I can't tell you how many times I thought to myself, "when is someone going to finally make a guitar in the image of Bast? That would rock!" Oh, I guess I can tell you, that would be zero times.
They've got a pretty good start with the three or four guitars I saw. But they'd better get busy. At last count there are at least 173 different gods in the Egyptian pantheon.
Here's a new twist or at least a new bend, in travel guitars. As the neck folds over into the compact configuration, the strings roll up onto the spring-loaded, cylindrical bridge assembly. When you're done, the whole thing fits neatly in small backpack-size soft case.
For some reason, Oddities, like baseball movies, seem to come in pairs.
Not wanting the acoustic crowd to miss out on folding travel guitars, Voyage-air has provided us with foldable acoustic guitars.
It actually does a pretty good job of maintaining its tuning between the folding and unfolding process.
For an incredibly sexy all-carbon-fiber guitar, it's got a pretty pedestrian name.
Lest you think this is going to be a dead-as-a-doornail bodiless guitar, think again. They've created a hollow resonance chamber in the lower part of the body to give it some life.
At 4.4 lbs. this is one of the lightest guitars I've seen, that's probably half of what most Les Pauls weigh.
When I first saw at this guitar it seemed to me that the two sound holes looked like eyes. After I found out it was called the "Nakyd Laydie" I realised that those were not eyes. I was correct in my anthropomorphisizing though.
The Lenore is a limited edition guitar commemorating the bicentennial of the birth of Edgar Allen Poe.
One of the most impressive features is that all of the hardware is handmade. I believe they're only making 50 of them, so when all of these $12,900 guitars have been snapped up, as the raven says, nevermore.
This isn't just another pretty face. The Paradis has a drop-D extension at the nut, on-board DSP sub-octave processing and can be ordered with a built-in FireWire interface.
You'd think that a guitar with no forward-facing sound hole wouldn't project very well, but I was surprised. Even with the only port being on the side, I could hear it just fine out in front.
For a guitar that looks like you wouldn't want to meet it in a dark alley, it's got a pretty tame name: R6020. This is a one-of-a-kind custom guitar that looks like they used a chainsaw for the final finish work. I like their use of a piece of rusty metal for the bottom corner. It adds an additional touch of danger.
Last year Kraken brought us the left-handed tiger guitar. This year they're continuing their mission of making scary-looking instruments, a guitar that's all sharp and pointy and a bass that's just plain creepy.
This is the Baby Grand model from Marz Guitars. In addition to the artsy cutouts, the back of the guitar is not parallel to the top and it angles slightly towards the neck.
I don't think they've left any piece of this guitar unadorned. Each guitar is unique because the carving is all done by hand.
Last year one of my favorite Oddities was the Blackbird carbon travel guitar.
This year they were showing a prototype nylon string guitar that shares many of the same design features of their "Rider" steel string guitar.
No stranger to the Oddities, Warrior makes yet another appearance with their Dan Marino carved guitar.
Even if I were a football fan, I think I would have to pass on this one. :-P
I suppose I should start by apologizing for the title… but I won't.
I think they kind of missed the boat here by not making one of the green wings yellow. That would have netted them a bunch of sales to the reggae crowd.
Continuing on with the chronic theme, here is the Rasta Ganja guitar. With the perforated front I think they should have build in a tiny smoke machine into the body for a real Cheech & Chong moment.
Or maybe not. I think that skeletons are somewhat less frightening when they're in a fetal position.
Schecter has made appearances in the Oddities with some outrageous guitar artwork. This year I found their Porl Thompson signature guitar kind of cute and macabre.
I can't quite figure out if the dragon has stripped the skeleton of everything except his skull and spinal cord or if it's some kind of freakish, dead snake-man.
That guitar stand is pretty extravagant. I wouldn't want to trip over that in the dark.
What else could a big hunk of leather do to the tone of an acoustic guitar but make it suck?
I thought these three guitars rose above the usual self-indulgent, garish graphics that abound at NAMM.
On the other hand, these two guitars embody the essence of self-indulgent, garish graphics.
The marketing folks of NASCAR know no bounds. You name any object that is available for purchase and odds are good that you can get it with a NASCAR logo.
In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Joe Satriani's album, "Surfing with the Alien", Ibanez has produced a Silver Surfer guitar. They also rolled in a life-sized Silver Surfer to model it.
The soon-to-be-released Escape EG-2, from Traveler Guitars, sports on-board signal processing with 16 effects. It's also got a jack so you can plug in your iPod.
It stands to reason that you'd call this a Flying W because a W looks a lot more like two Vs than two Us… it make sense to me, anyway.
On the wall it looks more like a Flying M which, I suppose, is a reasonable interpretation since it's a Dave Mustain model.
I think this is a new record. Minarik has now made it into the Oddities three times with essentially the same guitar. The first time was when they introduced the Inferno Guitar. The second time was when they stuck broken mirror pieces to an Inferno. This year the Inferno goes stealth with a tiger hidden in the flames… or flames hidden around a tiger.
Luna has a knack for making instruments that are different enough to end up in the Oddities, yet normal enough for regular folks.
©2008 Barry Wood