Tom Holmes (THC), number 3, prototype Flying Star, 197?


Tom Holmes (THC)
Flying Star
Serial Number: 
The Story Behind


About the Maker:

Tom Holmes built guitars for Bo Diddley, Lenny Breau, Billy Gibbons, Albert King and many others under his brand name THC. For the last twenty years he has become a legend for jewel-like PAF-style humbucking pickups, which he builds in his shop in Joelton, TN. But he started first to build guitars.

Tom used to be George Gruhn's top repairman in the mid to late 70's, and the first THC guitars were seen in George's shop.Gruhn Guitars is the world's most famous vintage instrument store and has brought George Gruhn worldwide recognition as an author of definitive books on vintage guitars, an innovative instrument and string designer, and a primary source for insight into the guitar market -- past, present and future. Tom made both a double cutaway and the "Rock n Roll" model. Several notables bought the Rock n roll model (per Tom): Jeff Beck, Howard Lessee of Heart (he was seen using it to play Mistral Wind on the BeBe Le Strange tour), Barry Geaudreaux of Boston and Ted Nugent's rythm guitarist. Billy Gibbons has some 16 THC of various models and had Tom build a flying v for Albert King's 65th birthday. 

His fascination with PAF has led him to create the most authentic reproduction available for this type of pickups. They are hand made and wound and as his guitars are works of art.

About the Guitar:

This guitar is a very early effort of building THC guitars. The No. 3 is claimed to be have been a early prototype for THC. These were finally made in the mid to late 70's and were called the "Flying Star". It features the famous "triple humbucker" in the bridge position. Many folks don't know that Tom Holmes was an early guitar maker for Hamer. In fact, this design, the "Flying Star" later became a Hamer product.

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