Few, if any, guitarists have a vintage electric guitar collection that can rival Joe Bonamassa’s, but even with hundreds of instruments to choose from, the blues hero has managed to pick what he considers to be the best of the bunch.
In a recent Instagram post (opens in new tab), JoBo - who last week was filmed shredding on an EVH Striped Series model - named his 1951 Fender Nocaster as the ‘best’ guitar he owns, despite the fact its condition is far from original.
“It is as much a tool as it is a weapon,” Joe enthuses.
“It is the most dynamic instrument I have ever played in my life. I purchased this from Guitar Center in Hollywood from [Vintage Sales and Inventory Manager] Nick Conte who bought it from an old guy off the street. The case says O.Z on it.”
According to Bonamassa, the neck humbucker was fitted when he purchased the guitar, which bears the serial number 1755, and its only modification is the replacement of the first seven frets.
“The humbucking pickup in the front is out of an SG Custom, like a 1961, so it’s got a gold cover,” he told Guitarist magazine (opens in new tab).
He went even further in an interview with MusicRadar (opens in new tab), stating, “It howls in all the right ways, and quite frankly, kills my ’59 Les Pauls on occasion. It is a lifelong guitar that I will play and cherish.”
The Nocaster was only available for a short period of time during 1951 while Fender thought up a new name for the Broadcaster, following a complaint from Gretsch, which produced the Broadkaster drum kit.
That name, of course, was the Telecaster, which was introduced in August 1951.