Dean Guitars has announced the Leslie West Tattered N Torn Thoroughbred TBZ, a limited-edition signature guitar honoring the late Mountain frontman.
Limited to only 50 units, the new electric guitar features a two-piece mahogany body and flame maple arched top with a Trans Brazilia nitrocellulose lacquer finish, C-shaped, three-piece mahogany neck with a 22-fret ebony fingerboard and a classic black headstock. Both the body and neck feature a single-ply cream binding.
Electronics include a pair of Dean DMT humbucking pickups – a Leslie West Signature Mountain of Tone model in the bridge position and Nostalgia Distressed model in the neck. These are controlled via master volume and tone knobs and a three-way selector switch.
Other features include pearl block fret markers, Grover 18:1 ratio tuning machines, a Tune-O-Matic bridge and a distressed treatment courtesy of former Fender Master Builder John Cruz.
West worked directly with Dean on the project prior to his death in December last year; 15 of the guitars sport his signature on the back of the headstock, and the remaining 35 feature an “LW” insignia in the same position.
“If I can get excited about a guitar when I'm 75 years old, that's sayin' something!” West said before his passing.
“I remember the first time he saw it,” recalls West's widow, Jenni West. “I opened the box and pulled it out, [and] laid it on the island of the kitchen. He lit up like a fat kid at a chocolate factory. He laughed out loud in that big booming voice, ‘That's fucking perfect! Looks torn and tattered like me!’
“He plugged it into his practice amp, cranked up the volume and played a few bars of Blood of the Sun. That guitar made him smile! He said it made his balls rattle. That's how he judged a guitar; if the bottom end didn't boom, it just didn't make the cut. He was so proud of this model. I am too!”
“We are honored and humbled to have called Leslie a friend” adds Dean Guitars Vice President of Products, Eric Stewart. “While ‘labor of love’ is overused, I can't think of a better phrase to describe how everyone at Dean feels about this project.”
The signed edition of the Leslie West Tattered N Torn Thoroughbred TBZ is available now for $9,999, while the non-signed version is priced at $5,460. Both come with a custom stenciled “Leslie West” hard shell case and Certificate of Authenticity.
For more information, head to Dean Guitars (opens in new tab).