The deal I passed on which still haunts me . . .


Silver Supporting Member
I'm sure most of us have regretted selling or trading away some piece of gear we later realized was 'the one', but there also are pieces of gear which brushed by us, but because of our own misjudgment (or poverty) we failed to snatch them when we had the chance . . .

It was the heady, pre-internet days of the mid-1980s. My best college buddy happens to occasionally run sound and lights for a popular bar band in his home town.

One day he returns from a weekend at home with a guitar case in tow. The band's lead player is looking to sell his old Tele . . . and there it is: mid-60s Tele, Olympic white, rosewood board, original case . . . but look at that rust.

He's asking $225. Could I come up with $225? Plus, what about the rust on the metal parts? Who would want a guitar with such wear and tear? And would I be able to find replacement parts for the rusty screws and saddles? :huh

I even checked the local music store to see if they stocked replacement parts. Nope.

And the AllParts catalog at this time was merely stapled together photocopies of typed (as in on a typewriter) part names and numbers.

Remember: These were the days before relics, and I was used to rocking a shiny black Charvel/Jackson.

Needless to say, I passed. :bonk


Don't be sad.
Maybe pointy guitars will make a comeback.
I always thought of tele's as Tennesee twangers, but I now can't resist them.


Trainwreck express for $5K a bit over 10 years ago. Didn't have the money for it....and that was and still is a lot for an amp.

Though in terms of investment...that would have been a good one, and I would have gotten a lot of enjoyment out of it over all these years.


Montonero, MOY, Multitudes
Platinum Supporting Member
I had the opportunity (but not the money) to purchase an immaculate and great sounding '68 Stratocaster in the late 80s, when I was 19. The amount was definitely quite a stretch for me, but as an investment it would have been a great purchase (and it was a great instrument, too).

Similarly, I regret not buying one of the two Klein electrics they had for sale at a local music store in the early 90s. Again, it would have been a stretch, but they were phenomenal instruments and this likewise would have been quite a good investment based on where Klein prices have gone.


I missed out on a pair of pristine 1966 Super Reverbs for $400 (in 1984 or so) due to stupidity and lack of funds. Stupidity because I could have sold off some junk...
What I wouldn't give to have them now...


Silver Supporting Member
not buying those black face bassmans for 50-75 dollars back in the '70s.

"What? no reverb, fuggeddaboudit"


not buying those black face bassmans for 50-75 dollars back in the '70s.

"What? no reverb, fuggeddaboudit"

Right up until GP did a story about modding those heads I could have bought 4 or 5 of them in the pawn shops around Flint for $100/$125. They were all gone soon after..



Silver Supporting Member
59 Telecaster for $700 in 1985
Bought an shiny new red Ibanez Proline instead:messedup


Senior Member
I have a friend that offered to sell me an old Ampeg bass once, I forget the name of the bass but it is the one with the F hole cut through a solid body. It is a VERY rare and expensive bass now. He offered to sell it to me in pieces, he had disassembled it and intended to refinish it. And cheap. I forget what he wanted, but it was under 100 bucks.
All I would have had to do was the finish and assemble it. At the time I was just too busy with other stuff and kinda blew him off.


Silver Supporting Member
I sold a 68 Strat for $150.


This was about 1974. Could've bought an under the bed 1958 Les Paul tobacco burst with humbuckings for $125. I said, "Nah, I like my skinny neck SG just fine". A little later a guy shows up with a blackguard Esquire. I could've bought it for $150. After turning down the Les Paul this guitar for $150 seemed crazy. Not only that but it howled when we turned it up thru a Bassman head and a D130.
I imagine everyone as old as me has similar stories.
As the saying goes, no use cryin' now, but...

I play bluegrass mandolin and in the early seventies I had an opportunity to have a Lloyd Loar signed Gibson F5 mandolin for $1600. I did not think anyone spent that kind of money on a stringed instrument at that point in my naive life. I thought, "I paid nearly $300 for this Ibunez F5 copy; how could anything be any better!". Current market value of a Loar signed F5: $225,000.00

No big deal...
I had a few come and go, but what I am so grateful about now is how little stuff I had when Katrina struck.

