Still haven’t found what you’re looking for? It could be the innovative, Scottish-made Bond Electraglide guitar.

Bond Electraglide guitar fact file

Date

1984

Made in

Muir of Ord, Scotland

Made by

Bond Guitar Company

Made from

Carbon fibre and aluminium

Museum reference

T.2013.74

Did you know?

U2 guitarist The Edge played a Bond Electraglide on many tracks on the band’s record-breaking 1987 album The Joshua Tree.

About the guitar

Electraglide Guitar 700Px

Acquired for the national collection in 2013, this cutting edge electric guitar combined several original features, such as carbon-fibre construction, high-tech electronics, digital displays and a unique stepped aluminum fingerboard, in place of the traditional frets.

It was manufactured by the Bond Guitar Company, set up by Andrew Bond in Muir of Ord in 1984. Bond Electraglides were used by several well-known musicians at the time, including U2’s The Edge, Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics and Will Sergeant of Echo & the Bunnymen. Around 1000 were made but the innovative design failed to catch on and the company ceased trading in 1986.

Electraglide Guitar Detail 700Px

This Electraglide was one of several bought from the Bond Guitar Company liquidator by Alan Roy, owner of Park Music in Dunfermline. His donation of the guitar presented an opportunity to acquire a Scottish-made instrument, now regarded as ground breaking in its use of materials.

Playing the Bond Electraglide guitar

Will Sergeant of Echo and the Bunnymen explains what the Bond Electraglide means to him:

"I was given an Electraglide for free – it was like a new toy to play with. I liked that band Big Audio Dynamite and I knew Mick Jones had one.
"It’s an interesting design. It was super-modern with little LEDs on it and buttons for your volume rather than knobs. The carbonfibre stepped fretboard made it smooth, fast and easy to play – you could zip up and down the neck without any problems. You had to have a power supply and that was just another thing that could possibly go wrong while you’re on stage but I’m surprised it never took off more than it did.
"Maybe it’s because guitarists like to buy into that tradition of a guitar being a Fender or a Gibson or a Gretsch. I know when I started the band I wanted a Telecaster because of Wilko Johnson of Dr Feelgood.
"Nowadays I just use one guitar, my Fender Jaguar, most of the time but in those days I had a big rack of guitars – you have to give the roadies something to do.
"I used the Electraglide live a few times in America. I don’t think I did much recording with it, maybe the odd thing around the eponymous 1987 album. I found the tone scratchy and a bit thin but it would be good for a funk band doing those Chic riffs. It was the 1980s, wasn’t it? Everyone was pretending to be spacemen in some weird futuristic baroque hell.
"I’ve still got it by the way. I’ll have to dig it out again and have another play around with it."

Interview by freelance music journalist Fiona Shepherd.

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