The Veetle

And Rudolf's first PGG Flying Vee (see below Veetle pics)

VW guitar VW
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The Veetle is a name coined by IN TRANCE's friend, Cyril Trassard. Flying Vee Volkswagen Beetle. Got It?
 
I decided to make another guitar for my hero after a discussion with Scorpions' assistant Alex Malek in early January 2010, just after Rudolf Schenker participation to the Paris-Dakar race (in Argentina-Chile, actually) with the new VW "Amarok" pickup truck (see pics) and Scorpions advertising the same vehicule during fall 2009.
 
Originally, the guitar was supposed to appear with shapes and fittings inspired by the "Amarok" , but later that month, Scorpions announced their untimely retirement. Inspired now by this move from the band, I rather decided to link together two major landmark German institutions, Volkswagen and Scorpions. As canvas, I used Rudolf's favorite, the Flying Vee. Rudolf's trusty longtime guitar tech, Peter Kirkman, gave me some of his input for the design.
 
The guitar body is made out of two mahogany halves, hand carved on the top to reflect the front of a classic VW "Beetle''. The neck is a three-piece affair, with two mahogany halves, spliced by a very stiff hard-rock maple center piece. The bound fingerboard is ebony, tuning gears are Grover Rotomatics, the pickup is a Gibson 500T, the bridge by Gotoh and the single control knob was custom turned from billet aluminium by Kerry Shaw at ''The Billet Shop'' in Georgia. The big "VW" logo was CNC carved from T6 aluminium and covers a hole fitted with LEDs, pulsating the lighted "Heart of Germany" (click for video- wait for download). Lighting is activated by a circuitry and switches fitted in the back. The finish is genuine VW polyurethane.
 
Completely in awe by this surprize gift, Rudolf took possesion of the guitar on June 25, 2010, in Quebec City, and used it right away that night for "Blackout", and in Montreal the day after.

The guitar was used in November 2010 for a photo shooting for VW ads and since late 2010, used by Rudolf in every non-acoustic Scorpions shows for the song "The Best Is Yet To Come".
 
Paul
 
Click on pictures to enlarge and reclick on pic for bigger version.
 

Le nom Veetle fut donné par Cyril Trassard, un ami de IN TRANCE.  Flying Vee Volkswagen Beetle. Vous saisissez?

 

J’ai décidé de fabriquer une autre guitare pour mon héros, à la suite d’une discussion au début janvier 2010 avec Alex Malek, l’assistant des Scorpions.  Alex souhaitait que je puisse leur fabriquer une guitare inspirée de la participation de Rudolf au rallye Paris-Dakar 2010 (maintenant en Argentine-Chili) avec le nouveau véhicule de Volkswagen, ‘’l’Amarok’’. En 2009, Scorpions ont aussi participé à la campagne publicitaire de l’Amarok.

 

À l’origine, la guitare devait comporter des éléments structurels et physiques de l’Amarok, mais à la fin janvier, les Scorpions nous ont annoncé leurs plans de retraite. Maintenant inspiré par ce tournant dans leur carrière, j’ai plutôt opté d’unir ensemble deux grandes institutions allemandes, Volkswagen et Scorpions, avec comme toile de fond la Flying Vee, guitare préférée de Rudolf. Peter Kirkman, fidèle technicien des guitares de Rudolf, m’a donné quelques idées et ses consignes pour le design.

 

Le corps est fabriqué de deux moitiés d’acajou, sculptées à la main pour révéler sur la table le capot classique des VW ‘’Beetle’’ (‘’Coccinelles’’). Le manche est constitué de deux pièces d’acajou sur les côtés et d’une section centrale en érable très dur. La plaque de touche en ébène, les clés sont des Grover Rotomatic, le pickup un Gibson 500T, le pont Gotoh et le bouton en aluminium a été tourné par Kerry Shaw en Georgie. Le gros logo VW a été sculpté dans de l’aluminium T6 par une machine CNC et cache une série de DEL qui simule des pulsations cardiaques lumineuses. Cliquer sur ce lien pour voir le ‘’Cœur de l’Allemagne’’ (attendre pour téléchargement). Le fonctionnement est activé par un système électronique et des interrupteurs dans le dos de la guitare. La finition est un authentique polyuréthane de VW.

 

Complètement abasourdi par ce cadeau surprise, Rudolf en a pris possession le 25 juin 2010 à Québec et l’a immédiatement utilisé ce soir-là pour ‘’Blackout’’ et le lendemain à Montréal.    

