The guitars for real

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From: Charles Ulrich <>
  FZ played the solos on four guitars: a Gibson SG, a Gibson Les Paul, and two Fender Stratocasters. Both of the 1979 solos were performed on the SG, which was FZ's main guitar in the 1970s. Two of the 1981 solos and two of the 1982 solos were performed on the Les Paul, which can be seen on the cover of Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar. FZ's Les Paul was equipped with Seymour Duncan pick-ups. It was also equipped with a device called a Green Ringer, designed by Dan Armstrong, which emphasized the second harmonic. Roadie Jay Sloatman told Guitar Player, "It kind of feels like it's feeding back, because you play a note and instantly hear the octave. But any time you play more than one note, it does this horrible modulation stuff, which Frank loved."
  The other three 1981 solos were performed on a sunburst Stratocaster that had formerly belonged to Jimi Hendrix, who burned it on stage. FZ received this guitar from Howard Parker, who had been a roadie for Hendrix. FZ believed that Jimi had burned it at the Miami Pop Festival in 1968, but Caesar Glebbeek has argued that he actually burned it at the Astoria in London in 1967. The burned guitar hung on FZ's wall for many years, but around 1976 he had it fixed by Rex Bogue, who replaced the neck and pick-ups and installed parametric EQ. FZ told Guitarist, "I haven't played it all that often, because unless you're in the right environment and you're standing in exactly the right relationship to the amplifier, it likes to feed back all the time."
  Nine of the 1982 solos and all of the 1984 solos were performed on a blonde Stratocaster with a custom neck, custom pick-ups, and Floyd Rose tremolo. This was the only guitar FZ played on the 1984 tour.
  The photographs on the album were all taken on the 1988 tour. The blonde Strat on the front cover may be the same one FZ played in 1982 and 1984. But the sunburst Strat on the inside front cover is not the Hendrix Strat.
  Starting in 1982, FZ often soloed over guitar loops. In 1983, he told Down Beat, "The last tour, though, I didn't use any wah-wah at all. In fact, the only effect that I did use were three DDLs [digital delays] for different functions: one to give me slight delay with a little bit of pitch shift so it makes a vibrato and just thickens the sound, and the other two for passages that we'd just play over and over again, like recording loops." FZ would create these loops at the soundcheck and use them in that night's concert. Often, the loop consisted of a single chord, as FZ explained in 1984: "... on some of the solos I was using a digital delay that had a single chord stored in it, and it was on a loop, and every time that loop would come around it would have a certain rhythm which was totally irrelevant to what the rhythm of the bass and drums were doing. So I have a choice of two different established rhythms that I could play, plus the option of choosing a third one that was completely between those." One-chord loops can be heard on "Republicans", "Once Again, Without The Net", "Sunrise Redeemer", and "Canadian Customs", all of which are taken from performances of "Let's Move To Cleveland".
From: Bill Lantz <>
  Might it be worth mentioning that Adrian Belew used the Hendrix strat during the 77-78 tours? He liked it so much that after leaving FZ's band, he custom burned his own Strat and used that one (most famously with the Talking Heads) till around mid-1981 during early Discipline (later King Crimson) gigs.

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