The Week In Guitar: John Cruz Customs shuts down, new oddball Fender acoustics and multi-million guitar auctions

It’s been a busy seven days in guitar culture – here’s what’s been happening.

Welcome to the Week In Guitar, your rundown of everything that’s been happening in guitar culture over the last seven days. Let’s dive in!

John Cruz Custom Guitars appears to have shut down completely

In November 2020, luthier John Cruz started his own guitar company. Earlier that year, he had been dismissed from the Fender Custom Shop seemingly due to a controversial Facebook post regarding Black Lives Matter protesters. However his solo effort seems to now be no longer in business – while there’s been no announcement from Cruz himself, germain retailer ProGuitar alleges a lawyer informed them of the closure. The retailer also outlined difficult financial dealings with John Cruz Custom Guitars, such as undelivered instruments and a deposit that has now disappeared along with the company.

Acoustasonic? Not quite

Fender has launched the Highway series, a new range of slim acoustic guitars which take stylistic and spec cues from its Acoustasonic range. Despite somewhat resembling Fender’s line of hybrid electric/acoustics, these are instead meant to be a much more ‘pure acoustic guitar’ experience, albeit with a much slimmer body. At only 2.25 inches thick, these promise to be the shallowest acoustic guitar experience around, outside of learning Coldplay songs. Just kidding.

Kurt Cobain and Eric Clapton guitars set to go under the hammer

This week an auction of some incredible guitars was announced: Kurt Cobain’s “Sky Stang I” Mustang and Eric Clapton’s “The Fool” SG. The Sky Stang I was used frequently by Cobain during Nirvana’s final tour. The auction piece retains the same strap and strings as used by him three decades ago.

The painted Fool SG was used by Eric Clapton on many of his most famous tracks, including Sunshine of Your Love, I Feel Free, and White Room. It gets its name from the Dutch design collective that painted the guitar. Its colourful design and Clapton’s use of it made it a signature relic of the psychedelic era.

Both Cobain’s and Clapton’s guitars are expected to sell for between $1-2 million, with starting bids of $250,000.

Quick Riffs

  • Fender teases – maybe – a Keanu Reeves signature bass, which should let you embark on a spree of unimaginable violence after your dog is killed. Wait, hang on, wrong Keanu project.
  • Meris launches the MercuryX, an expanded version of its popular Mercury7 reverb pedal
  • Easy Life announce that they will change their name, after being sued by airline company easyJet. This is, of course, a great PR move from easyJet and makes them seem really lovely and reasonable.

Quote Of The Week

“Spite is a great motivator”

Joe Bonamassa once again finds himself in Quote Of The Week. Success? Money? Fame? Recognition? None of those compare to sticking it to those who would see you fail. In any case, we eagerly await Bonamassa’s Lingua Ignota cover.

The Encore

In true Josh Scott fashion, this video is a superfluous exploration of pedal-building nerdery. Why travel thousands of miles to create an ultra-unique Germanium fuzz face? Why not?


The destination for all things guitar.

© 2023 Guitar.com is part of NME Networks.