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Gretsch Billy Bo Jupiter Thunderbird

Rare Electric Guitar

One of the great things about being a guitar hero, and there are many, is the ability to have major guitar makers build custom guitars for you - and one of the things that set founding father of Rock and Roll, Bo Diddley, apart from the rest (aside from the Bo Diddley Beat), is the custom guitars that he designed in 1959 for his band. That's how the Jupiter Thunderbird came into being. It was one of those three custom-made electric guitars that Gretsch built for the man who was there at the beginning of rock and roll. (Some claim that it was Bo Diddley who actually invented Rock.) The original Jupiter Thunderbird was given as a gift to ZZ Top guitar player, Billy F Gibbons, by Bo himself. For the new version, Billy and Gretsch flipped the design upside down, which makes the headstock backward...!


The two men associated with the look of this unique guitar are some of the most revered musicians in Blues and Rock n' Roll history. The original Gretsch Jupiter Thunderbird was a guitar designed by Bo Diddley and built for him by Gretsch. It eventually made its way into the hands of Billy Gibbons as a gift from Bo. Not wanting to take such a rare guitar on tour, Gretsch has reproduced the original, naming it the Billy Bo Jupiter Thunderbird.

This pre-owned Billy Bo is built of a mahogany body with a laminated maple top, mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard, 24.6" scale length, 1.6875" nut width, 22 frets, and a rosewood bridge base. The electronics in the guitar are TV Jones Power'Tron Plus pickups, with a master volume within the pickguard, and individual volume controls for each pickup with a master tone. The previous owner installed a roller-type bridge on the the guitar, and the original adjustable bridge is included with it as well, should you choose to put it back to stock. The guitar is in excellent condition with only surface marks around the body as signs of previous play time. The neck is very comfortable with a slight "V" shape, and the TV Jones pickups provide a great tone with tons of mids, definitely a guitar that would sound great with a vintage fuzz.

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