My 50th birthday is in less than one month. I was planning on buying myself a present. I was going to take my Les Paul to an actual luthier and have the neck worked on. At the minimum I would have the frets dressed and the one inlay that’s starting to pull off fixed. More likely I would have the inlay fixed and the frets (gasp) replaced. I was also thinking about new pickups and having all of the wiring replaced. I was also also thinking about doing all of the same work to my ES-335.
Now… Maybe I should retire the Les Paul (the ES-335 is already retired) and, when the band starts rehearsing again, just play my SG. It’s still practically new. It won’t need any work for a while (knock on wood) so just play the SG all the time. I’d still need a backup for gigs so if we ever have another gig (in the post-Covid world that question is still unanswered) I could trade my strat for a cheap, used Les Paul Junior or something. Juniors from the mid-20-teens seem to be reselling for cheap. I could maybe do a straight up trade.
The reason is college. Mostly, at least. We’re about to have two college students and I don’t want to spend what little money is left after tuition on something that isn’t 100% necessary. New frets on a 43 year old guitar are a luxury that can wait until after the kids graduate. College is expensive. Two colleges… that’s really expensive. There’s just nothing left over. That’s not a complaint, of course, college is worth every penny. It just means that come 2025 or 2026, my Les Paul is going to have some major league work done. I’m talking Hollywood actor after the first time he loses a gig to a 22 year old up and comer level work done.