Hello there to all from the farthest south of the world! I've been lurking around TDPRI since late last year, when I got interested in building a guitar, and most of my research led me here. Funny that. I officially joined up in May, and have been posting odd comments and asking questions in the Home Depot threads, so thought it about high time I got around to telling my story. I started playing guitar back when I was about 12, but just couldn't seem to come to grips with it. Besides, I was being taught folk music, and I wanted to play Led Zeppelin! Go figure! After learning the basics I thought the bass guitar would be an easier thing to learn, so started plunking on an old one my father had. He was a part time musician heavily into Country music and had a band on and off with his brother and some other guys. They even got to record and release an album - which is something I never got to officially do. Anyway, so life moves on, leave school, get a job and with the advent of earning regular money, my interest shifted more towards girls and booze, so the old bass (and my acoustic) sat and gathered dust. Both instruments were left behind when I left home to seek my fortune in different avenues, but around mid 1986 I had a revelation and decided I was gonna take the plunge and become a "real" musician. So I got a cheap bass and amp (can't even remember what they were) and started learning and practising in earnest before looking into starting a band. Now my musical influences are very varied far and wide. My earliest interests were The Beatles, and things moved on from there. But in 1986 I was heavily into.....yes, you guessed it - Heavy Metal. I'd been a huge Maiden fan since they first came out, and bands like Metallica etc were just doing it for me. So my first endeavours were along that vein, and I eventually put together a reasonably decent 4 piece outfit that played regularly and did a few small trips around the upper northern areas of NZ. But things fell apart, so I drifted around several other groups before landing a spot in a basic Hard Rock covers outfit sporting a female lead vocalist. Man, could she sing!!! I wish it had never ended, but her attitude was pish, so eventually she got the flick, and the guitarist, drummer and I teamed up with the vocalist from my old HM band to move on in a rather alternative Heavy Rock style. Think of FNM, Chili Peppers type stuff, but our motto was "anything goes". We started to make waves in the local Auckland scene here, and things were going along nicely. Getting good regular work, got free recording time in a proper studio, and our songs were really coming together. Unfortunately the guitarist wasn't eventually happy and decided to leave, and the drummer followed suit. Bloody shame, cos they were both top muso's. But my buddy (the vocalist) and I quickly replaced them and tried to keep moving. I was able to use the recorded material to make a great demo (and semi release), which got some decent reviews and even got us on TV. But as things moved on, the old "musical differences" started to happen, and we also found ourselves sucked into the "covers" band scenario. Initially to get some finances in, but mostly to get the gigs in. We even had a proper Manager at the time! Anyway, it all went pear shaped and things came to a head after a particularly disastrous gig, and I stormed out and quit. After the dust had settled, I said "that's it, I've had enough - no more for me, I'm finished." But stepping back a bit to when we had the original guitarist - he got me back into playing the guitar, so I purchased an Ovation acoustic, and a cheap Kramer and started to practice. So this eventually led towards me and the vocalist initially starting off an acoustic duo together. I scored another old guitar and taught him how to play. We dallied around doing gigs and having fun - even got in an old drummer and a bassist we knew to do more full on gigs here and there. Suddenly I was promoted to "lead guitarist". But it was all just a bit of fun and going nowhere, so in 1998 I took on a Catering business which went on to totally dominate my life for the next 16 years! Therefore I had officially "retired" from music, and often vowed to "never play again!" That was until midway through last year when I had my old vocalist mate and the drummer from my old HM band over for a few drinks and "long time no see" catch up one afternoon. After the drummer left (he lives like nearly 100 kms away from me), my vocalist buddy started getting into my ear about starting something up together. Just an acoustic duo like we used to, and so to cut an already too long story short - I came out of "retirement", and that's basically where I am now. We initially jammed for a month or so - with me playing on one of his guitars - to see if I could still do it, and once the decision was made to give it a go, I went out and got an Ovation for the job. But my interests went beyond the purely acoustic thing, so I started scouring our local eBay type trade site, looking for guitar deals. I should say that I was still in possession of an old Ibanez something or other fender style gat which I had started using, but it was pretty shot and wouldn't stay in tune very well. Anyway, I saw a Rick Turner/Lindsay Buckingham Model 1 up for sale, and something inside me clicked. I was never going to buy it - it was up for like $4 500.00 local, but I wondered to myself if I could somehow make my own! Like I said, that all started towards the end of last year, so here I am at probably the greatest guitar making place to learn, and I currently have 4 different builds underway! So now my introduction is finally done (sorry it was a bit long winded), I can finally get onto a build(s) thread or two. I'll link back in here when I've started one for any interested to see what I've been up to.