About the Builder:
Hamer is an American guitar manufacturer of electric guitars founded in 1973 by vintage guitar shop owners, Jol Dantzig and his business partner Paul Hamer. They are generally considered having created the 'boutique' guitar business in hand building for many artists their professional guitars. The technical director was Jol Dantzig, who is still active today in building custom shop guitars. (http://www.dantzig.com). Today Hamer is owned by Fender.
On the Hamer fan club website you can read:
Hamer's first catalog, dated Fall, 1975, showed only Explorer-shaped instruments. With no model name, they were referred to only as "the Hamer guitar," and their handmade construction using the finest materials was stressed. This first production guitar, later named the Standard model, had a suggested list price of $799, without case. They had one-piece bodies of select British Honduras mahogany, available with or without a bookmatched, curly maple top. The one-piece, set-and-glued necks were "carved from the same choice mahogany," with a six-in-line "hockey-stick" headstock. The Inbound rosewood fingerboards had 22 frets, with pearl dot inlays, and were available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Scale length was 24 3/4". Grover Deluxe tuning machines were used, as was a tune-o-matic style bridge with stop tailpiece.
The Standard was the first American production guitar to use PAF pickups individually designed for neck and bridge positions. Hamer Standards made before mid-1977 often have original, Gibson Patent Applied For (PAF) model humbuckers in the bridge positionpickups that were lovingly retrieved from old parts bins at Gibson's Kalarnazoo factory. Neck pickups were custom wound, on Gibson Patent Number model bobbins, by either Larry DiMarzio or Seymour Duncan. By 1978 there were no more PAF's to be had, and all Hamer pickups were being made to their specs by DiMarzio. They were mounted in cream plastic rings, with no pickup covers. A 3-way pickup-selector toggle switch, two volume controls, and a master tone control completed the electronics. Standard finishes included tobacco or cherry sunburst, natural wood grain, or opaque black or white. Ebony fingerboards, Les Paul Standard-style "crown" inlays, and decorative fingerboard and headstock binding were available for an upcharge. A Hamer Standard with deluxe trim adorned Hamer's first ads, under the company's motto: "The Ultimate."
Jol Dantzig says that Hamer made maybe 50 standards from 1975 to '78, only 10 or 15 per year. Coincidentally, Gibson reissued their Explorer in early '76, and shipped over 3,300 from then through '78. Hamer was known as a custom or specialty company, but their reputation was growing. Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen was certainly their most visible exponent--he's got their very first, pre-Hamer Explorer, #0000. By the early '80s, Hamer Standards had been prominently used by quite a variety of players, including the late Tommy Bolin (who used a pre-Hamer Explorer with Deep Purple), Roy Buchanan, Steve Clark (Def Leppard), Lita Ford, Dave Hlubek (Molly Hatchet), Mick Ralphs (Bad Company), Paul Stanley (KISS), and Warren Zevon.
Read more on: http://www.hamerfanclub.com/relics1.html
About the Guitar:
This USA Hamer Standard guitar is one of 2 identical made especially for Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick by Hamer. They only do checkerboard for him.
There is one simple reason that Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen uses Hamers almost exclusively: tone and quality construction.