One of Bonamassa’s favorite guitars—a 1959 Gibson Les Paul he calls “Magellan”—getting
cozy with a Native Americanthemed
blanket and pillow.
A close-up of Magellan, which features a beautiful honeyburst finish and is all original except for its tuners.
Joe, you’re known as a big-time
gear aficionado. What
were some of the guitars you
used on 2?
I had something
like 40 freakin’ guitars at my
disposal for the record. I used
a bunch of Gibson Les Pauls—some of my goldtop signature
models and a real ’59 burst
that I’ve nicknamed Magellan
because it’s traveled around the
world with me. It’s all stock
except for the tuners, which I
swapped out. I also played a
Gibson Custom Don Felder
doubleneck, an ’82 Explorer
with three humbuckers like a
Les Paul Custom, a Fender Jeff
Beck Stratocaster, and a Music
Man Steve Morse Y2D. For
acoustic, I used an extremely
rare 1969 Grammer Johnny
Which amps and effects did
you record the album with?
I selected from a
wall of Marshalls: four Jubilees
and four ’69 metal-panel Super
Leads that I kept powered up
continuously during the sessions.
For cabs, I had two old
Marshall Super Basses and two
Mojo cabinets, all with Electro-
Voice EVM12L speakers. I
made pretty minimal use of
effects on the record—just a
Tube Screamer, a Boss DD-3,
my signature Fuzz Face, and a
new signature wah-wah that was
custom-made by Jeorge Tripps
of Dunlop Manufacturing and
Way Huge Electronics. [Ed. note:
According to Tripps, the wah has a
copper top with a gloss-black bottom
and features a Halo inductor
and full-size components mounted
on a through-hole board for sweet,
Glenn, what are some of your
I have a number of
old Fenders, but lately I’ve been
playing a couple of P-bass-style
instruments—one in Dakota
Red and the other in Olympic
White—made by Bill Nash, the
great relic builder. His basses
not only look realistically old,
they sound remarkably like ’50s
models. I’m utterly blown away
by them—they work staggeringly
well for me. And, in case
you’re wondering, I don’t get
paid to play them.
Black Country Communion—keyboardist Derek Sherinian (left), Hughes, drummer Jason Bonham, and Bonamassa—smoking onstage.
What about effects and
I don’t use any effects
in Black Country Communion.
I’m pretty organic and don’t
really fly with processed stuff.
Instead, I plug straight into a
pair of 400-watt Laney Nexus-
Tube amps, which have an amazingly
thick sound that reminds
me of the Hiwatts I used back in
my Deep Purple days.
Joe, on 2, you get a sound that
could be described as metal-like
in spots—like in the dropped-D
riffing in “The Outsider.” Have
you always been into that genre?
Yes. It might
not always be obvious from
listening to my other music, but
I’ve long been a big fan of metal
for its mystery and intrigue. It
makes a lot of sense when you
think about it, since metal is
rooted in the blues.