Green Meanie!

by | May 26, 2021 | Gear

If you’re remotely cool, you have no idea what the Green Meanie is. If you’re a super guitar dork, you know exactly what it is.

Should you be unfamiliar, the best encapsulation can be found here:

It’s a guitar everyone has a slightly different memory, as you likely experienced it at different times. Plenty of people know it as a clean green Charvel with a white pickguard and minimal mods. Others know it with some body routing and wear but no stickers.

I mostly know it as the stickered up version. That seems to be the most photographed rendition and also the final state of the guitar. And I kinda dig guitars with stickers, so long as there’s a bit of a common thread involved.

Plenty of people have made replicas. I’ve seen one or two people that have gone as far as trying to acquire authentic stickers, which sounds like a giant pain in the ass and kinda silly given you’re making a clone of something. But cool for them.

I couldn’t fathom the number of replicas out there. It’s probably dozens. Not many. Definitely not enough for Charvel or Ibanez to release any sort of commercial version of the Green Meanie. Not even a super limited run like Fender did with the Hitmaker (a guitar I also made a clone of, because that guitar is rad and Nile Rodgers is a king).

As part of my daily guitar banter with great friend George, I got inspired to make my own Green Meanie.

So let’s get down to it.

The guitar itself is mainly Warmoth. One of their strat bodies (basswood to both match the latter Ibanez Jems and to be light as a feather) with a neck using their “standard thin” profile. Similar-ish to the original Wizard necks as well as older Charvels. Back before shredder necks got to be paper thin. Also just a great profile. I went for a 10-16″ compound radius fretboard because that’s just something I like and 6150 frets because those 80’s guitars had meatier frets.

The hardware was easy. original floyd rose trem. Locking nut. Usual stuff. For electronics, I wired it per the original guitar (at least as that Dimarzio story tells it). My pickup choices were the Fred in the bridge (no real reason why, just wanted something a little different) and a PAF Pro in the neck. I did a Dark Matter 2 in the middle mostly because I hate the imbalance that usually comes with a single coil in the middle of two humbuckers.

Okay that’s easy enough. But this guitar is about the look.

You cannot buy the paint.

It’s called “loch ness green.” That does not help. You won’t find a paint code with that name anywhere.

A lot of folks do some Krylon/Rustoleum shit. It’s usually fluorescent. That’s not right.

The closest I can figure is it’s really similar to the late 60s / early 70s mopar green you’d see on Chargers, Roadrunners, etc. Sublime Green. Apparently there’s a somewhat newer green based on that called Green With Envy. I don’t know if either of these colors are right, but they look *close* and guitar makers certainly have a history of using classic car colors.

I should’ve ordered both of those. I didn’t. Laziness I guess. Also, Covid making a lot of paint suppliers unreliable.

What I ended up with was an Auto Zone close-enough version of the classic Chrysler color. It wasn’t quite right.

I ended up doing three different greens. There is a fluorescent in there. And a much darker green. And the Auto Zone one toward the top. It doesn’t quite pop enough, but it’s pretty good.

But stickers… Back to that one. Turns out, some dude in Russia went through the trouble of recreating the original skate stickers. I bought them from him. Eventually they showed up.

Here’s my first go at this thing.

Because the internet is sometimes amazing, I got some feedback and advice from the guy who made the original! Steve Vai’s former tech. There was a lot of dialogue, but here’s the most useful bit of it.

I’m absolute bragging here.

So when it came to finishing things off, there’s a few things I wanted to accomplish.

  1. Make the tremolo route more like the original. This took filling it in and doing it over by hand. Same method as the real deal, but the whole filling part made it kind of a pain.
  2. Hide a few of the things that just jumped out as fake. One of the stickers was poorly designed, there’s a few other areas that looked too clean/perfect against the worn paint. Stuff like that.
  3. Do a thing or two that wasn’t ever on the real guitar.

Here’s where I wound up.

And yeah, I managed to figure out how to make the paint jump out a bit more in the end.

This thing looks pretty damn cool, if I must say so myself. And it plays like a dream!

But most importantly, for the sake of internet cred, I got a final stamp of approval.