Wild Thing (neck break Repair for Chip Taylor)

In case you didn’t know, Chip Taylor wrote Wild Thing (The Troggs) and Angel in the Morning and MANY other well known hits.  He is also the brother of actor Jon Voight and thus is the Uncle of Angelina Jolie.  Sadly, Angelina was not with him when I met Chip at his hotel in Manchester!  He was over touring for a week and had arrived via Heathrow and when his guitar arrived, it had a huge dent on the case.

Opening the case he found that the neck had cracked away from it’s joint lifting it up raising the action sky high.  He contacted Dawsons music as soon as he got to Manchester and they put him on to moi!  He needed the guitar back the next day for the first gig of the tour…..so no pressure then.  He said if the guitar couldn’t be ready in time he’d have to buy another.  I had to let him know by 11pm that night what the outcome would be.

Fortunately the neck break was very clean making it easier to glue and clamp without having to make any wood inserts etc.  I managed to apply a slight stain where the crack was disguising any glue line and got it clamped up.  I held my breath for the next few hours.  I left it clamped for eight hours, which is not any where near the length of time I would usually allow but as the break occurred at the heel there was not as much tension in this area.  Still Chips gauge of strings were like pylon wires starting at 13’s to 56.

I took the clamps off at 10pm and tried to break the neck again (well I’d rather it happened to me than him on a gig).  It is important to remember this is a Gibson J45 1962 that John Lennon had played.  Chip told me later that when the Beatles were in New York John Lennon went to Manny’s and looked at two J45’s on the wall.  He wanted this one but Chip bought it first and played it on the Ed Sullivan show and countless other TV shows in the 60’s and 70’s.  He wrote songs on it for Janis Joplin and Jimmy Hendrix played it too, so trying to break it was a heart-stopping moment considering it’s pedigree.

The repair held, I called Chip at his hotel, took it down in a cab and had a drink with him and his band.  He was delighted and kindly thanked me on his tour blog and called me a ‘lifesaver’.

 

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