Initially this caused me to be suspicious of the luthier classes at Musician Institute, they assured me that this was just an eye-catcher created for NAMM. Well played MI.
All that glitters is not gold but in this case it may as well be. The "Aqua Marine" guitar on the right can be yours for a paltry $29,999.
If that's too rich for your blood, the "Blue Dragon" (on left) is only $14,049.
…my gal's got 'em. And now so does my guitar.
The only thing missing is a couple of Asian characters that actually mean something other than what you think they mean.
ESP has a twofer this year with a guitar depicting a warrior woman poised to attack, and another with a woman wielding a spear.
This isn't the first time that the art of Frank Frazetta has crossed over into music. His work has graced the covers of albums by Nazareth, Yngwie Malmsteen, Wolfmother, and most famously, Molly Hatchet.
As you might expect, this level inlay work requires cubic dollars.
The word Ogre brings to mind images of enormous creatures, which is appropriate for this solid metal guitar. Even with the substantial cut out it was a weighty beast.
After a nine-year absence, McSwain returns to the Oddities with a vengeance.
I was sucked into their booth by their vintage 'Vette guitar, but once there, the oil can-skinned guitar and flying V dragon guitar (with light-up LED eyes) made it well worth the stop.
If you're not satisfied with a guitar that simply has an oil can top, you can step up to these relatively inexpensive oil can guitars.
Upstairs I saw excellent companion amps for these guitars.
You can get magazines loaded with different guitar effects or even a wireless transmitter. Peacekeeper has also figured out some way to get enough juice to power a vacuum tube overdrive unit.
This can be used as a "paint by numbers" system to learn songs on guitar. Even more interesting, they publish an iOS SDK so that third parties can develop apps that can control the lights and use fret and string events to trigger external hardware or software.
I suppose they could sell this guitar as a kit to hit that narrow demographic of guitar-playing jigsaw puzzle enthusiasts.
The look of the underside of this solid aluminum fret guard is a dead giveaway that someone from the aerospace industry was involved.
Brian Ostosh uses a CNC process to make fret guards and entire guitars out of milled blocks of aluminum.
Alquier is obviously not content with going with the tried and true. Each of their instruments used innovative materials and had unique shapes.
Blackbird has been making carbon fiber guitars for some time now. Since the company is smack dab in the middle of the Mission District of San Francisco, it makes sense that they would pursue an eco-friendly alternative to carbon. The result is their Ekoa composite that uses plant fiber (no, not those plants).
The guitar you see there went from drawing board to complete instrument in less than a month, which is quite impressive.
Apparently this is a guitar that Jimi Hendrix gave to Larry Lee some time before the famous Woodstock performance.
And apparently, Hendrix asked artist Alan Aldridge to paint a guitar for him shortly before Jimi's death in 1970 so it never happened.
Years later Aldridge was commissioned to paint Larry's guitar and the circle was complete.
Most of the guitars I saw in the Wilkins booth were of the "pretty" ilk, but this one jumped out at me for obvious reasons.
©2014 Barry Wood