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Fender Custom Shop to Make Replicas of Joe Bonamassa’s ’51 Nocaster

Joe Bonamassa revealed on Instagram that Fender will be making a replica of his 1951 Fender Nocaster. The blues master and gear collector dropped his prized guitar off at the Fender Custom Shop over the weekend.

Bonamassa said Fender will make 100 replicas that will be available through his website. It’s unsure when the Nocaster replicas will emerge, but we know Bonamassa will be without his ’51 for “the next few months.”

Even though Bonamassa is an avid gear collector with plenty of guitars to fill the void, being apart from his “best” guitar has to sting.

“People often ask me what is the ‘best’ guitar I own? This would be it. A very well loved 1951 Fender Nocaster,” Bonamassa said on Instagram in August. “It is as much a tool as it is a weapon.”

The Nocaster came to be for only a brief period in 1951 when Fender had to come up with a new name for the Broadcaster, which they introduced in 1950. Gretsch Drums filed a lawsuit claiming the name was too close to their Broadkaster kit, a name they registered first. Instead of stopping production, Fender trimmed the “Broadcaster” decals from the headstock, called it the Nocaster and charged ahead.

Later that year, Fender found a name that stuck – the Telecaster.

Bonamassa bought his ’51 modded with a Gibson PAF humbucker in the neck position. He told  Ernie Ball in 2015 that he was drawn to it because the humbucker made it look like Keith Richards’ guitar.

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