Oct 182010

Rundgren plays his symbolic guitar.

A recent discussion of Prock futurist Todd Rundgren got me thinking about well-known guitarists who play custom-shaped guitars. I’m not talking about guitars like B.C. Rich models that are a variation on a well-known guitar model, like a Flying V, but custom guitars made in a shape that especially suits the player’s identity. Also, the player needs to be an established pro guitarist, not some wacky dude who designed his own penis-shaped axe.

All entries must be accompanied by a link to an image of the player with his guitar. (Yes, bass guitars also count.)

Rundgren’s guitar, pictured above, is off the board. Play on!


  64 Responses to “Last Man Standing: Custom-Shaped Guitars and the Pro Guitarists Who Play Them”

  1. Rick nielson I,m in a meeting so I can’t post post the picture.

  2. BigSteve

    So the Back Office no longer has to go behind us and activate links? Cool.

    They’re not active in the Last Comments, but I do like the way you can click on the name of the thread in Last Comments and it takes you right there.

  3. Yes! Multiple, different entries from a single guitarist are acceptable.

  4. That one doesn’t count. It doesn’t have a custom shape. That’s just White making an old-fashioned poor dude’s guitar.

  5. Yes, links are now automated. Use them wisely and with respect to others, please. Truth be told, advertising this new function was part of the reason for launching this image-heavy thread.

    You’re right, too, about the links from Last Comments taking you right to the specific comment. That’s helpful.

  6. Yes – and Hill’s get-up makes me realize that so much of Glam Rock was tied into the space-rock continuum.

  7. And now to claim the belt…
    Michael Antony’s Jack Daniel’s bass

  8. damn you, k!

  9. k., you are spared the damning! The judges have disqualified your ZZ Top entry. These are standard guitars that are custom decorated. Along similar lines, any psychedelic, painted Gibson SG or Fender Strat used by the likes of Clapton, Hendrix, and Harrison do not qualify for this LMS.

  10. BigSteve

    I always wondered how they got those fuzztones.

  11. BigSteve

    Jerry Garcia’s very pointy ‘Tiger’ guitar:


    There’s a complicated story about this one, which was bequeathed back to its maker Doug Irwin after Garcia’s death. Irwin had to sue to get it back, but then he sold it.

    “Jerry Garcia’s ‘Tiger’ guitar sold for $957,500 to an anonymous bidder at Guernsey’s auction in New York, USA, on May 9 2002.” – Guinness Book of World Records.

  12. This was one I had in mind. It just barely qualifies because it’s aesthetic design is obviously as important as its functional design.

  13. Was Entwistle’s Buzzard a custom?


    P.S.: Having just gone through pages of Entwistle photos, man, did that guy have hair issues. He was actually the best-looking of the bunch once he started trying not to look awful, in about the ’90s.

  14. cherguevara

    I thought Gibbons had a guitar in the shape of Texas, but I can’t find any proof.

  15. Yes, the Buzzard counts! (That bass, by the way, never appeared on stage with ZZ Top, did it?)

  16. misterioso

    I don’t know that it was designed for Dylan, but the U.S.A. map National Guitar he wore on the cover of Rolling Stone http://www.whosdatedwho.com/topic/7997/bob-dylan-rolling-stone-magazine-16-november-1978.htm and played at the “Hard Rain” concert in 1976, which I nominate as one of the great rock and roll moments in the history of network television http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGcdIt_w3uE&p=669D4380496D2C75&playnext=1&index=32

  17. An hour of Prime time television devoted to looking up Dylan’s left nostril! That was some prett amazing shit.

  18. misterioso

    Yes, and sometimes you get to see his right nostril, too.

  19. Let me try that again (can we delete posts now?): http://angelo.h16.ru/album/mab_col_1/014_2.jpg

  20. I’ve always thought there should be a guitar like that! Who’s the player?

  21. trigmogigmo

    I was going to post Rick Nielsen’s Hamer 5-neck guitars (orange and checkerboard version), but I suppose you can’t really call a straightforward multi-neck guitar a “custom-shaped” guitar.

    Instead, here is Bob Mothersbaugh’s “blue potato” Devo guitar:

  22. Well played, trigmo! You’re right, a “regular” guitar that happens to have 5 necks would not have qualified.

  23. That’s disqualified according to the Psychedelic Paint Job of a Standard Guitar rule.

  24. BigSteve

    Ok another Nielsen guitar, a square one.


    That’s some paint job on Joe Perry’s guitar too.

  25. ABBA dude.


    Didn’t Chuck Berry have a guitar shaped like America? I can’t seem to find it.

  26. shawnkilroy

    made by my buddy Chris DiPinto!

  27. shawnkilroy


    (sorry i’m posting this 2wice, but it showed up in the wrong place, and i AM the last man standing.)

  28. Very cool; never saw that one before. I got talked out of playing the early Devo guitar with all the crap taped to it.

  29. Masayoshi Takanaka seems to be some kind of Japanese George Benson: http://www.guitarnoize.com/images/blog/guitar_surboard.jpg

  30. By the looks of his guitar I’d think he was more in the vein of Dick Dale.

  31. ladymisskirroyale

    It looks like Kiss had some custom guitars, including Paul Stanley’s mirrored number.

  32. ladymisskirroyale

    This guy’s guitar is sort of like the Garden of Eden variety:


  33. ladymisskirroyale

    Missing Persons combines two threads: space age nonsense and a custom guitar:


  34. Michael Angelo Batio. Here he is in action on the quad-guitar with the band Nitro. This video is friggin’ hilarious (to me, anyway):

  35. That Nitro video is OUTSTANDING! It redefines “train wreck”.

    It has the most exaggerated example of every hair metal video cliche that you could hope for:
    the biggest hair;
    preposterous soloing (on the equally preposterous 4 neck guitar);
    pathetic attempts at tough guy poses
    horrendous production;
    explosions, etc.

    The only thing it was missing was Tawny Kitaen showing off some quadruple D implants.

  36. hrrundivbakshi

    I guess that would disqualify Nixon’s Head axe,”the chucken.”

  37. hrrundivbakshi

    Eric Bloom with his Blue Oyster Cult logo-shaped guitar:


    I am the Last Man Standing!

  38. hrrundivbakshi

    Hey! I just posted the most recent comment, but it showed up third from last. The LMS fix is in!

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