RebelRelic Holy Grail Mantra #1 and #9
In the summer of 2013, I was on a visit to Luke Whitfield (RebelRelic Guitars) an American guitar builder in central Amsterdam. I've always liked his relic replicas of early fender guitars, especially the replica of prototype number 2 from 1949, the one that has a Buddhist mantra engraved on the body. Billy Gibbons owns and plays on one.
Luke showed me around the premises and I asked about the "Holy Grail Mantra" the one Billy Gibbons has. Luke explained that it is made in a series of 9, there are 9 verses in the mantra and the artist who carved the verses refuses to do more, it means bad luck!
Luke then told the story of how Billy got hold of his copy: The author of "The Blackguard" Nacho Banos had Mantra #1 in with him when Billy Gibbons came to visit, he was drawn as a magnet to it. "- I've got to have It!" And you don't say no to a legend. Later Billy's guitar technician changed the pickup to a humbucker.
I Googled a bit and found one of the nine at TFOA, a dealer in the North of Holland. I visited Luke again and he felt the price was too low and he now had to buy back his own build. This was #9, the last of the series. I stoped in Bergentheim on the way home and bought Mantra #9.
Later in a mail conversation with Luke he writes: "Hey, You got number nine! Excellent! I would say that was shear luck with a bit of well placed fate!"