Released in 1931, the Rickenbacker Electro A-22 guitar was one of the first electric guitars. Made entirely of aluminum, it earned the nickname “the frying pan” for its resemblance to the kitchen utensil.
Terry “Mojo” Johnson of the group the Swamp Drivers took the concept to heart recently when he fashioned a fully functional electric guitar from a large frying pan and some electronics and hardware salvaged from a Stratocaster.
“I started with a frying pan that I got beside the road and a few other parts, and I put this together,” Johnson says in the video below, posted to the Swamp Drivers’ Facebook page on December 2.
This isn’t Johnson’s first DIY guitar. He previously built guitars and other instruments from a broom, pitchfork, bed pan, garden hoe, plunger, hubcap and various odd and ends.
As it happens, the Swamp Drivers use many of those instruments in their performances. The blues group, based in Utica, New York, has been enjoying regional popularity for years thanks to both its music and unusual home-made instrumentation, and in 2014 earned induction into the New York Blues Hall of Fame. You can see some of the instruments in the image below and in the video at the bottom.
For all of Johnson’s guitar-building experience, the frying pan guitar was among his most difficult builds due to the steel material. Drilling the string holes in the pan was a particular challenge, and Johnson says he broke about 20 drill bits in the process.
Of course the sound is what really matters, and you can judge that for yourself in the video below. Johnson starts by talking about the guitar’s construction and begins playing it around the 1:20 mark. And be sure to check out the video below demonstrating many of Johnson’s other builds.
I was asked to post the Frying Pan guitar I made so here ya go. I love the sound I get from it. Wanna see more. www.theswampdrivers.com