What is this written on the inside of my control plate?

keys88

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Tone, yeah, I knew that, I was just testing you! :cool:

brokentoeswalker said: "I think the tape was there to hide Joe's emergency bag of coke. You don't want the baggie bouncing around in there obviously."

That's demonstratably false... I submit that for any other human that would be possible, but Joe's bag wouldn't fit in the control cavity, even if the cavity was empty! (and I mean back in the day; these days he has no interest in coke)

I'd forgotten that you said the previous owner told you that Fred Kowalo at Boogie Street Guitars had done the neck repair; searching for 'Boogie Street Guitars', the only listing I could find was a place in Pittsburg that was a gbase dealer "founded by Eric McKenna in 1999... (412)254-3150... could there be another BSG somewhere, maybe gone out of business?

@keys88:
Do you know where / what city the previous owner that sold the guitar to you was from? Did he say the headstock had been repaired when he bought the guitar?
I've only been able to find one "Boogie Street Guitars" so far, and that one is in Pittsburg, founded by Eric McKenna in 1999...
I'd been assuming that the headstock was broke when Joe Walsh owned the guitar, and that would make sense with my theory about the writing on the control cavity cover, but Pittsburg is 115mi from Canton, and 109 mi from Akron, and 133 mi from Cleveland... while it's possible, it doesn't seem as likely that he'd drive that far to get the neck fixed, and even less likely that he owned that guitar in 1999, as he'd been playing with the Eagles for some time then, and was very well known, and it's almost certain that there would be video of him playing that guitar somewhere that would have surfaced on youtube by now. Or, there was another 'Boogie Street Guitars' that was open earlier than the one in Pittsburg that I haven't been able to find any info on.

As for the control cavity cover handwriting, and I believe it is that, handwriting, not a signature, both by it's script and because keys88's research turned up no signatures that look similar. The fact that it has the name and serial number leaves me with 3 possible explanations.
1- It was planted there purposely to falsely enhance it's value (I have to acknowledge this, even though at this point I don't believe it's true.
2- It was put there by Joe, or one of his crew in case the guitar got stolen, as a way of identifying it if recovered (I find this less likely as well, because a thief might run across it accidentally and remove the writing or replace the cover).
3- It was written there by someone who was working on the guitar in the control cavity, had it open for an extended period of time, possibly with a number of other guitars being worked upon on the same bench, and didn't wanted to be able to match the right cover with the right guitar. Currently I think this is the most plausible answer.
4- This is Joe's login, password and answer to his security question for his bank account.
5- There likely are other plausible answers I haven't thought of.

Someone else in the thread mentioned that Joe had another guitar he called 'Lucky 13', what about that? I don't know, however it wouldn't be unprecedented for someone to re-cycle the nickname of an older guitar to a new one- Eric Claption sold his most favored 'Blackie' for nearly 1 billion dollars (yes, that's 'billion' with a b!) and replaced it with one of the Eric Clapton Signature models that Fender built, because the neck was so worn out.

So, getting back to keys88's cavity (control cavity that is): keys88, since you've confessed to doing some less-than-optimal soldering (no judgement) in the control cavity, what further info can you provide about that? Looking at your photos, one of the pots has a piece of what looks like blue painter's tape with 'NV' written on it with what looks like a Sharpie Fine Tip marker; another has only a 'V' visible on it, also with blue Sharpie; a third has 'BT' written on the back of the pot and '535' on the side of the pot in a position that would be difficult to write on when the pot was installed in the control cavity because of the angle the Sharpie would have to be in and how the hand gripped it. What do you know about those markings and the tape? Were they there when you changed the neck pickup to a more appropriate one, or did you make those markings, and did you remove that pot (or all the pots) when you were working on it? Or were all of those things like that when you got the guitar?

Why am I asking? Because, if you received the guitar with the pots labeled the way they are, that would mean that someone had previously working on the guitar likely removed the pots, and possibly written the '535' on the side at that time, and it makes it a little more likely that scenario '3' above is true, that someone wrote Joes' name, the guitar serial and it's nickname on the control cavity cover plate to be certain that the original plate got back on it's guitar. That would be a sure-fire way to not mix up parts.

If it's option '4' above, I get 20%
Even though this is all still conjecture, that's very well thought out lol!

