When well known guitarists don't use their signature axes on surprising occasions..

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Blazer, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    [​IMG]
    I guess we all know the story by now, when recording the "Are you experienced" album, Jimi Hendrix' strat developed a fault and was send for repairs but because Jimi needed a guitar to record, he ended up using Noel Redding's Telecaster on the tracks "Fire" and "Purple Haze"

    That is the ultimate example of a well known guitarist, who out of necessity, didn't play his signature axe on some of his best known songs.

    But Jimi wasn't the only one.
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    From one Strat guy to another, John Frusciante is very seldom seen playing anything else but always through Marshalls and a multitude of pedals which include the surprisingly humble Ibanez WH10 Wah. So it might come as a surprise to many to learn that he recorded his tracks on the Red Hot Chili Peppers' breakout album "Mothers milk" using a set up which doesn't even remotely resemble all of that. (Save from the Ibanez Wah)
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    Frusciante and Flea during the "Mothers milk" sessions, that orange guitar is not a strat.
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    It is an Ibanez RG-760 which back then, together with a Kramer Pacer and an Ibanez RG-550 were his main guitars for stage use and the only guitars he owned, they also reflected what Frusciante's mindset was like: he wanted to be a shredder and his choice of gear reflected that. As did his amp for that matter.
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    John's actual Steve Vai Approved Carvin X-100B, that's not a Marshall and it sure doesn't sound like one either.

    Listen to the songs from "Mother's milk" and it indeed is obvious that Frusciante used this Shredder guitarist set up of which he now says he feels ashamed of. Two years later, all of it was replaced by Hillel Slovak approved Strats and Marshalls, which he still uses today.

    Now the next one, I only found out about recently.
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    The Late, great Malcolm Young of AC/DC, seen here with his trusty Gretsch Jet Firebird, that guitar that he always used live and on every recording the band ever did.

    Except for the album "High Voltage" EEEEYUP, Malcolm didn't play his Gretsch on the band's debut album. So why not and what DID he play then?

    As for why not, Malcolm's Gretsch was damaged during a rowdy show (Imagine that; a rowdy AC/DC show) and was sent to a repair shop but because he still needed a guitar to play on the recording sessions, Malcolm and bass player Mark Evans began scouring the local music shops for a replacement. And stumbled upon THIS.
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    Who would have thought that a Gibson L6S would be the perfect back up for that Gretsch Jet Firebird? But yeah, listen closely to that album and you can hear that Malcolm wasn't using his Gretsch.

    Apparently Malcolm liked the Gibson so much that he took it out on tour, but not before he had it modified to his liking. According to Mark Evans the mods were done mid-way throughout the 1975-1976 tour by renowned British luthier John Birch who did a professional job making it a double cut.
    [​IMG]
    In that guise, it served both Malcolm and Angus as a back up guitar. And in hindsight is a much more important piece of AC/DC's history than people will give it credit for.
     
  2. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Great thread !!! How about a post about where artists didn't play any guitar and a session man did ???
     
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  3. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

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    Jimmie Vaughan used a then-new Telecaster extensively on the T-Birds first three or four albums, even though he already owned his now-ubiquitous white Stratocaster.
     
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  4. Torren61

    Torren61 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Page used a Telecaster, not his '59 Les Paul, for the lead guitar on "Stairway To Heaven".
     
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  5. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Afflicted

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    Eric Johnson is famous for his Stratocaster tone, but most of Cliffs of Dover was recorded with an ES-335.
     
  6. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yes but that particular tele he used for that WAS his signature axe.
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    He was well known for playing that tele.
     
  7. Torren61

    Torren61 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Well, you could say that. You could also say his ES1275, his red LP and his Tele with B-bender were his signature guitars along with that Tele and his '59LP. Where do you draw the line? :cry:
     
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  8. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    He used a 335 on Zap, too.
    The first time I saw/heard him, at the Armadillo in 73/74, he played a red square inlay, stop tail 335.
    He only played a Olympic White early 60s Strat on the encore, Third Stone From The Sun.
    I remember it like it was yesterday.
    After all these years, he’s still my favorite guitar player.
     
  9. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's

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    Brain May used a Telecaster on "Crazy Little Thing Called Love". He was going on about his Red Special having certain settings that sound a lot like a Tele, and someone (producer, maybe?) basically told him, "Dude, if you want it to sound like a Telecaster, use a Telecaster".
     
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  10. 2 Headed Goat

    2 Headed Goat Tele-Afflicted

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    Pagey did start the "new Yardbirds' with that tele and it pretty much was his main axe. His LP early on was a 50's Black Beauty til it got "lost" courtesy of an airline. IIRC, Mr. Joe Walsh was the gent who provided Jim with his Burst...
     
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  11. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Page played a strat when recording ten years gone.
    Among other guitars.:)
     
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  12. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    Jeff Beck never has played an off-the-rack Fender Jeff Beck Stratocaster since they quit using the old, original Wilkinson nut, except to fulfill Fender endorsement obligations..,,maybe one song or a partial as he did when I saw him in 1999 where he played about a minute on one towards the end of the concert. I think the Green one was the last true off the rack Fender JB model he played, back in the Guitar Shop era.
     
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  13. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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  14. chinaiyf

    chinaiyf TDPRI Member

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    Most of Pete Townshend's iconic recordings were done on an orange Gretsch and not on an SG or Les Paul

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

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    I can almost guarantee you that if a guitar player has enough money in his pocket, he'll buy any brand of guitar that strikes his fancy.
    And then eat beanie-wienie for the rest of the week.
    27f996cd2d8f73a738fe47d73346c29f.jpg
    John Mayer with his Les Paul.
    :)
     
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  16. nocastermike

    nocastermike Tele-Meister

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    Peavey vintage amp
    There.
     
  17. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Holic

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    I've been curious and I guess a good place to ask...

    Was gear choices and settings written down during sessions?

    I'd love to find a book that discussed exactly what was used on some classic tunes!
     
  18. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Both the Chet and the amp (Bassman or Bandmaster?) were given to Pete by the brilliant, cool and generous Joe Walsh.
     
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  19. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

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    The Gretsch was really only used around the "Who's Next" recordings. He used a multitude of guitars over the years.
     
  20. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

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    I know you and I are both huge JLV fans, so I always listen when you mention him. But, I'm not sure "extensively" is an accurate adverb, here. From my research, he only used it on the first record, and only 3-4 cuts.

    p.s. We can't forget the 2-tone sunburst Strat on the "What's the Word?" cover.
     
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