Years of commercial design work and a variety of sales jobs led nowhere John Backlund wanted to go; so Backlund decided to just go and do what he wanted. The self-taught artist and illustrator started designing guitars and creating fantasy watercolor airbrush illustrations at his studio in Rapid City, SD. He writes that he didn't really care about what others thought of his works. But at least one entrepreneur and a guitar maker in Chattanooga, TN did care... very much.
Bruce Bennett, who with his partner Kevin Maxfield, opened J.Backlund Designs in 2007, saw Backlund's "doodled" guitar designs on a guitar forum in 2001 and, it took some time, but Bennett finally formalized an agreement with Backlund to make his "VERY exciting" retro-futuristic guitar designs. Now these retro-futuristic guitars are on their way to success. As one Chatanooga guitarist put it while he tried out one of J. Backlund Designs, "If I was on stage playing this guitar, I know I would be cool!"
You don't have to know diddly squat about playing the guitar to recognize how awesome these designs are. If you've ever admired the design of a Fender or Parker guitar close-up, you would want it displayed somewhere in your home where others could admire it. Wait until you see the electric guitar designs of John Backlund.
Though they may be reminiscent of guitar designs of the 1930's through 1960's, they are not copies by any means. Here are 10 of Backlunds designs; you can see for yourself.
1. Marz 6 Electric Guitar, J. Backlund Designs
This is a revised edition of a prior model, more player friendly than the first, Backlund writes. The body cutout is on the rear of the guitar with the cable input jack. (JBD-1100 'Marz 6')
2. The Black Adder Electric Guitar, J. Backlund Designs
This design is actually in production and is made in a few different colors. (JBD2000-BA)
3. Derelict Electric Guitar, J. Backlund Designs
This design is very futuristic... it's a guitar "found in a barn 200 years from now."
4. Sabre Jette Electric Guitar, J. Backlund Designs
A solid body guitar, a
"modified lute-shape or teardrop." This designed in ash with a clear
finish, maple fretboard, and engine-finished aliminum pickguard!
5. ResinAire Electric Guitar, J. Backlund Designs
A guitar made from particle board. Groovy.
6. JBD-600, J. Backlund Designs
Backlund describes this design as "the result of crossbreeding a motel sign, dinette set, and maybe a vintage kitchen appliance or two with an electric guitar." Priceless!
7. Magneato 62 Electric Guitar, J. Backlund Designs
8. AcoustiJet JBD-X1 Guitar, J. Backlund Design
An acoustic/electric archtop hollowbody design with a Piezo bridge pickup. This design should turn everyone into a guitar lover!
9. Rocker Box Archtop Electric Guitar, J. Backlund Designs
Classic with a twist!
10. JBD-400 Electric Guitar, J Backlund Designs
This "baby" is currently in production!
To check out more of John Backlund's guitar designs, see his Coroflot page. To see what is in production or to contact J. Backlund Designs, visit here.
sources: John Backlund Coroflot, J. Backlund Designs, Chatanooga Free Press