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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lately I put a Roadstar Series neck on one of my 540Rs that says "Roadstar Series" on the headstock. Great neck BTW. In the photo of Joe in the liner notes of Dreaming where he is kicked back with boots on the table and his guitar sticking up in the air you can see the same Roadstar Series logo on the headstock of that guitar (can't read it actually but it's surely the same).

That got me looking more closely at the body of the guitar. It's the one with all the silver marker drawings on it. That guitar is a HH configuration on a Radius body with the pickup selector switch in between the control knobs like on the current JS models. I have a HH 540R and the toggle switch is not in the same place; it is up from the volume knob, closer to the neck. Did Ibanez have any models with the switch in the location of Joe's guitar at the time?

Theory:
Joe got the HH guitar and liked it but didn't like where the selector switch was so he moved it to between the knobs. The patch job on the original hole showed so he got around to noodling on the guitar with the marker to cover up the old hole area. Then the guitar just ended up covered in marker. Later, Ibanez made the guitars to his specs and put the toggle switch where he wanted it in the first place.

And, if Ibanez didn't even make a HH radius guitar at the time perhaps he had the middle single coil hole of a regular radius filled in and the neck single coil hole routed for a humbucker. Again, the silver marker was used to cover up the finish defects from the filled middle position.

Hmmm....
 

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What an interesting concept. I've always had that album and I have never thought about it or even looked hard enough to notice that. Good observation. I always thought that guitar was his prototype. Was it not?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Is this the original on the wall of NYC Hard Rock Cafe? Or a remake?
It would have to be an '87 or '88 guitar based on when the album was released.

 

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probably original, the graphics were just put on with a silver marker. Over time the marker would wear off and he'd have to put some more graphics back on. More than likely when Hard Rock Cafe asked for it (or Joe donated it) he drew all over it again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Rich,
Was the blackdog guitar a one-off made for Joe? The knob configuration doesn't fit with any Radius that I've seen or heard of from that era. Was it a custom shop deal, or a personally modded guitar?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Rich said:
Blackdog is the first JS.
So when the 1990 Ibanez catalog says:
"Three years of comparing ideas, building numerous prototypes and working on every nuance of guitar design.."

one of these prototypes was Blackdog? That catalog also says that Joe became an endorser in '87. Since Blue Dream was released in '88 (?) this particular prototype was surely quick off the production line.

At any rate, my earlier hypothesis about the paint pen covering sloppy fillin work on the guitar doesn't seem to hold water now. It looks as if Ibanez made this guitar (Blackdog) for Joe based on something(s) he told them he wanted. So the reason it's not similar to other radius guitars of the time is that it was never a commercial run guitar. yes?
 

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Dude, it's not a radius, as I said, it's the first JS. Built in Bensalem by JD probably in 88' and using a Korean Roadstar neck. FIABD was 89'.
 
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