Joe Bonamassa hints at a Fender Custom Shop version of his ‘51 Nocaster

Bonamassa called it his best guitar – and it could find its way to your hands.


Joe’s 1951 Nocaster (left) and 1952 Telecaster. Image: Eleanor Jane

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Joe Bonamassa has hinted at a Fender Custom Shop version of his 1951 Nocaster, a guitar Bonamassa has told us is the “best” out of his extensive collection of vintage instruments. The hints came in the form of some Instagram posts showing the guitar stopping off for a temporary stay at Fender’s shop. While there’s no official word, it seems it’s getting an inspection – most likely for a signature recreation.

The guitar itself features the notable addition of a Gibson PAF in the neck position. Speaking to Ernie Ball in 2015, Bonamassa said that’s what drew him to it – as it meant it resembled Keith Richard’s guitar. The guitar has seen a lot of use, putting in extensive shifts on Blues Of Desperation.

The Nocaster came about after Gretsch prevented Fender from using the name Broadcaster, and before the name Telecaster was decided on. During this period, Fender’s guitars would have no model name on the headstock, only the Fender logo. Hence, ‘Nocaster.’

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