The Eastwood guitar company and its subsidiary brand Airline Guitars have distinguished themselves in recent years by offering modernized re-creations of classic off-the-wall 60s instruments originally made by companies like Vox, Mosrite and National. A lot of them are extremely cool, and a lot of them are very, very easy to picture on fat middle-aged guys in panel shirts and department store fedoras. Your mileage may vary.
Lately, they’ve updated their design ethos to ideas from the late ’70, by exploring the weird guitars used by DEVO. They started the project last year by resurrecting the extremely rare La Baye 2X4 guitar famously used by the band in the video for their version of the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction,” and the project continues with the “Be Stiff” bass and the “Whip It” guitar.
The original “Whip It” guitar was simply a regular Gibson Les Paul with its lower cutaway horn inverted by guitarist Bob Mothersbaugh, and is so named because it can be spotted in the video for “Whip It,” the band’s best-selling single and the song by which civilians still most readily identify them. The “Be Stiff” bass, seen prominently in DEVO’s segment of Urgh! A Music War, is harder to figure out, but it looks like a custom built body with a Gibson EB-3 neck (non-musicians: sorry for the full frontal nerdity here, we’ll get to a DEVO video soon enough, I swear), and it will be made available in a left-handed configuration to honor DEVO’s lefty bassist Jerry Casale. Both guitars’ production are contingent upon completing crowdfunding efforts, and the “Whip It” guitar has already surpassed its goal. The bass, as of this posting, is already 94% of the way there with almost a month left to go, so it seems likely to become a reality as well. And we can hope that Eastwood has plans to re-make Bob Mothersbaugh’s “Blue Potato” guitar.
Here’s the “Be Stiff” bass in action, being performed on its eponymous song.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘Are We Not Men?’ The Devo Documentary
DEVO becomes public art, streets of Akron, Ohio are overrun with Booji Boys
‘Satisfaction’ shootout: DEVO VS the Residents VS the Rolling Stones (spoiler: the Stones don’t win)