Jim Pasch of Hoboken VIntage Guitars is an expert on vintage guitars and has been dealing them almost his whole life. In this interview he will talk about his experiences over the years of dealing with these treasured gems of yesteryear. He also gives some advice for collecting and examines trends in the vintage market.
300guitars: Do you play the guitar? If so when did you first become interested in playing the guitar?
Jim Pasch: Yes I play guitar and am self taught. I basically play blues and country but basic stuff. I just love to sit back and relax with the guitar. I became interested in guitar when I was 18.
300guitars: Who were your earliest influences and current artists you like to listen to?
Jim Pasch: My main influences are the Rolling Stones, Beatles, Led Zepplin, Muddy Waters, Freddie King, Albert King, AC/DC, most of motown and the Stax record groups of Memphis. Today I am basically unimpressed with the rock scene but groups like The Foo Fighters, Velvet Revolver, Step, AC/DC are the only real rock I find interesting today.
300guitars: What was it that made you get involved with dealing guitars, amps and equipment?
Jim Pasch: My grandfather had a music store In Plainfield NJ and he was the first Fender dealer in NJ and when I was young I used to love going and see all the instruments and records. By the time I was 10 I was hooked on music.
300guitars: How long have you been in business?
Jim Pasch: When I was 30 I hated my job and I said if I do not do something now I never will. I started by buying a few guitars and selling them out of my house. Within 6 months it took off and within 1 year I was in business. It has been 20 years now and I cannot believe how fast time has gone. I started Outlaw Guitars in 1990. I just thought one day I am living on the edge and was thinking of Billy the Kid and that’s how name came up. Ron Dill of Rockview tees screen printing came up with the logo which to this day is still my favorite and people always ask me for old Outlaw shirts. In 1997 I sold the business and started Hoboken Vintage guitars and moved to Hoboken and it has been a great move and we have shifted to selling only guitars and basses, no accessories or amps (maybe a few amps) it is much easier and we have now diversified into vintage parts under the name The Parts Drawer and this has been a very successful venture.
300guitars: Do you deal more in higher end vintage guitars or more recent issue used guitars?
Jim Pasch: Today the market has changed greatly we still have many high end vintage guitars and have a small selection on newer Gibson and Fenders. No import guitars or goofy stuff just basically Gibson, Fender and Gretsch guitars.
300guitars: How about amplifiers and effects pedals?
Jim Pasch: I don’t really deal with amps or effects I am not an expert in them so I stay away from them. Shipping amps is a drag so I get about 30 great amps per year but they are for store sales only.
300guitars: Who makes up most of your clientele? Do you have any celebrity clients?
Jim Pasch: I have sold to people like Rolling Stones, Lenny Kravitz, AC/DC, Dolly Parton, Brooks and Dunn, Soul Asylum, REM, Brad Paisley, John Mayer, The Black Crows , Bon Jovi, to name a few over the past 20 years. My core customer base is just normal guitar players and collectors. We have shipped world wide for the past 20 years also so we have quite a large clientele.
300guitars: What are some of your personal favorite guitars and amps and why?
Jim Pasch: I just love Gibson and Fender stuff. It is pretty cliché. I love Strats, Teles, 335s and Les Pauls. They are my 4 favorite models. Amps small tweed amps, Vox AC15 & AC30, brown and black fender Princeton’s and the Fender Deluxe.
300guitars: Can you recall some of the most expensive and rare guitars you have sold?
Jim Pasch: Most expensive was a goldtop last year for $170,000.00. It was a near mint ‘57 wit PAFs. Rare? Well there are too many to list but a few are Sherwood metallic green ‘57 Strat , sunburst ‘58 Tele (two tone), a sparkle multi colored swirl Mosrite Ventures model, first Mosrite guitar from 1960 with pictures of Joe Maphis with it with Semi Moseley, unreal!!! Every color Strat you can imagine we have owned, a few burst’s , original 1957 white Gibson L5, ES-175 and L-4 with PAFs now that’s rare folks. I can just go on and on it has been a hell of a ride!
300guitars: How about any great classic guitars that were so modified that the value decreased drastically?
Jim Pasch: Just imagine every great guitar you have seen and we have seen it butchered or modified. The 70′s were horrible for vintage guitars. I could write a book, it would make you cry.
300guitars: If someone is interested in buying a vintage guitar or amp can you give some advice as to what to look for?
Jim Pasch: My advice is go for originality first then condition. In today’s market the prices are so high that modified guitars are hard to sell. Save up a little more and get a straight guitar. Also do some research on the web there are many info sites (many are wrong ) but you can always e mail us and I will try and help out.
300guitars: What seems to be the vintage market trend right now?
Jim Pasch: The trend now is guitars under $10,000.00 because the economy is slow. Still Fender and Gibson. Stick to these two brands and you cannot go wrong. Strats, Teles, Les Pauls and ES-335s are always going to be in demand. Stay away from the goofy limited edition stuff and the one off guitars.
Jim Pasch: The Japanese guitars are a great buy for the buck. We do not sell them because we are an American vintage guitar store but the quality and value is there and I have no problem with any Japanese guitars.
300guitars: What do you see in the future for the guitar market?
Jim Pasch: Well everyone has been telling me its over for the past 10 years but we are still here and selling more guitars than ever. It is like the stock market they go up and down but in the long run they are a stable investment. I have no idea nor do I dictate having guitars as your 401k but people who have followed this have done good so far. Guitars and music will be here forever. It all depends on the economy but as of today we are alive and well.
300guitars: Thanks alot for this great interview Jim!
Jim Pasch: Sure thing Billy. I just want to thank all of our customers for their business and support over the years and hope we will be around for many more.
If you have a moment please take a moment to review my new charitable foundation I started. Any help would be greatly appreciated thank you www.buijofoundation.org