Jim Hamilton presenting Stevie his new guitar. Photo courtesy of Jim Hamilton
Vaughan’s “lipstick” guitar. © Wayne Blagdon
April 29: Springfest, University
of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY.
Presented with the Hamiltone
guitar by Jim Hamilton, a gift
from Billy Gibbons.
A fan from Burlington, Canada, B. Michenko, was there
when Stevie first used the Hamiltone guitar. “Stevie
opened with the Lenny guitar and then moved on to the
Hamiltone. He had a hard time with the high E string on
this guitar, and I vividly recall how he speared the headstock down to the stage floor several times during a solo.
Watching this, I wasn’t sure if he was frustrated or doing it
for a sound effect.
“Equally memorable was how Stevie played to the
fireworks which started about one hour into the show, high
behind the stage. Spontaneously fitting this visual into the
solo, Stevie bent and seared notes, timing them to the arch
and explosion. This went on for two or three songs, if I
remember correctly. I can’t tell you how impressed I was.”
Sometime in 1983 or early
1984, Charley Wirz made
Stevie a white guitar with “lip-
stick” pickups, which became
one of Stevie’s primary guitars
for the rest of his career. Mark
Pollock, musician: “I saw it
being built. Charley had made
one for Jimmie, and he was
like a proud father! They were
both being built, and I think
they were DiMarzio parts.
Larry DiMarzio was the first
guy to start making bodies and
necks and pickups in that era.
I think Charley told me they
were mostly DiMarzio parts,
but Van Zandt pickups. It was
really like a Frankenstein or
parts guitar.” On the neck-
plate was engraved, “Present-
ed to Stevie Ray Vaughan—
More in ’ 84—Charley.”