I found the guitar in the Lima, OH area (northwest Ohio). The guy that I bought it off of didn’t know much about it, he was just relaying what the previous owner had told him. I don’t really know what the connection to Pennsylvania would be. It’s possible there is no connection at all and it was just miscommunication over the years. It’s also possible the guitar did some travelling. My research on Fred Kowalo tells me that he is a well-known tech who worked with Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society, Ozzy, Megadeth, Alice in Chains, and Shinedown. His LinkedIn page also lists Boogie Street Guitars in PA.

I agree that the writing seems like it would have been written by someone working on the guitar. I also think it could have been an “in case of stolen” policy. You’re right that a thief could just swap out the plate. But would they check? I would think they’d just try to flip it as fast as possible to get rid of it. The “Lucky 13” is weird, I’ll give you that. I don’t know enough about Joe to know whether he used that nickname for multiple guitars.

Also, it's worth pointing out that the guy never once mentioned anything about Joe Walsh when he sold me the guitar. I honestly don't think he knew that was written in the control plate. If this was an attempt to fake ownership, wouldn’t you lead with that? He talked about Fred Kowalo but nothing about Joe Walsh.

As far as the wiring goes, all I did was remove a Bareknuckle Nailbomb from the bridge and replace it with an authentic 1970’s t-top. The painters tape and sharpie marks were already there. I think it’s safe to say Joe Walsh didn’t put a Nailbomb in his guitar. It does seem like something Fred Kowalo would do though... if there’s any truth to that side of the story.
 
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jk60LPTH

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It's not really conjecture. In old English, conjecture meant interpreting signs or omens... in modern day language it's meaning is more like inferring or speculating to obtain an end. What I'm doing is assembling the parts of the guitars' history that we know are fact, observing them from as many ways as our pea-like brains are capable of, and then searching for more facts that either support or eliminate each scenario and determine where those facts lead.
An example: By asking you what work you had done in the control cavity, you confirmed that someone before you had removed at least one of the pots, and perhaps all of them when working on the guitar, which means that one of the possible scenarios is still that the writing on the control cavity cover could still possibly be for the purpose insuring that the correct parts with their original guitar if the tech was working on multiple guitars on the same bench. It doesn't mean that is the case, it means it can't yet be eliminated.
The fact that Zakk Wylde's Linked In page mentions Boogie Street Guitars in PA is also interesting, and if you contact him, try to find out if it's the same Boogie Street Guitars that Eric McKenna founded in 1999, because if it is, and Fred Kowalo repaired the neck there, it would have been in or after 1999.

Before I knew about Eric McKenna, I was envisioning the repair to have been done much earlier than 1999, so that's an interesting fact to know.

As far as the actual writing on the plate, if it were for the purpose of identifying the owner if stolen, I could think of a lot more relevant information to include than what is written there. Back then people would put things like their social security numbers or driver's license numbers on valuables to identify (obviously because of identity theft, SSN's are no longer advisable). If a stolen guitar was found by law enforcement and they didn't know who the owner was at that time, I think it would be a lot harder to track the owner down with what is on the plate. A phone number, or address would be a lot more useful. I'm not saying that it wasn't for that reason- maybe it was just a poorly thought-out plan. The serial number? Of course, a quick-flip of the guitar? In that scenario, if you're in a hurry, you don't take the time to remove or alter the original serial number; again, maybe just not a well-thought out plan.

The most helpful information would be if you heard from Joe and he could tell you if that was his guitar at one time. All the rest of this detective work would immediately become irrelevant. Got my fingers crossed for you!
 

fclum

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What’s stuck under that tape? Looks like a wire or a hair. Maybe some other stuff too. Small parts maybe?
 

fclum

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It also looks like there are some partially drilled holes that are visible on the “signature” side of the control cavity cover too.
 

CB91710

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It also looks like there are some partially drilled holes that are visible on the “signature” side of the control cavity cover too.
Those look like ejection pin holes or casting gates from the molding process.
 

jk60LPTH

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What’s stuck under that tape? Looks like a wire or a hair. Maybe some other stuff too. Small parts maybe?
Looks like a long curved hair with the follicle still attached at the end that's in one of the control cavity cover holes.
 

keys88

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So... Possibly just a donor egg away from creating a new Joe Walsh?
Haha, yeah maybe so. The hair ain't mine I can tell you that...

