Donkey Kong 7 String Telecaster (Red)
The first guitar in a series dubbed “The Mystic Arcade” is the Donkey Kong seven string in red. In my hometown of Mystic, Connecticut there was an arcade back in about 1983 through 1987 ‘ish. I was 8-13 years old back then and I loved that arcade. I can remember all the games there: Punch-Out!!, Zaxxon, Gauntlet, Crossbow, Dragon’s Lair, Karate Champ, Moon Patrol, Popeye, Star Wars and many more. It was in walking distance from my house and I could beg for more money since my parents would frequently have coffee at the Bee Bee Dairy restaurant across the street. One store down from the arcade on the corner was a general store Sunrise Farms which sold everything from pipe tobacco to nudie mags, comic books to Nerds candy, Smart Food to Diet Coke–you get the picture–all manner of junk and filth a kid could hope to want.
I especially liked going to this arcade at night. The joint was usually a bit less crowded after 8pm and the people were older, mostly metal-heads with ripped Black Sabbath T-shirts. The games also seemed louder and brighter at night. One person who would also frequent the arcade at night was my uncle Carroll. He was fifty back then and also frequented Bee Bee Dairy. I thought it was cool that a person his age would play games in the arcade. He only played three games though: Mario Bros., Crossbow and Donkey Kong.
Many of the original Donkey Kong cabinets were light blue but some were red–reconstituted from Nintendo’s Radarscope cabinets which didn’t make as much money as Donkey Kong. I kind of like the look of the red cabinets, so I went with it here (red-orange to be exact). The body was a nice hunk of poplar and the neck is curly maple with red acrylic fret dots. I used Apoxie-Sculpt for the white body binding, it looks a little thick but I like it–sort of like arcade cabinet binding. Apoxie Sculpt is not as strong as plastic binding yet still not too bad. Pickup is a 9k Behemoth that was custom wound by David Fliski of Heavy Air Pickups. The pickguard area was drilled and routed out for many LEDS to sit underneath the transparent arcade marquee signage I had printed by Game on Grafix, formerly MameMarquees. A Yamaha acoustic guitar battery box was sourced on eBay and embedded in the back to house 4 AA batteries for the light-up pickguard. Embedded in the headstock is a 1982 World’s Fair Video Expo Donkey Kong token. Arcade button for killswitch shenanigans. Behold the devastating force that is Barrelcaster.