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  1. #1

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    I live in the Pacific Northwest, where scores of major fires are burning - many threatening or burning our communities. I was notified that my community was elevated from Level 1 (Be Aware) to Level 2 (Get Ready).

    We literally stopped what we were doing and for the next 2-3 hours we prepared to leave the house. It was a process of gathering important papers, family photos, clothing, food for the animals, and as you might expect, determining which of my guitars (and amps) I'd save. With everything we had to pack and take for a family of three, I would have room for only one guitar.

    Two Gibsons and three Eastmans: it has taken years of cycling through a lot of guitars to get to this quiver and I have to say It was a painful process to face them and choose one. I hope that I never have to do again. So which one did I pack? (See post #17 below for the answer.)

    • Gibson ES-175 1959 Memphis Re-issue
    • Gibson ES-335 1959 Nashville Custom Shop Re-issue
    • Eastman AR371 (Creamery Charlie Christian pup)
    • Eastman T386
    • Eastman Romeo (Bare Knuckle Stormy Monday pups)
    Last edited by 3rdwaverider; 09-13-2020 at 12:33 PM.

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  3. #2

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    I have been checking in on friends in Central Point, J'ville and Medford since yesterday. If I may be so bold, suggest you rent a trailer or a van and take them all, amps too. It would be one thing to have five minutes to leave; it's another when you can plan ahead. Start moving gear to friends' houses now... you'll be glad you did.

  4. #3

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    Oh my God. It breaks my heart to hear what you are faced with.
    Pack the hardest to replace. I hope you and your family stay well.
    Joe D

  5. #4

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    What are horrible choice to have to make, but the 175 is probably the answer...the most expensive to replace, and can sound halfway decent unplugged as well as sounding great plugged in.

    Whatever you choose, be safe, and my best to you.

  6. #5

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    Remember they are tools not people. They can all be replaced, but people can't.
    Good luck no matter which guitar you take!

  7. #6

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    Pack your family, pets, pack the things that can't be replaced like the family photos and the other touchstones of the important times in your life. Those are the things to hold onto. When it gets right down to it, a guitar is just a thing and any guitar can be replaced on that level. Sometimes guitars are one of those touchstones to important people in our lives, so if that's the case take that one. Otherwise take the one you like to play the most.

  8. #7

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    I was faced with the same dilemma when I had to evacuate for hurricanes in south and northwest Florida. I had at one point about 30 instruments between guitars and basses. I was lucky that I could take three. I took an 87 Benedetto Cremona, a 1965 Hofner violin bass and a Heritage Golden Eagle. That was during Hurricane Andrew. I was lucky that nothing was destroyed even though my whole house was trashed. I was active duty at the time so I had to move to Fort Walton Beach where I had to evacuate twice more. I got smart and sold off a bunch of guitars to get one really good one. That's my 39 D'A. Then I sold a bunch of other ones, kept what wouldn't sell which was 4 guitars and got the hell out of dodge. No more collecting for me. I moved to Kentucky and that was that. Finally, I'm in Illinois with only 6 guitars. If I have to evac for any other reason, then The D'A and the Hofner go with me.

  9. #8

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    BTW I almost forgot. Stay safe. Family comes first, that's the most important thing. I wish you well.

  10. #9

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    Both Gibsons.

  11. #10

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    175

  12. #11

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    Financial considerations aside (assuming you’re insured), I hope you picked the best player. A good player is not always the most expensive, but can be the hardest to replace.

  13. #12

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    i've shared an experience similar to yours and was miraculously saved.

    You have my best wishes.

  14. #13

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    Hope you all get thru it well!

    It's a no-brainer that it is one of these two


    • Gibson ES-175 1959 Memphis Re-issue
    • Gibson ES-335 1959 Nashville Custom Shop Re-issue


    Most here on a jazz forum will say the 175, but you decided you needed the versality of the 335 as it can also do random non-jazz gigs and thus feed you better.

    The '59ri 175 is a wonderful guitar tho .. I'm partly still kicking myself for not getting one of those when they still where available.

  15. #14

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    Heart breaking to be facing such circumstances, best of luck to your family and home. When this is over, by all means do buy a trailer!!

    P.s. .. the Gibsons of course!

  16. #15

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    175, and dig a hole in the ground for the rest.

  17. #16

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    All the best. stay safe. I’ll echo the sentiment that things can be replaced but people cant.

    I’d take the 335 for versatility, unless one of the others is a clear favourite

  18. #17

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    Thank you everyone for your well wishes. It is a stressful, worrisome time here but it has brought my family closer. Without a doubt their lives and the lives of our friends are the most important thing.

