Designing the Golden Eagle 1977

jeff adams

New Member
Apr 2, 2024
Back in 1977 when I was touring with Face Dancer (Capital/EMI) and "Sandy", my '59 curly top LP, I reached out to my friend Paul Smith to build me a guitar. At that time Paul was the guitar tech in a local music store (Veneman's Music, Gaithersburg, Md). I had known Paul since the early 70's, and had noticed and liked a guitar he was playing that he had built, so we agreed on a deal. I liked the body style he had, but I wanted to mirror Sandy, my '59 burst, so we went to work on a new design. My ideas included the 2 piece curly maple top, original PAF humbuckers, the smaller streamline headstock, the tremolo bar, the Kluson tuners, as well as the original Gibson yellow stain. I also wanted the volume knob and pick-up selector up close. Paul asked me if I would like his idea of birds as fret markers, I agreed. I also asked if we could get 'aged' wood, Paul performed a miracle, he came up with curly maple drawer fronts from a 100 year old dresser, and mahogany from a 70 yr old dresser. Finally in '78, with the build complete, Paul said he'd like to spray it with an imron clear coat, not knowing any better at the time, I agreed. And what a mistake that turned be, in my opinion, the guitar sounded extremely punchy, glassy, and brittle, with no warmth whatsoever. Over the next year Paul would tell me if I wanted to give it back to him he would give me what I had payed, $1,500. Eventually I said ok and gave it back, the rest is history, the age of the "Golden Eagle" was born. Paul turned the guitar over to Howard Leese, who I believe still has it (?). For me the memory of having Sandy and the Eagle on stage at the same time is a mind blower.
Wow, what an amazing piece of history! Thanks a bunch for sharing that gem!! To post pix, you need to use a third party storage (flickr, imgr, etc.). You also need to have a certain number of posts before you can post pix, but you are only 2 away (you have 3 posts, you need 5 - I think - before you can post a pic). Replies to this or any other thread count as posts.

Several members long before I have posted tutorials (including but not limited to @sergiodeblanc , @CandidPicker , Hans and some since ( @james - an admin) , etc. Links to all of those along with my tutorials can be found at . If after reviewing these materials you still have troubles, feel free to PM me for assistance on posting photos. Even if you do not have a 3rd party account to post these pix, I would be happy to post said pix via my account(s) as this is important and valuable material that should be included here IMO!!!
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Hi Jeff, awesome backstory on the HW guitar!

Here's a question for you. My best friend's band was based near D.C. around 1980 or so. I've heard him mention Face Dancer in the past. Do you recognize these drums?