Lenny Breau Caricature


Lenny Breau Caricature as he opens for Larry Coryell, Sept 10, 1977, at the Exit/In 2208 Elliston Place, Nashville, TN, age 36.

Breau was an American/Canadian guitarist and music educator. Breau blended many styles of music, including jazz, country, classical, and flamenco. Inspired by country guitarists like Chet Atkins, Breau used fingerstyle techniques not often used in jazz guitar. By using a seven-string guitar and approaching the guitar like a piano, he opened up possibilities for the instrument.

Because he was regularly shifting between classical and electric instruments, Lenny Breau had a series of electric guitars built with classical width necks.

The custom double-cut guitar seen here was one of several, including a 7-string, built by Tom Holmes specifically for Lenny Breau. Tom Holmes had been chief repairman at George Gruhn’s shop in Nashville and was building THC – ‘Tom Holmes Company’ custom instruments and were sold through the Ax-In-Hand guitar shop in Dekalb, Illinois.
The THC DC model was given a single THC pickup at the neck, and the fingerboard is a full two inch classical width, with 650mm or 25.6 inch scale length, based on Lenny Breau’s specifications. A Leo Quann Baddass bridge and Grover Roto-Matic tuners, and a single volume and tone control complete the hardware.

Breau was born August 5, 1941, in Auburn, Maine, but moved with his family to Moncton, New Brunswick in 1948. Lenny began playing guitar at the age of eight. When he was twelve, he started a small band with friends, and by the age of fourteen he was the lead guitarist for his parents’ band, billed as “Lone Pine Junior”, playing Merle Travis and Chet Atkins instrumentals and occasionally singing.

In 1967, recordings of Breau’s playing from Canada’s “The Lenny Breau Show” found their way to Chet Atkins. The ensuing friendship resulted in Breau’s first two albums, Guitar Sounds from Lenny Breau and The Velvet Touch of Lenny Breau – Live! on RCA.

He lived in various Canadian cities until returning to the United States in 1976. For several years he moved between Maine, Nashville, Stockton, California, and New York City, eventually settling in Los Angeles in 1983. These years he spent performing, teaching, and writing for Guitar Player magazine. A few more solo albums were issued during his lifetime, in addition to albums recorded with fiddler Buddy Spicher and pedal steel guitarist Buddy Emmons.

Breau had problems with drugs beginning in the 1960s which he managed to control during the last years of his life. On August 12, 1984, his body was found in a swimming pool at his apartment complex in Los Angeles, California. The coroner reported that Breau had been strangled. Breau’s wife, Jewel, was the chief suspect, but she was not charged. He is interred in an unmarked grave at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery.

He was 43. Breau was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1997.

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All prints are produced using Giclee printing process which is used for archival art reproduction. This process uses fade-resistant archival pigment-based ink which lasts over 100 years. All prints are printed on 310GSM, Luxurious mould-made, 100% cotton rag Archival Certified watercolor paper.

Archival Conservation Mat is included with your purchase. Mat is a high quality, 4 ply (1/16″) surround mat. These frame mats are acid-free & Lignin-free made with 100% virgin alpha-cellulose surface, core and backing papers. So your caricature with mat will fit into a standard comparable frame either “20” x 24″ or “16” x 20″ depending on the print size, (frame not included). Price also includes a Backer Board.

32″ x 40″ stretch canvas print is produced by Giclee printing process and are hand stretched over heavy duty American made white pine. The canvas print is varnished twice after printing. The canvas prints are ready to hang (complete with hanging wire).

Additional information

Weight .25 lbs
Dimensions 16 × 20 × .25 in
Print Size

32" x 40" Stretched Canvas Print $495, 20" x 24" Stretched Canvas Print $330, 11" x 14" Watercolor Print $95, 16" x 20" Watercolor Print $185