Larry Preston

Champion of Endless Optimization (CEO) at Digital Opera & Raceday. Happy stoic, aspirational minimalist, recovered big hair 80’s rock star. Author of “Star Fire Kids – Midnight Blue Express”.

1986 Jackson Soloist

By far my favorite and the one I’ve put the most miles on, this 1986 Jackson “San Dimas” Soloist started out Candy Apple Red with all gold hardware, and I bought it from Marguerites Music in Moorhead, Minnesota.

It cost around $2,500, and at the time that was more money than I could dream of. But after scraping together every dime and nickel I could from gigs, odd jobs, giving blood, and being nice to lonely old ladies in their 40’s, I brought it home with me… and hated it!

It sounded awful and was so hard to play that it was relegated to being my spare guitar. One night I had to use it, and as I picked it up, I knocked a big chunk of paint off it. I was so mad that my expensive, useless guitar was scratched, that I beat the hell out of it while I played it for the rest of that set.

Afterward, Geno the sound man came up and said “Holy shit, that is the best-sounding guitar I have ever heard!” I thought he was giving me crap until I listened back to the tape and there it was – a sound like no other guitar. I just had to play it like an angry madman.

Over the years it got new EMG pickups and electronics, and it has been re-fretted three times because I wore them out. The headstock was broken off twice while doing on-stage acrobatics, but I swear it sounded better after it was glued back together.

I probably played this on more recordings than any other and it’s just been my bud for all these years.

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