The world of electric guitars offers a myriad of visual treats, with all the bright and eye-catching finishes, sculpted necks, gleaming hardware and tasteful inlays that guitars have. But some guitars are really ‘extra’ in terms of how they look. What sets them apart is the way they’re shaped.
It’s interesting to know the stories behind some of these guitars so we’re sharing them with you here. Weird, charming, odd, endearing, awe-inspiring, quirky – whichever word you want to use to describe them, these models are without a doubt some of the guitar industry’s most head-turning axes that can get conversations started with their looks alone.
For this list, we’re focusing on standard-issue models from guitar companies, not custom-built or one-off electric guitars made by individual luthiers. That’s surely a list for another day. For now, we’re sticking to stuff you can find and be lucky enough to buy online or perhaps from someone else’s collection. Let’s see what they are!
Released in 1985, the Fender Performer sported an angular body style, which was a thing back in the Eighties among heavy metal players. According to rumors, the Performer’s body and headstock design was inspired by the wood scraps that were left over from making Japanese Stratocasters.
If you’re keen on collecting this, go ahead. If you’re wanting a more traditional-looking Strat however, there’s always the Fender American Special Stratocaster, considered to be one of the finest electric guitars under $1000.
Back in the early Seventies, Ovation released a guitar that either thrilled or made guitarists speechless with disgust. Called the Breadwinner, the electric guitar had a shape that can be likened to that of a battleaxe. The design was intended to make the guitar more ergonomic, offering guitarists a more comfortable uh, axe. Popular players include ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus, who used a white version of the guitar during the band’s 1977 concert tour through Australia and Europe.
American Showster AS-57
It ought to be fun zooming around stage with the AS-57, pretending you’re a classic car. In the mid-Eighties, Chevrolet generously licensed the design of the tail fin of the 1957 model Chevy to American Showster. The result is the AS-57, an electric guitar that offered not only the same color variations as the car but also an actual working taillight.
In the late 1960s, Nippon Gakki made the a cute and quirky-looking electric guitar with a samurai-shaped headstock, branding it under Yamaha. The Yamaha SG2C came to be known as the Flying Banana and was well-loved. It’s quite rare, but if you’re wanting one yourself, you’ll be glad to know that Eastwood Guitars is reissuing the model.
Ibanez Iceman IC500
Sold from 2013 to 2014, the Ibanez Iceman IC500 is actually a reviving of the original Seventies Iceman, the first Ibanez electric guitar that didn’t look like a replica of a Fender or Gibson guitar. Launched in 1975 and initially called the Artist 2663, it was renamed the Iceman in 1978. The model fared well, earning the respect of guitar players from Japan and the United States. The design and specs of the Iceman changed little over the next production years.
What do you think of these guitars’ designs? Too much or just right? Will you be interested in owning one of them or would you rather stick to a more common guitar body shape? Let us know!
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