Cool idea. Electric guitars made from oil cans. Inspired by street musicians in South Africa.
The guitars look great and—according to every review I’ve read and every video I’ve seen—sound great. (I’ll be able to say more once I get my paws on one of them.)
You gotta love their story. Shaun Lee sees street musicians in the townships of his native South Africa playing guitars made from scrap metal, including oil cans, and has an epiphany: produce electric guitars out of branded oil-can bodies; make them available at a low price (starting at $299!) to large numbers of people; and contribute some of the profits—and some of the guitars themselves—to music ed programs around the world. Then get launched through Kickstarter, the crowdfunding program.
Last week I caught up with Mark Friedman, the company’s CBO, to ask him a few nosy questions about his new company. (CBO, I assume, stands for Chief Bohemian Officer.) The following is an edited version of our chat.
Me: Can you give us the quick version of how you came up with the idea for Bohemian Guitars?
Mark: Shaun was traveling through Johannesburg after graduating from the University of Georgia and fell in love with how the oil-can guitar sounded and he immediately felt the strong connection the instrument brought him to his homeland. When he arrived back to the US he knew he had to build one and got to work on it immediately.