A Bith musician, perhaps a former member of Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes, can be seen playing a Glitter guitar in the Sanctuary owned by Madam Garsa in The Book of Boba Fett, and it turns out this iconic instrument has an interesting history.
My good friend Gilead Limor reached out to share that the guitar was designed by Allan Gittler (later known as Avraham Bar Rashi), and that he almost bought one of these from him in 1987, but instead ended up buying one of his wood prototypes a couple of years later.
The guitar in The Book of Boba Fett seems to be from the second series of Gittler guitars produced by Astron in the mid 80s. Allan Gittler was not happy with this production run, and this resulted in him abandoning the fish-scale steel design and moving over to wood, and the first two went to Eric Clapton and Albert Lee and were used on Clapton’s World Tour in 1989.
The original Gittler Guitar was invented in the 1970′s by Allan Gittler and received U.S. patent 4079652. His basic approach was to subtract as many unnecessary features as possible from the traditional electric guitar. By paring the instrument down to the point of pure function, it would then become more responsive to every nuance of playing, however subtle. By doing away with not only the body but most of the neck (including the fretboard) and all volume and tone controls, he was able to work towards his finished product; a 29″ long, 3″ wide, stainless steel guitar weighing less than 5 pounds.
llan Gittler created 60 of these guitars, as well as 3 prototype basses back in the late 1970’s and early 1980′s. So striking was the finished product that it was purchased by MOMA in New York City for their permanent collection and by Andy Summers of the Police (who played it in the Synchronicity II video). Allan Gittler then emigrated to Israel and adopted his Hebrew name, Avraham Bar Rashi. After an unsuccessful partnership and a short-lived attempt to revive the instrument, the guitar entered into the canon of iconic design and became legend. Bar Rashi passed away in 2003, leaving his children to carry on the family tradition of music and design. Yonatan, his eldest son, is now a partner in Gittler Instruments LLC as well as a brilliant percussionist and touring musician.
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