Friday, January 18, 2008

Tommy Bolin "Teaser" Guitar Unveiled - NAMM Day 1

I don't have much time, but want to get some pics up for the people who have been waiting so long to see this guitar. It is truly gorgeous, and not just a cosmetic showpiece, but a real player's axe. Just as exciting was to see the interest from all kinds of people in the instrument and of course the display of Tommy's clothing, gold records, and photos. Many friends stopped by the Dean booth, and many new friends were made. Thousands and thousands of people here, practically the whole music industry, I'll post more details as time permits.

I designed the guitar as a tribute to Tommy, and stylized the famous image of him from the "Teaser" album, adapting it to a Strat-shape body. One of Tommy's surviving axes was used to base measurements and specifications on, and the pickups were custom hand-wound to match the impedence. The flame maple neck is unfinished on the back. Brushed chrome hardware, Sperzel tuning machines, Wilkinson bridge.

One of Tommy's Strats that he is seen playing with the James Gang had a Telecaster neck. I designed the headstock of this guitar to echo the Strat and Tele look, but it is unique to this Dean guitar.

"Teaser" is inlaid at the twelfth fret.

Johnnie Bolin and I very happy to see this project finally come to life!

Tommy on the Jumbotron and a few of the Dean Girls.

Elliott Rubinson (CEO Dean Guitars), Johnnie Bolin, Nick, Dean's Russian distributor.

Tommy fans and rock history buffs were thrilled to see this collection never before gathered in a venue such as NAMM.

I also designed the ad that Dean will be marketing the guitar with. They printed posters and Johnnie was kept busy autographing them. Japanese fans are particularly interested as Tommy (and Deep Purple) were huge there. Johnnie was interviewed for a Japanese music website, We Rock City,and we were both interviewed by Premier Guitar - look for that to appear on the website soon.


perugina said...

Hey Nick, I've been checking in almost daily for a week or so for news and pics of this long talked about event!

The guitar looks FANTASTIC!

What a wonderful way to have used your talent.

Looks as though it was a great turn out from the pictures.

All the best and Congrats!

Anonymous said...

simmons! - you've done it again!
very, very nice.

i can only imagine how gratifying it feels to be such in integral part of this awesome project.

see you soon dude.

Sandy Maudlin said...

What a great adventure and tribute to another great artist!

William K. Moore said...

You seem to be in the thick of
Rock 'n Roll Paradise Nicholas. Looks a bit more glamorous than my current setting. Once again you have documented the heart of the scene and have allowed those not there to feel in some way that they've been there too. The Bolin guitar is a beaut.. and I imagine there will be big demand for such a well crafted instrument. Your description of the guitar's components was quite interesting and I'm intrigued to look up the terminology and see what it all means. Best to you my friend and enjoy the good times that are sure to follow.

Nick said...

PG - I think you'd fit right in could catch a glimpse of some of your favorite musicians, and you might get asked for a few autographs yourself!

Chris - it's a total gas, and I'm so happy and proud it came off. We're kickin' you-know-what out here!

Sandy - 8 hrs of this a day is pretty exhausting...a workshop day is probably as tough, but at least your ears don't ring!

Bill - man would you have some characters to paint in this place. Maybe I'll have to make a post devoted to pics of the crowd, I got some classics, but not sure if they'd all be appropriate, heh. I should be recovered by Tuesday, and will enjoy some peace and quiet. ciao amigo

Anonymous said...


The Tommy Bolin Tribute guitar is like a lightning bolt out of the blue! The Teaser graphic really helps this instrument stand out from other Strat styled guitars. I'm relieved that Dean chose to use high quality components on this guitar such as hand wound pickups, Sperzel tuners, and Wilkenson bridge hardware. Thanks for your efforts in bringing this guitar to life.

"The Chief"

Anonymous said...

Hey Nick, It brings a tear to my eye to see this baby of yours finally born. I've been waiting for these images for about 2 years now(gestation of an elephant...not a speck of white on this pachyderm however)
Congratulations and well done.
It's a fine looking instrument.
The headstock is perfect(something I was most anxious to see...thought it would make or break the whole idea)
And it's not over yet. GPM doing a feature and maybe a critique of the guitar will give it a great boost.
Johnny, the family and the diehard TB fans must be very happy to see this too.

Anonymous said...

Hey Nick, You did an absolutey Fantastic job on designing the "Teaser" guitar, and also all the hard work you put into getting everything together for the NAMM show, which took week's and week's of preparation and you made the unveiling of the "Teaser" what it was, which was unbelievable, I wish I could have been there to see all the wonderful thing's you did for the the Teaser guitar, you made it what it was... You truly are such a giving person, and an unbelieve artists, Tommy sure would be proud...It's been great talking to you and knowing you, and I can't wait till you come to New York...Remember, Lunch's on me;) Take care bud, talk soon...Andrea

Nick said...

Anonymous D1 - it's a killer axe, totally a player's guitar, not just window dressing. I know you'll have one soon!

Anonymous D2 - there were plenty of naysayers, but I always knew you were a believer. Maybe you'll own the first one Downunder?

Andrea - I really wish you had been there, but thanks so much again for lending the Teaser plaque - it really filled out the display. (and thanks to Columbia!! heheh) I know we'll meet soon, and I'll recognize your gorgeous self, even in the middle of Manhattan...ok, lunch is on you, Starbucks on me (it's a toss-up).

Anonymous said...

Nick, good to see you keeping busy with such a great project. Still look the same as you did ten years ago, Elliot still kicking your ass on the courts? Miss you and miss our sessions. They were truly insparational. Guitar looks great would'nt have expected anythin less. Kick ass, your friend from AL. Charles