Specifications have arrived for the long-awaited Fender Custom Shop recreation of Joe Bonamassa’s 1951 Nocaster, nicknamed The Bludgeon. The guitar is also available to preorder now, with a deposit of $500, and a full retail price of $8,500.
The guitar is being made in a limited run of 100 by Fender Custom Shop Master Builder Greg Fessler, across a 36-month period. The instrument bears a recreation of The Bludgeon’s rather heavy wear and tear, as well as a period-correct set of specifications.
Bolted on to the ash body is a maple neck, with a 21-fret maple fretboard, with a vintage 7.25-inch radius, fretted with vintage-style 45085 fret wire. The neck pickup is a humbucker, while the bridge is a hand-wound, relic’d single-coil, a recreation of the guitar’s original.
The “heavy relic” nitrocellulose finish reveals a lot of wear, with a lot of lacquer missing from the back of the beck and the fretboard. The body is in better shape, but with considerable forearm wear and a lot of paint removed in areas around the strumming area.
True to its Nocaster origins, the headstock only bears a Fender decal, with no model name. This was practice while Fender was finding a new name for the guitars, previously called the Broadcaster. They were asked to stop selling the Broadcaster model by Gretsch, who were at the time selling a drum kit entitled the Broadkaster. The guitar itself was a two-pickup version of the Esquire, which shipped with just a bridge single-coil.
Bonamassa’s latest tease of the recreation came last month on Instagram. He posted a certificate of authenticity for the guitar. “Here we go kids,” he wrote. “The first few are coming off the line. @fendercustomshop @seymourduncanpickups”
Before this, he had made a few other teases at the project, revealing he had sent the guitar off to be photographed and documented by the Custom Shop.
The guitar is available to reserve now exclusively through the Joe Bonamassa Online Store – you can take a look here.