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.
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