Re: Slash:derrig Vs Max - The Afd Period
Greg, I have no dog in this hunt, either, but after all the speculation, stories and outlandish claims I'd read on the net, I just wanted to know. I've met Alan Niven only 6 times, and we never discussed this until I brought it up to him & Foote when there was a quiet moment at Foote's shop in 2002.
I've played some Max built guitars and they're fine instruments, no doubt. He did the same thing most LP replica builders did back in the day such as using old fingerboards with the old (correct) inlays, hide glue, etc. His Gibson logos and Les Paul scripts weren't as subdued as they should have been for a real burst IMO (check the pics of a Max headstock), always looking too new, bright, or cut just a bit different than what I see on my vintage Gibsons (I base this on my two 61 SG's, a 68 LP Custom, and my two buddy's 59 & 60 Burst I've played) and others. There have been two Max's (purported by the owners) sent to MusicWorks in the last year, and I came down and checked them out. Other than the telltale logo things I noted above, they were pretty damn close, so I'm not bagging on the man's luthiery skills, or his build quality.
But when you have a guy like Jim Foote, Alan Niven and interviews with Slash all discuss this AFD LP replica thing without any changes from the original stuff Slash said, or what Niven said, you have to wonder if the three of them got together and said this to protect Max, or if it happened the way they said and it was the Derrig replica guitar. I mean, Kris Derrig is long gone, he's not going to gain any glory from this. Jim Foote didn't build it, so he's not getting any glory from it. Alan Niven isn't working with Velvet Revolver (he was asked, by the way) or GnR any more, so he's got nothing to gain from telling a fable, either.
So knowing all those guys have nothing to gain, what good reason do they have to lie? On the other hand, Max was building replicas and had something to gain, and unless you knew the players involved or talked to them, who was going to know any differently from what Max told them? No one, right?
I guess you've got a point, though, Flick. Maybe if you can get Slash to comment with Alan, Foote & Max all together in the same room, maybe someone can sort it out once and for all. I know Foote has a gold or platinum record on the wall, given to him by Niven for that album, IIRC. He has about a dozen on it from various artists from the 80's, BTW, but I'm pretty sure the one for AFD is up there, too. If he had nothing to do with this landmark guitar oriented album of GnR, then I'm hard pressed to figure out why he's got a gold record up there.
My money is on the Niven/Foote/Slash version, as they have nothing to gain from this, which has to be a an overriding consideration, IMO.