Tag Archives: Cigar Bow Guitars

Hallucinogenic Toreador


Several weeks ago I watched ‘Sound City’, Dave Grohl’s documentary about the LA recording studio that has serviced dozens of classic albums. Towards the end, Dave & Krist from Nirvana play with Paul McCartney. Macca uses a CBG which looks odd but sounds great.

I week or so later I was chatting with Chris Olley and he said that after that movie the price of a decent CBG went up from around £60 to a few hundred quid.

I had a look on EBay and found a few decent looking user made instruments. One particularly instrument caught my eye. Instead of a traditional box it had a round body, being made from an Acacia fruit bowl. It’s was finished with Jack Daniels labels and looked TDF. Unfortunately I bottled on the final bids as it closed a little under £100.

Undeterred I emailed the seller. As it transpires a retired musician living on the edge of the Peak District making instruments for enjoyment. We agreed on a new build and I had an option on finish. It was a fairly spontaneous choice evolving from the conversation but I’m pleased with the use of Salvador Dali’s Hallucinogenic Toreador as the theme.

I collected the guitar earlier in the week. Plugged in and with a little reverb, with its hard wood bowl base and resonator filters (plumbing accessories?) it has a rice deep tone. It’s has a high action but is perfectly suited it slide playing.
Metallic and ringing, full of innate noise.
As the maker pointed out, the original CBG users had crates, planks and fence wire to work with. It’s not the sound that counts, but what you do with it.

That’s my next quandary.





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