Next up a slight odd ball - A Peter Cook Axis custom
This has active EQ on board. Lovely guitar with a great neck. Big frets and a strat scale with through body stringing. I got it in Andy's in Denmark Street in the 80s. Probably not worth much but if you wanted similar quality today you'd pay a lot.
Here is my Squire Strat. It's a 1962 replica that I bought brand new in 1982 in Charing Cross Road and have had ever since. So one of the early sought after JV series. In the name of playability, usability and reliability I've replaced the tuners with locking Sperzels and the electrics are from an old USA standard. In value terms both mistakes but this is a "keeper" so what the heck. Whilst not as beat up as his it has a bit of the John Frusciante about this one... okay it's also about £11,000 cheaper than his original as well no doubt.
Next - this is my Gordon Smith Graduate 60 - second Gordon I've owned. Light for an LP alike and great sound. Mrs F bought me this as my 40th birthday present. Originally I was looking for a double cut but this one just had that special - "thing" and I had to have it. The coil taps add great versatility and also if you turn the tone control to 10 it acts like a bypass adding an audiable lift. I think Fender Delta tone controls do the same thing.
Moving to the Gibson end here is my Les Paul Special - I had a thing about wanting a guitar with P90s on it. I nearly bought a Squire tele with 2 P90s then saw this at under £500 brand new! It's got the faded finish but is nice and the faded feel on the neck is actually quite nice. However I don't really use it that much - after all that hankering after a P90 beast I find little use in the stuff I play to be honest.
So to the top of the pile my crown jewel in the collection. This is my Les Paul Custom - it's a 2006 Custom Shop one I bought via a grey importer and saved myself about £500 on the prices in the shops at the time. Why a black custom? I suppose it all goes back to being a kid, all Les Pauls were just so out of reach I remember that a Gold Top Deluxe was £505 in Bells catalogue and I think a Custom was £625. Stupid money for a teenager like me then. Also just the availablity, deluxes would show up, normally 2nd hand, in the local shops. But customs you never saw, of course Peter Frampton had his three pickup one, Steve Clark of Def Leppard later used them but probably it was Brian Robertson on the cover photos of Live and Dangerous and then John Sykes subsequently in Thin Lizzy that stuck the black custom in my head as the guitar. So I could have bought a standard for less money granted but there is just something about the black custom I've always wanted. As a guitar it sings really well, the neck is a bit beefy for some people no doubt but that is part of the whole thing for me and ... it weighs an absolute ton! Honestly grown men have whimpered when just asked to hold it for a moment let alone wear it for gig.