Gear Nebraska with Joe Salvati

The “Mr. Dave” Guitar:

Say hello to my little friend! This is my late ’50s Oahu Diana lap steel guitar. I bought this a few years ago while on vacation in Honolulu with my wife, Katie. It is my Oahu from Oahu! This guitar taught me never to judge a guitar by its price tag. Best $225 I’ve ever spent! What a perfect souvenir. After all, Hawaii is the birthplace of steel guitar.

Joe Salvati Gear Feature, Jan. 28, 2015

I typically keep this guitar in open D or open E tuning, but I also employ C6 tuning, Dobro G tuning, and an open G variant depending on what strings I have on the guitar and what I’m using it for. The Seymour Duncan humbucker (not stock) gives it a really nice warm growl which goes well with a variety of musical styles. I have used it on recordings with Jack Hotel and Kill County, and I have always been happy with the results. Nice tone. Very versatile.

What makes this guitar so special to me is that it boasts the signature of one of the best slide players of all time, David Lindley. If you haven’t heard Dave, yes, you have. Everyone has probably unknowingly loved them some Lindley at some point in their life. The man is a true master of his craft. I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Dave at the Zoo Bar a few years back, and he was kind enough to sign my guitar and teach me a few things about it. Just thinking about my lap steel passing through the hands of such greatness inspires me every time I pick it up.

This is one of my favorite things about guitars, especially old ones: I love to hold a guitar and try to imagine all the people who may have played it, where they may have taken the guitar, and most importantly where the guitar may have taken those people. My lap steel was made in Cleveland, went God knows where, to Hawaii, and then to Nebraska, and I can’t help but think that it has a long road ahead of it.

Joe Salvati Gear Feature, Jan. 28, 2015