RIP: Influential Guitar Maker Travis Bean Is Dead

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Wed, Jul 13, 2011 at 1:53 PM

click to enlarge Travis Bean - RICK 'OBE' OBLINGER
  • Rick 'Obe' Oblinger
  • Travis Bean
Guitarmaker Travis Bean died earlier this week at his home in Burbank. His guitars were played by everyone from Jerry Garcia to Steve Albini to Slash, and were known for their sustain and durability. You just can't break one of them.

Born in San Fernando, his eponymous Valley-based company was founded in 1974, and featured solid aluminum necks -- rather than wood. They were a hit with bands including the Grateful Dead and the Rolling Stones, and in ensuing decades members of acts including Sonic Youth.

Bean passed away on Sunday, from cancer. His legacy is secure, as evidenced by the rapid online trade his guitars do, and the YouTube shredders who worship his brand.

And from those of us who have damaged or even broken guitars (through clumsiness rather than Pete Townshend-style smashing heroics) to Travis we say thanks.

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