Archive for January, 2018

Developed by Supro with assistance from the David Bowie Archive, the David Bowie Limited Edition Dual Tone is based on the main guitar David Bowie played on the Reality album and throughout his final world tour, “A Reality Tour”, in 2003-2004. Although he played a variety of guitars throughout his career, Bowie enjoyed a special relationship with the iconic vintage 60’s Supro Dual Tone he had customized to his specifications.

“Of all the electric guitars that David played and owned over the many years that we worked together, he loved the Supro best. He was quite proud of it actually. I’ve never seen him get attached to a guitar, except that one.” Earl Slick, Bowie’s guitarist


During the recording of the Reality album in New York City in early 2003, Bowie purchased two early-60’s Supro Dual Tone guitars on EBay. One of them, which is prominently featured on the cover art of the New Killer Star single, was a 1961 hardtail model. A second Dual Tone was modified by master luthier Flip Scipio, who inlaid the top five fret slots with rainbow colors after installing a Bigsby vibrato at Bowie’s request. “They brought me the second guitar and needed it done very fast, within one day,” recalls Scipio. “That is why I did not reinstall the top frets. The fret filler is made of dyed Japanese maple. David loved the way this guitar looked and sounded, so I chose the colors based on what I thought would look cheerful. I felt that if I can be happy with the guitar, then David would be happy with the guitar as well.” It was this highly customized Supro Dual Tone that became Bowie’s favorite guitar and main live instrument, appeared on the cover of the “A Reality Tour” live album, and inspired this limited edition 2018 re-creation.

Mirror finish Bowie Lightning Bolt insignia

Why did Bowie choose the Dual Tone? Guitarist Gerry Leonard, who played on both the Reality album and tour, says: “David was a discerning collector of not only art, but all things to do with music, music artifacts and specific instruments. The Supro was a guitar that nailed a few of these criteria for him. It’s a very stylish guitar and it has a great vibe and sound. It was a fantastic guitar and David loved it so much, it was the only one he wanted to play, even though we had many other great instruments from famous makers available to him.”

The Danelectro 64 Electric Guitar is a stellar tribute to the 1960’s classic. The vintage appearance features die cast replicas of original hat-style control knobs, as well as a vibrant Aqua finish. Its retro characteristics are further enhanced by the chrome-plated hardware and the contrasting cream-coloured peanut pickguard. When it comes to playing comfort however, the Danelectro 64 embraces the present day with a wider, flatter neck profile which allows an easier playing style. Other notable retro features include the Bigsby vibrato bridge for vintage style pitch bending, and a zero fret that gives the open strings a truer ring and improved intonation . The pickups feature a lipstick humbucker at the bridge and a single coil at the neck.

The body is crafted from masonite which offers accentuated highs, and the neck is made from maple with a rosewood fingerboard. This vintage inspired guitar is ideal for any level of player, especially someone wanting an authentic 1960s powerful crunch.

Danelectro 64 Electric Guitar, Dark Aqua


Posted: January 4, 2018 in Guitars

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The Gibson Flying V is one of the most distinctive and recognizable electric guitars ever made. We’re celebrating its history with the below gallery featuring many rockers who have played one, including Eddie Van Halen, Keith Richards and Tom Petty.

As Guitar Aficionado notes, its look was Gibson’s attempt to come up with a Modernist answer to the Fender Stratocaster. In 1956, Gibson president Ted McCarty commissioned some new designs, and the Flying V was the only one that survived the process intact.

 The ’59 Gibson Flying V made famous by Albert King. “Lucy,” the guitar built by Dan Erlwine in the early 1970s and used extensively by King. The mid-’60s Gibson Flying V King played extensively after his ’59 V was lost. Photos by Rick Gould.

The ’59 Gibson Flying V made famous by Albert King. “Lucy,” the guitar built by Dan Erlwine in the early 1970s and used extensively by King. The mid-’60s Gibson Flying V King played extensively after his ’59 V was lost.

