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Rock luminaries Billy F. Gibbons and Bo Diddley have joined forces to bring guitar aficionados everywhere a 21st Century version of the elusive Gretsch Jupiter Thunderbird guitar, now dubbed the "Billy-Bo". First conceived in 1959 by the legendary Bo Diddley himself, this one-of-a-kind guitar later found its way into the hands of ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons.
Said Gibbons, "Some time ago, Bo gave me the guitar as a gift. It was during the recent ZZ Top recordings when the engineering crew and I snaked through the guitar vault searching for that 'certain-something' guitar and there it was! We didn't risk subjecting such a rare instrument to the rigors of the road so this new reproduction model was recreated--with some BFG Mojo thrown in for good measure. It's now the main stage guitar with a groove."
As noted by Gibbons, the new Gretsch "Billy-Bo" Jupiter Thunderbird highlights Bo's original futuristic design, with Gibbons' added enhancements providing for "a steaming hot helping of dirty rotten Rock 'N' Roll".
The result of this "science project gone wrong" is a heavily chambered mahogany body with an ultra-thin laminate maple top and one-piece mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard and mother-of-pearl "thumbnail" position markers.
The Billy-Bo comes with one TV Jones Power'Tron pickup in the neck position and one Power'Tron "Plus" pickup in the bridge position. Additional features include a pinned Adjusto-matic bridge, Schaller strap locks, G-cutout tailpiece, chrome hardware, Grover Sta-Tite machine heads and, as Gibbons will tell you, "enough 'vibe' to make space aliens dance the alligator!"
Available in August, 2005, the new Gretsch G6199 "Billy-Bo" Jupiter Thunderbird has a US MSRP of $3,250.00, with case included.