Two parts Strat and one part Tele-style? Say hello to the Joe Doe Punkcaster

(Image credit: Future)

And now for something a bit different… Vintage's Joe Doe range of quirky electric guitars, each styled with its own fictional owner history. And the Punkcaster is arguably the biggest talking point so it's worth a closer look here.

Taking clear influence from both Tele and Strat-style body design, it solves the dilemma of choosing between them by mashing body styles together. 

And if you think that's wild, you should read the Punkcaster's fictional backstory for its previous owner 'Brandon Hicks' from Joe Doe…

"As soon as he learnt to walk, Brandon Hicks displayed a frightening talent for destruction; burning down the family condo age 5, breaking too many bones to keep count and even shattering his front teeth trying to catch a speeding baseball in his mouth. Having exhausted the patience of his parents and small town residents of Bone Lake, Wisconsin, teenager Hicks was exiled in 1977 and left to travel across America. 

"Drifting from state to state, more wrecking ball than tumbleweed, Hicks eventually found his spiritual home in Times Square, New York, 1979. Hicks worked a ticket booth at the Wide Eye Peep Show by day and played with his band FistMeetsFace at night. After only a few explosive shows, FistMeetsFace became the must see act on the New York punk scene where each performance would include a smashed guitar, a puddle of blood and, following the after show party, another broken heart."

The Punkcaster's neck even has a collection of signatures and… other interesting details it's picked up in its imaginary history. 

(Image credit: Future)

So that's… a bit different. In truth this isn't a one-off model though, there's a limited run of 100 Punkcasters. But the guitar itself balances Tele and Strat-style features as you'd expect.

A trio of Joe Doe-designed single coil pickups are said to have been "transplanted from various guitars that Brandon has destroyed over the years" but visually the strong suggestion is both T-style and S-style pickups together here with a five-way selector. 

Even the pickguard is a mash-up.

The body is American alder with a Wilkinson WVC Vibrato bridge to enable "pig waggling, string diving and note gargling". 

Wilkinson hardware is also use for the machine head with WJ55 E-Z Loks.

The 'soft C' profile neck and fingerboard are hard rock maple with mismatched tuners and mismatched dots to further stress the mix of worlds here. There's even more graffiti on this side too. 

A hardcase is included for the Punkcaster's £599 asking price too.

(Image credit: Future)

But if that doesn't tickle your tonebuds, there's plenty more in the Joe Doe range. Including the T-style Lucky Buck (£599) semi-hollow (shown in Honeyburst) with a cactus instead of a traditional F-hole.

This time the fictional previous owner is country picker Leslie ‘Lucky Buck’ Coal.

(Image credit: Future)

The pickups here should make for some great individual and combo tones too with a Joe Doe P-90-style in the neck and pickup and hot bridge single-coil in the bridge.

For more info on the Joe Doe range head over

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.