Actor Steven Seagal has attained admiration and notoriety among blues devotees for his custodianship of these classic American axes, previously owned by such legends as the Kings, Bo Diddley, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, and Jimi Hendrix. These are guitar cases containing iconic instruments of the American blues Kings – Freddie, B.B., and Albert. three Flying Vs once played extensively by the great blues master Albert King. Such is the eclectic and inclusive mosaic of Seagal’s multicultural world.

Billy F Gibbons: These guitars are so important; they represent what came out of Albert with his hands. Look at the beauty of these keys; they have not deteriorated. I think anyone lucky enough to play the Gibson Flying V from the late 1950s would concur that it is not only one of the most exotic instruments, but came from the zenith of Gibson’s manufacturing expertise.

A patent was issued on January. 7th, 1958, and it quickly became a favorite with blues stars Albert King and Lonnie Mack. King, in particular, liked it because, as a lefty, he could turn it upside down and it would look the same. But it originally didn’t sell very well and was quickly discontinued.

1958 was the year Gibson launched the Flying V guitar – the first of the company’s ‘Modernistic’ series, designed to combat the growing challenge from California’s upstart Fender brand.

Like the other two Gibson proto-pointy guitars, the Firebird and the Explorer, the Flying V got off to a shaky start – in fact it didn’t really achieve major stardom until the 1970s, though Lonnie Mack and Albert King both made the V their trademark guitars pretty early on, and the Kinks’ Dave Davis had a gorgeous korina bodied V in the mid-1960s. In ’67 Jimi Hendrix acquired one, too. He may be forever associated with a Strat, but much of Hendrix’s Bluesier playing was undertaken on  a V.   In 1969 Wishbone Ash formed, giving the guitar its longest serving ambassador – Andy Powell,

Since then, while never coming within a country mile of the success of the Les Paul, Gibson’s Flying V has become a staple of Rock guitar. ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons played one on Fandango and Germany’s Michael Schenker joined the exclusive brethren, too, soon to be followed by Judas Priest’s K.K. Downing.

Dave Davies's Gibson Flying V Electric Guitar

Dave Davies with his 1959 Gibson Flying V, circa 1967. According to Dave’s official site, the guitar had a “slightly different shape from the Flying V because it was in fact a prototype V.”

Dave further discusses the guitar in this interview for Gibson:

‘It was either late ’65 or early ’66. We were starting our first American tour, and we went to L.A. to do either the “Hullabaloo” TV show, or “Shindig!” In those days you just carried one suitcase and one guitar. We arrived at LAX and the luggage came, but there was no guitar. I had a Gretsch at the time and the airline had lost it. We were in a bit of a panic, so we left the airport and went to the first thrift shop we could find. I saw this funny-shaped box in the corner. The proprietor said, ‘Oh, you don’t want that one. It’s an old thing.’ I said, ‘Let me look, let me see.’ He opened it up and there was this lovely, strange, space-age looking guitar in there. I fell in love with it straightaway. He said he wanted 200 bucks for it, and I told him, ‘Okay.’ Later I found out it was a 1959 Flying V—the model referred to as the Futurist, I believe. While we were in the TV studio, I was looking through the monitors, watching myself with that guitar. I thought it looked really cool. I kept that guitar up until the early ‘90s, till around 1993.'”

Still, even with Richards playing one at the Rolling Stones‘ famous Hyde Park show in 1969 and Jimi Hendrix — who was influenced by King — having one custom-made, it failed to sell in big numbers and production ceased in 1970.

They tried again in the mid-’70s and, this time, it caught hold with hard rock acts overseas, thanks to Michael Schenker of the rock band The Scorpions and UFO Schenker’s relationship with Vs began when he ran into problems with his own guitar and needed to borrow a replacement in a hurry. Enter big brother, Rudolph, who loaned him a ’71 Medallion V.  It was love at first bite, as Michael plugged it into his Marshall stacks.

Marc Bolan of T. Rex and Bad Company’s Mick Ralphs, and it hasn’t been out of production since. It later became synonymous with ’80s metal thanks to Metallica’s James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett, a huge Schenker fan.

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