John Bolin, Pete Anderson, and Billy Gibbons :)

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by Srvwannab, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. Srvwannab

    Srvwannab Silver Supporting Member

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    I recently had the opportunity to acquire an unbelievable John Bolin Telecaster. Here's the story behind the guitar. In the mid-90's Billy Gibbons commissioned John Bolin to build a tele for Pete Anderson. When the guitar recently became available it was set-up for Nashville tuning. I called John Bolin on the phone and he couldn't have been more generous with his time. He remembered the guitar and spoke of it fondly. He told me it was built in a time when he was using a lot more hand tools and fewer machines. Which isn't to say that John's new stuff isn't every bit as good as has stuff from 15 years ago- I just love knowing how much time John personally put into this guitar. In particular he mentioned that the inlay work done on the guitar would be incredibly expensive if ordered today.

    After I received the guitar it was sent up to John to have the nut replaced and the guitar set up for traditional tuning. While waiting for the guitar I did some research on Pete Anderson. Having had no exposure to country music until a few years ago when I became a huge fan of Brad Paisley, I only knew Dwight Yoakum by name, and wasn't familiar with any of Pete's work. What an incredible journey it has been! Pete Anderson is a monster player (as most of you probably already knew) that oozes taste, tone and can play across genres effortlessly. Of course Pete has won as many accolades for his producing as he has for his playing.

    I started with Dwight's greatest hits and was floored by an eclectic mix of roots style country, smoking rock-a-billy, and a production that was capable of taking all of those things and still managing to not only not step on one of the coolest singers I have ever heard, but to put that haunting voice in the front of the mix. Some of those songs are the best uses of three chords and a tele known to man. From there we've gone deeper into Dwight's catalog (incredible) and most recently into Pete's solo work. As somebody that loves Blues, Pete's tune, "Still in Love" from his recent album "Even Things Up" is in constant rotation on my Ipod. Pete can speak volumes with two or three notes, but also doesn't have a problem throwing in a few more notes for good measure. Again, he is an incredible play.

    About a week ago I got the guitar back from John Bolin, who managed to out-do himself. The guitar plays fantastic! I'm sure I own more Tele's than I can count on fingers and toes and the only guitar I have that is its equal is my John Page P1- which is in its own right kind of a different animal.

    Above all else in this wacky sometimes obsessive pursuit for gear, I have had an opportunity to meet some incredibly people. In particular, John Bolin is as good of a human being I have had the opportunity to interact with and he is both a luthier and artist in every sense of the word. A brief visit to bolinguitars.com would attest to that. I am not the least bit surprised that some of the biggest names in the world of guitars choose to have John build their guitars. While I am sure that this "tribal tele" will never be played as well as his guitars that are in the hands of Jimmy Page, Billy Gibbons, Keith Richards, Ron Wood, Steve Miller, etc. I love knowing that I am in such good company.

    Here are a few pictures-

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  2. HelloKittyHawk!

    HelloKittyHawk! Member

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    That's a beaut!
    I like the "No Contour Body" decal.
    Still, it's hard to imagine having put all that work into a custom guitar, only to put Fender's decal on the headstock (however perfectly it completes the look). Love the binding, too.

    I remember a Blonde Bolin Strat that was in the Emporium within the last year or two. It was really nice, and not terribly expensive, either. I think that the headstock said "House of JB" or something similar. Extra tempting, as those are my initials!

    Enjoy your one-of-a-kind Tele.
     
  3. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

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  4. Paul86

    Paul86 Member

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    How do you like those emg's?
    By the way, amazing guitar, amazing story. Congrats!
     
  5. JPERRYROCKS

    JPERRYROCKS Member

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    I've never been into fancy inlay on a electric guitar.

    But there's something about that tribal inlay and the red paint job that just seems perfect.
     
  6. guitarman_1

    guitarman_1 Silver Supporting Member

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    WOW!
    Where did you find that one.John's work is as good as it gets.
    You are a lucky man indeed!
     
  7. wingwalker

    wingwalker Fuzzy Guitars

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    Beautiful guitar and a great story!
     
  8. Big White Tele

    Big White Tele Member

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    Is it just 2 volume controls, no tone, or a push pull pot for pickup switching?
     
  9. mojocaster.com

    mojocaster.com Member

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    Very cool axe from a master. Enjoy her for the rest of us :)
     
  10. dzo

    dzo Member

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    I almost bid on that one. Great find!

    I used to live in Boise and one trip to his shop and I was hooked. So far, I have a Bolin tele, NS, LP, acoustic and, I believe, the above mentioned blonde strat.
     
  11. Timmo

    Timmo Member

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    Nice Tele.

    I want a Gretsch Billy Bo but one made by Bolin.

    How does one find out price etc.?
     
  12. jimfog

    jimfog Senior Member

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    Surprised by the pickup choice and 6 saddle bridge for Pete.......but cool axe.
     
  13. mrbungel

    mrbungel Member

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    http://www.bolinguitars.com/
     
  14. Timmo

    Timmo Member

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  15. AJ Love

    AJ Love Senior Member

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    Congrats! Bolin is indeed a great luthier. Love the stuff he's done for Billy Gibbons over the years
     
  16. todd richman

    todd richman Senior Member

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    Beautiful guitar. I commissioned a blue metal flake with silver flake binding neck through Esquire from John in 2001 after seeing Joe Perry with the same guitar. Even the fingerboard was blue sparkle. Had a BG-1400 pickup in it and man did it rock. Lightweight too. Loved the guitar but in a fleeting rage of madness aka get another Les paul which I was enamored with at the time, sold it to of all people, Ed Roman! Wish I could undo that deal. John is a fine luthier and such a gentleman.
     
  17. pnksntdead

    pnksntdead Supporting Member

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    man,that's some sweet inlay work!

    i'm a bolin fan too

    here's my bolin tele:

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    perfectly matched two piece ash body, hamburglar neck w/ pao ferro board, thin blonde finish, very light

    it's incredible acoustically. my friend just finished helping me upgrade the electronics and
    i also replaced the stock duncans w/ don mares.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010
  18. HelloKittyHawk!

    HelloKittyHawk! Member

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    "Hamburglar neck" as in Fender photo-flame?
    Cool Tele and case. I searched eBay for a long time before finding the same case (it matches my Champ 12!).
     
  19. Jim S

    Jim S Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Friggin' awesome looking guitar!
     
  20. pnksntdead

    pnksntdead Supporting Member

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    oh no, the neck is from bolin but it does remind me of the mij fotoflame necks from the 90s.. i usually lug it around in a gig bag. haven't had a real nice gig to
    bring the case to, lol. my wife finds it tacky, but i think it's badass!:)

    thanks jim! she has various minor nicks and wear around the edges from previous owners and i've added a few of my own, the finish has yellowed real nicely too..
    i wish i could afford to order another one form john.
     

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