The bold, the beautiful & the downright ugly!
That’s right – signature guitars!
As I stated in my previous blog post the rock scene through the 80s and 90s was big on Fashion; this covered clothing, hair, art and of course guitars! Seen as a disease by some and a treat by others; guitar solos were running rampant and the spotlight shone “oh so brightly” on some of hair metal’s own. Guitarists were a feature in every band and they each had their own style & flair while playing. Guitars are a common subject in this household and more often than not it’s when we’re scrutinising someone else’s… harsh but true! There are guitars that we see at every gig, some of these guitars are made more popular through famous guitarists; think of Slash & his Les Paul,Yngwie Malmsteen & his cream Strat with scalloped frets, even Angus Young & his Gibson SG.
BUT what we really love is when a guitarist gets to show us just how much ‘taste’ he or she has through the opportunity of a signature guitar! Hold your hats ladies & gents, because this is about to get…err, interesting!
I’m going to start with one of my favourite guitarists – George Lynch! George is best known for being the lead guitarist in Dokken & one of my favourite bands – Lynch Mob. Lynch’s latest release “Only to Rise” with Michael Sweet of Stryper really kicks arse in every aspect, Sweet is an incredible guitarist in his own right & his vocals are like something from the heavens! They’ve also teamed up with Brian Tichy (currently with The Dead Daisies) & James LoMenzo (formerly of Megadeth & White Lion). Lynch is one of these rock dudes who seems to be ageing like a fine wine, at 61 he still has an amazing physique & all his own hair! Ok, so i’ll stop drooling and wipe my keyboard off – back to the objective – his guitars! For someone who looks soooooo good they just look so crazy! BUT people seem to love them so much that he now makes custom guitars through his “Mr Scary Guitars” company. These new guitars throw back to his classic styles but they’ve got crazy twists – some even feature real bones & teeth!
I waffled on a little too much when it came too Georgey boy! But I do love him so!
Next up we’ve got a guitar that is ridiculously recognisable, comes in a crazy amount of colours & makes me cringe every time I see THAT DAMN HANDLE – do people really use it?It’s Steve Vai‘s JEM! This guitar is the same age as me, it was created in 1987 and has proven that the design possibilities are endless purely because he has released 26 versions…so far! The JEM2KDNA is really the only one that grabs my attention, not only because of the psychedelic paint job but also because I recently found out that Vai’s blood was added to the paint (hence the DNA title) – crazy stuff! In 2010 Vai held a design competition for his latest model and his fans seem to have just as bad taste as him!
Now, If the handle on the JEM didn’t make me feel sick enough take a look at this one from his David Lee Roth days…I CANT EVEN! :l
Here are a few more guitars that are iconic to their players. Some we love to love & some we love to hate!
You can’t write about signature guitars and not mention Randy Rhoads‘ bad boys. The Polka Dot Flying V, The Concorde & his beautiful cream Les Paul Custom!
Eddie‘s guitars also need no introduction – His design is so iconic that I knew the pattern well before i knew what it related to! Plus, any man who can coordinate his outfit to match his guitar is ok in my books! Eddie’s Shark Destroyer particularly hits close to home & makes me laugh hysterically. As a kid my partner royally screwed one if his guitars by trying to ‘hack’ it apart to get the same look! I’m sure there are parents around the world who would have loved to thank Eddie for that money well spent! ha!
The next guitar might possibly be one of the most used & abused guitars i’ve ever seen in my life!! This thing must have come straight outta the depths of hell because that fact that it can still be played means a higher power is definitely involved. It’s Chris Holmes‘ Yellow Star! Get your tetanus shot booked, because this one is (now) a doozy – complete with frankenstein parts that are sure to shock you..literally!
In rock & roll it doesn’t get too much cooler than Twisted Sister‘s own Jay Jay French & Eddie Ojeda – they sure know how to rock pink guitars, spandex & tassels oh so well!