Barry Wood's NAMM Oddities 2020 Edition

Packrat Barry


Great Scott!

The most impressive aspect of this guitar to me was that the ten-key pad let you program the dates on the LEDs.


It's Made of What?!?

The Hobo Dogma guitar (and its matching amp) are made with actual deer hide. That's what I'm imagining that deer-that's-not-Bambi-for-trademark-purposes is reacting to.


Fabergé Fender

At $1.2M, this poster child for conspicuous consumption sports actual diamonds, rubies, and 24k gold, and comes with an actual limited edition Fabergé egg.


Guitar Stand to End All Guitar Stands

I'm curious if it took longer to create the guitar or its setting. In any case, the accompanying art is almost as impressive as the guitar it houses.


Ornate Framing

Once again, "Heaven & Hell - Chapter Two" (subtitled "bliss and donuts on wood"), is an impressive piece of art meant to hold up a guitar.


The Flying V of Our Forefathers

If you're not averse to lying, you could take this guitar on "Antiques Roadshow" with a story about your troubador grandfather and see what they'd say.


The Rebel Bass!

I'd seen this float by on social media but I finally got to experience it firsthand. Their creator originally made guitars out of the classic Millenium Falcon toys, but so many people asked for a rebel bass that he finally acquiesced and a meme was born.


Mr. Handy Trusts Abraxo

McSwain needs to license artwork from Fallout for a series of guitars. They've nailed the kitschy mid-century art aesthetic.


Land and Water Hexes

This looks something like a classic wargame map.



ESP is really exploring the hexagon motif this year.


We Come From the Land of the Ice and Snow

Vikings would most most definitely get their guitars from a luthier named Örn.


Gallows Pole

Apparently there's a Zep theme developing here.


Dazed and Confused

Yeah, definitely a Zep theme.


Liquid Tension Experiment

I'll bet you thought that I was going to continue the Zep theme with "The Ocean" but I went far more obscure.

I was trying to work in "Houses of the Wholly Owned Subsidiary" but couldn't quite make it work.

Up For Interpretation

Frankenstein? Steampunk? Post Apoc? The basement water heater in a really old apartment building?


Don't Be Koi

While on a stand, the fish looks like it's quietly swimming. While you're playing it will look as if it's leaping from the water.


Mandala Paul

This is one of the most mesmerizing guitars I've ever laid eyes on.

Space Cruiser

I was drawn to the artwork in their booth but I do really like the whole aesthetic.


To Boldly Go

This Starfleet (or possibly Space Force) themed guitar could have make the cringe-worthy campfire scene in the worst Star Trek movie ever, even worser.


Strat Nebula

And from the best Star Trek film, "I'll chase him 'round the Outer Nebula and 'round Antares Maelstrom and 'round perdition's flames before I give him up!"


Go Ahead, Have a Cow, Man

If you've got a bridge screw piercing your eyeball you've got every right to have as many cows as you like.


Of Elvish Origin

This looks as if it could have been hewn from the ancient trees of Lothlórien.


Durin's Bane

I expect to see Gandalf and the Balrog falling into the soundhole chasm on this guitar. (If you're rolling your eyes at this fantasy nerd-fest, just keep scrolling. It gets better from here.)


Leather All the Things

I've got my suspicions that Paoletti had some childhood trauma that resulted in a deep-seated grudge against cows.


Freeway Jam

Ciari introduced their folding guitars last year and this year they've provided transportation.


Fast & Preposterous

The "Stratocaster 1" by Ron Thorn borrows from the Formula 1 world of sleek styling and carbon fiber. At $33,000, it also borrows its price tag.



The finish on these guitars make them look as though they're carved from blocks of marble. Luckily for your back, they're not. Their signature skull graphic on the backside of the headstock is a nice touch.


Saint-Les-Paul Asylum

Was the body style a coincidence? I think not.


Guitar Pyrotechnics

With this guitar you could really blow away your audience. Alternatively, you could bomb.


High Voltage

This needs to be played on stage with the blasting powder can guitar above.


Abstract Art

I saw these highly customizable guitars in 2007. They added an outstanding finish to this one.


Marbled Endsheets

The process used to create this guitar finish is very similar to the one used to do paper marbling.


Lemon Lime

The Steely Caribbean Burst finish is actually quite refreshing.


Retro Modern

This guitar sports a classy Art Deco motif, but overall the guitar has a clean modern vibe.


One Cool Cat

This one feels like it was decorated by a mid-century illustrator.


Eye of Turul

I'm taking a wild guess that since Finbenare is based in Budapest that the avian eye on this guitar is a reference to Turul.



This doesn't have an overt Norse feel, so it might refer to any one of many tree of life myths.



This exquisite guitar looks like it would have been far easier to make from clay than wood.


Tiki For Two

Minarik almost always has some over-the-top art guitar at NAMM. This year's addition was downright sedate by their standards.


Hello Yellow Brick Road

Four years ago I saw an Elton John impersonator wandering the NAMM floor. This year I found that that his name is Kenny Metcalf and that Calzone makes cases for his custom guitars.


Bright Light City

This seems fitting; becoming a musician is enough of a gamble, you might as well have it represented on your guitar.


Step Right Up

This looks like a trustworthy fellow. If you're playing close attention you'll notice that this is the second guitar in a row with a die as a volume knob, from unrelated companies.


Electric Kool-Aid: The Musical

I would have expected more of a '60s go-go dancer on a guitar with an LSD-inspired finish. The entire effect is a bit like Busby Berkeley on acid.


Take Your Kid to Work Day

"I left you alone for two minutes and you scrawled all over that guitar!"


Reunion Planning

I wonder if Kirk had this guitar commissioned to get in touch with Cliff?


Badger Badger Badger Badger

A snake, a snake. Snaaake! A snaaaake. Oooh, it's a snake.


So Much Innovation

I almost missed these guys because all of the cool stuff is on the inside. This guitar allows you to change the action on the fly, it's got a lightweight bracing system, and a unique bridge design.


Arms Race

If explosive powder isn't enough, you ought to be satisfied with a nuke. I'm not quite sure what this army mummy is up to outside of the desert base for the United Nations but it's nothing good.


Vaguely Paisley

They're not exactly "Persian Pickles" but close enough for my purposes.


Music of the Masses

In naming their instruments the Poputar and Populele, I think that PopuMusic may have an unhealthy obsession with popularity.

The lighted frets are kind of cool when you couple them with their music learning app.

Next Up: Other Goodies

©2020 Barry Wood