Duran Duran Star Designs World's First Video Guitar, Pix and Video

All press / news


Nick Rhodes, keyboardist with legendary pop group DURAN DURAN, has designed the world's first ever prototype video guitar, which was uctioned for charity in London on May 31st, 2007.

The "Pixelator" is one of the main features of the Rock Couture Collection that was auctioned off at Gibson Hall in London under the gavel of Lord Dalmeny, Deputy Chairman of Sotheby's UK. Proceeds from the sale of Nick's guitar will go to Keep A Child Alive, a NY-based global charity that is dedicated to providing life-saving Anti-Retroviral treatment to children and their families with HIV/AIDS in Africa and the developing world.

Rhodes' unique and innovative �Pixelator� creation is one of 50 instruments brought together by BigTime.TV, who over the course of the past two years have invited leading designers, photographers, musicians and visual artists to customize electric guitars that could be exhibited around the world and later auctioned off to raise money for different charities. Forming part of the RockCouture� project, 30 of these magnificent instruments have been 'on tour' with the Born To Rock� exhibition, which has already broken attendance records at Galeries Lafayette in Paris, the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin and most recently Harrods in London.

In true Duran Duran style, Nick's Warholesque creation was painstakingly hand-crafted from a Fender Stratocaster guitar, whose internal architecture was completely carved out and replaced with sophisticated electronics and a unique TV pixel screen which covers the entire face of the guitar. Specially programmed abstract film footage plays across the translucent surface making the guitar a constantly-changing experimental video art piece.

In addition to Nick Rhodes remarkable Strat, the auction featured other fantastic instruments designed by such luminaries as U2 front man Bono, Bryan Adams, Ronnie Wood, Blur's Graham Coxon, Jennifer Lopez, photographers Anton Corbijn, Rankin and David LaChapelle, fashion designers Hedi Slimane, Patrick Cox and Diane von Furstenberg, interior designer Philippe Starck, the artist Sir Peter Blake and architect Lord Richard Rogers.

Commenting on the 'Pixelator' Rhodes said �Being a keyboard player I was very flattered when approached by Ian Spero of BigTimeTV to come up with a design for one of Fender's classic Stratocasters. I wanted to create something that had not yet been seen with an electric guitar. My first thoughts turned to technology, specifically how to turn the face of the guitar into some sort of TV monitor. What we ended up with I believe is the world's first ever video guitar that was appropriately programmed with psychedelic swirling abstract light and images.�

Duran Duran have always been regarded as pioneers of the pop video art form and have consistently been at the forefront of emerging technology and innovation across music and art.

Rhodes is currently in the studio along with band mates Simon Le Bon, Roger Taylor and John Taylor putting the finishing touches to their new studio album which features collaborations with producer Timbaland, Danja and long time Duran fan Justin Timberlake.

Duran Duran will make their first UK public performance this year at the CONCERT FOR DIANA on the 1st July. The band will also perform at Al Gore's LIVE EARTH concert in London the following weekend (7th July).

The band's new album will be released later this year followed by a world tour.

For more on this ground breaking guitar, view the video below and photos of this one of a kind instrument.