

The short story: While changing planes in Las Vegas, Roger's Les Paul guitar fell off a Southwest baggage vehicle and was promptly run over by a truck. A big truck. Here's what it looked like when it arrived at the final destination:

Les Paul, broken

Les Paul, broken

Les Paul, broken

Les Paul, broken

Roger ended up taking the remains to Rex at Rex Guitarworks in San Jose. Rex wanted to take on the challenge, but neither knew what could be done or what the end result would be.

How to begin the restoration was a conundrum. The wood was so splintered where the mahogany was cracked, the bits had to be cleaned out in order for the body to be put back together. But did that mean breaking the body in two or could it be cleaned out as-is? Rex considered it for a long time and in the end he separated the pieces and meticulously cleaned out the splinters in order to rejoin the body. He removed only what needed to be removed, leaving as much of the original wood as possible.

I can't go into the details of the restoration, but there were many challenges along the way. I'll let Rex tell the story. Here's one photo of the work in progress.

Les Paul restoration

Present day

Here is the photo that Rex sent to Roger yesterday.

Les Paul restoration

I'm telling you, I couldn't believe that was the same Les Paul, resurrected. We went to Rex's place to pick it up and I snapped a few photos of the reunion. Look at that grin.

Les Paul restoration

Les Paul restoration

Les Paul restoration

Les Paul restoration

Here are Rex & Roger, as happy as clams.

Les Paul restoration

How's it sound? Roger's still checking it out, but last night I heard him power down his amp and exclaim, "WOW!!" I think that's a good sign.

Rex's comment on my Facebook page says it all.
"Yes, five years. It shouldn't have taken that long. This was by far the most challenging restoration I have ever undertaken. Today is truly one of the most gratifying days of my life. This guitar was torn apart, stretched and distorted. Putting it back together with all its parts lined up just so taught me new things about guitar repair. While it will always carry cosmetic evidence of its tribulation, it sings once again in the hands of an old friend."

Many thanks Rex. Yes, it lives.

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