I don't build Tributes but couldn't resist this one

knockeduptele

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I never get involved in building tribute guitars preferring to take a more organic approach to builds, but this was an opportunity that was too good to miss when the parts lined up.


IMG_1251.jpg


At the back of my mind, I had had the idea to do a build of Fast Eddie Clarke's (RIP) Motorhead Strat - this was a guitar that I knew intimately, having spent a four years of my life restringing it, fixing it, tuning it and hanging it round Eddie's neck through the Bomber/Ace of Spades/No Sleep till Hammersmith era back in the late 70's/early 80's. I had built the backup Strat on the road (electric sanders in Holiday Inn bathrooms at 3am - they must have loved us - oops sorry) and both guitars were with him till the end.

Eddie had always claimed that they were pre CBS Strats but the large late 70's Headstocks were a bit of a giveaway really, and in some respects it was what gave them the Sustain - well if anything with that Band was ever sustained given the frantic pace - as an aside, sets were always put together to be one hour fifteen in production rehearsals, and usually ended up at 45mins for the same tunes by the end of the Tour, such was the well fueled Speed of it.

So I had built an oiled bodied Strat, had a neck with a brass nut, but also had another Stat build that just happened to have an Dimarzio SDS on the bridge along with stock US fenders in middle and neck which was the original Ace of Spades configuration (first take, no pre-roll, no count, just Lemmy shouting GO! and frantically waving thru the Glass) - the backup ended up with a Seymour Duncan at the bridge, as we couldn't find another Dimarzio that didn't squeal with microphonic feedback - there were no other wiring twists - all stock stuff apart from all 3 pickups in phase as the Band didn't do quiet- the setup changed down the line with Fastway and other pickups were introduced on both of them, but that was not on my watch.

The bit that I was missing for this was the Pickguard - I had sort of been looking with this build at the back of my mind for a couple of years, but nothing felt right, until I came across an old stock Fender Gold plated Solid Brass Pickguard, and it all came back to me in a flash - that's what I picked up in that music store in Newcastle all of those years back. A standard SSS plate all gold and shiny and ready to dazzle that amber reflection from a Follow Spot out into a crowd of Headbangers. So out with an electric drill and a big fat file for the Bridge Humbucker hole - no surround to dress it, just a hole. The new plate now has exactly the same cockups as the original - the drill slipped putting in the upper hole for the Humbucker just as it did all those yeas ago, so the pickup doesn't go in square - I will bet that bit of cardboard pushing it back into position is still under the plate to this day. No modern frills - springs not surgical tubing (the surgery was behind the stacks anyway), neck shim made from a snapped off 45, one of the band's of course - this is a Rock and Roll Guitar.

So finished, I sat and held it and just went "Yeah" - Bit of emotion, like seeing an old friend you haven't seen for almost 40 years.

How does it sound - Louder than everything else of course, what else would you expect................

nintchdbpict000377521930-e1515672558325.jpg
 

RodeoTex

Doctor of Teleocity
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Sep 14, 2005
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11,801
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Nueces Strip
Thanks for sharing that.
You have a unique perspective on that guitar. Nobody else could ever have told that.
But yes, any more stories are appreciated.
 

knockeduptele

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Dec 15, 2017
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Killer tribute, but why didn't you use a Large headstock neck ?

Just wondering because Eddie's guitar has one.
.
If the right one comes along then absolutely, but this one has kind of a woody vibe to it which is offset by the brass nut so doesn't end up brittle which is kind of how I remember it (rose tinted glasses perhaps or maybe time to get a new prescription).

With this one it was more about trying to capture the essence of the things that I personally found magical about it in terms of my relationship with the guitar over those years rather than doing a straight hardware clone - we learnt that lesson on putting the backup together - same stuff never sounds the same.
 

reddy2300

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This is awesome! I've had this build in mind for a LONG time! This might just be my inspiration!!!! What single coils were used? (Or does it matter, as long as they are loud?)
 

knockeduptele

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This is awesome! I've had this build in mind for a LONG time! This might just be my inspiration!!!! What single coils were used? (Or does it matter, as long as they are loud?)

