Following on from my last post (describing my dilemma concerning which ‘value model’ guitar to buy…until I win the lotto and can afford a Gibson or a Fender, that is) I thought I’d add a quick coupla posts showing (firstly) some famous Gibson aficionados and (thereafter) some well known Fender benders!
Gibson v Fender. It’s one of those age-old rivalries like Beatles v Stones, Oasis v Blur, City v United or Tom v Jerry. Whose side are you on? It’s a tough, tough call. For many years I’d have said Gibson in the blink of an eye – although lately Fender seem to have been producing some guitars that are practically sculpture (see the pics of the Mustang Pawn Shop Specials at the end of my previous blog to see what I mean). So it’s not easy.
Given that – back in the day – I was a Punk and played (drums) in a number of Punk bands, my allegiance was always towards Gibson; more usually the Punk guitarist’s guitar of choice (when the alternative was a Fender). Gibson just had that extra meaty sound that suited Punk.
There are many, many Gibson-ites out there (and I really can’t list them all) but perhaps the most readily associated with the brand (in my mind) was my all-time favourite, Johnny Thunders. JT used a Gibson Les Paul Junior. I saw Johnny play many times – and he always had a signature guitar sound (that many have copied but few have ever properly replicated). Much of that was Johnny – but Gibson played its part.
Steve Jones (of the Sex Pistols) used a Gibson – in fact a Les Paul Custom (inherited from Sylvain Sylvain of the New York Dolls – Johnny Thunders’ original band – which had been passed to him via Malcolm McLaren, who managed the Pistols and, briefly, the Dolls). Steve Jones is a much under-rated guitarist (check out the youtube clips of him demonstrating his riffs for an eye-opener). He now has a Gibson Tribute model in his name.
Continuing the Punk connection – Mick Jones (of The Clash) used a Gibson. Other Gibson-ites include Keith Richards (with his unique guitar-tuning method that gives the trademark ‘Richards’ sound) and Marc Bolan (who features in my forthcoming novel, LITTLE BASTARD). Bolan is another who has a Gibson Tribute model named after him.
And finally, since this blog post also involves Gibson Girls, I should definitely mention Joan Jett – another player with a Tribute model in her name (a version of Gibson’s Melody Maker model – by all accounts, a truly knockout performer).
Well, that’s all folks!
Next time…meet the Fender benders!