- electric guitars
Dates of manufacture:
The Bunker Duo-lectar is a double necked electric guitar, designed for touch playing where both hands taps the fretboard independently.
Although Merle Travis had occasionally used the two handed tapping technique, the touch playing style was pioneered English guitarist Jimmie Webster, who published a 1952 instruction manual on the touch playing technique. Inspired by Jimmie Webster, the 21 year old Dave Bunker and his father Joe made the original Duo-lectar in 1955 in their garage in Puyallup Washington. Dave filed for a patent in 1957 and it was granted in 1961 (patent #2989884). It was the first double-neck touch style guitar patented.
In 1960, Bunker demonstrated it on the national television show Jubilee USA. Leo Fender offered Bunker $20,000 and 3 percent of sales for the rights to the Duo-Lectar but Bunker was convinced it was going to be the next big thing and declined the offer.
The instrument was not a commercial success, however. Playing the touch style requires experienced guitarists to re-learn their technique, and the cost of the instrument was too much for beginners to start out by playing the touch style. Bunker made and sold only 50 Duo-lectars, but went on to play his touch style guitar in the successful Las Vegas Dave Bunker Show, where he was backed by the glamourous Wilkinson sisters.
Over the following decades, Bunker built thousands of standard guitars using his tension-free neck design. All the while Dave continuted to perfect his double necked design, and it is still available today as the Bunker Touch Guitar.