The one that got away!
Back in 1996 I found this "Jem" in a local guitar shop. i didn't care how much it was I wanted it! This guitar was much more than a standard Jem it was a prototype Jem. With the LA Custom Shop logo on the back with Mace Bailey's name inprinted as well. It has the Monkey Grip but no Lion's Claw tremolo cavity. In place of the "Jem" logo on the headstock is says "Steve Vai". I bought the guitar for $800. A steal even 12 years ago. This guitar wasn't without its flaws though. The clear coat finish had air bubbles in spots. The orange and black Dimarzio's (Steve Morse Models) the orange was flaking off, eventually I scraped the rest of the orange paint off, the picture is from when I first bought it. The body itself is narrower that a standard Jem. The nut width of the neck is 1 5/8". The unfortuate thing about this guitar, even with the Lo Pro Edge, it was a bitch to stay in tune. From a collectors standpoint it was awesome though. I owned this guitar for about 2-3 years. I eventually traded towards a Peavey EVH Wolfgang Standard (Vintage Sunburst/Flame Maple top). I got my money back on it, so I didn't lose anything on it. some people I know think i was stupid for getting rid of it. I kind of kick myself for it now, but in return I got an awsome guitar that I owned for about 7 years before I got sold that as well. I think I regret selling the Wolfgang more, at least that was playable. I remember several years ago looking on Steve Vai's website and there it was, my old guitar, the exact same one! not a copy, I matched the swirl on both pictures and realized that is was the very same. This made me even more sad about getting rid of it, oh well. Ibanez i guess made several guitars like this for Steve, I guess they were test gutiars to see what finishes he liked. His website stated that this was one of his favorites, now i'm even more upset. The picture below is of my nephew holding the guitar, the other pic is from Steve Vai's website, see for yourself. One thing I remember about that time period is that I could go into any of my local guitar stores and find several used Jems. I remember the day i went to sell this guitar, the shop had a Floral Jem, a desert yellow Jem a black Jem 7P at the same time. Local shops now very rarely have used guitars thanks to ****.