You know how this works. IF you do buy something you often have to sell it when a friend out west is sick and you need money for planefare or to help with the bills. OR word gets around and you get cased during a party and the '64 something or other gets burglarized out of your apartment or house.

Just because we GET something doesn't mean we'll have the sense to hold it. And if we do hold it there's no guarantee we won't get ripped off.

Just keep your eyes open and don't be quite so quick to toss old stuff that seems "rusty" just right now.


Senior Member
When I first lived in Denmark in the early 70's I became the singer in a local band for a period. The lead guitarist Paul's father had sailed with the Maerske line and had bought a Fender Stratocaster in San Francisco sometime in the 50's. Paul had inherited this guitar which he said was the 254th Strat made as it had a stamp on it with the serial number 254, he didn't like it as it wouldn't stay in tune and like a lot of other guys at the time wanted to buy a Les Paul instead. I had just started trying to learn guitar at the time and he offered it to me for Dkr1000, which was a bit less than a £100 at that time. I was more into the history etc of the guitar than him and knew that these early Strats were starting to become wanted and as he was a friend who I did not want to do a disservice I told him no, and that he should hang on to it, which he did. Many years later I read the Fender Book and found that at that time the serial numbers had been month/year which apparently dated that guitar to February 1954. It also said that Leo Fender had given many prototypes away to musicians prior to the April 1954 official launch of the Stratocaster and I figured that it must have been one of them his father had bought which maybe explained the tuning problems he had with it or maybe it just needed a good set up the knowledge of which wasn't so widely known to most ordinary players at the time like it is nowadays, who knows. I lost touch with Paul after that but have sometimes wondered what became of that guitar as just from a historic point of view it predates Hank Marvins by a few years which would probably make it the first Strat to arrive in Europe. :cry:


Passed on a Les Paul Custom in Silverburst in 1985. I had the money but was afraid my parents would kill me. So what did I do? I blew the money on booze & weed instead. Great call...


A 1981 Gold Les Paul Custom (front, back, sides, neck) in 1986 for $400.
Evidently, Gibson sent a small batch from one factory (which made Customs but didn't shoot Gold) to the other (which made Standards but not Customs) for paint. Not sure which was Nashville or Kalamazoo.

There was also a '56 Fender Duosonic in 1977 for $100 (which was probably a little lesse worth at the time). Would love to have it today.


A left handed Koll Glide Jr in a second-hand guitar store for $650. I was not familiar with the name and thought I was showing great restraint by avoiding the temptation to pick it up and try it. I already had too many guitars, so I just stayed focused on the small item I was there to purchase. Looked it up that night and decided I had better go back the next day. That night I saw the dreaded "Look what I just bought" post on a lefty guitar forum.


Silver Supporting Member
Stories from Old Farts like me who've been playing, around musicians and in bands for as long as I have can get very tedious.

The main point I would make is that the vintage mania in guitar, at least in places I lived, was really not in full flame, even into the mid-80's. There were collectors (I remember Dave from LaCrosse from back then, I think) but they were a rare breed.

I can remember explicitly at least 3-4 blackguard Teles you could've bought, or barely given away for that matter, in the $100-150 ballpark. The guys who used to own them were almost pitied by the fancyboy Les Paul and Jackson and Charvel owners.

Same for pre-CBS strats. They were like firewood. I think SRV did as much to resurrect the strat as Clapton did to introduce the LP, frankly, so this dates to the early 80's as well.

If I had a time machine, and only needed to go back to, say, 1982, and took back $500, I could return to the present with 6-figures worth of teles and strats.

There's another factor in all of this, though. I didn't buy most of those guitars at the time, or else I sold the ones I had, because I didn't like the way they played and/or sounded. I don't beat myself up about that, at all. I was more fixated on my bands' performances, and if I thought an off-the-shelf American Standard sounded better than that "POS" 60's strat I had, I'd just trade-and-buy.

I'm not saying I was very smart; I'm just saying I'm not "haunted."
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