Whack Job: 2004 Dewey Decibel FlipOut

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Variations on the Fender Stratocaster are as common as variations on the 12-bar blues. It’s a major task just to keep up with all of the different Strats that Fender itself has introduced, let alone all of the myriad twists and turns undertaken by other companies in the more than 60 years since the Stratocaster was born. But, to me, the FlipOut is mos def the mos whack Strat homage I have ever seen!


It’s backwards! Dewey Decibel certainly found a way to get strange all over one of the most recognizable guitars ever made. “All” it took was putting the neck on the wrong end of the body to create an instrument that gets more comments than any other weirdo guitar I have in my collection.


This particular gold-sparkle FlipOut—dubbed the “Barry Leventhal”—sounds like your average Strat. Essentially, it’s a Chinese-made clone. Strangely, the guitar actually plays well, with the obvious restriction to the higher frets. Put it this way, you won’t want to play “Layla” on this one! But it makes an excellent rhythm guitar. It has a maple neck and maple fretboard connected—at the wrong end I might add—to a basswood body. The components are just so-so, but they work fine after a good set up. It also has Gotohstyle enclosed tuners and a two-spring tremolo system. The guitar came stock, with an equally weird backwards-shaped gig bag. Funny stuff!


Back in 2004, the FlipOut retailed for $299. Today, at auction, these guitars are now fetching a grand and up, due to the fact that only 500 were made, and the model has been discontinued for a few years.


The FlipOut rules the way Rick Nielsen’s more bizarre guitars rule—it’s different, it’s wacky, and, most importantly, it’s musical. And, although it hasn’t been updated since 2005, you can still check out the Dewey Decibel website (deweydecibel.com) and see all that this wacky company had to offer.