I Bought Buckethead's Stage Used Guitar!! The Story behind the sale.
On March 28th 2022 Buckethead's website posted a one day only, “best offer accepted” sale for one of his”studio used” Gibson guitars. Unbeknownst to those bidding at the time, there would also be a private offer the next to those with a matching/close bid for a “stage used, as is” Gibson guitar from Buckethead. The offer was accepted and the stage used guitar was shipped 2 weeks later to John Zuehlke.
(What condition was the guitar in?)
This knob is missing, when the guitar is plugged in and the dial goes to 10 the sound cuts out. And then, this toggle switch also cuts out in this position. So I've tried to clean it up the best I can and I'm going to send it to a guitar technician to have the insides fixed.
I don't know if you can see the serial number. It's very faded out but another interesting aspect is that, in the case, this serial number here and the one on the guitar don't match. Interesting.
(Interview with Corey the repair man)
I work here at Manhattan guitar center, Buckethead's guitar came in. It needed a lot done to it. It had a whole new nut board added. The slots were so cut down from overuse. Same with the saddles on the bridge, they were so cut down they would break the string when you put a new string on as it was so jagged. Plenty of cleaning was done. Now it plays great again.
So the nut had to be replaced. These 2 knobs had to be replaced. This one was missing. When this switch was in this position the volume would go off. And when this knob was at 10 the volume would go off. So the internals had to be tweaked. And then, these saddles had to be replaced.
So heres all the parts that were replaced. The strings, the knob, the nut and over here the two saddles that were very worn down.
(Thoughts now the guitar has been cleaned & repaired)
Now that the guitar has been cleaned and fixed I'm really really happy with it. If I could have any tour guitar from anyone I would want a Buckethead guitar so I'm really fortunate to have it.
(How much did you pay for the guitar?)
So my bid was in the very low 5 figures. To avoid a tie, I decided to end my bid in $513. Which is Buckethead's birthday (5/13). I got an email from Buckethead Pikes stating I didn't win the auction but they had an extra heavily used tour guitar. Buckethead used this guitar on tour. And if I wanted it I could get it for the same amount I bid on the other guitar. And this is like winning the lottery. I think this tour guitar is much better than the guitar they offered on the website. So immediately e-mailed them back and said “yes, I want the guitar! How much is shipping? How do you want to be paid. Just give me the guitar!”. So I was really excited about it.
(Did Buckethead sign the guitar?)
The guitar and the case were not signed. I learned from some outside sources that the guitar was stored in another state and Buckethead lives in a different state, so signing it was not possible. It would have been nice to tell me that ahead of time, as it would have also been nice for them to tell me what years it was used. Fortunately Natternet and I figured out it was used extensively during the 2017 and 2018 tour.
The missing knob was actually a blessing in disguise because if the knob wasn't missing, finding out when it was used on tour would have been much more challenging.
<At the very least the knobless guitar was used for all of Buckethead's 2017 tour, used from March to May on his 2018 tour and used for his '10 31' music video in 2017.>
There's also some chips that are clearly recognizable in footage, but the missing knob is the thing to look out for in the videos when looking for the guitar. So thanks to Natternet for helping to find out what years it was used. And thanks to Natternet for suggesting the video and for making great Buckethead videos.
I also want to think Corey Debenigno for fixing the guitar, he did a great job and asnwered all my questions. I'd also like to thank Josh Slunk and Scott Norris for answering my guitar and playing questions.
I would also like to thank the shipping department at Buckethead Pikes, they have a tough job shipping all kinds of items. They did a great job making sure the guitar got to me safely. So thanks for getting the guitar to me in one piece.
(If Buckethead is watching what would you like to say to him?)
If Buckethead is watching there are 3 things I'd like to say. First of all Happy Birthday, May 13th is coming up. Hope you have a great Friday the 13th.
The 2nd this is thanks a lot for this guitar. This guitar is awesome. If there's any guitar on the planet I could own it would be this one. There are 40 of your songs I'm currently trying to learn. I'm having a lot of fun playing these songs (or trying to play them).
The final thing is thanks for setting the bar so high for other guitar players. Basically your playing in the studio, live playing and composition skills are second to none. The fact that you have written over 300 albums and are still producing high quality albums with great songs is amazing. It shows you're working hard non-stop. And I think it's great that every few months you sell your discography for $200. It keeps your music affordable so everyone can buy it.
And then finally, I think it's really cool that you hand out gifts during your shows and let people play the killswitch. You don't have to do that but I think it shows you care a lot about the fans and I think it's very impressive and classy.
(Are you a guitar player and when did you discover Buckethead?)
I played guitar from about aged 8 until 10, then stopped completely and stored my guitar at my parents home. In 2020 I was on Youtube, I saw a video suggested of Buckethead, So I watched it and the more I watched the more I liked his playing. After a while in the middle of 2021 I was inspired by his playing so I decided I wanted to start playing again. So I called my parents, had them ship me my guitar and I've been practicing everyday. So when I play I'm an absolute beginner, but I have a lot of fun playing and it's really fun trying to play Buckethead songs.
Now, as the two legends Michael Jordan and Bootsy Collins once said “hard work, determination. I've got to keep pushing myself”.So it's time to practice and have some fun.
Congratulations to John Zuehlke on purchasing the guitar and agreeing to film the entire process, and for keeping the whole thing a secret (only a few trusted bots were told) so we could unveil the historic purchase on Buckethead's birthday.
The fact we were able to trace when the guitar was used and see it in action in dozens of videos is awesome, a piece of history! And I totally agree with John that this guitar was far better than the one offered on the site giving its proven history.
I'm also glad that John was the one to get it as he appreciates the guitar, the history and the man, and chose not to get deterred by the guitars initial condition and instead had it repaired to glorious stage used perfection. Woo!!