    As it played out on the afternoon we received notice to prepare to evacuate, the winds were moving the big fire close to us, and carrying embers into the air and sparking little fires everywhere. We packed as if we'd get the call to leave at any moment. As you might expect, the 175 went into the car, along with the paperwork for the other guitars. How did I choose? It boiled down to the difficulty I'd face replacing any one of them, and the value. The Gibsons are my treasures, and the Eastmans are my players. If I had taken the one that I have played the most in the last year it would have been the AR371.

    Fortunately, I got a second chance at the decision. The next day, we were still on Level 2 evacuation notice and I calculated that I had time to do a "guitar evacuation." So I loaded four of them into the car and drove them to my son's house. I wanted to have a guitar here at the house that I could continue to play while we wait out the fire storm. The one I chose? The Eastman Romeo. I have had it a bit over a week, but it has been a joy to play and has exceeded my expectations in every way. It has taken over as the most versatile guitar in my quiver (though I doubt Larry Carlton would agree)! At some point I hope to share more about my experiences with it.

    Thanks, again, we are getting through this. I do appreciate the kinds words from all of you. I hadn't even contemplated this when I sat down to write my story.

    All the best.
    Last edited by 3rdwaverider; 09-13-2020 at 10:25 AM.

  19. #18

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    Be safe!! (Take the 175) I'm so sorry for what you all must be going through, I used to live in Seattle and can't imagine this

  20. #19

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    Be safe. The air quality in Oregon is the worst in the world. Lungs are more important than guitars.

    Take care of yourselves.

  21. #20

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    Foggier than Hades here in the Willamette Valley this morning, temp in the 50's and high humidity with no breeze even.

    The fires are thankfully slowing and by Monday evening we'll have rain for several days.



    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

  22. #21

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    You and your family be safe and I hope that all of your guitars will be safe as well and back in your hands when it's all over...

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3rdwaverider
    ... With everything we had to pack and take for a family of three, I would have room for only one guitar. ... So which one did I pack?
    Are you a gigging player? If so, I hope you took the one you use the most professionally.

    Otherwise any suggestion I could make would just be a consequence of my own preferences, and not of much use to you. The Gibson ES335 would be my choice.

  24. #23

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    It is really bad here also in Calif. My white cars are black with ash.
    We had one day that was as dark as night. Constant burning eyes and throat from smoke. 2020 has been the worst year my eyes have seen. Praying for you 3rdw. So much despair this year. Not to mention all the horrible violence everywhere and this virus that won’t go away.

  25. #24

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    I'm in southern Oregon (Grants Pass). Fires all around us. Friends and colleagues losing their homes a 45 minute drive away. It's hard to imagine the destruction if you haven't seen it first hand. It's eerie with the smoke making it dark and cold midday.

    We have been incredibly fortunate. Never put on Level 1. Still made a spreadsheet of what to take. My first impulse was to take the guitars I play every day. Mostly Wu and Yunzhi archtops that have been my favorites for the last decade. Then it occurred to me that they weren't, in dollar terms, worth much compared to some of my expensive flat tops, Fender custom shop, Heritage, and Gibson models. I decided I would take the expensive stuff because the math just doesn't work. Still.. maybe I should be selling the expensive stuff I don't play. Maybe when the world is more sane.

  26. #25

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    I'm up in Portland, and while there have been no evacuation's for Multnomah County, I've been thinking about what guitars I'd grab if a level 2 was called. I'd take my Dupont gypsy guitar as it's my main gigging/jam guitar. Then it'd be my Fender Deluxe 8 console steel. No amps, but I always keep a lunchbox in the car anyway.

    Stay safe and stay smart. Guitars and amps can be re-bought. Besides, ain't none of us gigging much these days, so no hurry.

    I'd really be interested in your thoughts on that Eastman Romeo when you have time to share.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    Maybe when the world is more sane.
    That'll take some serious time, I'm afraid...

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3rdwaverider
    Thank you everyone for your well wishes. It is a stressful, worrisome time here but it has brought my family closer. Without a doubt their lives and the lives of our friends are the most important thing.

    As it played out on the afternoon we received notice to prepare to evacuate, the winds were moving the big fire close to us, and carrying embers into the air and sparking little fires everywhere. We packed as if we'd get the call to leave at any moment. As you might expect, the 175 went into the car, along with the paperwork for the other guitars. How did I choose? It boiled down to the difficulty I'd face replacing any one of them, and the value. The Gibsons are my treasures, and the Eastmans are my players. If I had taken the one that I have played the most in the last year it would have been the AR371.

    Fortunately, I got a second chance at the decision. The next day, we were still on Level 2 evacuation notice and I calculated that I had time to do a "guitar evacuation." So I loaded four of them into the car and drove them to my son's house. I wanted to have a guitar here at the house that I could continue to play while we wait out the fire storm. The one I chose? The Eastman Romeo. I have had it a bit over a week, but it has been a joy to play and has exceeded my expectations in every way. It has taken over as the most versatile guitar in my quiver (though I doubt Larry Carlton would agree)! At some point I hope to share more about my experiences with it.

