My old friend, Billy Braga, turned 50 this year, so Rocco and I whipped him up something special for his surprise birthday party!
Bill is a huge Iron Maiden and Judas Priest fan, so we set out to build him a guitar that would pay homage to these two titans of heavy metal. We started with a black Stratocaster with a maple neck, since this type of instrument was played by both Iron Maiden’s Dave Murray and Judas Priest’s Glenn Tipton.
Piece Of Mind
Customizations included swapping the Strat’s three single-coil pick-up for a meatier HSH configuration. Then we swapped the white pick-up selector tip with a black one, and added chrome pickup rings around the humbuckers, because that’s the way Dave Murray rocks it. The Bragacaster 2018 was presented “Murray-style,” with a white pickguard, but we included a mirrored pickguard too so Bill can easily switch to a Glenn Tipton look.
We played this guitar for nearly two months, and our house band, The Enzertones, ran this instrument through everything from jazz, to blues, to metal, to ambient space rock. The Bragacaster 2018 exceeded all our performance expectations—this axe is the real deal!
Check out The Bragacaster 2018 on the tracks below!