 

Paul

 

Cliquez sur les photos pour les agrandir

photos: Tommy "Mediterranean God" Papathanasiou /  Dieter Koschmider / Cyril Trassard  / Steeve Chiasson / Isabelle ''Izzy'' Charrat
VW guitar Rudolf Schenker Scorpions
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Montréal, June 26 2010, by Isabelle "Izzy" Charrat
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VW guitar Rudolf Schenker Scorpions
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VW car courtesy of Qué-Bourg Auto, Québec City
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Québec City, June 25, 2010
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head  VW guitar Rudolf Schenker Scorpions
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VW Amarok info

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Incredible pictures of Rudolf with the Veetle, promoting the Amarok.
Pictures taken on November 16, 2010, on old potash mine, Wunstorf-Bokeloh, Germany
Click on pictures for larger versions

Location of this photo-session

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Rudolf Schenker with PGG "Veetle", Nov. 16, 2010
VW guitar Rudolf Schenker Scorpions
photo: Nikolaj Georgiew
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VW guitar Rudolf Schenker Scorpions
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Our great friend, Rudolf assistant and much, much more, Alex Malek
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CLASSIC ROCK COVER STAR:
Rudolf Schenker with the "Veetle", gracing the cover of the April 2011 issue of the Russian edition of "Classic Rock Magazine". (click on picture to enlarge)

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The "Veetle" guitar on tour
with Rudolf Schenker on Scorpions'  "Get Your Sting And Blackout" farewell tour.
Originally used for "Blackout" during some shows, the "Veetle" is now used full-time for "The Best Is Yet To Come"(click on pictures to enlarge)

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Used for "Blackout", Québec City, June 25, 2010, by Steeve Chiasson
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Québec City, June 25, 2010
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pic by David Czomperlik (live Saarbrücken Apr.15, 2011)
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Ostrava, Czech Republic, June 3, 2011 by David Czomperlik
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Bratislava, Slovakia, June 4, 2011 by Florijan Kovacs (credited for all the Bratislava pics)
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Bratislava...2
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Bratislava....3
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Bratislava...4
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Bratislava...5
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Bratislava....6
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Bratislava...7
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Bratislava....8
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Bratislava...9
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Bratislava...10
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Bratislava...11
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The "Veetle" backstage, Byblos, Lebanon, Jul 6, 2011 by Fadi Kaddoum
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Bielefeld, Germany, July 17, 2011
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Freiburg, Germany, June 22, 2011 by Zaira Urso

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Rock'Oz'Arènes, Avenches, Switzerland. Aug 3, 2011 by Hurni Christoph

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Rock'Oz'Arènes, Avenches, Switzerland. Aug 3, 2011 by Hurni Christoph

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Rock'Oz'Arènes, Avenches, Switzerland. Aug 3, 2011 by Hurni Christoph

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Rock'Oz'Arènes, Avenches, Switzerland. Aug 3, 2011 by Andrea Kunz
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Schweinfurt, Germany, July 16, 2011 by Monika Milcova
VW guitar Rudolf Schenker Scorpions
Schweinfurt, Germany, 16-07-2011, by Brigitte "Bibi" Martinet
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Schweinfurt, Germany, 16-07-2011, by Brigitte "Bibi" Martinet
Rudolf Schenker Lisbon Portugal Scorpions VW Vee
Lisbon, Portugal, 11-11-11, by Soraia Gingado (Scorpy Ryl)
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The Veetle backstage, Brussels, BE, Nov.26, 2011. Photo by Nico Köster

Rudolf's first PGG Flying V

The Veetle is not the first guitar I made for Rudolf. In 1994, I decided to test my guitarmaking skills by making him a Flying V, with some ideas I had then. This guitar was the first bearing the ''PGG'' brand.
 
The body is made out of bookmatched, very light Korina* wood, in a chevron pattern, topped with a sculptured AAA flame maple top, again glued in a chevron pattern. The top features a carved, raised middle section, suggesting the shape of the pickguard of 70's Flying Vees. The upper half was finished natural maple, while the lower half was dyed black to reflect the trademark black/white theme of some of Rudolf's Vees, like his beloved '74.
 
The neck was made out of a single Korina piece, with a bound rosewood fretboard. The biggest challenge was the flame maple script ''Rudolf Schenker'' inlaid in the fingerboard, something I had never done before. The headstock has a flame maple veneer matching the body, with a 70's-like truss rod cover, again made from flame maple.
 
The strings were fed to the bridge through handmade brass ferrules starting in the ''crotch'' area of the body, rather than from the back, reducing string angling to the bridge only. This string-saving measure proved to be absolutely useless, but fun to try. The bridge is a Gotoh ''Tune-O-Matic'' and the tuners, Gotohs with a ''tulip'' button.
 
Pickups were a Gibson ''Classic '57'' at the neck and a ''Classic '57+'' at the bridge. I made the custom mounting rings from ebony.
 
Rudolf acquired this guitar on June 28th, 1994, and used it that night for three songs. The guitar saw moderate use throughout the remaining dates of the ''Face The Heat'' tour and was used to record the solo of the song ''Soul Behind The Face'' from the 1996 album ''Pure Instinct''. A permanent member of Rudolf impressive guitar collection, this guitar remains a prized item in his home office.
*Korina is the commercial name given by Gibson to the ''African Limba'' wood, used particularly in the late 50's to make the now very expensive original Flying Vees and Explorers.

Click on pictures to enlarge. Sorry for the dull sharpness. These pics were taken and scanned a long time ago...

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Rudolf Schenker with his first PGG Vee, 1994
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Rudolf in 2000, with a sample of his collection pic by Udo Weger

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Back of body

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