Dragon Strat

by Sammy Ash

Yngwie Malmsteen and Robbie Krieger

I was surfing the net looking for something cool for the Company to add to our Inventory (and maybe something for me too) when I happened upon this guy “Doug the Carver,” “Carver Doug.”His name is really Doug Rowell. I called him and we struck up a very nice conversation. He takes various guitars and does wonderful carving work (mainly Strats) and carves whatever scene you want. http://www.carverdoug.com/guitars.html  

His prices were very reasonable, but I will let the purchaser discuss it for themselves. He asked me what I wanted and liked. I said you choose, I have never commissioned any one to do this before. He said “do you like dragons? I do great dragons.” and I said, “I love dragons!” …That’s how the story started. I found a killer playing used Strat in my Huntington store. I bought this guitar cheap because of some nicks in the finish, who cares. They will be gone soon anyway. I shipped off the guitar to Doug and after not too much time what I got back was this wonderful natural oil finished instrument that played even better than I remembered. Since he carved so much of the body it was super light and had more natural resonance. Also since I am no longer a youngster and I can only play my L.P. for so long this was a great treat for my back (my Brother Richard seems to go to it whenever he comes into my office).

Keeping on with the story, two things coincided in 2006. One was to send the guitar to our NYC store, (then it was still called Manny’s) to see if we could take some orders and get customer reaction. The other thing was to design some special custom display cabinets for guitars for some of my higher end stores. The company who did this for me at the time asked for me to send a couple of guitars to do some measurements. So I told my guys in the warehouse to send some “crap guitars” down to Florida for sizing and send my carved guitar to NYC. The guitar never arrived. I panicked. I got my head of security on it. I went to the store and checked myself. I combed the warehouse myself. I even had my head of security question one or two less than credible guys. It had disappeared, vanished, poof, not even any paperwork… nothing! Distraught, I decided to concentrate on the other project at hand. What happened? The manufacturer of the displays went bankrupt. I really didn’t care about the guitars because they were crap, my only concern was that the cabinet project took a back seat. I had some really good designs at the time.

Seven years later my head of security gets a call. Some guy wants to know if Sammy Ash is the same as the Sam in Sam Ash Music because he might have a guitar that belongs to me! Turns out that this fellow worked on the deal of liquidating the company I used to work with on displays and he played the guitar. Since the guitar wasn’t on the list of assets to be liquidated he asked his boss if he could have it and he said yes. So he took it home and played it a lot. He also got curious as to where a wonderful instrument like this came from so he decided to investigate. After a while he came across Doug’s site and there was “Sammy Ash” under a picture of my guitar.

I called the guy, he was very nice and sent me back the guitar. I sent him a $200.00 gift card since he shops near one of my stores and I also paid the freight back. I can’t bring it home because it gave my youngest (at the time 4)  so it stays close to me in the office where I probably get to play it more often anyway

~ Sammy Ash COO, Sam Ash Music Corp.



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