Whammies and surfers and lipsticks, oh my!
Okay, I admit it. The main reason I bought this guitar was because it was dirt cheap. And also because it had a whammy bar. I’d never really worked with a whammy much, and I wanted something cheap and “expendable” to experiment on.
I ended up getting more than I bargained for (as I’ve found you often do with these inexpensive and/or old guitars). In addition to a dedicated “whammy” guitar, I discovered that the bridge pickup on this guy is perfect for playing old surf-style and psychedelic rock — even better than my mainstay Ibanez, which can play just about any style or tone I ask it to. But the Ibanez has a humbucker at the bridge; and its two single-coils, although close, just couldn’t match the authentic “honk” from this Indiana’s bridge single-coil. I discovered this quite by accident: While fooling with the Indiana one night, I started playing “Walk, Don’t Run,” and my jaw dropped at the sound that came out of the amp. Spot on tone! (I discovered later that it does a pretty darned good imitation of late-60s/early-70s Jerry Garcia as well….)
This ability to play a tone that no other guitar in my arsenal could play immediately kicked the Indiana several notches up the pecking order. It was certainly no longer “expendable.” Now it had a real purpose in life. But I was a little disappointed with the other two pickups, which sounded kind of bland. Until one day, an idea was born…
If this is going to be the surf/psychedelic guitar, let’s buy a couple of lipstick-tube pickups and replace those two bland single-coils. So that’s what I did. (And I managed not to wreck the guitar while changing them out.) They sound pretty good, although I’m not yet sure if they have anything really “unique” to offer. We shall see….
And, yes, the stickers were all on the guitar when I bought it. From the pictures (I bought it online) I thought I might have to refinish it, because they looked pretty bad. But they looked a lot better when I actually saw the guitar in person, and they’ve since kind of grown on me. So they’re there to stay. Just a little more personality on the guitar whose personality continues to evolve.