1988 JEM77FP - A picture thead - Jemsite
Ibanez JEM, UV, JS & Other Signature Models For discussion of Ibanez JEM, Universe and JS (Satriani) guitars only.

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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 14
Talking 1988 JEM77FP - A picture thead

I'll do my part in the hopes that others will post pictures, too. (I'm sure there are lots of pictures, so post links to other threads I've missed please.)

I want to make a thread for each of my Ibanezes, but I will probably just consolidate them all here to avoid spamming six-seven threads all over. Seems simpler that way but if the forum rules say no non-JEMs in the JEM forum I can live with that. Let me know, I don't want to be a pain. I just want to post pictures! So here goes.

The story:
I love Steve Vai as much as anyone, but to be honest I am more a fan of these instruments than his music. My favorite Vai stuff is, in no particular order, his work with David Lee Roth, Flex-able, Passion & Warfare (esp. Blue Powder, the Carvin demo), and Alien Love Secrets. I also love his role in Crossroads. I've never met him or seen him live, but hopefully I will get to someday. My biggest influences that you would hear in my music are EVH, Satch, Robben Ford, and Paul Gilbert, and SRV but I don't try to play blues.

I once walked into a music store and saw a brand new Loch-ness green JEM777 displayed under a glass counter-top and just about lost my mind. It was something like $1,699.oo and I had never considered a guitar could cost that much money. Then the Ibanez catalog came out and I saw these... things. These beautiful, perfect works of art. And the Fender and Gibson guys couldn't stand them. "What's that hole for?" I told them I hang my penis through it at gigs. If they couldn't figure it out, I wasn't inclined to humor them.

Vai started showing up in all the guitar mags because Skyscraper was coming out and he was doing press for that album, his last album with DLR. In those interviews he was pictured with a JEM77FP all over and that was the one that really hit me hard. Satch, previously, had been pictured with his home-built guitars that he had scribbled and painted on, and I had loved those. The Floral Print was like the perfect encapsulation of that sort of whimsical approach, but executed in this flawless Hoshino Japan way. When I met this instrument at that same music store and saw that it was fabric under the clear-coat, I started that Wayne's World "O yes, I will have her" thought process; but i never really believed it would happen.

But it did! It sat in a music store for a year before I made an offer, and they accepted. The time was 1989, and the guitar had first arrived in '88 with a $1,500 price tag (those were 1988 dollars!) The thing is, it appealed to an audience that didn't have that kind of money, so it sat and sat and the price came down and down. Someone put a ding in the top. I didn't care one bit. I graduated High School that year, and I got a job building IBM PS2 computers for $6.27/hr, 40 hours a week that summer. I walked in and put it on layaway with just $80 and a promise to pay $999.99 in three months. My parents knew I wanted to do this and they didn't approve. When pressed by my mother about how my trip to the music store had gone (you see, she already had one guitar addict in the house in my dad and didn't need another) I lied about it. I said, "When I left it was 'already' laid away" and being the "smart" 17 y.o. I was, I didn't tell her it was laid away by me. Not proud of it today, but what can ya do about it now? Just two weeks shy of three months later I walked in and paid it off, took her home, and opened the case at my Dad's feet as he sat in his recliner in his big entertainment room. I was so proud! He said, "Son, that guitar is hideous." I was over the moon.

I proceeded to play myself right out of college because I couldn't put her down. Talk about being spoiled by a guitar. Everywhere I took her people couldn't believe they were seeing it. The dorms at my school did not have a/c so she spent a couple years in the humidity and heat, with the dorm room windows open. The screws rusted. The cosmo black plating bubbled and wore off. I bought two more Edge trems and shared them between my JEM and my RG770DX. I often removed all the screws, buffed the rust off, and spray-painted them black again. Some of those screw holes need to be refilled and redrilled but, meh.

The first aftermarket pickup I put in it was a black FRED that my buddy lent to me. I liked it enough that I ordered one in hot pink and it's still in there today. Eventually I replaced the tone pot with a push-pull pot to get series/parallel wiring out of the FRED, but unlike my other humbuckers, the FRED doesn't sound all the different in parallel.

After owning it a couple of years I messed up the frets and paid a luthier to perform a complete re-fret (this "only" cost about $250 back then). Since then, I moved on to other guitars as my main players, so she's still very level and plays like a dream. Eventually I got tired of the PAF Pro in the neck and put a Humbucker-From-Hell in there and I like it a lot. That's why you get three different shades of hot-pink on one guitar. You can tell the age by what is the most faded.

She was loved but never pampered. The only reason you can't see all the exposed wood around the body is I painted it in with a Sharpie pen. Scratches, dings, and dents are everywhere. I wouldn't change it, though. I didn't buy her to preserve her. I bought her to play. I do wish I had a spare case-queen sitting back but that was never in the cards for me. Still, I love this guitar with all my heart and I am very happy to be the original owner. I'd never part with this instrument for any reason.

I don't really get how image hosting works here, so I'm mangling my posts trying to fix it. Sorry.
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Last edited by Dr. Faustus; 05-21-2019 at 02:38 AM. Reason: Managing photos
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 02:41 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 14
Re: 1988 JEM77FP - A picture thead

Working on the pictures. I can host them elsewhere but I am not sure how to link them so they display properly.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 05:06 PM
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Re: 1988 JEM77FP - A picture thead

I can totally relate to what you have written, I grew up around the same time and had the same experience when the JEM's were released. Your '88 has my favorite pattern, these guitars can easily become an obsession.

Here's a photo of 'Hana' my '88 FP. I think this thread is an awesome idea. I'd love to see different FP's from around the world.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 14
Re: 1988 JEM77FP - A picture thead

For a moment I had to blink at your picture a bit because, apart from the headstock pattern, Hana looks a lot like my baby. That is one beautiful guitar. I like all the JEMs of course, and the 77s especially; but the FP and the BFP just check all the right boxes for me. There are a few JEMs I never really dug, and those include most of the swirls, the industrial JEM, and the FPII, among those I can name. They're awesome, just not my favorites.

Hana here stands out as an example of the one that reached out to me from the pages of the guitar mags in 1989.

Folks I promised you a bunch of pictures and I will follow up but I am trying to figure out the easiest way to post thumbnails that you can click through to the full-size image. I have a lot of stuff hosted on imgur I just need to figure out the right links to paste. Please bear with me while I try to get my image sharing figured out.

This still doesn't behave the way I'd like it to but it's the best I've found so far. Click the images and they will take you to imgur...

P.S. - This is the awful, awful plywood Kramer Striker 300ST that I cut my fingertips on prior to stepping up to this guitar. I'll spare you the rundown of what a nightmare this thing was to string and play:

Last edited by Dr. Faustus; 05-21-2019 at 06:37 PM.
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ibanez jem , jem77fp , steve vai

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