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The Pinkburst Project

The Pinkburst Project

Photos by John Peden

After nearly three years of leg work, Twisted Sister guitarist Jay Jay French is entering his final month of preparation for his Pinkburst Project auction, which will benefit research into uveitis, an eye disease that his 17-year-old daughter Samantha was diagnosed with at age 6.

French, known for his famous pinkburst guitars, commissioned the custom shops of some of the world’s top manufacturers to build guitars, basses and amps to be sold off on Sunday, May 1, during the Skinner Fine Musical Instruments Auction in Boston.

Fender has a few instruments and amps in the collection, thanks to a chance encounter between French and Fender Custom Shop Master Builder John Cruz during the 2007 winter NAMM show when French shared “a wacky dream he had about having a pinkburst guitar custom built for him.”

“He said he wanted a great Fender to add to his collection — a Telecaster in a hot pink color with a cherry-red burst around it,” said Cruz who immediately responded with “Your sick dream is my pleasure.”

So began a two-and-a-half year building project for Cruz that would also include a Stratocaster and a ‘75 Jazz Bass Reissue. Cruz also recruited Alex Perez to come up with a matching pink Fender TV Twelve Bass amp, Fender Deluxe Reverb and Fender Twin Reverb amp.

In Premier Guitar’s February issue, Cruz describes the Strat and Jazz Bass in detail.

“The color is custom hot pink with cherry sunburst,” Cruz told PG of the Strat. “The body is mahogany with crème binding. It features a tummy cut on the back, however I did not include the arm contour found on most Strats. The neck is pretty much the same as the Tele, which features a mahogany neck with Indian rosewood fretboard, large C shape, 12” radius and 6105 fretwire. It also features a clear Lexan pickguard with my custom-wound J.C. Limited pickups—which are top mounted.”

“I took a little different approach in the construction of the bass, as I really did not want to steer too far away from the original look of this classic. The body was again made of mahogany, but I decided to make the neck with quartersawn maple for better stability, with a 12”-radius Indian rosewood fretboard, trapezoid inlay and Fender log inlayed into the peg face. I used our medium jumbo fretwire for this because I felt it worked better with the playability of the bass.”

Again, all of the one-of-a-kind custom guitars and amps in The Pinkburst Project collection will be offered for sale at auction beginning at noon EST on May 1. Detailed information on how to place your bid regardless of where you are in the world is available on the Skinner website. Bids can be placed by phone, by absentee bid, online or in person at the auction house itself.

View the full collection at pinkburstproject.org.

Prior to the auction, a benefit concert, “The Pinkburst Project: An Evening with Twisted Sister and Friends benefiting the Ocular Immunology and Uveitis Foundation” will take place in New York on Friday, April 29 at the Best Buy Theater in Times Square. Tickets are $45 with, an American Express presale on Wed., Jan. 26, and sale to the public starting on Friday, Jan. 28 via Ticketmaster.com, Charge by Phone 800-745-3000, and (for no service charge) at the Best Buy Theater box office located at 1515 Broadway at W. 44th Street.

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