Really appreciate the continued input. I'm working multiple angles so fingers crossed I'll be able to break through and get an answer. I did try reaching out on Twitter but I'm not much of a social media guy (I literally created a Twitter account just to see if I could contact Joe). But like most famous people it appears that there's no way to send him a direct message, so I pretty much have to wait and see if he responds to me mentioning him or tagging him in a photo. Unless there's something else I'm not thinking of? I think I'm also going to try to reach out to Fred Kowalo to see if I can learn anything there. Even if that neck repair was done later it could be cool to find out the more recent history of the guitar. I know Joe was very generous about giving instruments to people, and Kowalo worked for some other high profile guys, so who knows...
 

keys88

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Update so far...

I emailed George Gruhn to see if he can help. At first I got an email back from someone else in his shop that recommended I send an email to the "info" email address for Joe's management company. So I did. But I just got an email back from George himself saying he emailed Joe's manager on my behalf. George has way more sway than I do so hopefully he'll be able to get a response!

I also got a call back from Dan Shinn today. Unfortunately it didn't ring any bells, and nobody from that time is still working in the shop. But he did say that he knows Joe's current roadie, so I sent him some photos to pass along. Now, he did warn me that Joe's roadies don't like to bother him about non-business stuff, so there's a chance we might not hear back. But it's worth a shot.

On a related note, Dan also recalled an old Cleveland band called Lucky 13. He wondered if there was any connection there with the "Lucky 13" on the control plate. He gave me the name of someone from that band so if I don't get anywhere with Joe's management then I can try reaching out to him.
 

jtees4

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...that's some good info. I have a feeling you are going to solve the mystery soon. Keep it up, you're getting there!
 

Iocaine12

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Keys88, you could always reach out to Uncle Larry (Tom Bukovac) via his YouTube channel 501chorusecho?

I think he knows that "Walsh" guy..

I don't know either of them but they both have reputations for being as nice as they are skilled with the strings!
 

Ton of Tone

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It would be really cool if the guitar ended up belonging to the Joe we all know and love, but there's also the possibility that it belonged to some guy named Joe Walsh, who was in a band called Lucky 13. There are quite a few bands called Lucky 13 right now and I bet there were plenty of them before the internet existed. Also, Joe and Walsh are very common names. Your journey may end up completely dead ended. I hope not, but if it does, this may be the only reasonable explanation. Good luck and keep us updated.
 
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CB91710

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Devious plan to mess with future generations as I use paint markers to write interesting names and phrases under all of my covers and pickguards.......

Hey, anybody want an SG with one of Ozzy's dog's hairs in it?
:D

but seriously... That very well could be the case.
We did a lot of oddball stuff in the 70s, and kids do all kinds of oddball stuff.
Cool to think this could have some connection to Joe, but it could also have belonged to someone who really liked him and was inspired by him... as many of us were.
 

mudface

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It would be really cool if the guitar ended up belonging to the Joe we all know and love, but there's also the possibility that it belonged to some guy named Joe Walsh, who was in a band called Lucky 13. There are quite a few bands called Lucky 13 right now and I bet there were plenty of them before the internet existed. Also, Joe and Walsh seem to be a very common names. Your journey may end up completely dead ended. I hope not, but if it does, this may be the only reasonable explanation. Good luck and keep us updated.

Yup.... my name is Dave Johnson......(it's really not Mudface).

I also sign my cavity plates..... i bet this can confuse the shit out of someone down the road....:rofl:

IMG_1633.JPG

I guess i should add:

"No I'm not the Dave Johnson that builds replicas and age Gibsons"..... "or the Baseball player or Football player or whatever"
 
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CB91710

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Funny now that you mention it....
Remember back in the 70s when diamond engraving pens hit the market.
It was suggested that we engrave our belongings with our name and social security number... SSI because it is federal and driver's license is state.

I don't think I engraved any of my first few guitars or amps, but there are a couple of TV sets in a SoCal landfill that have my information engraved on them.
 

Ton of Tone

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Yup.... my name is Dave Johnson......(it's really not Mudface).
I also sign my cavity plates..... i bet this can confuse the shit out of someone down the road....:rofl:
You should sign them "Mudface". That will cause more chaos 30 years from now.

"Hey, I bet that belonged to that guitar player in Mudface". It was used to record their hit single "Pass me the soap".
 


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