‘Jailbird’ owned by John Henry Burke

John Henry Burke, prison warden at the Ohio State Penitentiary from 1959 to 1977, believed music was the key to help his prisoners reform and rehabilitate. Burke allowed prisoners to keep radios and turntables in their cells, as well as make musical instruments in the workshop. Every year Burke would open the doors of his prison to welcome in families to watch their loved ones perform songs they had written on instruments they had made.

However in 1967, incarcerated arsonist Wilbur Reams started a prison riot by playing blistering guitar licks through a distorted amplifier. Burke reacted by putting a ban on what notes the prisoner could play, saying; “Anything north of the 12th fret of a guitar is looking for trouble. We’re just gonna stick to simple blues and country.” Burke continued to battle with Reams’ over his incendiary guitar playing until May 3rd, 1973, when Reams suddenly escaped via the prisons’ sewer system. In a cruel ironic twist, Reams had dug his way to freedom using tools stolen from the very workshop that Burke had set up to put his prisoners on the path to redemption.

Body: Double bound American Alder body that is light and resonant. 

Bridge: The Wilkinson WTB 3 saddle design provides a tried and tested way to deliver perfect intonation and tone transfer. 

Pickups: One Joe Doe Custom designed bridge pickup that is tangy and full.

Controls: Single master Volume and Tone control with (contraband) five-way pickup selector switch.

Machine heads: Wilkinson WJ55S machine heads provide maximum tuning stability and are chrome plated. 

Neck: One piece Hard rock Maple neck, shaped into a classic Vintage ‘soft C’ profile. 

Fingerboard: Lignum Rosa™ with keyhole and barbed wire inlays. 

Frets: 22 Medium profile frets. 

Nut: 43mm Graphtech nut that works smoothly and is friction free.

Headstock: Unique Vintage Joe Doe “Jailbird” headstock design.

Case: Joe Doe luxury hardshell case with certificate of authenticity.

The limited edition 'Jailbird' is an original Vintage® guitar, designed and created by Joe Doe Guitars and the UK Vintage design team.

SKU: Item Code: JDV004


01525 382939

07376 526650

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