Created in the Corridor: Steve Dikkers

Scott Sanborn with the creator of the Dikkers Sparklecaster guitar, Steve Dikkers.

Steve Dikkers has been playing guitar most of his life. He loves country music and at 64, still plays in a band. But making music goes a lot deeper for Dikkers than just pickin' and grinnin'. He's a craftsman that other players call on when they need some sparkle Created in the Corridor.

On a recent Friday afternoon in a workshop he recently built on his Guttenberg homestead, Dikkers, a retired high school science teacher, tests his newest creation; a gold Dikkers Sparklecaster that will soon be auctioned off for charity. "These sparkle guitars, there's nothing like them in the spotlight," explains Dikkers.

Steve Dikkers builds guitars and this is the 90th instrument he's put together by hand. "That includes a lot of acoustic guitars, several banjos, a couple of ukuleles, some basses," says Dikkers describing his passion. Dikkers' specialty is the sparkle guitar, a style of Telecaster that Buck Owns used to play. He started building them about a decade ago when he couldn't find one like Owens had. "So I joined something, an online thing called "The Telecaster Discussion Page Reissue" where a bunch of crazy people talk about Telecaster guitars all the time and how they put together Telecaster guitars."

He learned by trial and error but knew right where to turn for the Sparklecaster's luminous look. Recalls Dikkers, "I went up the highway to Garnavillo to a guy named Bob Bodish who custom paints motorcycles and said, 'Bob, can ya show me how to put metal flake on a guitar?' Sure.'"

Dikkers says Telecasters are conducive for do-it-yourselfers because they're modular. Everything bolts together. It's the special touches that take most of Dikkers' time, like painstakingly inserting checkerboard binding around the front and back edges of the guitarand of course, the painting and finishing process. "There is a period of time where that thick, polyurethane finish I put on over the metal flake has to dry and it just takes a long time to do that," he explains.

Start to finish, each guitar is a three month project made to order. "Every one is made the way the person wants it."

Dikkers says he's built guitars for two Grammy winners and even Brad Paisley's guitar teacher. He sells most of the domestically but his Dikkers Sparklecasters are all over the world. "I have 'em in France, in Switzerland, Australia, Japan, Canada. I feel really good when I see somebody else playing one of my instruments."

The gold Sparklecaster featured in this story will be auctioned off at a live rock 'n roll show on April 9. All the proceeds benefit the Clayton Ridge High School Music Department. All the information about the show can be found HERE. If you can't make it, you can still bid on the guitar by calling (563) 252-3096 after 7pm.

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