You found me! Welcome. I am Jon P. Lewis, husband, father, musician and overall a very lucky man. I have a beautiful wife of 27 years and a wonderful daughter. This year, January 18th to be exact, I became a grand-father as well with the birth of my beautiful grand-daughter.
Future Guitar Queen
Again, a very lucky man!
My love of guitar began when I was 16 years old. A friend of mine had inherited a Sears Silvertone© guitar from a neighbor who lived a few doors down. While my friend was thrilled to own it, he had no real interest in learning to play it. As luck would have it, I happened to be at his house the following day and saw the guitar. He gave me the OK to mess with it. I spent the next half hour or so plucking unfamiliar strings. I had not held a guitar since I was in second grade. Back then, my older brother had an acoustic guitar and on occasion I would play with it. All I really remember was plucking the low E string and thinking that it sounded like a clock tower ringing out over an obscure village at midnight under a moon lit sky (I had quite an imagination then). Anyway, I was now holding an actual electric guitar in my hand and felt an energy I had never felt before. I asked my friend if I could take it home for the night. He agreed. When I got it back to my room, I plugged this axe into the little solid state amp that came with the guitar. In excitement I took a deep breath, sat on the edge of my bed and proceeded to strike the strings. The sound that came from the little speaker made me stop in surprise, look at my Ted Nugent "Weekend Warrior" poster, a poster that I had spent hours air guitaring in front of, and suddenly realizing that I hold in my possession the "magic tool" to becoming the Rock Star that I always wanted to be. My life changed forever. I ended up trading my friend an old Realistic© turntable/eight track player for that Silvertone. With utter determination I played that guitar whenever I got the chance. As my very limited skills improved I began to realize that I needed an upgrade.
My first higher priced guitar was a Guild, white with a rosewood neck. It sported two humbuckers, one volume and 1 tone control. The case was a hard shell, blue lined case. I also remember the smell of that guitar to this day. I was bound and determined to take that beauty, move to L.A. at eighteen and become a rock star. Well that didn't quite work out because I still had to learn how to play. Also, life had better plans for me.
However, I soon learned that I had a burning curiosity. I wanted to know how a guitar worked. So like any curious "mad scientist", I started tinkering with my Guild. My poor Guild. I remember replacing one of the pickups on this $700.00 instrument. To this day I don't even remember what brand of pickup I used or what justified the abuse. Well, that modification went fairly well... once I learned how to use a soldering iron. The burnt insulation on the wires did not hinder my confidence one bit or affect the operation of the guitar. Surgery successful! Soon after that I was reading an episode of Guitar Player magazine. I discovered this wonderful device called a Floyd Rose tremolo. I knew that if I put one on my Guild, my poor Guild, it would springboard me into Guitar God like status. What a great invention. So I purchased a Floyd Rose, got a (clears throat) chisel and drill and proceeded to butcher the poor guitar. I had no ideal that things like proper measurements and intonation mattered. The tremolo eventually got screwed on and I was living the dream but my guitar was living the nightmare! Soon I was modding cheap guitars, victims that I acquired easily at pawn shops and garage sales. Never kept any of them, just tortured them a bit then sold them off. My skills did get better.
After many decades of playing and modding guitars, I purchased my first Stratocaster. I mainly purchased it because of the new band I had joined. Blue Wolf
was an interesting mix of classic rock and "classicer" rock. T
he style of music we were playing was easily complimented by the diverse tones of the Stratocaster. I had played a few Strats and Strat copies in my time. I appreciated the what I thought to be "country twang", but it was not for me. I was a humbucker guy and could not appreciate the "Strat Tone". At least not at first. After a few weeks of playing the Stratocaster, I started to realize the huge potential that the Stratocaster design would allow. This guitar was incredible and why the heck didn't I realize that years ago. Soon I was spending hours experimenting with tone. My Mesa Boogie Express 5:50
, an amp I absolutely LOVE, started to compliment the sweet tones of the Strat. I was hooked.
Now, remember that burning curiosity? It had now morphed to total desire. Desire to take a great guitar and make it, in MY opinion, better! I know that to die hard collectors and the non-tinkerers this could be construed as a mortal sin. However, I have found through Facebook groups and followers that there are a lot of people with the same goal in mind. Create a custom guitar that suites their needs and their needs only. I recently learned that what I have been doing to other guitars for years has a name. It is called a "Partscaster". I think I was the last guitar player on earth to realize this. I once posted this question: "If I buy two American Stratocasters from the same store, then swap the necks, are they now Partscasters"? The response I got was amazing but expected. Basically it sounds to me like if you do not register the transfer of part's serial number with Fender, it becomes a Partscaster, which means it loses value. WHAT!!! I have a hard time believing it is not worth what the untouched American Fender Strat is worth. Many times changes are made to guitars to improve their playability. The die hard collectors and non-tinkerers would probably disagree. But, because of my belief in playing what works best for you and my belief that a Strat is a Strat, the quality being based solely on the quality of the parts used, I created this blog. I have seen Strats being sold for $600.00 that have more than that in the quality of parts being used. Again, a subject that brings out all kinds of diverse opinions. If I put in $600.00 dollars of parts together to make a Partscaster guitar and set the guitar up to play as well as a Custom Shop, then it is worth $600.00 or more because of the care taken in the setup. The diverse reactions and opinions make me want to get others thoughts and views on Partscasters. Hence, I created Partscaster Pat's.