Barry Wood's NAMM Oddities 2018 Edition

Packrat Barry


Are All These Your Guitar?

The first to put the story of Hercules and the Hydra to paper was Alcaeus of Mytilene. In his version the hydra had nine heads, but you probably knew that already.

Fender Custom Shop

Coloring Outside the Lines

I love how the inlay extends into the sound hole and up on to the neck.

Steve Klein Guitars

Exposed Structure

I don't know if the carved bits on the "Elena Beauty" are there for structural or aesthetic reasons but I like them in either case.

Universum Guitars

Target Audience

The "Kill Bill 1" was made for Billy Gibbons. I do question the naming decision. (Actually, it could stab Billy through the beard if he tripped using it on stage.)


Life is a Highway

So carry spare parts with you at all times.

Smokehead Guitars

Geometric Ventilation

Nearly all of the guitars from OD feature these interesting geometric cuts. The "Venus" is no exception.

OD Guitars

No Visible Means of Support

Speaking of unusual sound holes, the "Hummocks" concept guitar pulls this off by creating little hexagon head toadstools that are glued to the back. This guitar would fit in with all manner of 70s Sci-Fi motifs.

Alquier Guitars

Coming Apart at the Seams

This is a sound hole idea that I'd never seen before. I picture the sound leaking out around the edges.

Beauregard Guitars

Six Strings on the Seven Seas

It would make me very happy if the ship's wheel acted as the volume knob.

Paul Reed Smith Guitars

Split Tail Celtic

And no, I'm not talking about the Brennen sisters. I am certain that the band that uses this guitar would quickly find a home on this thorough heavy metal taxonomy created by Doogie Horner.

Dean Guitars

Nora Roberts Signature Guitar

If you'd like to have a nice aluminum body guitar spoiled with the giant image of a romance novel cover, have I got the guitar for you.

Noah Guitars

The Needs of the One

Fifty brave skateboards gave their lives to make this guitar a reality.

Prisma Guitars

My name is Julia, I'll be your waitress

I like the shape of the "Julia" model from Duesenberg but the pickguard looks like a countertop from a '50s diner. I feel like you couldn't play it without sharing a milkshake with a girl in a poodle skirt.


Guitar Mocccasins

These art guitars remind me of craft kits for kids.

Malinoski Guitar

Ornate AF

How could you even think about playing something that looks like it should be in the Asian Antiquities wing of a museum?

iVee Guitars

The Fisherman and His Soul

This is the most impressive guitar that I've ever seen that was inspired by an Oscar Wilde novella. Then again this was the only guitar that I've ever seen that was inspired by an Oscar Wilde novella.

Michael Spalt

Six String Cubism

The "Matador" guitar is inspired by the work of Picasso, which is obvious even to non-fine art majors like myself. Guitarists are lucky the neck isn't coming out the back or something.

Michael Spalt

Tree of Life

At $20k, the only way you'll own the "Tree of Life" guitar is if money starts growing on them – trees, that is.

McPherson Guitars

Illuminated Acoustic

Larry Robinson's inlay work here would be right at home in the Book of Kells.

Ryan Guitars

One Man's Trash

…is another man's canvas. The cigar box guitar has come a long way from its humble roots. In other news, it appears Elastigirl has dyed her hair blonde and joined the circus.

Deepseed Guitars

A Tool for Every Job

But sometimes a tool has multiple jobs, as illustrated here.

MajicDaddy Guitars

Desert Island Guitar

I imagine that Leo Fender may have come up with the "Teliki" guitar had he been stranded on a tropical island.

Lace Pickups

Lucky Duck

…or maybe not all that lucky, she is holding a knife.

Minarik Guitars

For the Closeted Jazz Guy

Contrary to appearances, the "Space Wow" is a hollow body guitar.

Alquier Guitars

Gotta Keep 'Em Separated

I think these are incompatible species. The "Shark" seems to have been taking bites out of the "Dracula."

Vlahopol Guitars


That's Jinmo himself playing the 39-fret, composite, signature Jinmoid guitar.


One Hit Wonder

There's a hidden message in here somewhere, I just know it.

Martin Guitar

Splashing Teardrop

The "Paraffina" is a different take on the teardrop-shaped guitar with splashes at the top.

Noah Guitars

Busking Machine

This updates the travel guitar concept with iPhone integration. You can use iPhone apps to process the guitar sound, add backing tracks (please don't), and then send all that to Bluetooth speaker.

Elga Guitars

Full Spectrum Offense

The translucent pick guard completes this eye-assaulting ensemble.

Tokai Gakki Co. Ltd.

Joe's Mufflers & Guitars

I actually like the body shop industrial vibe of these resonators. I imagine that it would be difficult to damage one of these beasts.

Joe's Mufflers and Guitars


Apparently the dead will never really die.

D'Angelico Guitars

Ornate Lumber

It looks like Zemaitis has started applying their gilded metal guitar aesthetic to a more traditional medium.

Zemaitis Guitar

Congregated Variegation

ESP didn't have any standout art guitars on display but the cumulative affect of all these colorful guitars did grab my attention.

ESP Guitars

Like a Phoenix

Guild has reissued the classic S-200 T-Bird, which is interesting enough to catch my eye and make an appearance here.

Guild Guitars
Next Up: Other Goodies

©2018 Barry Wood