One of the coolest guitars at the NAMM convention had to be the new ESP Gary Holt signature guitar. That's because it's the only guitar painted in the blood of the namesake. Gary teamed up with noted artist Vincent Castiglia for the project.
We've profiled Vincent on this site many times in the past, and he was referred to Holt via a mutual friend and the connection spurred the idea to create a new guitar, which was unveiled at NAMM and Gear Gods was there for the announcement:
Castiglia explained how the partnership happened:
"While working on his torso piece, my client and friend Brian Werner (vocalist of Vital Remains) suggested the possibility to me. I thought about the logistics, whether it would be possible or not, and figured hey, if I've been able to take my paintings and medium as far as I have already on canvas, why not do it on a guitar body? After some trial, and some extra preparation, it all worked out perfectly, and this guitar actually became what I'd cite to be one of my favorite, most detailed works to date. I pushed it as far as was physically possible in terms of detail. The subject matter, look and feel, and functionality of the piece are all in perfect line with my work.
The piece is historical in that, to my knowledge (or the knowledge of Google) this is the first functional guitar in human history to have been created entirely in the musician's blood. That puts it in a unique position, as it's a functional piece of fine art that memorializes Gary Holt's life's work with his lifeblood, my mind and hands having been the vessel for its creation. It was an honor to work so intimately with Gary Holt and ESP on this project, which was literally, "Bonded By Blood"."
Holt is equally excited:
"It was very exciting to finally be able to reveal the "blood guitar" painted with 18 vials of my own blood at this year's NAMM! This Vincent Castiglia original is the first of its kind. This weekend was also my first look at it in the flesh so to say I was stoked is an understatement! Looking forward to taking this one of a kind piece of dark art out on tour in February!"
Sadly, it doesn't seem like the guitar will be for sale just yet, but you can see Gary play it on tour later this year. Here are some more photos:
Holt also performed, although not with this new signature, since it's not quite ready for use, but the dude brought it:
Our sister site, Gear Gods was all over NAMM and will be posting more videos from the event all week. Click here to follow the coverage.