The unbelievable story of No.42, The Judean Desert Thunder Child Veloce Guitar.
The story begins on the 12th of June 2020 when Travis Abbott places an order for a Judean Desert Acacia Thunder Child guitar with a lightweight salvaged red cedar body.
It was one of the first “Veloce” models I’ve made-it had unique custom lipstick humbuckers with a 6-position rotary switch.
The neck was made from old Mediterranean cypress with wild rosewood fingerboard and, of course, a beautiful ancient Judean Acacia book-matched top.
It took me a lot of time to finish this project because I was still experimenting with these types of rare lumber and wanted to examine the stability of the lumber and the overall construction and get a great result in tone and playability.
Travis was patient, and eventually, in March, the guitar was shipped from Israel to Boise, Idaho.
Travis was more than happy with the guitar. I became a massive fan of his music and the music of his band “Ealdor Bealu”, and let’s face it, as luthiers, we spend a lot of time crafting the best guitar we can make. But eventually, many of these guitars end up as wall hangers or garage queens, so when one of our creations ends up in the hands of an aspiring musician who makes great music, that’s a real treat.
The guitar was also used during the recording sessions of their third album, “Psychic Forms” (2022).
On October 2021, the band went on to tour the West Coast.
and by the end of it Ealdoe Bealu was robbed of most of our gear in Portland, OR.
Travis was devastated (like the rest of the band), and I’ve decided there and then to build him a new Thunder Child.
The second Thunder Child was shipped in September 2022, and a few weeks later, I received a message on FB from a lady who wanted to know if the guitar that she bought at an estate sale was a real Tone Revival guitar. That’s an odd question, I thought… Every feature on this guitar is unique. The body was designed as a tribute to the quirky guitars of the 1920’s such as the Gibson Style O, and it features my special hardware and ancient salvaged wood. Definitely not another Strat-style guitar.
I opened the attached photo, and there was the lost No. 42 in all its glory.
I wrote back to her and told her that it was the guitar that was stolen from Travis, the thing was that she had paid a lot of money for this guitar
and she hesitated.
I’ve sent Travis her contact info. And after a few weeks, she decided to return the guitar to its rightful owner.
For me, a guitar is a traveling companion. Part of someone’s journey.
In 2017 I received a special gift- a wand that was curved from a cherry tree that was struck by lightning. It was made for me by Justin Lovell from the US. In many cultures, artifacts made from such a piece of wood are supposed to bring luck and protection.
Anyhow, I used to conduct these funny ceremonies for each guitar before its departure from the workshop and bless the guitar with the wand (I mean, it is a Thunder Child, and the wand was made from a tree that was struck by lightning…) usually while delivering a speech which was a sort of a take on Churchill’s famous “We shall fight on the beaches” speech. It was something like “Thunder Child, you shall not flag nor fail. You will travel on the seas and oceans; you shall be played with growing confidence and growing strength, whatever the cost may be; you shall be played on beaches, landing grounds, in fields, in streets and on the hills. You shall never surrender!
I think it actually works