6 legendary guitars from punk rock historical past | Guitar.com

Punk rock was unlike any movement that experienced come before in the background of guitar tunes, and so it’s most likely fitting that the instruments used to determine the fireplace and the fury of punk are splendidly numerous and in numerous circumstances, unconventional.

These guitars often had backstories and attitudes to match the songs that came out of them and embodied the Diy ethics, ethical ambiguity, and sonic outrage that defines the punk spirit.

Johnny Ramone’s Mosrite Venture Product II

Johnny Ramone of Ramones. Impression: Jim Steinfeldt, Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

Output of Mosrite Enterprise designs was funded by the common band The Ventures in exchange for unique distribution rights. Even though the guitars were being a well-liked model for Mosrite, they did not appear close to matching the level of popularity of Fender or Gibson guitars. The Enterprise II was readily available in a German Carve version and a rarer, extra collectable, slab model, which was only produced for a several months in 1965 – only all-around 100 to 150 of these slab types ended up at any time manufactured in advance of Mosrite made a decision they looked too low-cost, so they started incorporating the German Carve. Johnny Ramone owned 9 Mosrites through his vocation but his #1 was a white slab Venture II. As Johnny himself defined,

“I purchased a Mosrite since it was the most inexpensive guitar in the store. Now I’ve gotten utilized to it and I like it. I also didn’t wanna get a guitar that all people else was utilizing – I wanted anything that could be discovered with me.”


Even though they started off out as the most affordable alternative at the time, of the 9 Mosrite guitars that Johnny owned, a person offered at auction in 2015 for $71,875 and his main white slab Mosrite just bought in 2021 for $937,500.

Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein’s “Annihilator”

Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein of Misfits
Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein of Misfits. Graphic: Katja Ogrin / Redferns

Punk rock has always been exemplified by a healthier Do it yourself ethic, so it tends to make sense that at minimum one guitar on this listing really should be a homebuilt axe. This guitar was crafted by Misfits guitarist Doyle in a store in the late 80s/early 90s. It attributes a graphite neck-through style and design. The wings of the system are at present created of mahogany. The graphite would make the system fairly weighty but, luckily Doyle is a very potent dude. It capabilities a Floyd Rose bridge that has been modified (by Doyle) to be a hardtail – he makes his personal plate that is fastened to the entire body and employs the saddles from the Floyd Rose. It was totally hand-constructed with no CNC machines at all. Doyle also builds his own speaker cupboards.

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Oktober guitars produced a operate of Annihilator replicas and Doyle has a short while ago been in talks with Dean to make a larger sized creation run of the Annihilator, in actuality, the past time I spoke with Doyle, the guitar experienced been at Dean’s shop for virtually a yr. Although a manufacturing run of this guitar is solely doable, it may possibly not come about anytime before long.

Steve Jones’ 1974 Les Paul Customized

Steve Jones of Sex Pistols
Steve Jones of Sexual intercourse Pistols. Impression: Richard E.Aaron / Redferns

Intercourse Pistol Jones was famously gentle fingered and much of his gear was lifted from other artists when he would go see bands at the Hammersmith Apollo. A Twin Reverb amp was taken from a reggae band that was opening for Bob Marley and was made use of on the Sexual intercourse Pistols’ Never Mind The Bollocks. Both of those of Sid Vicious’ white P-Basses had been stolen by Jones. He also stole equipment from David Bowie. Steve Jones’ most legendary axe was a 1974 Gibson Les Paul Personalized was obtained from Sylvain Sylvain of the New York Dolls, but interestingly adequate, it was not stolen by Jones.

As for the Les Paul, McLaren alleges he took the guitar as payment for [mis]taking care of the Dolls all through their afterwards a long time, introduced it back to England, and gave it to Jones. In the course of Sylvain’s possession of the guitar, it highlighted a Bigsby vibrato that was afterwards taken off – stickers of pin-up women have been included to the guitar to protect the screw holes from the first Bigsby. This became Jones’ No 1 guitar for the length of his vocation.


The guitar went missing following the Pistols’ 1978 tour of the US but turned up many years later on in the hands of a US based mostly guitar collector no more time sporting the iconic pin-up stickers. In 2008 Gibson did a restricted Custom made Store creation operate encouraged by that guitar. It is not the only guitar Jones owned that formerly belonged to Sylvain. A Gretsch White Falcon that Sylvain owned located its way to Joe Strummer, then to Jones, who bought it to Phil Lynott for “a bag of dope” and it currently resides at the Lynott Museum in Eire.

