Here’s is a very unique Fender Jaguar for you to check out. Jason sent us the story and details about his custom Jag. See his story and photos of the guitar below. If you have a cool story about your custom alternative guitar you’ld like to share with our readers you can contact us here. Update: Added some more photos from Jason including “The Big Cat’s Lair” with Justine De Sade of local punk band The Bombasts.
I started collecting Beach Boys records in the early 80’s and was thus very keen to buy a Jag when the Jap version first came on the market in 1987. I purchased my Olympic white version in Oct 87 at a shop in Cwmbran, Wales (land of Queen Catherine Zeta Jones) and noted that the intonation and tuning weren’t spot on. Luckily a fellah who used to work at Andy’s guitar shop, London had recently moved into our Welsh valley and charged me a small price for setting the Cat up nicely (I still have the cash receipt for the job).
Over the next 12 years I played dozens of gigs - many of them in the open air on streets- with the Jag and used her on hundreds of hours of 4-track recording. I was only a bass-player-made-good when I bought the Jag and over the next few years taught myself to play my own version of lead guitar.
In 1990 I had bought a Jim Dunlop Cry Baby pedal and found that it enhanced the cat-like qualities of the Jag, helping me to progress from the standard early Beach Boys and 80’s style chorus effect tones to wildly screaming fuzz with wah-pedal-to-the-metal sounds used in conjunction with the whammy bar. Kurt Cobain was probably still getting dimes off the tooth fairy when all this was happening so it amuses me greatly when he’s held up as some sort of great innovator by choosing the Jaguar as his weapon of choice.
In 1998 I did a Christmas show at work, kicking off with a storming version of U2’s “New Year’s Day” during which my Cry Baby pedal finally died. For some reason I had stuck a little Catwoman sticker onto the Jag for the performance and over the next year gradually came up with the idea of painting the whole guitar.
In December 1999 I undertook the paint job using a large poster of Michelle Pfeiffer for the front image and a DC comics story book of the Batman Returns film for the back. I used little tins of model airplane gloss paint for the job (having a background in scale modelling) and the work was done, through a stinking bout of flu, in about a month. A while later I painted the legend “She is like a cat in the dark, and then she is the darkness” which is from Steve Nicks’ song “Rhiannon”, interestingly about a Welsh witch. The paint went rock hard when it set and has lasted almost ten years without any blemishes.
“Catwoman”, as we can now properly call her, still functions perfectly and I’ve used her in the last week on a wild recording of The Temptations “Psychedelic Shack”. The pickup covers have yellowed with age and I’ve had to glue the plastic whammy bar tip knob back together after it had cracked and fallen off. I recently submitted a comment on the Jag Stang site regarding the usual bridge saddle problems, my hacksaw cut into the high E string saddle being the only major modification I’ve made to the Cat.
My other guitars are a 2000 Big Apple Strat, )painted with Halle Berry as “Storm) a 1997 Ibanez Blazer strat copy, a 1989 Marlin Sidewinder (painted with Elvis), a 1979 Hondo Strat copy and a 1992 Gibson ES135 semi acoustic, along with 3 or 4 basses. My Jag was not supplied with a string dampener and has a J-shaped whammy bar as opposed to the S-shaped ones I’ve seen on many Jags.
The Jaguar as a model is a special guitar, an acquired taste for the connoisseur. My own Catwoman jag is, as the old Cadillac adverts said, unique in the whole world.
Happy trails, partners! THE BIG CAT