The Fender Custom Shop The Bludgeon is the latest Joe Bonamassa signature model. The guitar, based on Bonamassa’s ’51 Nocaster, will be part of a limited run of just 100 units. And at $8500 each, it’s probably aimed at the Bonamassa super-fan.
Fender’s Custom Shop will be making a limited run of the new Joe Bonamassa signature model ’51 Nocaster. Only 100 of The Bludgeon models will be made, all by Master Builder Greg Fessler. Pre-orders have already started, and since each one is ‘hand-made’, the entire production run is estimated to take around 36 months to complete. The price tag is pretty hefty as well. $8500 may, for some, be a lot for a simple Telecaster-style instrument, with a PAF-like humbucker in the neck and some ageing.
The guitar has a one-piece ash body and a large U-shape Nocaster profile maple neck, with a pretty heavy-relic natural finish. This will no doubt appeal to some people, looking for faux-authentic wear. However, I think the market for this particular instrument is pretty small, and probably consists mainly of collectors rather than players. As the specifications of this guitar aren’t anything we haven’t seen before.
You have nickel relic hardware, a Tele 51-54 bridge, and a vintage Telecaster control layout. Then there’s the Seymour Duncan PAF-style humbucker in the neck position. Joe’s original Nocaster is fitted with a humbucker from a ‘61 Gibson SG Custom, so expect a lower output vintage style recreation of that.
Overall, it’s a lovely guitar for anyone that likes recreations of old beat-up instruments with plenty of play wear. I do think that for what it costs, it isn’t really a practical guitar for gigging and recording with. You could obviously get a lot more for your money elsewhere in Fender’s lineup, for a lot less. This guitar is definitely one for the Bonamassa fans.
You can pre-order via Joe’s official online store with a $500 deposit, where you can also buy bonafide JoBo flip flops or Pave Gold Earrings, for that special someone in your life. The blues is a hard road to follow, but if you sell enough tat, the devil may let you off…
RRP – USD 8500 inc hard case