Gary Hopkinson, of Raw Deal, with his IW-shaped guitar at a gig in the Old Comical, Sandown. Picture by Peter Boam.
AN Isle of Wight-shaped electric guitar is a hit with music fans who go to watch its designer perform with it at Island pubs.
Gary Hopkinson, lead guitarist with Island rock combo Raw Deal, performs with the band most weekends and has become a bit of a celebrity, thanks to the unusual design of his instrument, which he built from various guitar parts.
The guitar, which has a natural wood finish, was built from an off-cut from a kitchen worktop installed at his home, with a Squire Stratocaster neck and Fender Texas pick-ups, which help give it the unique Fender Strat sound.
The 54-year-old businessman, of Winford Road, Newchurch, who made his first guitar from scratch in the early Nineties, said he got the idea for the guitar while he was sitting in a doctor’s waiting room.
"I saw this picture of the Isle of Wight on the wall and I thought it would look good with a neck on it," he said.
"I had a bit of a think and thought it would a novelty to perform with an Isle of Wight-shaped guitar. The feedback I’ve had from people watching the band has been great — they really like what I’ve created.
"The sound is great. It has a nice top end and blues bottom end. It sounds like a Fender Strat."