Joe Strummer 1966 Telecaster

Joe Strummer of The Clash's 1966 Telecaster
Joe Strummer of The Clash’s 1966 Telecaster. Impression: Paul Morigi / Getty Visuals

“That black Tele is on just about every record and every single present I have finished,” the Clash icon as soon as stated. “It’s obtained like a library stamp that claims the 5th of August 1968 on the back again of the neck.”

Strummer’s iconic Telecaster is basically a 1966 model [though the neck may have been a ’68] and it arrived into the possession of Strummer in 1975 for the modest sum of £120. The guitar at first wore a sunburst complete but in 1976, Strummer introduced it to an car human body store and the overall body and pickguard ended up sprayed with black equipment enamel.

Just one story alleges that shortly immediately after Joe’s passing, that a rich Japanese guy attempted to buy the guitar from Strummer’s spouse for around a million lbs .. The guitar was a vessel for Strummer’s commanding songwriting. Strummer applied no effects, just a crushed outdated Telecaster heading directly into an amp. Strummer utilized a Fender Twin Reverb until finally 1979 and immediately after 1979, a Music Person High definition-212 150W.

Because of to the beatings the guitar would get at the palms of Strummer, the band was generally on the lookout for yet another guitar that could perform as a substitution so that Strummer could retire the ’66 but no other guitar could ever measure up, so the ’66 functioned as Strummer’s weapon of preference until finally his premature passing in 2002 at the age of 50.

Despite the fact that it continues to be speculative what Strummer would have considered of a relic’d signature run of his most loved guitar, in 2007, Fender started out earning Joe Strummer Signature Telecasters based on the ’66. This creation operate ran as a result of 2009 and the first 1,500 of them arrived with stencils and stickers to replicate Strummer’s accoutrements.

Billie Joe Armstrong’s Fernandes Strat

Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day
Billie Joe Armstrong of Inexperienced Working day. Impression: Tim Mosenfelder / Getty Illustrations or photos

These times, Eco-friendly Working day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong has a line of signature Les Paul Jrs, but even with all the sparkly new guitars at his disposal, Billie continue to reaches for old Blue. Blue is a Fernandes Stratocaster Duplicate that Billie obtained for his 11th birthday – his initial guitar. His mom bought it from a community guitar teacher, George Cole, who was Billie’s guitar instructor in his formative decades.

Allegedly, George got the guitar from David Margen, who was a bass participant Santana’s band from 1977 right until 1982. A Invoice Lawrence Humbucker was equipped into the bridge situation and remained there right up until it fell sufferer to an epic mud fight during the band’s efficiency at Woodstock in 1994. Immediately after that, it was changed with a Seymour Duncan JB. The bridge pickup is conspicuously slanted, reminiscent of Eddie Van Halen’s Frankenstrat or Kurt Cobain’s Jag-Stang.


Many Fernandes guitars of that era have been designed from Silver Coronary heart wood that was generally recycled from employed bowling alley planks. Japan knowledgeable a huge bowling fad in the early 70s, but when the fad faded and the bowling alleys went bankrupt, the wood was snatched up by opportunistic corporations like Satio, the organization that produced Fernandes guitars. The planks have been slender, which intended they experienced to be pancaked to get to the correct thickness – its not an unheard of follow – allow us not overlook that even Gibson Les Pauls have been laminated in this way in the course of the Norlin Era.

In spite of his signature Gibsons, Billie Joe however brings Blue on tour and takes advantage of it in the studio on celebration.

Brett Gurewitz’s Crimson Rocker

Brett Gurewitz of Bad Religion
Brett Gurewitz of Poor Religion. Graphic: Scott Dudelson / WireImage

Poor Religion is a single of punk rock’s most enduring and revered bands. Founding axeman Brett Gurewitz has utilized a ton of unique guitars in the studio in excess of the years, but a single guitar appears to pop up in the rotation additional than any other, a frankensteined monstrosity he dubbed The Purple Rocker.

“Over the yrs I’ve had a whole lot of guitars,” he informed us a long time ago. “My favored guitars about the yrs have been Les Pauls, but I’m possibly most noted for actively playing this detail I connect with the Purple Rocker guitar. The Pink Rocker is a bit of a monstrosity. I was on tour in the early 80s and my Les Paul was stolen, and I experienced to come across some thing immediately. So I found a inexpensive Charvel at a shop in Boston. Which is the place the Pink Rocker started. It now has a Charvel overall body, an ESP neck, a Fender bridge, and Seymour Duncan JB pickups. I’ve performed it a great deal around the many years and it is now coated in stickers. So that is what individuals see me playing a large amount.”

The Red Rocker has been utilized, to some degree, on each Negative Faith album. It is kind of an unofficial mascot for the band – a lovable misfit that embodies.

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