Tumblin' Dice: Gelvin Guitars Dice OPS —Inspired by Andrew Dice Clay

Rock stars like Eric Clapton, Slash and Billy Gibbons inspire many custom guitar builders to make instruments, but William Gelvin’s Dice OPS guitar was influenced by an entirely different kind of celebrity: comedian Andrew Dice Clay.

“I made a comment to Dice about him being a rock and roll comedian,” Gelvin says.

“He has been calling himself that for years. Although Dice is a drummer behind closed doors, he saw some of my custom guitars and let me design a guitar for him that reflects his personality. Dice is an Elvis fan. He was born in 1957, and his studded jackets are legendary, so I put all those together, added some dice here and there, and created what now is known as the Dice OPS.”

The Dice OPS is essentially a Gelvin OPS (One-Piece Standard) guitar, where the entire neck and body are all a single, solid piece of mahogany, with the exception of the ebony fretboard. The body is covered with black leather decorated with studs, and the fretboard inlays and control knobs are made from actual dice.

“Adding leather was a headache,” Gelvin admits. “I matched the color to the black finish of a 1957 Chevy. Each stud had to be inserted like a thumbtack, and in certain areas I had to be careful not to hit any hidden wires in the cavities near the electronics. About two hours and one bruised thumb later, I was happy with the results. When I finished the guitar, I delivered it to Dice in Vegas before a show, and everyone was floored by it.”

Gelvin says that a guitar similar to the Dice OPS would cost $5,678, but adds that he offers guitars that sell from $975 to $6,780. “Every guitar we make is a special one-off custom,” he says. “We treat every guitar order as if it was from a high-profile guitarist or entertainer.”

For more details, visit gelvinguitars.com.

It Might Get Weird: Guitar World goes inside the minds of some of the world’s most creative custom-guitar builders.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Chris Gill

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.