Mutant Beauty Pageant:
Choose the “Winner!”

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving!

At the moment, I’m particularly thankful that, despite being a jaded old musician, I can still encounter instruments that, um, take my breath away. And if you can view all the Mutant Beauty Pageant contestants without spewing your beverage all over your computer, you’re made of stern stuff indeed.

Exaggeration? You be the judge. Literally!

As specified in the “rules,” the submission deadline has arrived. Now it’s time to choose the most beautiful mutant. Just select your three favorites from the photo gallery below.

Once you’ve decided, post your three choices to the comments thread. By all means, explain why you voted the way you did if you feel so inspired. Alternately, you can email your choices to me if you prefer to vote anonymously. (I’ll add your votes to the poll, but won’t reveal your name.) Many submissions included interesting commentary from the owners, which you can review in the original comments thread here.

The owner of the object with the most votes wins the mystery prize. (Pretty cool how many entires we had, considering that the prize was never specified.) I promised it would be as weird and cool as the contestants, and it is: It’s an Uglyface pedal hand-built by my pal Mitchell Hudson, AKA super-freq. It’s the most warped fuzz pedal I’ve ever heard, and as far as I know, it’s not available commercially, or at least not until Mitchell decides to start selling them again. (The last batch was scooped up by Nels Cline of Wilco.) You can read about and listen to it here.

Fine print: Only one set of three votes per person. No vote changing. Don’t vote for the reindeer. I’ll announce the winner on Thursday, December 1st. If the results are close, we may have a runoff between the three highest scorers.

Click each “Polaroid” to view each contestant and its name.


49 comments to Mutant Beauty Pageant:
Choose the “Winner!”

  • I’m going to throw my vote behind the Dewey Decibel Flipout. The reversed guitar is a pretty cool look.

  • Put me down for…

    Bertram’s Mystery Guitar
    Dr. Soda’s Calm-Like-A-Bomb Explorer
    Chevi’s Ikea Butcher Block Guitar

  • Josh

    I too throw my support for the Dewey Decibel Flipout.  I love the look of the reversed guitar.

  • Dennis

    Dave Wetherbys Colorcaster is AWESOME!!!

  • Cameron

    1. Colorcaster
    2. Swirlycaster
    3. Chopping Block

  • Shea


  • Michael

    I’m going with the Wetherby Colorcaster.

  • Lynda Harvey

    my votes all go to dave wetherby’s colorcaster. the best by far!

  • el reclusa

    There are so many cool choices, but I think I’m gonna go with:
    -Bertram’s Mystery Guitar
    -Dirtbagg’s Amp-in-a-box
    -Yank’s Bass
    Again, lots of cool stuff here, but more than anything, these three speak to my sensibilities as the three closest to something I might do!  Picking three was hard- Chevi’s Ikea Butcher Block Guitar was a close fourth.  And of course, I’m not gonna vote for any of MY stuff! 😉

  • Dirtbagg

    -Bertram’s Mystery Guitar-Dirtbagg’s Amp-in-a-box

    My nickname is Dirtbagg I never clam to be “classy”

  • Chelsey

    1) Batman Guitar
    2) Dewey Decibel Flipout
    3) Galveston BB Stone

  • Bethany

    1) Galveston BB Stone
    2) Dewey Decibel Stone
    3) Batman!

  • joe

    In case words fail — dig my wicked new smilies!

    :pity: :borg: :cuss:

  • My 3 votes in order:
    Dave Wetherby’s Colorcaster
    Dirtbag’s Amp-in-a-box
    Chevi’s Butcherblock

  • Vertigo Spumante

    ♥ Junk Cello – El Reclusa
    ♥ Ghetto Plate – El Reclusa
    ♥ Cigar Box Thumb Piano – El Reclusa

  • Jason Martin

    I’m going to cast my votes for the Carbon Fiber guitar (I love space-age technology), the Fender Perforemer (I’ve always liked them), and the Christian Graffiti guitar (yeah, I know it’s mine, but I’m kinda partial to it).

  • Debi

    1. Jason Martin’s Christian graffiti guitar
    2. Chevi’s carbon-fiber guitar
    3. John Heinz’s handbuilt guitars

  • chopscmcgee

    1. el reclusa ghetto plate
    2. el reclusa bona fide muncher
    3. el ruclusa cigar box mbira

  • joe

    Getting lots of anonymous votes via email. Guess some people are just shy.

