JD HELLCAT (Smarmy Devil) CUSTOM
I mainly focus on Fender type Guitars as I am pretty much a Fender Guy… but I also own and have owned many Set Neck Guitars from Gibson, Epiphone, and Gretsch. Having said that, The Hellcat was born from the idea of making a Classic Les Paul shaped guitar that had the properties of both a Telecaster as well as a Les Paul… I wanted to have it fit comfortably within my Hillbilly Collection, adhering to the Bad-Ass Styling this collection has come to represent.
“You Know, they all have that “Guitar never had a case!…kind of look to it!!! But it was still your Go-To Guitar”
The HELLCAT was born when I met an interesting man named Torian Starnes. He is the Owner/Operator of Monolithic Cycles. Torian is a Great Guy and he is a Custom Bike Builder and a Metal Fabricator. Well, we hit it off as we had so many interests in common and I left that first meeting with my head full of ideas. I returned to Torians Shop a few days later with a rough Mock-up of the guitar I envisioned (see Mock-up in Extra Photos link below). We began immediately fleshing out the guitar verbally and Torian suggested that he could fabricate and finish a Steel Plate for me out of 20 gauge…. I always fondly remember those Great 70’s Keith Richard (The Rolling Stones) and Ron Wood (The Faces and later the Rolling Stones) Metal Plated Guitars. (I had to write that for all of you Younger Players) Well anyway I really loved those Guitars and thought it was a Terrific Idea! He did exactly what he had promised and delivered this Fantastic Custom Plate! (See Attached Images)
I then started with the Les Paul Special / Telecaster Hybrid Body. Then I ordered a Custom Well Fingered Rock Maple Neck with Rosewood Fingerboard and 59 Round back Profile from Warmouth. I had the headstock left as a paddle coming from Warmouth and had Ed Webster finished the Shaping here. Ed also did the Matt-Black on the body and the Clear-Coats on the Steel. Finally, he did the Fantastic “Smarmy Devil” Hand Painted Headstock Art. The Machine Heads are Grovers and the Custom Truss Rod Cover, Classic telecaster Bridge, Rear Control Plate, neck Mounting Plate and Knobs are all Custom Relic’d. The Pickups are a Duncan P-90 in the Neck position and a Duncan Double Rail in the Bridge position. The Controls are Volume (Coil-Split / Push-Pull) and Tone Knobs and a Standard Les Paul 3 position Toggle Switch.
This ONE-OFF Guitar was one 0f the most fun to do and Remains a Personal Favorite of mine.
Finally, this Slightly Distressed, wonderfully Blued and Amber Toned High Sheen Steel Plate, mounted with Brass Round Top Screws as well as the The Flat Black Body, Great Seymour Duncan Pickups, Grover Machine Heads, Custom Truss Rod Cover, Warmouth Custom Made to Order Neck and Hand Painted “Smarmy Devil” Headstock Art make this a Very KOOL, KICK-ASS AXE!!!
Oh-YEAH….just a little addendum: I liked the JD HELLCAT so much that a second one is planned… it is another one-off design based around a Les Paul Special Double Cutaway. I have most of the parts, and the and the design is for the most part ready… I do not rush these things as I like it look at the mockup for some time to make sure I like it… As of now it is to be called “Skullduggery” … So keep an eye out for the new guitar…
Thank You… Until Next Time,