At the January NAMM show in 2001 the Ernie Ball Music Man company created 25 of these guitars just like Nigel’s, with all proceeds going to charity (The Casey Lee Ball Foundation).
In October of 2003, one finally came up for sale that I found in time to buy. Each guitar is signed by Nigel and numbered. They went for $5,000 each at the NAMM show when originally offered. Now they are going for a lot more. I heard about one that went for $15K to someone in Japan.
The number 11 guitar had a few modifications and sold for $11,000 on eBay in May of 2001. The #11 being a very important number for Nigel and Spinal Tap! On this guitar the “Attackometer” went to 11, the trem handle had an 11 ball instead of an 8 ball and there were dice (5 and a 6) inlayed at the 11th fret. This guitar here is #8. As luck would have it, the attackometer goes to 8 and there is an 8 ball on the trem handle. Everything except the chrome exhaust pipes function.
Regarding his one of a kind guitar, Mr. Tufnel said “I wanted something that was flashy and would stand out on stage. But it had to be a working instrument that played well”. And so it does. It has the same headstock as the Van Halen Music Man guitars and a very similar neck as well (a little fatter). It uses the Albert Lee body. The guitar is fairly heavy. Here are some of the important features:
– Maple neck; Chrome Yellow body and headstock; Flame paint job on body
– Music Man Albert Lee Guitar body style
– 4 humbucker pickups, sized to match the string width as it travels down the body
– Pickup on/off status lights, colored to match to light signals on a drag strip
– “Hot-fuel proof” rubber selector switches
– Stainless steel exhaust headers, on the side of the body
– Functional tachometer built into the body with adjustable redline that measures the attack on the strings while playing
– Copper heat exchanger access covers on the back
– Key signature Inlays on the fretboard
– Tyre volume knob, which activates the tachometer lighting when pulled out
– Floyd Rose licensed tremolo system, with a gear shifter replacing a tremolo arm. Eight ball on the end of the gear shifter.
– 12v battery powered
– Each model hand autographed and numbered