Norman’s Rare Guitars Just Sold One of the Gems of its Collection to Joe Bonamassa

Norman Harris (left) and Joe Bonamassa, a 1950 Fender Broadcaster guitar
(Image credit: Norman's Rare Guitars, Joe Bonamassa/Instagram)

Earlier this month, Norman's Rare Guitars – the legendary LA guitar shop – highlighted one of the true gems of its one-of-a-kind inventory on YouTube. 

The gem in question was a 1950 Fender Broadcaster electric guitar, a gorgeous vintage beauty shop proprietor Norman Harris – in a decision he described as "painful" – had recently decided to part ways with.

The lucky buyer? Well, even if you didn't read the headline or see the picture above, you can probably guess: blues guitar titan and guitar collector par excellence Joe Bonamassa. 

You can hear the guitar in action (courtesy of Michael Lemmo) starting at around the 5-minute mark of the video below.

"Big thanks to Uncle Norm for selling me his flagship 1950 Fender Broadcaster," Bonamassa wrote on Instagram

The Broadcaster, Bonamassa says, is the "second nicest" he's ever seen, with top prize going to the Broadcaster owned by Paul McCartney guitarist Brian Ray.

"It weighs 6.8 pounds," Bonamassa went on. "If you know you know. That's light for this era. This guitar represents the birth of the solid body electric guitar industry. It's just as cool 73 years after it was made as it was on day one."

Bonamassa, Harris says, has had "dibs" on the guitar for "quite awhile," though the dealer also took care to note that the guitar star is, in his view, the Broadcaster's ideal custodian.

The guitar, Harris says, was once owned by session guitar ace Al Hendrickson, whose list of credits includes work with the likes of Elvis Presley, Benny Goodman, Peggy Lee, and countless others.

It will undoubtedly take pride of place in Bonamassa's enormous – and ever-growing – stable of guitars, which the bluesman says recently hit the 500 mark (oh, he also has an equal number of guitar amps, to boot.)

For more info on Norman's Rare Guitars and it's ever-impressive inventory, visit the shop's YouTube channel.

Jackson Maxwell
Associate Editor, and

Jackson is an Associate Editor at and He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.