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Route 66 News

66 Bowl lanes being made into electric guitars

66 Bowl guitars

The 66 Bowl in Oklahoma City closed more than five years ago. But its bowling lanes live on in the form of limited-edition electric guitars by a well-known builder in Nashville.

Bobby Clark of Dr. Mojo Guitars has created the 66 Bowl solid-body electric guitar from the original pine lanes. The custom-made guitars, which resemble a Fender Telecaster, list for $3,950 here. Only 20 will be made.

Clark, a native of Oklahoma City, acquired the wood from OKC artist Cameron Eagle and Chuck Clowers, who couldn’t stand the thought of seeing the wood destroyed after 66 Bowl closed in 2010.

The first guitar was given to country artist Vince Gill, who grew up in the Oklahoma City metro area and wrote and recorded a song about Route 66 a few years ago, “The Old Lucky Diamond Motel.” According to the company, Gill also made suggestions for the guitar’s final version.

Here’s Bernie Chiaravelle, a guitarist for Michael McDonald, playing one of the 66 Bowl guitars on a Nashville television station in October:

The 66 Bowl was built in 1959. Longtime owner Jim Haynes sold it to a grocery-store owner, reportedly because of family health problems and failed investments.

The business’ famous neon sign was salvaged by Eagle and Clowers’ JYD Team.

66 Bowl sign (Facebook)

The bowling alley also became known as a rockabilly and punk music venue. One of its shows included Wanda “Queen of Rock” Jackson in 2009, on its 50th anniversary. Jackson met her future husband there in the early 1960s. It also played host for the Okie Twist-off classic-car, hot rod and rockabilly festival.

(Hat tip to The Oklahoman; image of 66 Bowl guitars via Dr. Mojo Guitars page on Facebook; image of 66 Bowl neon sign via Facebook fan page)

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3 thoughts on “66 Bowl lanes being made into electric guitars

  1. Rick M

    So good to see 66 history preserved. It has been a very long time since the sign at the 66 Bowl was animated. I took some pictures and edited them into an animated .gif file. Go to my website listed below and see how it looked back in the day thanks to the magic of digital images.

  2. KW

    I used to live right around the corner from there in the late ’80s and bowled there often, and I saw Hasil Adkins play there just before the turn of the century. I was so sad to hear of its demise, and would love to have on of those guitars, esp. given that I bought my first good guitar on 66 at the old Driver Music in Bethany, but they’re a little out of my range.

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