This Freak of the Week is one of the first Musicvox Spacerangers ever produced. The seafoam green model was part of the original 10 prototypes designed and commissioned by Musicvox CEO, Matt Eichen. The NJ-based Musicvox was the first company in the Nineties to embrace freakish retro designs of Wandre, Teisco Del Rey and no-name brands that graced the walls of music stores in the Sixties.
This guitar was never built to be a gimmick. I made it because I wanted a steel-bodied Dobro guitar but couldn’t afford one. Back in 1998, I was in the lowest point of my life: lost marriage ... living in a tiny apartment ... no TV ... no internet. Yet in all my boredom and depression, I was still obsessed with music. Most importantly, I wanted to own a metal-bodied Dobro guitar.
They call this tenor guitar the Sawyer’s Legacy. It features a soundboard made from wood from a 150-year-old Maine barn. You can still see the massive sawmill grooves burned in the surface! The back of the guitar has an even more interesting cross-cut saw pattern. Its primitive shape, similar to a cigar box guitar, seems to be the perfect choice as it shows off the wood in its original “plank” form.
Dennis told me he had a guitar pedal that would rock the world, and he had been trying for 20 years to get it on the market. I played it…and it’s amazing. I must have spent two hours experimenting with it. Warbles, fuzzes, bleeps and strange Ed Wood sounds came out. It was like nothing I've ever heard. This thing puts the mythical Ludwig Phase II Synthesizer guitar effect to shame.
Before you click away to the next Slipknot article, consider this: Playing for kids might not be your first choice of a career, but being on stage with a guitar in your hand is a helluva lot better than scooping French fries or sitting in a cubicle. We play music because we love music. Why not get paid to play, even if it’s a non-traditional audience?
Ask any mainstream rock historian what the meanest sounding guitar of the 1950s is and they’ll most likely answer with names like Link Wray, Chuck Berry or Johnny “Guitar” Watson. Unfortunately, very few of them ever heard the name Willie Joe and his Unitar, much less the handful of obscure singles this madman cut during the Eisenhower Era. Willie Joe laid down the meanest guitar tone of the Fifties. It’s time for the world to know.
I decided to start this off by using the most common saying heard when someone lays their eyes on one of my guitars for the first time (myself included): It’s a cigar box guitar! It is played similar to a regular guitar, and it can do almost anything a regular guitar can do; it just takes some creativity and a little imagination, much like the building process.
Now that you've finished your axe, do you want to show it off? Feel free to post photos on our wall at our Facebook page. There are also some other cool sites for us CBGers. The one I use the most is cigarboxnation.com. It's free to join, and it's a great place for more information on building CBG and other musical instruments. You'll also find info on events, lessons and networking groups you can join.