With the recent tour break, Joe had some time to answer many of the great questions that were submitted last month to his Facebook Q&A. Thanks to all that sent in their questions. For those who’s questions were not answered, we will do this again soon. Look out for parts 2 and 3 of the Joe Elliott Q&A coming in the next few days!
Listen to Pt. 1 of Joe’s answers on SoundCloud NOW!
DREAD - Jackson custom PC1 with reverse Jackson headstock
If you've seen any dates on this tour I play DREAD on "Armageddon It" and "Pour Some Sugar On Me". This guitar is one of my touring guitar favorites. It's basically a PC1 body with the Jackson driver/ sustainer in the neck position and a DiMarzio Super 3 in the bridge position. You can't see the pickup as it has a plastic cover on it to enhance the extremely elaborate paint job executed by the excellent visual and graphic artist Johnnie Grez. I heard that this paint job took 52 hours to complete. When you hold the guitar up to the light you can see why-especially on the back. Some of the water designs and dreadlocks are raised which you can feel when you touch it with your hands and/or look at it from a distance. It's almost 3D. The other thing is that Johnnie painted DREAD with glow in the dark paint (my other glow in the dark Jackson BELA gets much love and is currently imprisoned in a glass coffin at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum. Check it out if you're in Cleveland cause I'll be bringing it out for that one show only for those of you who keep asking about the 'vampire' guitar).
The subject matter of DREAD is a deadlocked monster loosley based on the creature from the movie "Predator" hence the name DREAD. We skipped the middle pickup on this guitar to give Johnnie a little more artistic freedom plus I never use the middle pickup when I play live. It has FU-TONE titanium block and bridge saddles and a Floyd Rose tremolo bridge. It's equipped with 13-54 gauge D'addario strings.
This guitar also has a few different features for me. I wanted to go back to the classic Jackson headstock that I have on my 80s Jacksons only reverse it-really a tribute to Jimi Hendrix from me. There's an ebony fingerboard which apart from having a different feel has a completely different sound. It's smoother and creamier-great for lead tones and shredding for some reason. The neck has a good chunk to it that transfers to the sound when you're playing rhythm. I'll get the neck sizes to you guys later as I'm now in cahoots with Kurt Walton at Jackson and he'll be getting the exact specs as all this stuff is recorded. Pretty cool huh?
Another little detail related to this guitar is if you look closely at the chain I have hanging off my hip it's actually the "Predator", or the head at least, making the chain links. You'd have to zoom in on that so we've actually done that for you in the photos CLICK HERE
Oh, by the way if I'm not mistaken, I believe there was another guitar made for someone out there with the same spec and artwork as DREAD, so if you're out there I'd love to see some photos.
Joe’s side band DOWN ’n’ OUTZ have released a video for their cover of the Mott the Hoople classic “One of the Boys”, taken from their critically acclaimed album “The Further Adventures Of…”. The single was originally the b-side to MOTT THE HOOPLE’s “All the Young Dudes” and is a classic slice of Hunter/Ralphs song writing.
Read the article and watch the video now on Classic Rock Magazine HERE
April 2014 saw the release of the album The Further Adventures Of…, which is the third instalment of the project fronted by Joe, and features tracks connected to Mott the Hoople. Click here to purchase on iTunes & Amazon.
UK & Eire dates include:
5th Dec - Bristol (Bierkeller)
6th Dec - Trecco Bay (Planet Rockstock Festival)
8th Dec - London (Garage)
9th Dec - York (Fibbers)
11th Dec - Sheffield (Corporation)
12th Dec - Wolverhampton (Slade Rooms)
14th Dec - Newcastle (Riverside)
15th Dec - Glasgow (Garage)
17th Dec - Belfast (Limelight)
18th Dec - Dublin (Academy)
Ticket are priced Bristol, London, York, Sheffield, Wolverhampton, Newcastle and Glasgow are £20. Belfast £17.50 and Dublin €25. Tickets on sale now at all usual outlets. For all details visit DownNOutz.net
Next in my guitar blog is Jackson PC1 Natural (BIG BOY)
This is one of my classic signature models from Jackson Guitars-the PC1. I've been playing BIG BOY on "Let's Get Rocked" most nights on this tour. It's named BIG BOY cause it has a big neck. I like massive necks because it improves the tone of the guitar and prevents the neck from warping especially as I play really aggressively and use heavy strings by rock guitar standards (D'addario 13-54 string gauge). My guitars take so much punishment on our tours. They'll be drenched with sweat. Yeah I know its gross but I ooze when it's 100° on stage. Then the next day they may get blasted with ac. So I find bigger necks respond better to such violence plus I like the way they feel. This is something I custom order when my guitars are made. The standard necks are way smaller. Big Boy is a brother to one of my other natural PC1s. I use it as a touring guitar and the other one stays at home since I record with it a lot. In fact you can hear my other natural PC1 on "All I Wanna Do" by Manraze. It also appears on what is probably my favorite solo that I play on "Mistreated"-a song on the Delta Deep album that'll be released sometime this Fall.
The PC1s have a mahogany body with a beautiful maple top, a maple fingerboard, Dimarzio pickups (a Super 3 humbucker in the bridge position and HS2 in the middle). The neck pickup is also a sustainer/driver by Jackson that allows me to get all that screaming feedback and emulate the sustain that I used an ebow for on the Hysteria album. It sounds like a keyboard or strings on the record especially when you multi-track it. I have a Floyd Rose bridge with FU-Tone titanium saddles on the bridge and a titanium block. Just for those who wonder what a block is here's a photo. The block connects the springs on the back of a 'floating bridge guitar' to the bridge. The more vibration you get from the guitar the more lively and better it sounds. Titanium is a great vibration conductor. The other thing about this guitar is that there is no varnish per say. It has what's called an oil finish so the wood's almost raw. This helps the sound as the wood breathes better. Now I'm being ultra picky here as I have some guitars that sound incredible with 20 gallons of paint on them. But this guitar screams when you want it to and moans with mellow pleasure in an instant.
The PC1 has been around since 1996 and has so much versatility and that's why it's been my main guitar. Sorry, if I went on too much with the guitar geekdom but these are the questions people always ask me. The photos are of Big Boy in action and some tech closeup shots taken backstage with my tech Scotty Appleton at yesterday's show in Tampa, FL. It was baking hot. By the way one of the photos show two compartments on the back of the guitar. They house two batteries for the sustainer. CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL PHOTOS!
Jackson PC X-STROYER
Here is my new guitar which I play on our summer 2014 tour and is the 2nd guitar I play during our set. It's been introduced before but I want to give a few more details since it's based on something so memorable and folks seem interested in my guitar details and setup.
The X-STROYER has a mahogany body with a maple top much like my PC1s. It has a trans black finish on it so from a distance it looks black. But when you get up close on it you can see the glorious maple grain…mouthwatering. This is neck through. It has DiMarzio Super 3s. My original guitar' had DiMarzio Super Distortions (kind of similar). This guitar has a Jackson sustainer, a Floyd Rose tremolo system, and FU titanium saddles and block. The neck is monster huge with an ebony fingerboard. I haven't got the dimensions with me at the moment but I can let you know later. This guitar has a thick, rich, creamy chunky low end that screams like crazy when you play leads. It's a perfect sounding rock guitar. My X-STROYER is different from my other guitars. It sustains like crazy and kind of plays itself. It feels like its a system that overrides the player (sound wise) and just does its thing.