Tim's Greco Les Paul

Tim (2013):

"A lot of history oozes out of this guitar. I've had it for 42 years. I spent the princely sum of £80 on this unique 'axe' in 1971 as I entered into teacher training college. It was originally a sunburst copy made in Japan as a sample copy for Summerfield Brothers, the distributors of CSL guitars in the 1970's. Greco have since appeared back on the scene in recent years as producers of very fine – but still copies – of standard design guitars. Mine stayed sunburst throughout the 'Aaron' years but in recent times I reduced it to its natural wood finish and a coat of varnish. It was then stained a sort of beechwood for a while but I soon reduced to it back to its natural wood finish.

Years of Florida and Southern States sweat landing directly in the uncovered pickups saw it go through three sets of various humbuckers whilst touring. It's also had two different tailpieces which rotted along with a variety new bridge saddles. The original frets are almost flush with the fingerboard making it the fastest action guitar I possess. It did have a Bigsby tailpiece for a while but I discovered you couldn't reach the controls very easily so I restored a fixed tailpiece. It now has a Dimazio humbucker in the neck position and a Seymour Duncan at the bridge – but although the Seymour Duncan could be - the coils are not tapped.

It is mostly confined to special occasions where I want to recreate the sounds of my past – but unfortunately is now chiefly in reserve behind my Gibson 335 dot and Rory Gallagher Cherry Telecaster. I will never sell it – it's probably going to be a family heirloom. My DNA is entrenched in it and it's probably worth very little anyway other than purely sentimental value..."

The Greco & Vox AC30CC2 Top Boost

The Greco’s last time out – 50th Anniversary Concert – Newhampton Inn October 2012


The Greco Gets Mod…

Tim (January 2015): "The Greco stays with me purely for sentimental value as my first 'real' guitar. It saw extensive action across two ninth month tours of the USA - in use sometimes 3 times a day !! For this reason it plays virtually like a fretless guitar through wear. It's action is lightning fast so it's useful for heavy rock. However I have to say with an increased range of expensive guitars people like to see at the blues rock gigs, it now only sees action on Sunday morning in Church.

However to increase its tonal range I asked my sound man and part-time luthier – John Forrester – if he could add a Strat type pick-up in the same vein as Alvin Lee had on his treasured Cherry 335. The result can be seen in the picture. John gouged out a recess for the Strat pick-up and mounted some left-over scratch-plate in between the Dimazio and Seymour Duncan humbuckers. There's now an addition mini-toggle-switch that engages the single-pole pick-up or in the mid position brings on all 3 pick-ups. The 'up' position maintains the Greco as a standard Les Paul.

There is now the all-important master volume control that I can reach with my little finger for the 'violining' trick I often use in laid back lead breaks. (Aka Mark Knopfler with his foot pedal - or Rory Gallagher on his Strat master volume knob.)"

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