It is no secret that Bo Diddley was a big fan of weirdly shaped guitars. In fact, he had a passion for designing them. Back in 1959, he persuaded Gretsch to make the trapezoid G6199 Jupiter Thunderbird model, which later became the famous Billy-Bo.

A lesser-known fact (or is it really?) is that Bo Diddley also liked to build guitars by himself. And as for his commissioned designs, “the stranger the better” was his motto. The Amoeba is proof of his love for unconventional, weird guitars.

The Amoeba guitar was built in 2001. In 2019, it ended up at Nashville’s Carter Vintage Guitars. Price tag? $30,000! A testament to his out-of-this-world creativity.

Just imagine…

  • A crudely carved body made of plywood
  • A plywood top mounted by wood screws
  • Apparently quite a heavy beast
  • And let’s not forget the pièce de résistance: a built-in CD player! Yes, it can blast some music through the CD output which is right next to the gutar (sic) output.

The rumor has it that everyone who tried this beast surprisingly exclaimed : ”And yet, it is functional!”

What Was Bo Diddley Thinking?

What was going through Bo Diddley’s mind when he decided to build this guitar? Here are a few theories:

  1. “Every guitar needs a built-in Diddley beat maker.” Because nothing says rock ‘n’ roll like a perfectly executed Diddley beat, the hallmark of Bo. And, not every drummer is able to do that relentlessly! With a built-in CD player, Bo ensured his tunes would never miss that beat!
  2. “Why not a guitar that can handle my ‘off’ days?” That’s a situation for the built-in CD player… Even on a bad day, Bo’s guitar could still steal the show. Because sometimes, you just need your guitar to serenade the audience while you sip your drink backstage or on your couch.
  3. “Why not make a guitar that’s truly out of this world?” Bo wanted something that would make audiences wonder if they’d been abducted by rock ‘n’ roll aliens.
  4. “A guitar that’s also a conversation starter.” Bo knew that nothing breaks the ice like showing off a guitar that could double as a… well, what it could double as is up for debate… You see, that’s the whole point… Hours of discussion!

In conclusion, Bo Diddley’s amoeba guitar is a captivating piece of rock history, blending functionality with the flair of a sci-fi prop, a sense of humor, and a total lack of interest for ergonomics. It’s more than just an instrument; it’s a testament to Bo Diddley’s fearless creativity and willingness to think outside the guitar case (it’s like thinking outside the box but better!).

This guitar invites all of us, the strummers of conventional six-strings, on a journey into the unknown realms of guitar design. Bo Diddley’s creation serves as a reminder: why be ordinary when you can be extraordinary? Or something along this line…

Guitar Fail
Guitar Fail

Exploring the funny side of guitar since 2011. Our motto is simple: “In it for the guitar fail!“

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