And then I stumbled upon two nice 60's vintage Guild Starfire guitars on eBay.
Rewind. I was looking around for guitars a bit different tonight. And so I went on eBay and decided to stay away from my usual searches for Gibson and Fender vintage - no, they don't have the exclusivity for iconic guitars. So I typed Guild, which to me is like the sure thing to bring hidden jewels.
And so there I ended up staring at this 1961 Guild Starfire III and this 66-67 Guild Starfire V (see now on sell on eBay).
The is a florentine single cutaway. It is a beauty in its red finish (esp. in its blue case). I think it has two P90's (feel free to comment below). It has seen better days (a few serious repairs: headstock and jack output). It has no pickguard. Starfire III's are definitevely iconic: it was Jerry Garcia's main guitar on the first Grateful Dead record.
The is a double cutaway in the vein of an ES335 with some unique variations: the futuristic/cubist pickguard shape, the jack output on the side not the face of the guitar, position of the switches. This one has 2 humbuckers for sure by the look of it. Blues legend Lightnin' Hopkins was playing one when going electric. So much for claim to iconic guitar status!
These two Starfire's come in red (apparently likely refinishes), with bigsby-type tailpiece.
While both are probably not a collector's dream because of the repairs, refinishes and changes (bigsby tremolo, grover tuners), they are probably very nice players. These are 40-year old guitars of good craftmanship so I have no doubt that these Starfire would deliver a nice vintage tone with that 60's vibe (and maybe with some tune up).
Pricing is reasonable in the $1,200-1,600 range. And hurry up if you want to bid on those. Auctions close in 1 hour for the III and 2 days for the V at time of posting. (UPDATE: these have now closed)
More Guild Starfire guitars currently on auction below: