The Oracle
from the History of Rock & Roll
destroyed by fire - 2011
Houston, Texas, Allegories, December 7, 2009

The Oracle was the first guitar from the History of Rock and Roll series.  The Oracle was created as a prototype for the remaining guitars that would be created.  Because it was a test to see if painting guitars was a realistic project it differs from the remaining five guitars in the series.  The first distinction is that the guitar is not a Fender Stratocaster.  It is a very close facsimile made by an unknown company.  From a technical perspective, the guitar's specifics were almost exact.

Secondly, the finishing on the guitar was done by me.  It is a lacquer finish and not the professionally applied nitrocellulose that is used on the others.  All of the sanding and prep work was done in my studio as well.  Since it was my first guitar, there are some imperfections in the finish.  The neck of the guitar was also painted.  This proved to be incredibly challenging.  Not only was it very time consuming, but I realized later that it would render the guitar unplayable.  When the strings are pressed to make a chord, they would scratch the paint off the painted fret board on the neck.

Lastly, when the guitar was finally reassembled and the pickups were installed, I realized that I had painted the pickup covers in the wrong order, so they couldn't be installed properly.  Since the painted neck rendered the guitar unplayable anyway, the wires were cut on the interior and the pickups are actually in the wrong positions.  But the image on the front is intact.

Although this guitar is not playable, it is considered the first guitar in the series.

The Oracle was inspired by the sounds of rock & roll that emerged in the years preceding the actual advent of the musical style.  Specific in my mind is a vocal line performed in an Andrews Sisters song during the WWII period.  In this phrase one of the sisters literally growls.  It's the sort of sound one is used to hearing in the garage band performances of the late 1990's, not the music of the 40's.  To me, this single growl is a prediction of things to come, a harbinger of voices and music that will openly announce their distain and frustrations onto the world.  

The front of the guitar features a silhouette of a woman, lips slightly parted, about to unleash a secret sound.  She is surrounded by a deep void filled with a sparkling sound.  The reverse of the guitar is a singular image of a mouth opened, releasing a spectrum of colors.  A visual representation of the idea of rock & roll being unleashed into the world in a single growl.  This is the vision of the future for music, uncharted and undefined.  Dark and mysterious.  A prophecy that will change the world.

In 2011, a fire in the studio destroyed the Oracle and damaged several other guitars.