Question: What's blue and bizarre, and looks like Harry Potter might ride it home? Answer: This solidbody electric mandola by UK builder Bob Brain. Reportedly it's equipped with a Gibson humbucker. I turned to Maartin Allcock for more information about Mr. Brain, and here's what he said:
"Bob Brain built a wacky doublenecked bouzouki/mandolin for Dave Pegg (of both Fairport Convention and Jethro Tull), which was featured on the cover of his solo album, The Cocktail Cowboy Goes It Alone, back in 1982 or so. He also built the stairs in Dave's studio, which has now been sold.
"I have to say that although Dave's doubleneck looked amazing, the length of the heads north of the nut made for unstable tuning and they weren't the most comfortable necks to play either. However, this was the only example of his work that I've seen, so I can't really comment on his work as a whole. Except the stairs, which I used on many an occasion, and even recorded them on Ralph McTell's track 'The Islands' from his album Sand in Your Shoes, as they made a loud creaking noise which was perfect as a sound effect of a creaking boat on that track."