Straight up, this guitar is NOT for everyone. I happen to think it's kinda cool and I definitely haven't seen another like it. Sometimes that's a good thing, and other times...not so much. And I'll just go ahead and ask the question you or somebody else is thinking or wanting to ask: "Hey buddy, that pickguard BIG enough for ya??" Ok, with that zinger out of the way, let's move on...
The backstory on this particular Jr is somewhat interesting. From what I've gathered, it was produced by Gibson in 2004 for a benefit concert that took place that same year. I acquired it with it's original (effeminate) custom designed non-adhesive 3M overlay and with a number of celebrity signatures on the clear pickguard. I just couldn't deal with that so the graphic was removed (still have it) and rubbing alcohol took care of the signatures. Anyway, I've included a pic of what the guitar looked like previously (feel free to amuse yourself by guessing who signed). Decide for yourself whether my efforts were worth it. I don't know whether other examples were produced for the event but I've scoured the interwebs and found NO trace of an identical instrument, anywhere. I see you rolling your eyes and muttering "So what? It's a white Jr with abnormally large pickguard. Just move on with your life." Fair enough it is indeed what you say it is however, if you take a closer look, you'll find it's unique in other interesting ways....
First, the pickguard was clearly built solely for this guitar and I suspect Gibson produced it because it fits around everything...body, pickup, bridge, and controls...perfectly. Second, take a look at the wraptail bridge. The posts are offset, which was something Gibson offered ONLY on CS and BJA Juniors at the time. Finally, check out the P-90 pickup...it's a soapbar. Have you EVER seen a soapbar pickup on a (non-Special) Junior? I haven't (dogears only) but I will challenge you to find one. Anyway, all summed up, it's a pretty cool axe if you ask me (which, of course, you didn't).
Turns out the guitar plays and sounds terrific! Frets were like new when I acquired it. It's a 50's carve neck with an EBONY fretboard (classic feature on a white Jr) with MOP dot inlays, Gibson deluxe vintage style tuners and a really nice sounding Gibson P90 pickup. The guitar remains super-clean but it definitely isn't an "all show & no go" instrument...this thing kicks some serious butt and resonates like crazy. Yep, it's a good one. Plays great and sounds terrific so, what more could you ask for in a Jr (besides a normal pickguard)? Love it or hate it, I guarantee you won't find another like it.
Anyway, I thought I'd share this fun project with the folks here. I have thick skin so feel free to make any comments and to ask any questions you wish. Like I said, it's not for everyone but...that's to be expected.