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Supro David Bowie 1961 Dual Tone Hard Tail Ltd Edition

Supro David Bowie 1961 Dual Tone Hard Tail Ltd Edition

RRP: £999.00

£899.00

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SKU: 1224DBHT

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With only 200 units designated for Europe, the Supro David Bowie 1961 Dual Tone Hard Tail is a stunning, highly limited tribute to the legend of Bowie. This guitar has been been designed to perfectly evoke the spirit of Bowie’s original Supro; used to record his Reality album, this is the instrument which sparked Bowie’s lifelong love of Supro guitars.

Now available from Merchant City Music, online and in our Glasgow store, this guitar ships in a deluxe Supro Premium Carry Bag. Every instrument we sell goes through a rigorous check-over and professional set-up prior to shipment, ensuring you receive the very best possible example. We ship fast to the UK, Europe and beyond.

Supro David Bowie 1961 Dual Tone Hard Tail - Limited Edition Arctic White

This second of two Bowie Limited Edition models has been developed by Supro with assistance from the David Bowie Archive. The David Bowie 1961 Dual Tone Hard Tail is based on the first Dual Tone that David acquired, just prior to recording the Reality album. Featuring prominently on the cover of the “New Killer Star” single, this Supro Dual Tone became such an integral part of the sound and imagery of the Reality album that David purchased a second one for the ensuing Reality Tour.

Why did Bowie choose the Dual Tone? Guitarist Gerry Leonard, who played on both the Reality album and tour, says: “David was a discerning collector of not only art, but all things to do with music, music artifacts and specific instruments. The Supro was a guitar that nailed a few of these criteria for him. It’s a very stylish guitar and it has a great vibe and sound. It was a fantastic guitar and David loved it so much, it was the only one he wanted to play, even though we had many other great instruments from famous makers available to him.”

Although we know that the guitar’s Art Deco style appealed to Bowie’s well-known flair for design, we also know that he had a fascination with the instrument’s early legacy. He advised James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem to get a Supro Dual Tone specifically because it was the guitar played by power-chord pioneer Link Wray.

The Dual Tone famously appears in the promotional artwork for Wray’s 1958 hit song “Rumble”: a recording noteworthy for being the only instrumental song ever to be banned from US radio. Bowie even chose to pay homage to Link Wray, using “Rumble” as a musical interlude during the Reality Tour. Clearly, the rock and roll mythology of Link Wray and his affinity for Supro guitars made a lasting impact on David Bowie.

The Dual Tone model first appeared in Supro catalogs in the early 1950s. The distinctive tone of the Supro Vistatone pickups has been a consistent highlight of this instrument throughout its evolution. Supro’s 1953 catalog boasted: “We sincerely believe the pickup system to be the finest we have ever produced in over two decades of electronic development. Make an honest comparison with any instrument for tone, volume, and performance–you’ll be truly surprised.” Over the subsequent five years after ’53, the neck was improved, headstock changed, body widened, pickup wiring changed, and contoured bevels added to the body. By 1958, the Dual Tone was totally dialed in, and became a bestseller for Supro.

In keeping with the spirit of innovation that evolved the 1953 Dual Tone into the 1958 model favored by Link Wray, the construction of the Bowie guitar has been further developed with subtle tweaks and refinements to carry the torch into the present day—while retaining the vibe of the original instrument. This incarnation of the Dual Tone guitar features a 24 ¾” scale maple neck with a Pau Ferro fretboard and set-neck construction. The mahogany body has a tummy cut for increased playing comfort, as well as an ergonomic neck joint, allowing full access to the high frets. Hardware appointments include Tune-O-Matic bridge, butterfly tulip tuning pegs and a matched set of vintage-correct Vistatone pickups, designed to replicate the genuine Supro sound that David Bowie loved.

As a final touch, the David Bowie 1961 Dual Tone Hard Tail features a mirror-finish Bowie lightning bolt insignia on the face of the headstock.

Product Details

  • Colour: Arctic White
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Pau Ferro with block inlays
  • Frets: 22
  • Inlays: Block
  • Pickups: 2 x Vistatone
  • Scale Length: 24.75"/628mm
  • Bridge: Tune-O-Matic
  • Controls: 2 x Volume, 2 x Tone, Pickup Switch
  • Tuning Pegs: Butterfly Tulip
  • Pickguard: Split Level Black & White
  • Hardware: Chrome
  • Gig bag Included: Supro Premium Carry Bag
  • Accessories: Signed & Numbered Certificate of Authenticity