Stevie’s Hamiltone guitar, a.k.a. “Main” or “the Couldn’t Stand the Weather guitar,” is easily the most recognizable of his guitars after Number One. Stevie appeared with “Main” on several magazine covers, and of course the CSTW video and countless stage appearances. From the day he received it from Jim Hamilton on April 29, 1984, it remained one of Stevie’s primary stage guitars.
The Hamiltone was a gift from Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. It was first ordered in 1979, but Billy asked that the project be put on hold until some other guitars were made for him. It ended up being five years before Billy finally had Jim make Stevie’s guitar. The original plan was for the neck inlay to read “Stevie Vaughan,” but by 1984 Stevie had started using his full name.
Jim recalls that Stevie was so happy with the guitar that he took it straight from the case to the stage and played it that night at Springfest on the campus of the University of Buffalo, New York.
Jim and I met in 1992 and since I was a big SRV fan I proposed that we form a partnership since I was exhibiting at approx. 45 guitar shows per year and could sell a lot of Hamiltone guitars.We were mainly marketing the SRV model Hamiltone’s and were back ordered for the first 5 years.Most of them went to Japan with only a few USA buyers stepping up.Since we had no major playing them any longer I started meeting with artists passing through Fort Wayne,In..Before long we had Chris Duarte playing one and promises to Ian Moore,Joe Bonamassa and Kenny Wayne Shepherd but Jim disappeared just as we were building the website and I had hired an attorney to apply for the Trademarks to protect the Brand after finding another USA Luthier building the guitars at the Dallas Guitar show.I had gone down to Florida a couple of times to help Jim catch up on orders but we were always behind.Then one day Jim stopped replying to emails or answering telephone messages.Not a word was ever spoken and to this day I have never spoken to him.I have reached out to friends of his that I met when down there working with him but have not been able to contact him.After racking up thousands of dollars in expenses with attorney’s and website construction I decided to start building the guitars to help pay the bills.
I have had to fend off two attempts to cancel the Trademark from others who wanted to take it and an ongoing battle to get the Trademark back from the Chinese and to stop all the counterfeiting over there.I have even purchased a few of them to see what they were and they are very obvious “Crap” guitars.
I wish Jim would come back and we could be partners again.A number of years ago I found a Barn full of Curly Maple that had been stored there for up to 30 years.What an awesome find.And when Abe Wechter moved overseas he sold me all his Curly maple which was about as seasoned.This is truly the secret to making Quality guitars.
We have made a few Bolt on Neck models but most are the Neck Through Body construction like the original SRV model.
Our Specs are:
- 26 1/8 scale
- Jumbo frets
- Ebony or Rosewood fingerboard
- Book-matched curly maple top and back
- 3-piece laminated neck thru the body
- Mother-of -Pearl Inlay fingerboard and Hamiltone logo on peghead
- Vintage style trem bridge chrome
- Schaller style chrome tuners
- “Hot rod” truss rod ( adjusts at the heel without removing pickguard )
- Hamiltone designed handwound pickups with cts pots,CRL switch and Vintage 1960’s Tone caps ( I have a Huge stash)
- Creme pickguard and pu covers
- Creme Binding on top and back,fingerboard and peghead
- Amber Mahogany sunburst poly finish
- Tobacco burst poly finish
- Artic White
- Surf Green