    Thanks, again, we are getting through this. I do appreciate the kinds words from all of you. I hadn't even contemplated this when I sat down to write my story.

    All the best.
    I'm also very curious about your thoughts on the Romeo. Interesting you swapped the high praised (tweaked) Lollars. How did it affect the sound and what is your setup (strings etc)?

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joeontheguitar
    I'm also very curious about your thoughts on the Romeo. Interesting you swapped the high praised (tweaked) Lollars. How did it affect the sound and what is your setup (strings etc)?

    Eastman is shipping a Romeo-K model, which features Bare Knuckle Stormy Monday pick-ups. BK is renowned for its handwound pups so it was a welcome variant for me as a jazz player. I'm sure the Lollars are great, I played a Romeo with them. I'd say the BK's are darker.

    I would describe the tone as thick and warm at the bottom-end, like my 335, and honey-coated steel, Telecaster-like, at the top-end. It is very unique. I'm still playing the string-set it shipped with - D'Addario NYXLs 10-46 rounds. I've got a set of TI Jazz Swing 11-47 flats that I'll put on eventually. I just haven't wanted to take the time to do that - with everything going on here ...

  30. #29

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    All the best to our brothers and sisters dealing with the fires, smoke, riots, unemployment, or, heaven forbid, COVID. 2020 has been so very hard for so many. Godspeed, 3rdw. We have all seen too much. Nice to have a pleasant group of friends to support one another. All, please accept my sincere appreciation and well wishes. May you be safe, healthy, happy, and surrounded by those you love. And, if possible play your guitars and be grateful for what you have.

    Roli
    (Robert Jennings)

  31. #30

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    A very hearty "thank you" to all who shared their concern, their prayers and wishes for the best of all possible outcomes for us. The evacuation notice affecting our neighborhood was lifted yesterday afternoon. We are very grateful for this reprieve, but we cannot help but worry about others in the region who are homeless, or who have lost loved ones in these hellish blazes.

    We've been told the fires will likely continue to burn until the rainy season sets in later in the fall. I have never been so eager for it. We expect light rain later in the week and that will help. FEMA is sending aircraft and nearby states (Utah, and Wyoming) are sending personnel and equipment. The fire nearest to us has more than 560 fire-fighters working ... as of 7 a.m. Saturday, 37 active wildfires had burned more than 861,000 acres across Oregon.

    All the best jazz guitarists - and once again - thank you all for your support.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3rdwaverider
    Eastman is shipping a Romeo-K model, which features Bare Knuckle Stormy Monday pick-ups. BK is renowned for its handwound pups so it was a welcome variant for me as a jazz player. I'm sure the Lollars are great, I played a Romeo with them. I'd say the BK's are darker.

    I would describe the tone as thick and warm at the bottom-end, like my 335, and honey-coated steel, Telecaster-like, at the top-end. It is very unique. I'm still playing the string-set it shipped with - D'Addario NYXLs 10-46 rounds. I've got a set of TI Jazz Swing 11-47 flats that I'll put on eventually. I just haven't wanted to take the time to do that - with everything going on here ...
    I didn't know about the K-model. Darker sounds nice to me. I have a 'stock' Romeo that I got after trading two other guitars for it. The store replaced the stock strings (which were already a bit dead) with D'Addario Flatwounds. I tried TI Swings on it, but I thought it could be better, so switched the Swings to my T64 (which needed replacement strings... I'm not doing that string swapping again, because I ruined the low E). Now there are (partially) recycled TI Bebop 11's on it and it sounds really good. I like the added sustain.

    I've had the Romeo for a few months and it's one of my favorites.

  33. #32

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    Whichever you don't take, wrap the rest in their cases and then in fire retardant material and bury them in the ground, if and only if you have the time of course. They will likely survive just fine with that course of action.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zedism
    Whichever you don't take, wrap the rest in their cases and then in fire retardant material and bury them in the ground, if and only if you have the time of course. They will likely survive just fine with that course of action.
    ... OK ... I've heard that suggestion twice. And I thought Rob was kidding when he said it! The good news is I was able to shuttle them all away to safety.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    It is really bad here also in Calif. My white cars are black with ash.
    We had one day that was as dark as night. Constant burning eyes and throat from smoke. 2020 has been the worst year my eyes have seen. Praying for you 3rdw. So much despair this year. Not to mention all the horrible violence everywhere and this virus that won’t go away.
    I have an associate in a state near years who was gloating about the California fires (due to his religios beliefs and politics). Now, he is finding out the winds have blown a lot of that soot and smoke over into his area and he is suffering badly with his allergies and breathing. He says he can't sleep at night because he can't breathe.

    I remember a few years back when our air quality in Texas suffered from fires in your area. I am hoping all this stuff goes away - for all of our sakes.

    We are all truly connected in one way or another.