In 2005 I bought my first electric guitar and immediately took to customizing it with a very primitive Weezer tribute. It was simple, it was fun...and it meant something special to me as I jammed along to Weezer, learning the guitar.
I was playing in a Weezer tribute band called "Goat Punishment". We rocked the local bar scene in Waikiki and had some really great times. People said we revived their love of Weezer and even attracted some Weezer virgins to discover their discography. I was up late one night, studying for an exam and found myself just staring at my Dean Z...thinking about it, and how I loved the unique shape of explorer bodies. I turned back to my computer screen which has the famous lit-up =w= emanating like a beacon of epicness from a black background. And then it hit me...
I took a picture of the Dean lying on the ground with my cellphone, uploaded it to my computer and went right to work on microsoft paint. After a good twenty minutes of using the color tool I had my idea down in its roughest form.
Idea after idea kept coming. First I wanted classic red with a white pickguard. Then it had to be Blue Album blue with a tortise shell pickguard. And then I thought it would be really cool to paint part of the Pinkerton Album on the guitar and throw a real double headed axe blade on the head of the guitar to give it that "KISS" feeling.
My parents saw the design one summer when I brought it home with me. I had the size and scale all mocked up on cardboard, just needing a good piece of wood to car it onto. I had purchased book after book on building custom guitars and finally felt the courage to begin a testing model...and then I saw the price of guitar quality wood.
Hours and hours and hours later, the body was cut, the first of many layers of paint was drying, and the pickups were ready to get placed and wired. I chose something unique to Weezer, a set of 81/65 EMG's. With River's background in metal I thought he might appreciate active pickups. I have a set of these myself on a Les Paul and they scream like a banshee being tortured. It was at this point I had to go back to the drawing board.
And then two years later...before my eyes sat the finished product...longer than most bases, wider than a full size cello, yet light, staunch and agile. With Weezer nowhere near Honolulu, it was next to impossible to deliver. Contact with Karl put me in contact with an address to ship it to, but again the curse of a poor college student left me choosing to eat over shipping the guitar.
EndFest 2010. I had been watching the Weezer website, waiting for the Hurley tour announcement and then it happened. Driving home from the beach my girlfriend and I were listening to 107.7 The End and it happened, "Weezer has been confirmed for Seattle's EndFest this year...". We both went ballistic! After racing home I emailed Karl and we got everything set up. I was to bring the guitar to EndFest, meet up with him before the show and meet and greet with the band.
With the approval of Brian Bell, and an amazing "Epic Intro" (according to the setlist) followed by Hash Pipe, the guitar was officially Weezerized!
While we were unable to work out any kid of meeting with the band (like I said, security was waaaay crazy even with Karl doing everything he could to get me and my girlfriend backstage) we enjoyed an amazing show, got to watch the guitar in action, and got to meet up with Karl who was awesome enough to give us some show souvenirs!
Three years after the initial idea, $600 in parts and paint...and one night at End Fest later, it was all said and done. It was an amazing journey that led fantastic places. My Name is Lance, and Weezer rocks my senses.