It is not like we’re unclear about what’s going on here but no matter how well you think you know him, he is always shrouded in a veil of secrecy. It is the Dreaded Keeper of the Stone of which we speak. He first came to our attention in an early March 12th, 2000 Guitar of the Week during a mission to the jungles of India where we sought the legendary tiger eye jewel to insure the authenticity of our then emerging Tiger Eye finish. Due to the covert nature of that mission, the Dreaded Keeper’s photo was not able to be shown at that time. He then appeared, complete with Dreaded photos, in two subsequent Guitar of the Weeks, April 16th and July 2nd from that same year. After which, he slipped back into anonymity, secluded within the confines of his jungle based Anderson painting facility where beautifully finished guitar bodies and necks became the only evidence of his continued existence.
With the surfacing of his latest creation, this Light Tiger Eye Burst, Hollow Drop Top, the time had come. No longer could the secret be kept. We must know from whence the inspiration for this awe inspiring finish comes. Tom issued the orders and the choppers were readied. Once again we were dressed all in black as we lifted off from the Anderson helipad and headed into the darkness of the moonless night. Our destination: the Dreaded Keeper of the Stone’s compound. The helicopters were rigged for silent operation. Closing within 10 miles of the target area, we repelled to the jungle floor from the hovering machines above. The rest of the dangerous journey would have to be completed on foot so as to not interrupt the painting operation’s natural flow.
We made it to the walls of his lair as dawn was breaking. With a foot boost from Tom, I easily cleared the wall. Ian followed with Tino, Byron and Jesse close behind, while Tom brought up the rear. As we moved across the lawn, we all stopped dead in our tracks. We had been detected and we knew what was for breakfast—us. As good fortune would have it, the Dreaded Keeper stepped from his paint booth as the big cat lunged for my leg. I suffered a severe tiger bite—or a bitty kitty boo boo as Tom referred to it. Mr. Dread was very glad to see us and we were introduced to his very best friend and inspiration for Light Tiger Eye Burst. “Meet Raja,”, he said. He then shared with us yet another Light Tiger creation, this time on a Cobra, body that he and Raja had just completed.
Upon returning to Anderson’s main facility in Newbury Park, California—I have to tell you—seeing first hand how our jungle genius creates his masterpiece finishes for Tom Anderson Guitarworks was intensely inspiring. But putting my face inches from a real tiger so I could take his picture was something else altogether. If you had asked me two weeks ago if I’d be wrestling a tiger to bring you vital information concerning the world’s best electric guitars, I would have said, “Never!” but then nothing is too good for Anderson Guitar of the Week readers. Besides, Raja really doesn’t sit still for pictures—but then he is not as glossy as his Hollow Drop Top cousin, so I guess it’s all even.
This devastating Drop Top projects the sweet, musical characteristic sound of Swamp Ash with added confidence while acting under the influence of visually undetectable hollow sound chambers and a commanding maple top. Bringing your favorite songs to life is unrestrained when negotiating related chords and riffs on this small medium-depth +.030 T/A Standard neck backshape that plays like butter. The neck composition chosen to grace this Light Tiger is maple with a rosewood fingerboard. And we’ll give you just one guess as to the species of rosewood selected.
Making the trip to the Brook Mays Pro Shop in Dallas, it arrived as a “store stock” guitar but as the story goes it never made it to the wall hangers—apparently lasting only minutes before disappearing, once again, into a jungle of musicians.
• MODEL: – Hollow Drop Top
• FINISH: – Light Tiger Eye Burst with Binding
• BODY WOOD: – Flamed Maple Top with Swamp Ash Back
• BODY WOOD BACK COLOR: – same
• NECK WOOD: – Maple with Indian Rosewood (of course)
• HEADSTOCK COLOR: – Matching
• NECK BACK FINISH: – Satin
• NECK BACKSHAPE: – +.030 T/A Standard
• NUT WIDTH: – 1 11/16ths
• SCALE LENGTH: – 25 1/2-inch
• FRETS: – Heavy
• BRIDGE: – Vintage Tremolo
• TUNING GEAR: – Locking
• HARDWARE COLOR: – Chrome
• PICKGUARD: – n/a
• NECK PICKUP: – SA1R
• MIDDLE PICKUP: – SA1
• BRIDGE PICKUP: – H2+
• SWITCHING: – B5 with Master Splitter and Push/Pull Tone Control for 13 Sounds
• PICKUP COVERS: – n/a
• PICKUP RINGS: – Black
• STRING GAUGE REQUESTED: – .010-.046
• DESTINATION/LOCATION: – Brook Mays Pro Shop/Dallas, Texas