The Funky Claude
Stratocaster style guitar with twin Lace Alumitones humbuckers, custom bridge and custom switching for all possible tones via a 6 position toggle switch and 4 * Push/Pull Pots.
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Stratocaster Style Custom Guitar by Rebel Custom Guitars – Funky Claude.
The Rebel Custom Guitars‘ “Funky Claude” is a hand-made, custom guitar in the theme of and in celebration of, the famous Funky Claude referred to by Deep Purple in their classic “Smoke On The Water”!
For those who may not know, the song is about the burning down of the venue, which was a Casino referred to in the song as a “Gambling House”. This was the venue that the band played at in the Montreux festival on the Lake Geneva shoreline. The lyrics mention that a `Stupid with a flare gun, burned the place to the ground”, but makes reference to a “Funky Claude” who was “Running in and out, pulling kids out of the ground!”.
That Funky Claude was of course Claude Nobs who was the founder and general manager of the Montreux Jazz Festival and his heroic actions on the night of the fire, mentioned in the song, literally saved hundreds of young people’s lives.
Many of the design ques on this guitar take homage from that song and the period of the time. Paisely was very popular during this psychedelic time, and many wore paisley shirts (including Claude and many rock stars of the time). The classic tones of the period included humbuckers and single coil tones, and the very airy Alumitones by Lace Pickups capture both exceptionally well. The Deep Purple guitar preferred by Ritchie Blackmoore was of course a Stratocaster hence that shape was chosen to host to the theme.
The finish is a 2K clear over the Hydrographic film on the body and head, but is treated to reflect some scratch and check wear that represents heat and Claude’s heroic acts. This lighter treatment was chosen over actually burning the guitar and a flame scarred finish as this more elegant, much better looking and more respectful – no one wants to be reminded of the fire but they do want to be reminded of the hero! There is however a single `cigarette style singe’ on the headstock. The finish is currently a matt / satin finish, but can be polished up as this is a thick 2K paint and with a good compound these scratches can be removed if desired. If the guitar were burnt, then that would be there forever, so this is a better design attribute.
The logo is `ghosted’ on, meaning it’s transparent so as not to distract too much from the headstock design.