This one has got a pair of completely unmatched US standards on it (bought individually secondhand but seem to fit the bill) - its the SDS Bridge pickup that carries the guitar and gives it the character.

At the time of the original builds, you bought a secondhand strat for a couple of hundred quid and it had strat pickups on it (and they were a very unfashionable guitar in the UK at the time) - sometimes they were good and sometimes they were bad - wasn't a whole lot of finese involved as there is today.
 

RoyalBaby

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Jul 23, 2013
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1,376
Location
Birmingham, UK
Wow from me. I saw Motorhead at the heavy metal barn dance in 1980 and then many years later when my band played the same biker festival, although Eddie had left by then. The first Fastway stuff was great too. Great looking guitar, I hope Fender pay you to consult on them building a tribute.
 

VintageSG

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Silver Supporter
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5,234
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Yorkshire
Nice to see the late, great Eddie honoured.
The 'Iron Fist' tour is why I have tinnitus, and you know what?, I think it's a fair trade. Eddie was awesome!. Aside from Wallis/Fox, I got to see every line up and no disrespect to the others, Eddie had that something.

Nice job, now tell us tour stories!
 

reddy2300

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Nice! Thanks for the insight! I'll use that info when I'm amassing parts for the build!

Btw, was the trem blocked?
 

joe_cpwe

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WI, USA
I never get involved in building tribute guitars preferring to take a more organic approach to builds, but this was an opportunity that was too good to miss when the parts lined up.


View attachment 545011

At the back of my mind, I had had the idea to do a build of Fast Eddie Clarke's (RIP) Motorhead Strat - this was a guitar that I knew intimately, having spent a four years of my life restringing it, fixing it, tuning it and hanging it round Eddie's neck through the Bomber/Ace of Spades/No Sleep till Hammersmith era back in the late 70's/early 80's. I had built the backup Strat on the road (electric sanders in Holiday Inn bathrooms at 3am - they must have loved us - oops sorry) and both guitars were with him till the end.

Eddie had always claimed that they were pre CBS Strats but the large late 70's Headstocks were a bit of a giveaway really, and in some respects it was what gave them the Sustain - well if anything with that Band was ever sustained given the frantic pace - as an aside, sets were always put together to be one hour fifteen in production rehearsals, and usually ended up at 45mins for the same tunes by the end of the Tour, such was the well fueled Speed of it.

So I had built an oiled bodied Strat, had a neck with a brass nut, but also had another Stat build that just happened to have an Dimarzio SDS on the bridge along with stock US fenders in middle and neck which was the original Ace of Spades configuration (first take, no pre-roll, no count, just Lemmy shouting GO! and frantically waving thru the Glass) - the backup ended up with a Seymour Duncan at the bridge, as we couldn't find another Dimarzio that didn't squeal with microphonic feedback - there were no other wiring twists - all stock stuff apart from all 3 pickups in phase as the Band didn't do quiet- the setup changed down the line with Fastway and other pickups were introduced on both of them, but that was not on my watch.

The bit that I was missing for this was the Pickguard - I had sort of been looking with this build at the back of my mind for a couple of years, but nothing felt right, until I came across an old stock Fender Gold plated Solid Brass Pickguard, and it all came back to me in a flash - that's what I picked up in that music store in Newcastle all of those years back. A standard SSS plate all gold and shiny and ready to dazzle that amber reflection from a Follow Spot out into a crowd of Headbangers. So out with an electric drill and a big fat file for the Bridge Humbucker hole - no surround to dress it, just a hole. The new plate now has exactly the same cockups as the original - the drill slipped putting in the upper hole for the Humbucker just as it did all those yeas ago, so the pickup doesn't go in square - I will bet that bit of cardboard pushing it back into position is still under the plate to this day. No modern frills - springs not surgical tubing (the surgery was behind the stacks anyway), neck shim made from a snapped off 45, one of the band's of course - this is a Rock and Roll Guitar.

So finished, I sat and held it and just went "Yeah" - Bit of emotion, like seeing an old friend you haven't seen for almost 40 years.

