You know it, you love it, you’ve stumbled out of it at 2 a.m. — it’s Bardi’s, beloved eating, drinking, and live music establishment on the Newark Pompton Turnpike in Pequannock, NJ!
Once upon a time, Bardi’s was known as Gunner’s Tavern, which later became Rhythm and Brews. I played there with The Groovy Coconut Band in the early ‘90s. (Download GCB and YNH classics here!) Larry Infantino (R.I.P.) watched somewhat menacingly from the front of the stage; I don’t think Larbo liked our Bush covers. (Who could blame him?)
One thing that hasn’t changed is this establishment’s commitment to live music — which is why Rocco and I were happy to build a custom guitar for Bardi’s!
Fail After Fail
This should have been a simple build, I already had a Strat-style neck, bridge, and wired pick-guard; all I needed was a body, and I was good to go! Easy, right? Wrong!
I went with a sparkling midnight-gray paint job, which looked great, except the Bardi’s logo didn’t transfer well against the dark background. Fail! I tried hand-painting the logo, but it looked like amateur garbage — boo!
Third Time’s The Charm
I sanded everything back down and on the third attempt came up with this strange, tri-tone, semi-tuxedoed Strat-thingie. I’m not sure how to describe it, but it looks cool and plays like a dream!
The three Bardi’s logos on the body of the guitar show varying stages of sharpness. This could be interpreted as an artistic statement about the breakdown of social norms, or the inevitable decay and obsolescence awaiting both man and machine . Or maybe some d-bag used the wrong grit sandpaper. Either way, the final result works!
Is it a nun rolling downhill? (*Rimshot*) No, it’s the pick-guard on the Bardi’s axe! I messed up soldering a ground wire and fried the volume pot on the white pick-guard assembly. (Remember when I said I finally learned how to solder a few posts back? I still have a lot to learn.) I decided to swap the white pick-guard—and pick-ups— with black ones. Then I swapped the white knobs and switch tip back; unfortunately the white pick-up covers didn’t quite fit, preventing me from swapping those out too.
The end result is a unique looking and sounding guitar. The neck on this instrument is amazing. The next time you’re in Bardi’s, demand they take this guitar down off the wall and let you play it! Your hands will thank you! (The staff may get annoyed — tip well!)
Listen to the Bardi’s Axe rock out on the tracks below, “Party@Bardi’s” and “Bardi’s Blues” by The Enzertones !