WHAT THE HECK IS JOE DOE GUITARS ALL ABOUT? EXPLAIN YOURSELF!
First of all, nice to meet you! My name is Ben Court, and I'm the guy behind Joe Doe Guitars. By day I'm a screenwriter for Film and TV, and by nights and weekends make custom built guitars with stories built in.
OOH, A LA DEE DA SCREENWRITER! ANYTHING I'VE SEEN?
Well I don't know what you've watched, so click below if you want and find out what I've done and what I'm doing. You'll see me, my lovely wife and screenwriting partner of 25 years and some dismembered body parts. I'm not kidding. So go if you must then come straight back because you came here for the guitars, right?
SO WAIT - YOU MIX STORYTELLING AND GUITARBUILDING?
Yeah, because who doesn't like a guitar with a backstory? Legally, I can't name names but you know what the iconic guitars are and where they came from; the black one saved from a burning dancehall in 1949, the white one set on fire at the Monterey festival in '67, the red and white striped one, assembled Dr Frankenstien style from other guitars. What I love about these origin stories is that they turn simple wood and wire into rock n roll holy relics. So I understand the power of a good story and apply that magic when designing and making my guitars.
I GET IT. SO TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE GUITARS THEN.
My guitar bodies are custom made for me here in the UK. They are always light, one or two premium pieces of wood and bare naked so I can modify them anyway I want; add binding, custospray nitro, apply custom made decals and brass work, whatever it takes to get the unique Joe Doe Guitar story told.
The necks I use are manufactured by either Warmoth or Allparts. Like the bodies, they arrive raw so I can re-profile them a little, roll the edges, finish them in glorious nitro then do the whole Joe Doe abuse thing to them. They have a Fender shaped headstock because they are licensed Fender products but I am in no way asserting I work for Fender, nor that these are genuine Fender guitars. I love Fender, have played them for over 30 years but am in no way affiliated or connected with them. That's all, your honour.
WHAT ABOUT THE HARDWARE?
When it comes to the shiny metal bits and accessories I always use the best - Gotoh or Kluson tuners, Wilkinson vibratos, bone nuts, CTS pots, Oak switches, Switchcraft sockets and the finest pickups available - Fender, Dimarzio, Lace Sensor, Bareknuckle. Part of what I do is try lots of different pickups in a guitar till I find the best marriage of the two. It takes a good while and can be very tedious, but if that's what it takes to make each guitar sing loud and clear then I'll do it.
DO YOU TAKE COMMISSIONS? I'VE GOT AN IDEA-
Wait, stop right there. I'm afraid I don't take commissions. Once I start building a guitar it takes on a life of its' own and I can't say where it will end up. So to avoid potential disappointment (for example you asking me to make something race car inspired and me handing you back a pure gold guitar owned by a Mexican Cartel boss), I make what I make and hope that you'll like that.
WHAT'S WITH THE VINTAGE RANGE?
I only have time to build 4 or 5 guitars a year, but have ideas for plenty more. So when I met Dennis Drumm, CEO of JHS at a guitar show in late 2018, he liked what I was doing with Joe Doe Guitars and I liked what he was doing with Vintage so we decided to collaborate. It's great for me because I get to see more of my stories come to life, and it's great for you because they're more affordable! Win win! Oh, and it's great for Dennis too. Win again!
I'VE RUN OUT OF QUESTIONS!
Good, because I've run out of answers. If you think of anything else, send an email, letter or pigeon.