|DEAN MACHINES - THE RARE EARLY GUITARS DESIGNED BY PAUL DEAN|
Dean is a Canadian rock guitarist best known for his work in the
bands Loverboy and Streetheart. While people know of those
bands not as many really know that Paul Dean designed and built his
own guitars. For years it had been quite an amusing series of
discussions on forums online about what exactly he was playing on
the first three albums and tours....was it a Rickenbacker? A
Fender Lead III with a modified body? Some weirdo-Canadian
built thing....with that last one you're getting warmer!
The guitars Paul Dean used on the Get Lucky (1981), and Keep It Up (1983), albums and tours were of his own design - the "Dean Machine" as he called them. A double-cutaway body with bulbous horns, anti-scratch pickguard, and a chambered neck with a 10 degree headstock tilt and no string trees. He built the first four or five, eventually commissioning Canadian luthier Attla Balogh at his company Odyssey Guitars in Vancouver to make 50. A chance meeting with Hondo reps while touring with a connection lead to creating a budget-version with Hondo in late 1982 or early 1983. He continued to use these guitars, even after moving to Kramer in 1984. He even still has one himself, with three single coils.
Today the Hondo and Odyssey Paul Dean guitars are widely unknown and rather underrated. I sometimes call them the "Jag-Stang of the 80's", because just like Kurt Cobain's Jag-Stang, these were player-designed guitars, refined with the help of guitar builders, released without a true signature on the headstock and the hopes of no preconceived notions attached. The Hondo examples also represent a time when Hondo Guitars was actually putting out some high quality instruments, as the Paul Dean was a part of their higher end Designer Series that lasted from 1982-1985.
The Hondo Paul Dean's History
Spotlight on the Individual Models
Technical Details and Minutia