In every the excited of “Back come the Future” Day, and the intense interest in Marty’s time-traveling 345 — not to mention the crushing disappointed of the Cubs flameout at house — we can have forgotten to mention Marty McFly’s various other guitar, the so-ironically-small-it’s-cool humbucking monster Marty plugs into an massive amp at the start of “Back come The Future.” an excellent thing gimpppa.org has actually such an energetic readership and comments section to keep us on track.

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Contrary come what you can think, Marty’s guitar was not a stage prop developed for comic relief or the director’s subtle commentary top top the excesses the ‘80s hair metal. The guitar is a real, mass-produced instrument dubbed the Chiquita, and it’s still being made this day in Austin, TX by luthier note Erlewine. You’ll be interested to understand that you can recreate the scene in your own garage by bespeak one with the Erlewine Guitars website for about $500.

The man Behind The Icon

Mark Erlewine partnered through a cousin, after apprenticing under him in the late 1960s, to open up their own guitar firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1969. In 1972 Erlewine purchase the firm and relocated the shop come Austin in 1974, whereby he sat in together a pedal steel player in the bars after ~ work.

For the next 43 years, Erlewine built a customer list that reads prefer a who’s who of the music scene, consisting of Billy Gibbons, that helped design the Chiquita, Bob Dylan, Sting, Andy Summers, note Knopfler, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Ray and Jimmy Vaughan, Eric Johnson, Albert King, Bo Diddley, Johnny Winter, Joe Walsh, Jimmy Buffet, man Fogerty, Paul McCartney, Billy Squier, play Metheny and also of course, Willie Nelson. The is in reality Mark’s miracle-working that has kept Trigger, Nelson’s signature boy name N-20, together since 1969.


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While much of Erlewine’s work is custom, the does produce and also sell two conventional models: the Chiquita and the Lazer. You may have actually seen these pop up occasionally under the Hondo brand name, owned by the international Music Company. Note leased the patent for both guitars come the Japanese manufacturer and also distributor indigenous 1980 till 1985. However, due to the fact that they are both Erlewine’s designs, that is quiet able to develop them by hand out of his shop. These are the version you want as a collector, since the Hondo models were compromised by mass-market production; given the Chiquita’s distinctive scale length, having actually a precision setup is specifically important.

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Erlewine designed the Chiquita in teamwork with Billy Gibbons together a travel guitar in 1979. The marketing about it quiet touts it together “nearly a foot much shorter than a Strat” and as much easier to take on planes. Just 28″ long and also 4.5 lbs., the is made from a solid piece of Honduras mahogany. The fretboard is rosewood, with a 19″ scale length over 23 frets, which method you can’t simply throw on .010s and use typical tuning. Come get about this, you can tune up 3 half-steps for this reason the top and bottom strings are a G, or you can use a heavier collection of strings. Erlewine proposal .013, .017, .022, .036, .046, and also .056. It has actually Schaller tuners and also a Schaller wrap-around bridge; a solitary DiMarzio humbucker is associated to a lone volume knob for really simplified setup. New models deserve to run $300 come $500, with supplied ones often uncovered for less.


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