Miscellaneous Rumbles

Oddly-Shapped Guitars You Find Strangely Appealing


This kind of piggybacks off Herr Proteus' post about that D'angelico with the Funky f-hole.

The idea here is that I, like many here on the GDP, have fairly traditional tastes when it comes to guitar shapes/body styles. That said, there are instances where the non-traditional or unconventional catches my eye . . .and not in a casual way. I'm talking about all things being equal, I would actually plunk down some money and buy one of these oddities.

Mine just happens to be a Guild s-200 T-Bird, complete with busy body shape, odd headstock, and a plethora of funky switch and controls.

What's yours?


Well by and large, electric guitar players are a pretty conservative bunch ... they just want their Strats, Teles, Les Pauls and not a whole lot else.

Weird shaped guitars were made to attract attention. Some are so mainstream now like reverse Firebirds, that they don't seems weird shaped. Some like Astro Jets were flops ..sort of too weird. But then original Vs and Explorers were flops in their day. Vox Phantoms like my 9 string are weird but to a few mutants, are quite appealing.

There was lots of weirdness in the 80s, ie Gibson Corvus.

Totally conventional stuff like Strratocaster was like from another planet when it first came out.

For me weird stuff I like are most doublenecks.


My black sheep is the Gibson Les Paul Signature. Upper cutaway like a 335, lower like a regular LP. It's just what you say. It's not exactly beautiful but there is something about it. Never had the chance to play one so far, though.


I saw this and had to have it! A '66 Noble, from Japan. I added the Mosrite pickups, but consider it a bargain at $300 (with original chipboard case).


My early 60s Jetstar. The neck is so thin that the headstock broke off twice. Kent Armstrong humbuckers and 80s Guild stop tailpiece.


I miss my Guild X-79. It really was a great playing guitar.


Not a fan of any of these. IMO, being different just to be different is a piss poor excuse to make something. I'm visually a traditionalist and don't see a need for these ugly guitars.


Thank you, Dave. We know we can always rely on your adamantine and dismissive judgments.


I have the Epi version of the LP Sig, and don't find it terribly aberrant - though it clearly rings unusual changes on the body styles it fuses.

Of all the 80s shape guitars, that Guild X-79 is probably my favorite. I'm not at all a fan of the Flying V (the one shape traditionalists seem to make an exception for); Firebirds are better; the Moderne to my eye is the best of those experiments.

I'm a happy owner of the angular DiPinto Galaxie, which is no stranger to these parts - and I suppose this Yamaha SGV-800 qualifies here as oddly shaped (though it doesn't reach the mutant level of the guitars Bob submitted).


I find "oddness" is pretty much in the eye of the beholder, and has more to do with when the beholder first beheld the oddity - or whether his hero/s played one - than any objective appraisal of a design's aesthetic merits. Bigsby and Magnatone guitars, as well as numerous misshapen lumps from the 50s, are revered by "traditionalists" who denigrate the creative guitsperiments of the 60s and 80s - while I think they are...not attractive.

Or a guy will hate the Japanese craziness of the 60s while giving the Italians a free ride (or vice versa). Probably since my first electric was a Japanese beast with a clumsy offset design and a meltingly Dali-distended lower bout, I'm pretty tolerant of that cluster of (possibly mistranslated) design vocabularies. I think relatively few of them are truly graceful, but I am taken by their energy and exuberance.

I'm not at all drawn to the National map guitar and the more angular Airlines our friends at Eastwood specialize in reviving (at least in appearance). But obviously enough people like them to support the wide range of visual offenders seen here: https://eastwoodguitars.com....

Eastwood is also the premiere modern source for much retro weirdness. I confess to having the Spectrum (a design I find in almost every way overdone - but it sounds and plays great), and I would have the Flying Banana in a heartbeat, if I thought it offered anything sonically unique. The Breadwinner, Ichiban, Norma, Messengers, and Moonsault can be yours, I don't want'em. https://eastwoodguitars.com...


And now that we're thinking of it, let's admit the Jupiter Billy Bo Thunderbird shape is pretty transgressive...never mind it has a Gretsch pedigree. While it's a stupendously wonderful guitar in its modern Gretsch form, I don't always think it's inherently attractive. (I much prefer the Lady Bo, which remains un-remade.) And how about the AstroJet and TK-300? Not high points in modern design.

For that matter, the Super Chet shape is not exactly universally accepted. I happen to like it (except for the silly mid-body binding), but it's certainly possible to look at it and think something had gone terribly wrong in the hallowed design halls of Gretsch.

Meantime, one of my favorite quirkers remains this Jay Turser Lyrebird, made for about 15 minutes in the early years of this century. It's based on some European custom design, I believe, and was apparently enough of a market flop that I got it, new, for 119.00 or something. I think it's a beauty - and it's a funky little player, too.


Ahh, Eastwood. Remember the Backlund series?


Oh yeah - Backlunds. https://eastwoodguitars.com...

I like many of the shapes, though I think the color combos, trim encrustations, and ornamentation get out of control. I had one of them for awhile...but I couldn't hold it on my lap (my bad for stupidly ignoring the ergonomics of the shape), and it sounded utterly generic.

Here's one that's about as extreme as it gets, in its severely minimalist way. I'd love one. It's going on the list right now.


Oh! The ultimate extreme design guitars for me, Teufel. I'd love one of these too. (Not just the ones in the pic, you have to look around the site.)



Thank you, Dave. We know we can always rely on your adamantine and dismissive judgments.

– Proteus

Thanks. When subject matter is brought here it's automatically open to judgement, both yay and nay. I expressed my nay. I don't see traditional stringed instruments going over the edge in design shape as no one has shown that a change is shape is needed or visually warranted. I realize that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and some may like these off the map shapes or hardware components but they have no appeal to me in any regard and I stand by 'just because you can do it doesn't mean it's a good idea.'



An Ovation Deacon gets me wet, if you catch my drift


Ahh, Eastwood. Remember the Backlund series?

– Bob Howard

John Backlund posted on Gretsch Talk that they have all been discontinued by Eastwood and remaining stock will be heavily marked down.


John Backlund posted on Gretsch Talk that they have all been discontinued

Hmm, interesting. One assumes poor sales, but did he say anything else that might shed light? I thought the series was a noble project to get his designs out, and hoped it would sustain itself.


I should have just averted my eyes, except one, just one, of the first Bob posted. Give me Love.

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