“It was the strangest guitar deal I ever did”: Joe Bonamassa reveals the bizarre story of how he got his hands on the Bolin ‘Burst
Joe Bonamassa has discussed the strangest guitar deal he’s ever made – and it’s certainly an interesting one.
READ MORE: “Pure ignorance”: Vernon Reid slams lack of Allan Holdsworth in Rolling Stone’s Greatest Guitarists list
In Guitarist magazine, Bonamassa reveals how he got his hands on his famous 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard – the Bolin ‘Burst – which got its moniker from its long association with Zephyr and Deep Purple guitarist Tommy Bolin. However, Bolin never actually owned the guitar.
“That’s the misconception,” says Bonamassa. “It was owned by a guy named David Brown who bought it in 1966 for $125 in Denver. His daughter actually sent me the receipt.
“When Tommy’s Goldtop got nicked in the early ’70s when he was with Zephyr, David was Tommy’s right-hand man and he loaned him this ’Burst. And so Tommy played it all through Zephyr and Deep Purple.”
However, Bonamassa adds that Bolin never used the guitar on his album with Billy Cobham, Spectrum, on which he used a Fender Stratocaster instead: “They put the [Bigsby] vibrato on the Bolin ’Burst because Tommy was a Strat guy.”
Bonamassa has plenty of experience in buying vintage guitars. His father was a vintage dealer, so it was something he was used to from an early age. However, he says that, even for him, it wasn’t easy to track down the Bolin ‘Burst.
“I looked for this guitar for about a decade,” he says. “I finally located David in Moab, Utah. I made a deal with him, paid him in cash, and he died two months later in a car accident. His last text to his daughter was, ‘I buried the money in the desert.’ Weird, weird story. It was also the strangest guitar deal I ever did.”
Bonamassa still brings out the ‘Burst from time to time, too. Last month, he brought it out to cover Deep Purple with Glenn Hughes and Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ Chad Smith.
You can watch fan-recorded footage of the trio here:
The post “It was the strangest guitar deal I ever did”: Joe Bonamassa reveals the bizarre story of how he got his hands on the Bolin ‘Burst appeared first on Guitar.com | All Things Guitar.