2012 Gibson Les Paul Custom "Maple Vertigo"
This is basically the 21st century version of the bull’s-eye. I used it a lot on the new record. It’s pretty rare to see a maple fretboard, and I had originally done a camo paint job, but then we changed it to the vertigo. It’s basically a maple top with a rosewood body, maple neck, and maple fretboard. It gives the tone these glassy highs and it’s just a great-sounding guitar. It’s loaded with an EMG 81 and an EMG 85. That’s what I started out on with the first Ozzy record and I’ve used them ever since.
1989 Gibson Les Paul Custom "The Rebel
This guitar started as a black Les Paul Custom and I got it during No More Tears. Obviously, I painted the rebel flag on it because of the Allmans, Skynyrd, and everything like that. Everyone asked if I was from the South, and I said “Yeah, South Jersey.” The bottle caps came from me drinking one night. I saw Bret Michaels in a Poison video and he had a rebel flag on one of his guitars. I’m buddies with him now, but then I was thinking, “I can't be walking around with a rebel guitar. Bret Michaels has a f***ing rebel guitar!” Everyone was going to be yelling, “Hey Zakk, I love your Bret Michaels guitar.” [Laughs.] That’s when the bottle caps came into it and I started to sand it down and just mess with it. We were just laughing about how you can see the change in the beer caps between Miller Genuine Draft and Bud then onto the microbrews and the local breweries.
One day we were doing a photo shoot and Ozzy was busting my balls about Southern rock. I was like, “Where’s my guitar?” and I’m looking around because they want to get a shot of Ozzy and me with that guitar. I go outside and one of the guys had wrapped it up in newspaper and f***ing lit it on fire! There was an eight-foot flame like at a Rammstein concert. I put the guitar out and look at Ozzy and say, “You really don't like Southern rock, do you?” He was rolling on the ground laughing. [Laughs.]
When my daughter was about 2, she was walking around and playing with all the guitars. I have all the guitars up on hanging stands and I didn’t have them wrapped with rubber bands so they wouldn’t move. She was just a bambino strumming them and checking things out and next thing you know she bumped one and it was like a bunch of dominos. I stopped all the guitars from falling and I leaned the Rebel on an amp. And as I’m holding all the other guitars trying to figure out how I’m going to put them all down I look at the Rebel and in slow motion I see it slide off the Bluesbreaker. I’m like Cleveland in the Family Guy, “No … no … no … no.” Next thing you know the guitar falls, and we have wood floors in the house, and it hits and bounces. I didn’t think anything of it and a few days later I went to change strings on it and I grabbed it and while I’m tuning it the low E was making a weird noise and kept going all floppy. I flipped the guitar over and checked out the tuning machine and there was a massive crack and the headstock was just barely holding on. Eventually, Gibson replaced the whole neck but kept the original fretboard.