Lachlan Marks is my favourite guitarist to watch live, when I first saw Gay Paris play and saw this lumberjack jumping around like a monkey on crack I was awestruck but what got me was his playing style; pop based blues songs about Satan with double speed stoner riffs and epic solos? Who the hell does that? A few years later my repair services caught his ears and he dropped off one of his Hagstrom Vikings for a set up, this was the first real time we’d spoke so I invited him up to my “workshop”. There I had a few guitars in progress, my own humble collection of rare(ish) guitars and amps and it was then I drop the idea bomb of a custom Honey Tea for Mr Crack Monkey.
Months went by and every now and then the idea would rear it’s satanic head til one day the man hit me with the strangest amalgamation of concepts for a guitar possibly ever: “I want a black SG style with a Twin Peaks theme”. “I also want a lipstick single coil pickup and I like what you did with the angled fretboard on Sam’s Tele.”
Fortunately I loved the idea, I’d been wanting to make an SG style guitar since I started making guitars and here was the perfect opportunity and the challenge of making a Twin Peaks themed guitar with a lipstick single coil look good was too hard to resist… so that first weekend I watched all 22 episodes of Twin Peaks back to back, including “Fire walk with me” (seriously, what the hell was David Lynch on when he created ‘Fire’?)… this gave me a good basis for design in an attempt to get inside Lachlan’s head (it also made me fall in love with Sherlyn Fenn all over again). There is a lot of symbolism and iconography and recurring themes in Twin Peaks, so things like the owls, the pie at the Double R Diner and Agent Cooper’s obsession with damn good coffee had to be represented… somehow.
I like simplicity and there was a lot going on with the ideas for this guitar so seeing how he plays live, asking what he uses and what he doesn’t and what sounds and tones he wanted to achieve led me to ditching the tone knobs, only having a single Twin Peaks themed mother of pearl inlay in the fretboard, oversizing the scratchplate to the beveled edges of the SG shape and adding a traditional flat tailpiece with the tremolo arm removed so we could have a decorative panel to fulfil Lachlan’s weird obsession… the result was clean yet had all the characteristics of a themed guitar, albeit slightly understated.
Truss rod: Gotoh two way
Frets: Stainless steel
Tuners: Sperzel locking tuners – Nickel
Honey Tea inlay: Mother of pearl
Fretboard inlay: Mother of pearl
Nut: Mother of pearl
Heel cap: Mother of pearl
Bridge: Gotoh Tune-o-matic – Nickel
Tailpiece: Long Gibson-style (customised)
Pickups: Bridge: high output humbucker – Nickel
Neck: single coil – Nickel
Electronics: Three way switch, volume knobs x2
Finish: Nitrocellulose paint & clear lacquer