Joe Bonamassa’s 1951 Fender Nocaster ‘The Bludgeon’ gets the signature treatment

It would be next to impossible to find a guitarist with a collection like Joe Bonamassa. His Nocaster however, is the pièce de résistance.

Joe Bonamassa has yet another signature guitar in the works, and this one is next level. The latest signature model with the Bonamassa name is a limited run Custom Shop Fender based on his 1951 Nocaster, also known as ‘The Bludgeon’.

‘The Bludgeon’ has been owned by Bonamassa for the last seven years, 10% of its long 70-year life. To put into perspective just how special this guitar is, here’s a little history. In 1951 there was a range of Fender guitars called the Broadcaster, until rival instrument builder Gretsch complained, due to the fact they had a drum kit of the same name. The issue was later resolved and they were renamed the Telecaster, but for a brief period, while Fender was under legal pressure, these guitars had their headstocks kept blank, resulting in the name ‘Nocaster’.

Joe Bonamassa Tele

The 100 reissue guitars will be hand-built by the Fender Custom Shop master builder Greg Fessler, making sure they adhere to every detail of the ultra-rare 6-string, from the feel of the neck to relic’ing the body to perfectly replicate the 70 years of wear that the guitar has seen over its lifetime. The guitar consists of an ash body, with a U shape, Nocaster profile maple neck. According to Fessler, a Nocaster with an ash body is somewhat of a strange occurrence, making Bonamassa’s axe that extra bit special.

Finding the hardware for a rare guitar such as this is no easy task. PAF humbuckers and Nocaster flat-pole bridge pickups don’t exactly grow on trees. However, thanks to the lovely folks over at Seymour Duncan, sourcing these components was no issue. In continuing the theme of remarkable detail, the neck and bridge pickups will be out of phase in the middle position, just like on the original guitar, resulting in that exact glassy Bonamassa tone.

The Fender Custom Shop 1951 Joe Bonamassa Nocaster will be available for a small fortune of $8500, inclusive of a $500 deposit on Bonamassa’s website. For more information, or to check out his other signature models, check it out here.