Rocco Guitars

Built by hand in Nashville, Tennesse


Based on my '66 tele w/ some modern updates. All details are below for the Ruckus, as well as the Ruckus II, Retro Ruckus and the "Vera" Rattlecaster

Playing and recording with the CD Rocco "Rattlecaster" that I named Vera (scroll down) as well as getting to know Tim Rocco convinced me that he was the luthier to work with on the RUCKUS build which is based on the 66 tele that I've been playing since 1980. Scroll to the very bottom to see this guitar that started this project.

In the late 70's I met a guy named Chris Zaloom in Woodstock, NY who was a real tele player and had all of the classic techniques together. Up until this point I had no idea how people played Fender guitars. I couldn't get a sound out of them. I had a mid 60's Epiphone Riviera and that was it for me. But after hanging and playing with Chris for a while I had to get a tele. I was so taken with the tone and the whole vibe. Chris is part of the tradition of real tele players. He was so generous showing me how he did his thing. So off I went to the guitar shop and all they had was one used tele that came to the store in pieces. They put it back together and when I saw it I knew it was the one. It had some "creative" work done to cover up the open space's that whoever had it before me made putting HB pickups in it. I think he had a hammer and a chisel and was in a hurry because it was a real hack job but it was a very cool idea and I was sold. This was in 1980. I had NO idea that 30 + years later I would still be playing it let alone it being my favorite guitar. 

Kevin Smith helped me with it at the beginning. Keven did quite a few fret jobs and worked on the neck. After Kevin got out of the guitar repair business 
Tom Murphy, Matt and the crew at Parkway Music in Clifton Park, NY have kept it in my hands for the last 20 years. The last time I dropped it off Murph pulled out one last grind and polish and simply amazed me. I had used every pickup configuration that I could think of and it was now back to the simple design that it started out with back in 66.

I found my voice with this version of the guitar. Why it took me so many years to get around to it probably had something to do with the condition it was in when I bought it but the bell finally rang. It was a different instrument with HB pickups and the various incarnations of SC and HB combination's. Tele style guitars have to be the most mod-able guitar's in the world but there is something about the original 2 pickup design that has hooked players since it showed up in the early 50's from Leo Fender's brilliant imagination. It's the last stop for many of us and my 66 has always been kind of an oddball. It showed up in my hands as an oddball. A perfect storm kind of thing.  

Now that Tim Rocco has built the RUCKUS, it's unique look and sound will be available to everyone as Tim has added it on as a model at Rocco Guitars.

RUCKUS Product Description 
All models $1750 and shipped free in the contiguous US. (subject to change)

  • Body – Swamp Ash 
  • Neck – Quarter sawn Maple 
  • Fingerboard – Maple or Rosewood 
  • Fret Size .103 Medium Wide Nickel Silver 
  • Fingerboard Radius – 12” 
  • Fingerboard dots – BLK or White Plastic 
  • Nut material – Unbleached Bone 
  • Nut width – 1 5/8 “” 
  • Number of Frets 22 
  • Pickups – DiMarzio Area T’s or Rocco hand wound
  • Bridge – Callaham Enhanced 3 Saddle Vintage 
  • Tuners – Gotoh Locking Traditional Chrome 
  • Control Plate – Chrome 
  • Knobs – Chrome Dome 
  • String Ferules – stainless steel 
  • Wiring – Standard 3-way switch 
  • Two way adjustable Truss Rod 
  • 4 Bolt Brass insert neck attachment 
  • Traditional Chrome Neck plate 
  • Gloss Nitro Lacquer Finish 
  • Tung Oil Neck Finish 
  • Gig bag

"Vera" Rattlecaster

Tim Rocco's take on a classic

  • Chambered Ash Body 
  • Old Growth Oregon Redwood Top 
  • High Gloss Nitrocellulose Lacquer Finish 
  • DiMarzio Area T's or Rocco Custom Wound Pickups 
  • 25.5" Scale Length 
  • Wide/Medium Fret Wire .103" W 
  • 12" Radius Maple Fretboard 
  • Rock Maple Neck 
  • Two-Way Adjustable Truss Rod 
  • Gotoh Bridge 
  • Bone Nut 
  • Gotoh Traditional Tuners 
  • Threaded Bolted Insert Neck Attachment 
  • Custom Oiled Ebony Pickgaurd