The bonspeed boys Michael Anthony, Brad Fanshaw and Mark Cilani attended the premier opening of "Axes & Axles: The Art of Building Cars and Guitars" today; September 1, 2010. The exhibit which officially opens September 4, 2010 at the NHRA Museum in Pomona, California is a tribute to cars, guitars and the musicians who love them. The custom tribute also features the art of hot rods and the custom guitars that rockers build to wow the audience. Michael Anthony of Van Halen and Chickenfoot fame is a featured artist with one of the hot rods from his collection and two of his guitars being shown.The array of hot rods include Jeff Beck's 1932 Ford (shown above), Billy F. Gibbons "CadZZilla" built by the legendary Boyd Coddington, Eric Clapton's Ford Woody and of course Michael Anthony's famed "Fire Roadster" built by Hot Rods by Boyd.
Surrounding the hot rods and customs are showcase displays of the guitars that were played by the hard rockin' hot rodders and some very special custom axes. The bass shown above is one of Michael's favorites and shows the wear of years on the road and in the studio with Van Halen. The paint also matches his Fire Roadster!
In another case is Michael's billet bass that was designed and conceived by Brad Fanshaw; then President and business partner of hot rod legend Boyd Coddington. Michael and Brad were on a trip to Cobo San Lucas, Mexico when the idea was discussed and the plans were layed. Upon returning to the states, Brad talked his partner (Boyd) into having the shop spend hundreds of man hours creating the hot rod bass guitar. The ideas created by Brad and Michael were taken to shop employee Chip Foose who was given the concept and direction so he could illustrate the idea.
The bass was an instant hit, being discussed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, written about in newspapers world wide and many magazines. The guitar has even been displayed in the Hard Rock Cafe. This bass epitomizes the cross of cultures, as it features every element of a hot rod.
The Axes & Axles exhibit is at the NHRA Museum in Pomona, California, for information visit www.museum.nhra.com. Exhibit opens during the L.A. County Fair. Museum observes Fair's days and hours of operation. Fair admission is required for entrance to the Museum including Fair parking (Sept. 4 through Oct. 3). Exhibit will be open during regular Museum days and hours Oct. 4 through June 30, 2011.