Joe Doe Guitars puts one-of-a-kind "Apollocaster" up for Emergency UNICEF Ukraine Appeal auction

Joe Doe Guitars Apollocaster
(Image credit: Joe Doe Guitars)

Joe Doe Guitars – a brand that builds unique custom electric guitars – has teamed up with Gardiner Houlgate auction house to sell a one-off “Apollocaster” to raise money for an emergency Ukraine appeal.

Proceeds from the sale will go towards supporting a UNICEF relief fund, which will provide water, food and shelter to the children of Ukraine who are currently living through Russia’s ongoing invasion of the country.

According to Gardiner Houlgate, all premiums have been waived, meaning “every penny” that the “Apollocaster” generates will go directly to helping the children of Ukraine.

In a statement, Joe Doe Guitars said, “Emergency auction! You like helping out, right? So do we, which is why we're donating one of our unique, one-of-a-kind Joe Doe Original guitar builds to the upcoming Guitar Auction at Gardiner Houlgate.

Joe Doe Guitars Apollocaster

(Image credit: Joe Doe Guitars)

“All proceeds go to UNICEF to help provide the children of Ukraine with water, food and shelter,” it continued. “No buyer's premium will be charged so smash the piggy banks, shake the change out of your sofa and help out! Eternally grateful."

The “Apollocaster” itself takes inspiration from Fender’s classic Telecaster design, and – like all Joe Doe instruments – is a “custom made, never to be repeated build”. It even has its own (fictional) unique backstory.

As Joe Doe explains, the “story” it’s running with tells the tale of NASA Chief Mechanical Engineer Ray Davenport Jnr, who played guitar in the organization’s house band, One Small Step, and had constructed the “Apollocaster” during his breaks.

Specs include two-piece alder body and a theme-appropriate Moon White nitrocellulose finish on the body and headstock. Adding to the lunar landing-inspired axe is a NASA headstock pin, as well “United States” decals lifted from the Apollo F12 rocket boosters.

There’s also an intricate, three-dimensional Apollo Lunar Module scratchplate, and a replica of the commemorative plaque found on the Lunar Module Lander on the rear of the guitar.

More conventional appointments include a bone nut, Gotoh tuners, a Gotoh bridge and a 10”-radius quartersawn maple neck and fretboard, finished with black dot inlays and 21 frets.

And, last but not least are the pickups – a pair of Bare Knuckle Mule humbuckers – which are wired to CTS split-coil pots and a Switchcraft three-way selector.

The auction is set to take place on March 9. To find out more, head over to Gardiner Houlgate.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been met with widespread condemnation from the international and musical community. Earlier this week, Green Day announced they were canceling their Hella Mega Tour appearance at Moscow’s Spartak Stadium, which was slated to take place on May 29.

Other artists have followed suit. Bring Me The Horizon has canceled its shows in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine in light of the invasion, while prominent Russian rapper Oxxxymiron has taken shows in Moscow and Saint Petersburg off his tour schedule. 

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.