1977 Buick Electra Park Avenue: Triple Black Beauty

Another week, another vintage domestic land yacht. I spotted this one last week on Marketplace, for the very reasonable ask of five grand.

I’m sure it’s no secret I love these 1977-79 GM C-bodies, from Brougham d’Elegance to Ninety-Eight LS to this Electra Park Avenue. It seems like 90% of these, no matter the make or model, had the optional wire wheel covers, but I really love the standard wheel discs on this one.

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1972 Buick Electra Custom Limited – The Fabled Deuce And A Quarter

In 1972, Buick Motor Division’s top of the line series, the Electra, entered its fourteenth year. The Deuce and a Quarter, so named by its many fans due its impressive length of two hundred and twenty five inches. The luxury Buick was always a fine choice in full size cars, and even in the early 1970s it still held its head high as the car of doctors, lawyers and other professionals who wanted comfort, quality and reliability, speaking quietly of their wealth instead of shouting it with a Cadillac.

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1970 Buick Electra 225 Convertible – Black Cherry Blues

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The X635 Anniversary: Far From Bass-ic (Ugh)


I made it through January without buying a single guitar! In fact, I even made a pretty big-ticket sale, of my Heritage Super Eagle in Chinery Blue. Seemed like a good idea not to buy anything while I was on any kind of medication. February, however, has been medication-free, so I’m also free to pursue a rare but not completely unknown member of the Electra Anniversary stable.
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The Electra, The Receipt, The Supercharger, The Eastern Star


It’s the purchase of which every guitar collector dreams: the owner drags it from under the bed and apologizes for the condition, but only the strings are rusty. The rest of it is virtually untouched. The strings might be original, even. And there’s a receipt from a small-town music store, complete with serial number and evidence of a $100 layaway payment.

Of course, the dream usually includes a 1959 Les Paul, not a 1983 Electra X185SS. I’m now the owner of three “Silverstone” (meaning “gold”) X185 models from 1983. Supposedly, they are rare, and indeed I’ve bought every one I’ve ever seen for sale. There’s something odd about them, however:

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Behold, A Lady (With Apologies To Andre 3000)


Life as a collector of Electra guitars can be rather bewildering. Life as a collector of a subset of Electra guitars can be rather bewildering. I’m only interested in Matsumoku-built Electras and Westones from the “golden age” of 1976-1985. According to my spreadsheet, I own sixty-seven of them. Sounds like a lot, right? But I’m not close to having one of each. I don’t even have one of each different model, much less one of each model in each color.

I could bore you (further) to death by listing the ones I don’t have. The X910 Explorer clone. The X810 MPC semi-hollow. The Rock Strad. The X635 Special Edition bass. But as of yesterday, I’m one step closer to catching them all. Observe: the XV1RD “Lady”. Rare when it was new, frequently butchered and/or broken in the twenty-nine years since. But this one’s now mine, and I only had to drive three hundred and ten miles to the middle of nowhere to make it happen.

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I’m From Your Childhood And I’m Here To Make You Happy Again

IMG_3005 (Medium)

Today’s been a real champ of a day, in the most sarcastic sense possible; my mother, who has been fighting a mostly losing battle with sarcoidosis for a few years, found out that she’ll have to retire early from work. That poses some challenges for us that will require some inventiveness to overcome. I’m also in the process of moping over something about which I shouldn’t mope, and like Forrest Gump that’s all I have to say about that.

But just when I figured the best way to handle the rest of the day was by finding the bottom of a bottle of Ketel One Citroen, a package arrived from St. Louis. Let me see. Do I have the “Best Of Ratt” tablature book around here? Yes. Yes, I do.

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I Finally Have A Westone Spectrum FX… Just Have To Drive To St. Louis To Get It

I’ve been writing and talking about the Matsumoku Electras/Westones/Arias/Skylarks and the Golden Era of Japanese guitar-building quite a bit lately. In a way, it was a lot like the age of the dinosaurs; in the relatively short period between 1975 and 1986, the guitars became vastly more specialized, complex, and expensive. The earliest “Uncle Mat” guitars were Les Paul copies; the final ones arrived in a bewildering variety of colors, shapes, capabilities, and tonal possibilities. Then the meteor hit.

Among the spiky and multi-featured Cretaceous Matsumokus of 1986, the final-production Westone Spectrum FX, demoed above by my friend “Proendorser Mike”, is the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

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There Might Be Something To This Japanese Guitar Hobby After All

JC Penney

It would seem there has been a lot of silliness on eBay over these guitars. Let me make something perfectly clear. THIS IS NOT A $700 OR $800+ GUITAR! That is just pure silliness.

We’re now in the land of pure silliness, apparently. As the Japanese guitar market heats up, one of the most unlikely hotspots is a guitar purchased in bulk lots, sight unseen, by JC Penney thirty-two years ago.

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1982 Electra Anniversary Editions


It’s rare for anybody of modest means to be able to say “I have (whatever useless item) and nobody else does,” but here you go: I do not believe anybody else in the world has as many 1982 Electra SLM 60th Anniversary Editions as I do. I own eight in total; three are duplicates of the ones you see here. All of these guitars were built by Matsumoku in Japan in the second half of 1981.

How many different 50th Anniversary models are there? There are two I know I don’t have — the four-string bass models with single and double pickups. I’ve missed a deal on both in the past and am still looking. Is that all there were?

It’s possible that nobody knows, and therein hangs a tale of sorts.

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