How does it sound - Louder than everything else of course, what else would you expect................

View attachment 545010

Great story, great looking guitar too.
 

bftfender

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Joined
Dec 21, 2017
Posts
5,271
Location
York PA
I never get involved in building tribute guitars preferring to take a more organic approach to builds, but this was an opportunity that was too good to miss when the parts lined up.


View attachment 545011

At the back of my mind, I had had the idea to do a build of Fast Eddie Clarke's (RIP) Motorhead Strat - this was a guitar that I knew intimately, having spent a four years of my life restringing it, fixing it, tuning it and hanging it round Eddie's neck through the Bomber/Ace of Spades/No Sleep till Hammersmith era back in the late 70's/early 80's. I had built the backup Strat on the road (electric sanders in Holiday Inn bathrooms at 3am - they must have loved us - oops sorry) and both guitars were with him till the end.

Eddie had always claimed that they were pre CBS Strats but the large late 70's Headstocks were a bit of a giveaway really, and in some respects it was what gave them the Sustain - well if anything with that Band was ever sustained given the frantic pace - as an aside, sets were always put together to be one hour fifteen in production rehearsals, and usually ended up at 45mins for the same tunes by the end of the Tour, such was the well fueled Speed of it.

So I had built an oiled bodied Strat, had a neck with a brass nut, but also had another Stat build that just happened to have an Dimarzio SDS on the bridge along with stock US fenders in middle and neck which was the original Ace of Spades configuration (first take, no pre-roll, no count, just Lemmy shouting GO! and frantically waving thru the Glass) - the backup ended up with a Seymour Duncan at the bridge, as we couldn't find another Dimarzio that didn't squeal with microphonic feedback - there were no other wiring twists - all stock stuff apart from all 3 pickups in phase as the Band didn't do quiet- the setup changed down the line with Fastway and other pickups were introduced on both of them, but that was not on my watch.

The bit that I was missing for this was the Pickguard - I had sort of been looking with this build at the back of my mind for a couple of years, but nothing felt right, until I came across an old stock Fender Gold plated Solid Brass Pickguard, and it all came back to me in a flash - that's what I picked up in that music store in Newcastle all of those years back. A standard SSS plate all gold and shiny and ready to dazzle that amber reflection from a Follow Spot out into a crowd of Headbangers. So out with an electric drill and a big fat file for the Bridge Humbucker hole - no surround to dress it, just a hole. The new plate now has exactly the same cockups as the original - the drill slipped putting in the upper hole for the Humbucker just as it did all those yeas ago, so the pickup doesn't go in square - I will bet that bit of cardboard pushing it back into position is still under the plate to this day. No modern frills - springs not surgical tubing (the surgery was behind the stacks anyway), neck shim made from a snapped off 45, one of the band's of course - this is a Rock and Roll Guitar.

So finished, I sat and held it and just went "Yeah" - Bit of emotion, like seeing an old friend you haven't seen for almost 40 years.

How does it sound - Louder than everything else of course, what else would you expect................

View attachment 545010
thanks for the share !
 

knockeduptele

Tele-Holic
Joined
Dec 15, 2017
Posts
706
Location
London
Nice! Thanks for the insight! I'll use that info when I'm amassing parts for the build!

Btw, was the trem blocked?

Ed used a trem bar subtly and to very good effect and had a hankering for a two point system but at that stage they were broke, even with no 1 albums in the UK, hence the two tight and four loose/missing in a std six hole bridge block.

That guitar never had tuning problems and i don't remember spending much time if any balancing out the trem - it just worked probably more by luck than judgement
 

knockeduptele

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Dec 15, 2017
Posts
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Location
London
LONG LIVE MOTORHEAD!!!, they're all together again now having a laugh and a drink

Arguing more like - lol

I can still hear Eddie going " But Mannn,,,,,,,,"

But as a unit it gelled every night without fail - I must have done close to 1000 shows with them over that period and none jump out as being bad - many um shall we say had other factors around them heightening the sense of adventure...........
 




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