1999 Danelectro Hodad with Bigsby

1999 Danelectro Hodad with Bigsby



1999 Danelectro Hodad with Bigsby in mint condition added to my Danelectro collection. These inexpensive funky guitars are a blast to play and will not drain your bank account. The colors and retro styling make Danelectros unique.

Danelectros - Hodad, Baritone, 12 String, 59M NOS

Danelectros – Hodad, Baritone, 12 String, 59M NOS

When Danelectro started building instruments again in 1998 (Danelectro plant was closed in 1969) they mainly revived the original Nat Daniel designs from the 50s and 60s.

In 1999 the Hodad guitar was the first modern Danelectro not to revisit the past original Nat Daniel designs. The Hodad was a new Danelectro model that looked like it borrowed its body shape from Mosrite (used by The Ventures back in the 60’s) an equally eccentric American guitar maker. It has a retro “surf guitar” look and sported a Dano branded Bigsby tail piece. Production for these was done in Korea (not China like some of the others).

Danelectro 1999 Catalog Cover

Danelectro 1999 Catalog Cover

Made in limited numbers from 1999 to 2001 they were originally sold as “The Ultimate Surf Guitar.” The Hodad were also offered in a 12-string and a bass model. The ones sporting the “D” branded Bigsby are more rare.

Danelectro also used the name “Hodad” for some of their small battery powered amps. Danoelectro reissued the Hodad 6 string (without Bigsby) in 2012.

Interestingly, “Hodad” is actually a slang word that actually means a nonsurfer who frequents surfing beaches and pretends to be a surfer or a person that is a very poor surfer. A bit of Danelectro naming humor? Pretty different and unique Dano for sure. Well I don’t surf, but love surf music…

50’s term for a greaser, someone who hung out at the beach, but definitely not a surfer. Hodads were into cars, music and were a type of counterculture style. These were NOT posers, as some of the other definitions had stated…Surfer’s and Hodad’s would be completely separate groups, that often clashed with each other.

In the beach communities in the 50’s one was either a hodad or a surfer. Hodad’s wore a very specific style of clothing…..black shoes, jeans, and a t-shirt (preferably white). They were NOT posers, and wouldn’t be caught dead hangin’ with a surfer. aka…low riders




This original 1999 Hodad has a different shaped headstock that is more Mosrite shaped then the current reissue Hodad models that have the classic “coke bottle” Danelectro shape. The original model has a 21 fret rosewood neck is a bit beefy, light radius and a more pronounced back angle for the headstock. It has the standard 25-inch Dano scale with a satin feel on back. The tuners are Gotoh with the truss-rod adjuster is located on the body end. The newer models have vintage Kluson copies with truss rod adjuster at the headstock. The 1999 Honda’s nut is graphite not the usual trademark Danelectro aluminum. The adjustable bridge also has rollers. This helps with string-snagging issues with the Bigsby tailpiece.

Dano branded Bigsby and roller bridge

Dano branded Bigsby and roller bridge

The newer Danelectro Hodad guitars are not offered with a Bigsby which is what first attracted me to this original model. Always felt that Dano guitars should have a Bigsby option. A little birdie told me that Danelectro will be offering some new models in 2016 that have a Bigsby branded tail piece.




The Hodad, like most all Danelectros has a semi-hollow masonite body. Sporting four lipstick-cased single coils wired like two humbucker. Both pairs are mounted on a shared base plate at a matching angle and height adjustments are made via screws through the body in the standard Dano style. Pickup selection via a 3-way switch. There are volume and tone controls for each set of pickups. The tone controls also have pull/push switches; one for single-coil operation, the other puts the pickups out of phase when both are selected. Giving you some nice versatile sounds.




Pickups are like most Danos, are not all that hot and even in the humbucker mode is still on the clean side but can get some grit. Engaging single-coil operation thins out the sound that is a bit more snappy, while the phase-reversal gives you the expected nasal tone that is a bit more on the funky side.



Love the light Blue Sparkle color. Great condition for a guitar that is from 1999. Mint with no issues and all original. The guitar was hardly played and still had the original strings when I received it. Plays and sounds wonderful.

I swapped out the original Gotoh tuners with Gotoh locking tuners. They are a direct replacement. So install is easy and no holes were drilled. Swapping back to the original ones is also easy if desired. This improves tuning stability and makes string changes far easier. Especially with the vibrato tailpiece.

Looks like Danelectro is planning a big year with NEW Danos for 2016 coming in February:

Danelectro’s 60th Anniversary will be celebrated with some new models. The “64” Hodads are built like none before… A B5 Bigsby, P-90 and humbucking lipstick pickups (coil tapped) in awesome new colors. These look quite a bit lie the Eastwood Sidejack guitar, makes me wonder if they are made in same factory.


Danelectro Spruce DC59M in awesome colors.


Danelectro DC resonator.


Danelectro 59DC Long Scale Bass


1999 Danelectro Hodad

1999 Danelectro Hodad