Bill Frisell

For the December ’14 issue of Vintage Guitar magazine, Dan Forte interviewed Bill Frisell. Here’s a look at the many guitars used by the ultra-versatile superpicker. The issue is available at www.store.vintageguitar.com.

Bill Frisell
1) The body of this Rick Kelly guitar is made of old pine taken from a beam from Jim Jarmuch’s loft in the Bowery. Its neck is padauk taken from an old barn, pickups are Lollar Charlie Christians. 2) This J.W. Black creation has a Bigsby vibrato with a Mastery Bridge and is the only guitar used by Frisall on Guitar in the Space Age.
Bill Frisell
3) Another guitar assembled by J.W. Black, this has a Lollar mini-humbucker in neck position and Lollar P-90 in the bridge. It was painted by Terry Turrell.
Bill Frisell
4) “This Mustang is exactly like my first guitar, which I got in the summer of ’65,” said Frisell. “I saw it at Bernunzio’s Uptown Music and couldn’t resist.” 5) This guitar was put together by J.W. Black, using a 243/4″-scale neck and Fender-made DeArmond Dynasonic-type pickups. 6) This Collings I-35 LC is a recent acquistion.
Bill Frisell
7) Frisell calls this his first “real” acoustic. Built by Steve Andersen, it was a gift from Gary Larson during the soundtrack recording of his “Tales From The Far Side” TV special. 8) Frisell sold this ’68 Gibson ES-175 after using it for years while playing with Jim Hall, Johnny Smith, and others. He sold it and quickly regretted having done so, then 37 years later, reaquired it. 9) Frisell bought this Gibson SG for $200 in the mid ’70s. Painted with white house paint at the time, he stripped it, changed many of its parts, and has since made heavy use of it.

This article originally appeared in VG‘s December 2014 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.