Modifications/Anomalies: Added strap pin to neck and a Taylor piezo pickup under the bridge.

Details: Andy Summers of The Police came to NPR in the late 1990’s for an interview we called a “performance chat” in which the guest was interviewed, then performed some songs. Summers brought with him a Taylor guitar; can’t remember the model, but I do remember the sound: rich and true. After the interview, we chatted about the Taylor. He said it was his new favorite and explained that it fit his smaller hands better than other models. Soon after that I visited The Guitar Shop on Connecticut Avenue in DC and told the owner about my experience with Summers. He said he had several Taylors, but didn’t want me to play them…yet. He set me up in a corner of the shop and brought me a variety of top-end acoustics, including a few Martins and others. He then brought me the Taylor 412 you see here. It played totally different: easier fingering, longer sustain, a full rich sound. Cleaver salesman. I still use it today on tracks and for composition; it’s one of the guitars “out” all the time in the studio. I later had Taylor install a pickup under the bridge so I could go direct as well. One of the interesting things about this model is the bridge: an early Taylor version of “through the bridge” stringing as opposed to the fancier curved design you see today with pins into the body. My first of many Taylors to come.

  • Color: Natural
  • Date purchased: 1997