Brad Whitford

Aerosmith’s Brad Whitford chose Fender Stratocasters for the tour. He’s pictured here with a Mexican-made Standard.

For the tour, Whitford went with a setup he’s used for years. “Ever since I can remember playing, a 100-watt Marshall halfstack has been my frame of reference,” he said. “Being really young and listening to Eric Clapton in Cream—and, of course, Hendrix—made me think, that’s what guitar sounds like.’” Whitford drove the amp with a seafoam green Strat recently loaded with Duncan Antiquities. “You sort of have that journey that you go through, looking for whatever tone that you’re after. Then you realize that you just lost it. Everybody’s got a better mousetrap. I’ve gone through a lot of different stages with guitars and pedals, but I think the minimalistic approach is the best. The more naked it is, the more honest it is.” He’s even rethought wirelesses. “The last few shows with Aerosmith I stopped using it. Mentally, it’s hard to wrap my head around my guitar signal being some invisible thing in the air.”

Experience Hendrix has allowed Whitford to not only share the stage with his sons, but other performers he wouldn’t otherwise have had the opportunity to do so with. “Usually the show closes with ‘Red House,’ and that includes Joe [Satriani], Robert [Randolph], and Billy [Cox],” he explains. “It’s been really fun playing with Joe, he’s such a great musician. It’s not one of those competition things with him—it’s all about the music.”

Two Fender Stratocasters belonging to the Whitfords: an American Fat Strat with Gold Lace Sensors and a Mexican-made Standard.

Whitford’s sons, Harrison and Graham, joined him on the Experience Hendrix tour this year. Here Harrison holds his seafoam green Fender ’62 Stratocaster reissue.

The Whitfords depended on the time-tested—and Hendrix-approved—Marshall Super Lead and a Marshall 4x12. The head is a reissue 100-watt model, and the cabinet is a 1960BX loaded with Celestion Greenbacks. It’s mic’d with a Shure SM57.

Whitford’s pedalboard features a Dunlop Crybaby wah, Seymour Duncan Tweak Fuzz, Fulltone Deja Vibe, MXR Carbon Copy analog delay, and an original Marshall The Guv’nor overdrive.