Ken Dashow

Ken Dashow

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Watch Dweezil Zappa's Guitar Get Fixed After Being Smashed by an Airline

Musicians have a contentious relationship with air travel. 

While the airlines are great at getting musicians safely to their gigs, they fail much more often when it comes to getting musicians' instruments to those gigs in one piece.

Dweezil Zappa experienced such a hardship when he arrived in Fort Wayne, Indiana, for Gear Fest 2017 to find not all his gear was intact. Namely, the headstock on his Gibson SG was snapped completely off the guitar's neck.

Before taking the guitar in for repairs, Zappa tested the airline's "modification" before a live audience.

"I don't think it really helped, he told the audience."

At Sweetwater Sound's repair shop, however, the tone was more optimistic. 

Guitar repair technician Joe Albright described the damage as an 8 out of 10. 

"I think that most people when they see that break, they do think it's destroyed," Albright says. "And a lot of guitars end up getting thrown away when they get like that. But I see that particular break a lot. Anything can be fixed. Absolutely anything." 

Albright goes on to describe how he approached the repair.

He says he first peeled the colored cap off the headstock to preserve it, so from the front the guitar would look as good as new when it was repaired.

From there, Albright reset the neck and added 'splines,' panels inlayed into the back of the guitar neck for added support. 

But he wasn't done yet! Albright says he probably put about 50 hours of working into the repair. 

"I always hope that it surprises them when they open the case," he says. "That's my hope is that there's a certain amount of joy and surprise—that it's more than what they expected."

See the rest of the project, plus Dweezil's reaction to the repaired guitar, in the video above!

Photos: YouTube / SweetwaterSound

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