In 1977, I started playing guitar. I had always been fascinated listening to music as far back as I could remember. The same year, I started getting into pen & inks, doing cool fantasy drawings of castles dragons and other medieval art. The following year, I joined my first band... so many jobs through the years, dj, stand-up comic, guitar teacher(Which is my main income still to this day). I have always been an adventurer of sorts, travelling the world, etc. The guitar has been with me somehow, some way ever since I was a little pup.
2 years ago, I purchased an AXE-FX Ultra unit, and shortly thereafter, I had Carvin guitars build me a custom guitar. The guitar was gorgeous,a DC727 Spalted maple top, but sported a piece of crap trussrod cover. That trussrod cover was a major turning point in my life... I ended up wanting to make my own. I had only worked with wood a couple times before, but remembered how much peace it put me at. I started to learn how to do inlay
, because I wanted to inlay some Mother-Of-Pearl and a couple weeks later I had a cool piece of Koa wood and did my first inlay. At the time, a student's father talked me into building a guitar. He was a master cabinet builder and was watching some of the things I was making and I guess he saw a hidden talent in me and started bringing me woodworking equipment every Thursday when his son took lessons.
I am not a "simple" person.... I love detail, whether it be in art or music, I have a hard time doing simple things. So I commenced in making one of the most insane first-time guitar builds in history (That I am aware of). This guitar was to be named "The Dueling Dragons
" and has thousands of hours of work in it to make it "The Ultimate Ax". I have owned so many guitars in my life, I lost count... I KNEW what I liked and disliked about guitars, so I spent allot of time in researching every step of the way to make this guitar as perfect as possible, with an insane inlay to boot. There were 251 pieces of shell & recon stone inlaid into the fretboard alone. It has exotic shells and woods from all over the world, sterling silver, 14 karat gold, prehistoric shark's teeth (5 to 22 million years old) and I even inlaid puppy's teeth from our 2 dogs(Their eye teeth fall out when they are puppies)
At the end of the day, this guitar ended up playing (And feeling) better than any other guitar I had ever played before and the select few seasoned guitarists who have played it all agreed. There are skeptics who would want to argue this important fact, but as soon as it goes into one's lap, the magic begins.
I ended up making a 3 part documentary film on the guitar that took nearly a year to build, which is in the Video Section of my web site
You will also find my second guitar called the "Silver Willow" in there. I am currently building 2 more guitars concurrently and have plans for 2 other production models. A major guitar magazine's publisher contacted me 2 weeks ago and wants to do an article on my builds which is exciting.
The journey has been amazing for me - I wish I had started when I was younger - I now have Rheumatoid Arthritis, which has ended my "band days" but I am still able to teach guitar and build guitars. I plan to keep building till my hands fall off - I love every part of building and thank you all for reading... Please visit http://www.virgilguitar.com
for more details about the Dueling Dragons & other guitars...here are a couple more pics: