By Christopher Scapelliti
Guitar maker Chris DiPinto started out building guitars in his parent’s garage, using oak floorboards, plastic, and electronic components purchased from Radio Shack. With designs based on classic Burns guitars, DiPinto’s axes got him attention, and in 1995 he created the first three guitars in his line: the Mach IV, the Belvedere, and the Satellite, now called the Galaxie.
His distinctive guitars continued to turn heads, and in 2004 he found himself making one of his Belvedere Deluxe models for a musician who had, undeniably, a canny sense for excellent design: David Bowie.
The Philadelphia-based guitar maker recently sat down with KYW-TV reporter John McDevitt to explain how he came to build a guitar for Bowie.
DiPinto says he first made a Belvedere Deluxe for Bowie guitarist Earl Slick, who used it when performing the artist’s classic 1974 cut “Diamond Dogs.”
“It’s got a lot of sparkle,” DiPinto says. “Plastic parts, white pearl, and it’s really a very exciting-looking thing. You can see why Earl Slick played it for ‘Diamond Dogs,’ because it has a glittery effect to it.”
So glittery, in fact, that it took attention away from the star of the show.
“[Slick] said, ‘I’m kind of upstaging the boss, so I got to get him one of these guitars,’” DiPinto recalls. “I said, ‘No problem. I would love to make David a guitar.’”
You can watch the entire interview in the video below.
Prices for the Belvedere Deluxe start at $831. For more information, visit DiPintoGuitars.com, and watch the demonstration video at the bottom.