By Josiah HughesTravis Bean (one of the most beloved modern luthiers) has passed away at the age of 64. Bean was best known for using aluminum necks on his high-end electric guitars and basses.
Brooklyn Vegan reports that Bean passed away at his home on July 10 following a long battle with cancer. After getting his start with Gary Kramer, Bean started working on his own in 1975 when Kramer formed Kramer Guitars.
Travis Bean Guitars has developed a cult following due to the fact that aluminum necks can sustain sound for longer. The guitars are notably used by Public Image Limited, Sonic Youth, Arcade Fire, the Jesus Lizard's Duane Denison and Sunn 0)))'s Stephen O'Malley. Above you'll see a photo of Travis Bean champion Steve Albini playing Bean's TB500.
A documentary about Bean's guitars has been in the works for the last few years, with a trailer surfacing in 2009, which can be viewed below. More information on that film, including a donation page to help its completion, is available here.