The current "centerpiece" of my entire collection is my 1969 Bell Western six-string acoustic made by Bozo Podunavac; it's an unbelievably loud and resonant guitar and has aged well. It features Indian rosewood back and sides with maple binding, German spruce top with "rope" purfling, scalloped ivory nut and saddle and general craftsmanship you don't see much these days except for high-end, boutique guitars. This is the guitar that Leo Kottke, Peter Lang, John Fahey, Bob Gibson and Rev. Gary Davis helped make famous. Since this model wasn't produced until 1968, it is believed that this is one of the earliest models and reflects that in its relatively "unadorned" appearance. (Bozo's later models became quite ornate and somewhat "festooned" with abalone inlay everywhere.) I actually like the more plain examples as it lets the guitar sound speak for itself and offers fewer distractions from that wonderful experience.
It is interesting to note that this body shape is the marraige of the upper bout of a dreadnaught style and the lower bout of a jumbo style guitar. This is a very unique shape and has only recently been copied (to some degree) by the new Taylor GS body style. Bozo was way ahead of his time.
The pictures below don't do it justice...
Never thought I'd own one of these, though I'd lusted after one since the mid-60s - thanks, Rocky, for talking me into it! And we later had the immense pleasure of reuniting the guitar with its maker when we visited Bozo at his new home and shop here in Florida. He was able to tell me which pieces were original (basically the entire guitar) and which had been added later (like the pick-guard). It was more than a joy to share the guitar and some time with this true genius of his craft. We also got to see some of his newer creations but that will have to wait for a separate webpage to do them justice (though parts of them can be seen in the pictures that follow). For now, here are two pictures from that visit to his workshop.
So concludes the presentation of my 1969 Bozo Bell Western guitar. Feel free to contact me with any questions and/or comments.
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Changes last made on: Sunday, January 23, 2011 at 12:17pm