Hi Lewdude, completely missed your message sorry, not yet used to how the forum works!
Don't gig at the moment unfortunately, been a while since I have but I keep getting those urges, not had a vast amount of time to play it recently, just as I get a new guitar work always seems to get really really busy, ah well, need to pay for it somehow. Love the guitar though, and looks wise, wow.. everytime I pop the case open I am speachless, that blacktop is perfect for me. Guess you feel the same, although I don't think the looks are for everyone..
Not sure why he let it go, but he does seem to have quite a churn of guitars through this shop Home Page - Coda Music, check out the second hand pages, they had a fat neck ES335 which was one of his also. Tempted to get in touch with him, see what he says. He might want his Frampton case back!
So are you still in love with the ebony top R8? Have you played out with it yet? I have only used mine @ a few practices thus far... I am in love with the tone, feel, and look. That is pretty cool about the prev owner... any clue as to why he let it go? Talk to ya soon my friend.