Family-built by Brian May and his father, the Red Special has been reproduced several times by brands like Guild and Burns since the eighties. In 2006, May created ‘Brian May Guitars’ to market his own take on the ‘Old lady’. Loaded with three Burns Tri-sonic pups, it’s a great quality instrument for $800.
As cool as it is rare, the Gretsch 6117 Catseye got its name from the “Cat eyed” shape sound holes instead of the traditional F-holes. Common to Rickenbacker, catseye holes were only seen in acoustic Gretsch models.
Also known as the Harmony H-49, this is one of the Sears catalog guitars produced by Harmony. Two DeArmond pickups with a gorgeous tone, lightweight because of a semi-hollow body, it’s a very desirable guitar usually found under $1,000. Photo: Southside Guitars
The name Byrdland is a mashup of the names of Billy Bird and Hank Garland the two guitarists who participated in its design. They had requested a short scale archtop that would be less bulky than the traditional hollowbody, and this is basically what they got: A short-scale thinline L5CES.
P90s, PAF pickups, venetian or florentine cutaway, the Gibson Byrdland went through several phases, but was always seen as a remarkable and prized instrument. Some of Gibson’s finest. Hear it
The Invader came as a replacement of the Vox Bulldog, and just like its predecessor, it perspires Mosrite. Just like any other Vox of that time, it is stuffed with electronics. The Invader includes a E-tuner, a wah-wah effect, a percussion effect, treble, bass and distortion boosters. Very cool and rare axe.
The initials B.B. was the title of a Serge Gainsbourg song. It was also the name of one of Wandré’s first electric guitars. In both cases, they refer to the same emblem of the sixties: Brigitte Bardot.
Her sexy curves were certainly an inspiration for the body shape, on which Wandré experimented with all kinds of unusual finishes, like candle smoke. Long before Travis Bean, Wandré used aluminum for the neck, and plastic for the headstock. Just like Bardot, this guitar was very liberated for its time. More info and pictures at fetish guitars. Photo from Guitarz.
Poor Tom Petty had many of his guitars stolen recently, but he still has a Rickenbacker signature model. Its official name is Model 660/12TP. No surprise with such release, Tom Petty has been a long time supporter of the brand. Although it was officially introduced during the 1991 NAMM Anaheim show, prototypes were hurling around as early as 1988. A total of 1000 TPs were made, the majority with a Fireglo finish (813), the rest in Jetglo (187).
Neck through body, the TP is entirely made of Birdseye Maple, with the addition of a rosewood fretboard. It also features the traditional toaster pickups that Petty favored.
This is officially the first model featuring a Charlie Christian pickup since the ES-150, on which the pickup made its original introduction in 1936. Although the ES-175CC was an instant success among jazz players looking for a vintage sound, only 479 units of the Kamalazoo crafted instrument were ever produced. Hear it jazz
One thing to know about Magneto guitars is that they are entirely, and beautifully, hand crafted — a rare feat in the modern world. Magneto founder and luthier Christian Hatstatt was inspired by the powerful sound of Gibson SGs when he designed this Magneto Velvet. Two Lollar Imperial pickups deliver a sound with a lot of emphasis on the mids and an impressive sustain. Visually, the guitar looks stunningly clean, and the hand rub oil finish really makes the grain of the wood shine. Nice job Frenchies. Hear it.
Jewel of versatility, the the Carvin DC-150 is Gibsonesque only in appearances. Each pickup can be turned to single coils via a mini-switch, and a third mini switch acts as a phase inverter. Combined with stereo output, imagine all possibilities… Hear it.
Both DC-150C (blonde) and DC-150C (black) were exclusively made out of maple. An optional ebony fretboard was eventually offered. In 2002, Carvin reintroduced the DC-150 with a lot of changes that turned it officially into a Gibson clone: New pickups, rounder body shape, mahogany / maple top construction, no mini-switches, 22 frets.
Ever tried to pull a Gibson sound from a Telecaster? Perhaps this thinline TC-90 and its two Seymour Duncan P90s could help.
Double cutaway, neck-through, the Korean made TC-90 is not your average Tele, but according to Scott Grove, it “smokes the american stuff”. The Jim Adkins model (JA-90) released in 2007 is originally a single cutaway version of the TC-90.
To start, Tony Cochran is a cartoon artist. The world of his cartoon character, Agnes, is so artistically remote from the guitars he makes that its hard to believe the same person is behind both projects.
Cochran uses steel, brass and other metals to transform vintage guitars into odes to Steampunk. Before becoming the Chalicecaster, this Strat was sleeping in the trunk of an old 1957 cadillac.