Chet was not well known for playing a solidbody guitar, with the exception of his nylon string model, the Gibson CEC. However he did use a couple of solidbody instruments on several recordings and in a few concerts. The original solidbody was referred to as The Peaver.
Chet’s accompanist and guitar tech was Paul Yandell.
Paul deserves the title CGP behind his name. (Certified Guitar Player) He is a fabulous finger style artist. He spent many years playing guitar behind Chet and taking care of Chet’s guitars. (2014 update: Paul was award this title posthumously)
Paul took a Peavey T-60 guitar and removed the neck, replacing it with a Fender Stratocaster neck. Paul then rewired the guitar, installing two EMG pickups and a phase switch. Chet named this guitar, The Peaver.
Paul made one for himself, but his has twin humbucking pickups.
Chet signed on with Gibson guitars, due to the fact that Gretsch had stopped making guitars.
Gibson built a fancy model for Chet called the CGP Phasor, which was based on The Peaver. Not much is known about this instrument.
I recall seeing Chet play it on Nashville Now. He later played it in a concert with Mark Knopler. A long time ago I asked Paul Yandell about it on the Chet Atkins message board. All he said was it had two single coil pickups and a phasing switch.
|Chet with the Phasor|
Chet is rarely seen with this model. The video below shows him playing The Peaver and the Phasor.
It was briefly offered in the 1988 Gibson catalog.
More of The Peaver