  • SSS

    1. El Reclusa’s Bona-Fide Muncher — can never resist homemade shit. he just stuck a trash can lid in there!
    2. El Reclusa’s Ghetto Plate  — because i have no idea what the fucking thing is which gets my vote.
    3. Bertram’s Mystery Guitar — a guitar made our of a scrap 2×10. Cant beat that shit…

  • Batman (how could I not pick this one?)
    Galveston BB (great color)
    Home Grown Guitar (really pretty)

  • Lefty

    1. Wheterby’s Colorcaster – Out of sight
    2. Dr. Soda Explorer – Class
    3. Bertrams Mystery Guitar- FIts the theme

  • BlackAngusYoung

    Hey, I recognize that sweet purple/gold one from Scott Grove’s YouTube vid about it. Nice guy and nice guitar!
    I like the carbon fibre and cutting board.

  • weirdo mcgee

    Lots of cool stuff out there, but I have to give my props to el reclusa for the big showing and all of my favorites 😀

    I choose:

    1. el reclusa’s ghetto plate- this thing looks AWESOME
    2. el reclusa’s cigar box mbira- pretty classy setup
    3. el reclusa’s kay Deluxe resonator- looks noisy

  • Tom

    #1 – Dr Soda’s Explorer – totally cool, genre crossing mutant
    #2 – Chevi’s butcher block Tele – funky coolness and I’ll bet it sounds great
    #3 – the Colorcaster deserves a vote based on degree of difficulty alone

  • AP

    El Reclusa’s Junk Cello
    El Reclusa’s Ghetto Plate
    El Reclusa’s Cigar Box mbira

  • el reclusa

    Thanks for the votes peeps! (though it looks like my girlfriend and kids voted, but thanks nonetheless, especially to, y’know, people I don’t actually know!)
    Anyway, just saw SSS’s comment and thought I’d elaborate a bit on the Ghetto Plate- it’s a reverb unit.  Think EMT 140 but made with stuff from the side of the road and Lowe’s.  I power it (usually) with an Epiphone Valve Jr. head, which pushes a transducer (think a speaker without a cone) bolted in the middle of it, which sends vibration through the plate, in much the same way vibration is sent through springs in your amp’s reverb.  I sometimes use either a clip-on tuner pickup or a diy piezo made from a radio shack buzzer and send the (very trashy) reverbed signal on its merry way, but usually, I just use the plate like you would a speaker- the driver pushes it hard enough to distort.  It feeds back nicely when you rest the headstock of the guitar on the frame- very musical.  It feeds back like all hell is breaking loose if you press the headstock directly on the plate!  Anyway, it’s a lot of fun, and that’s what the eff it is!

  • Dewey Decibel Flipout is first because it is most mutant-like. It’s reversed. It’s a guitars major birth defect. Too cool

    Dr. Soda’s Double-Doom takes second for me. It’s twice the cool and my life revolves everything with diamond plating so I’m likin’ the loof of it for sure.
    Chevi’s Carbon-Fiber Guitar gets third. It’s sleek and awesome to look at.

  • Dave

    Bertram’s Mystery guitar
    dirtbag’s amp-in-a-box
    dr soda’s double doom


  • Athena

    Wetherby’s Colorcaster!

  • Novocain

    BB Stone. In that order.

  • Dirtbagg

    :what: Wahoo, my amp has been voted for thanks    :cuckoo:

  • scarlet

    colorcaster! colorcaster!

  • MNMagnus

    Butcher Block
    Carbon Fiber

  • happy to be part of this, there’s some awesome creations that have been submitted 🙂

    my votes:
    1. Chevi’s Carbon Fiber Guitar – i’m considering making a carved wood version of the same design 🙂
    2. Keith’s Home Grown Guitar and Amp
    3. Chevi’s Butcher Block Guitar

    go contestants!! thanks Joe for putting on a great and unusual contest.

  • My votes go to:

    (1) the flipout
    (2) handmade harp-guitar 
    (3) Mystery Guitar

    (thanks for hosting this contest, Joe. Great to see this inspired work!)

  • Dave

    1. The Dewey Decibel Flip-Out
    2. Calm-Like-A-Bomb Explorer
    3. Zyon’s Mutant Tele