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Les Paul types....

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Here are mine...

Recently, I ventured up to the excellent Promenade Music store way up North in Morecambe to try and then buy this Vintage Midge Ure signature guitar. I'd never visited the shop before. They have a huge and stunning stock of instruments of all types. I was quite amazed by the place. As for the MU, it's a Les Paul styled guitar, obviously. After a quick remedial setup in the shop, which worked a treat, I parted with my sheckels for this lovely instrument.

The story behind me going miles and miles for this particular guitar?

It's quite simple. I went to see Ultravox on their reunion tours in 2010 and 2012 and Midge Ure used two Vintage Les Paul type guitars on the latter tour. They sounded unbelievable. He is an absolutely impressive guitarist and as a result of the second show, I convinced myself I needed a Vintage Les Paul type guitar. The signature model wasn't available at that point. Not too long after the gig, I went to Reidys in Blackburn and found that guitars they had in stock were nearly unplayable. I then went to PMT in Salford and spent comparatively silly money (about four times as much as the eventual cost of the Vintage signature model) on my genuine Gibson Les Paul Traditional guitar. It turned out to be a fantastic investment and it really made me take my guitar playing a lot more seriously. More recently I bought a Radiotone LP goldtop replica guitar at a guitar show and I thought I was 'there' as far as Les Paul guitars went. Then, the inevitable happened... Ian - the guitarist in my band, the Three, turned up at a recent gig with a standard Vintage LP goldtop and handed it to me to try out. It felt great and I started to get the bee in my bonnet again.

This guitar plays wonderfully. The pickups sound great and once I have played it in a bit, I am quite sure that I will use it regularly. It is a convincingly weighty guitar, compared to the standard Vintage LP-type goldtop model, which I also tried at the store (and which Midge Ure also used on the tour). It is fitted with P90 pickups and a Vibrola arm. It really looks The Business and has a great sound.

I have told my long-suffering wife - many times - that each guitar I have gone out and bought was the last one, sometimes even believing it myself. Then the next thing has come along. This brings my guitar and bass total to 50 and I REALLY don't want any more. It's the end of a glorious and expensive era.




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I still regret selling my good old MIJ Tokai Love Rock, it played superbly, looked ace and sounded monstrous with a set of BKP Emerald's in it.

It was so good, I sold my Gibson LP Studio because it wasn't getting used.

I had quite a few Tokai's, but none of them were quite as good as "Bluey".

I also managed to pick up a couple of Gordon Smith Graduate 60's, one in black which I sold on to a mate, and the other with a stunning pommelle nato veneer top (kind of like a birds eye burl type). Superb guitar, unfortunately, it was bought as a back up to the blue Tokai, so didn't get used as much as it should have, and subsequently sold on (to another friend).

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I don't think Midge Ure gets the credit as a guitarist that he deserves. If you think of some of the musicians that he's played alongside over the years (Scott Gorham and Phil Lynott in Thin Lizzy, John McGeoch in Visage, etc) and not just managed to hold his own but to prove his worth time and time again, then I always wonder why he's never been held in the same esteem as these guys. I think that sometimes he can come across as a bit of a prima-donna (as Billy Currie once described him) and I wonder if this is why he's never quite become a "national treasure" in the same way that some considerably less talented musicians have.

Edited by darkandrew

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