Vintage Custom Absinthe Guitar

"Wood with a Past--Guitars with a Future"

This story started when Bob Ochs from New Jersey acquired the 600 year old Mahogany that had been used for 50 years as the top of the main bar from the old Absinthe Bar in New Orleans.  Many luminaries including Jimmy Page, Mae West, & WC Fields have played at the Absinthe.  Presumably, they had all sidled up to this slab of wood and tipped a few frosty lagers.  Many a character had imbibed at this bar.  I am sure many a character had spilled his or her drink on this bar.  And, I'll bet good money that there were a good many individuals who had puked on this bar.  Jean Lafitte the infamous pirate was a regular at the Absinthe so I am sure there was plenty of blood that flowed freely on this ancient piece of wood.  This wood was a piece of American History.

This Mahogany was screaming to be turned into several guitars.  Bob Ochs's first inclination was to go to the Gibson Custom Shop and have them build several guitars from this fine piece of aged mahogany.  To make a long story short, Gibson was less than interested in working with Bob, in fact they pretty much ignored him and his project.  Several years passed and Bob was beginning to get discouraged because he couldn't find anyone who would consider working with him to create several masterpiece guitars.

Project # 1

When Bob first came to me to enlist my help in the project, I wasn't too excited at first.  Jobs like these can be a pain in the ass.  In any case, we decided to give it a try.  (I always like to do something different.)  The current plan is for 3 guitars.  The first project was to recreate an old style guitar for Bob's son, Tyler.  The next two are going to be a neck-through body, Radical styled model and a rectangular Bo Diddley styled model.

"Kick out the Jams"

Bob's son, Tyler, is an avid MC5 fan (Motor City 5).  Fred "Sonic" Smith used an Epiphone like this one back in the 60's.  Not many people appreciated the MC5 when they first came out.  They were a cross between white Punks on Dope and Heavy Metal--"Iggy Pop meets Judas Priest" or "Johnny Thunders meets Iron Maiden."  They were also compared to the Who by many rock pundits, although personally I don't agree.   Fred Sonic Smith was also a Mosrite Player and he is responsible for influencing Johnny Ramone in that direction.

Photo During Construction...

Before--When we first cut & planed the mahogany

Although the guitar will look the same as the original  when done, it's actually built about 3 times better in our shop.  The stability of construction that a neck-through body offers is second to none.  This guitar is virtually unbreakable.  Also, Seymour Duncan custom wound the pickups.

Seymour Duncan pickups are probably the best production made pickups I have ever used.  In fact 99% of the time the Seymour Duncan pickups stand up to the finest custom wound pickups I have ever heard.

For years I sold DiMarzio pickups simply because I learned about their pickups before I learned about Seymour Duncans.   It took a while but I finally converted 100% to Seymour Duncan Pickups.   I will NEVER go back to Dimarzio.  I have seen the light!

Ed Roman

After--The Finished Guitar

This guitar features ebony pickup rings, ebony pickguard,
French polished mahogany body,
 Seymour Duncan custom designed pickups,
A Tone Pros bridge that is far superior to the original Epiphone.
Real Mother Of Pearl Inlays


Close up of the Headstock

The Absinthe proudly bears the name from which the guitar started it's life.
No expense was spared.  The guitar was done right and the original vintage vibe was captured.
It features a fully bound neck & headstock, ebony fingerboard, and ebony overlay on headstock.

Project # 2 The Absinthe Tyler-1  (Coming Soon)