I first met Robbie Burger when I commissioned him to replicate George Harrison’s “Rocky”—the psychedelic Fender Stratocaster seen in the photo pages that accompanied the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour album. When I received the replica, it was not only painted with almost absurd attention to detail, it also played and sounded great. While Robbie does a good business recreating the artwork of famous, hand-painted guitars such as Rocky, Eric Clapton’s “The Fool” Gibson SG, and Jimi Hendrix’s psychedelic Gibson Flying V, he also offers some amazing original designs like “Pointillism,” the subject of this month’s Whack Job—which I also bought from him.
Look—no pickups! Nah. It’s simply excellent camouflage. The pickups were lowered until they were flush with the pickguard, and they are practically hidden in plain sight by the Pointillism art motif. If it weren’t for the polepieces, you might still be looking for them. It’s a weird and delightful combination of an artist’s expression and a magician’s skilled misdirection.
PLAYABILITY & SOUND
Robbie offers to paint your guitar, or he’ll supply guitars depending on how much you want to spend. When I arranged to buy Pointillism, I opted for the cheapestpriced Strat, because I thought, “Hey, it’s going to be a wall hanger, so who cares if it’s actually playable or makes a decent sound?” Well, the surprise was on me, because Robbie supplies guitars that are set up well and sound good. For example, Pointillism Strat produces loud and bright tones—even with its pickups brought down so low—and I play it all the time.
Back in the summer of 2012, I paid $330 (including shipping) for Pointillism. Considering that a reasonably nice used Squier Strat goes for $150 or $200 these days, I like to think that I paid around $150 for a stunning custom paint job. And that, my friends, is one hell of a bargain!
WHY IT RULES
Pointillism looks exceptionally artsy and cool. It’s not the same old factory paint job, and it broadcasts your individuality. Some players are most comfortable playing a plain-Jane Telecaster, and I get that. But it’s also a wonderful thing when a guitar is seen as a blank canvas awaiting your own unique statement. After all, Harrison, Clapton, Hendrix, and many others did it. Perhaps you are next…
For more information on Robbie’s guitar designs, click to burgerguitars.com.