The square guitar. People have gone out of their way to tell me how ugly it is at shows. People have exclaimed their approval and asked where I got such a crazy instrument. People have just shaken their heads in wonderment or disapproval, sometimes it’s hard to tell which is which.
Many years ago now (2000 if the date on the photo below from the day I bought it is accurate), I saw it hanging on the wall in a venue where my old band used to play that also doubled as a music store. I had to have it. I don’t know why. It was just absolutely goofy. I had certainly never seen another one. Would I again? Probably not. It had to be mine. I ended up trading in a nice “Cimar by Ibanez” Fat-Strat style guitar that I had recently purchased from Music Go Round in Monroeville just to buy the thing. I paid $75 for the Fat-Strat, and somehow got $125 off of the price of the square guitar in dealing for it.
At first, I didn’t know anything about it other than it was a Galveston and it had a “Made in Korea” sticker on the back. It took me a while to track down that it was a B.B. Stone model, and that there are only about 8 or 12 of the Galveston brand in the US. B.B. Stone is apparently a Korean blues artist and guitar-builder, and he designed the guitar with Jerker Antoni of Sweden’s Eagle Instruments. There are 24 pieces worldwide, the ones around the world are branded with the groovy Eagle headstock.
I did have to replace the original pickups, as it didn’t quite have enough punch. My friend and musical gear advisor (most likely to his dismay) Dave suggested & helped install some killer GFS pickups. Now the sound is a little better, and it gives an aural kick in the ears to match the obvious kick in the eyes.
Sure, there are other square guitars… like Bo Diddley’s iconic square guitar, or the George Barris-designed Dragula by Hallmark. This one is pretty simple though, and for better or worse, it’s become part of my rock n’ roll identity.
I have come across other owners, almost bought a black one a few years back, but didn’t have any extra cash at the time. There are a few reviews up at Harmony Central. I’d love to get a hold of the 23 or so other owners out there and get their thoughts on them.