Joe Bonamassa test drives Peter Green’s guitars – and gives his thoughts on Kirk Hammett’s ownership of the Greeny Les Paul
Joe Bonamassa has taken a 1968 Gretsch White Falcon and 1931 National Duolian resonator – two guitars owned by late blues rock legend Peter Green – for a spin before they go up for auction later this month.
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The Peter Green Collection auction – hosted by Bonhams – will see the sale of over 150 guitars owned and played by Green. A selection of instruments were previewed at the UK Guitar Show back in February, and now Guitarist has arranged for a showcase of two guitars, by the suitably qualified Joe Bonamassa.
JoBo, quite rightly, dubs the White Falcon a “beautiful guitar”, but adds that the player is always more impressive than the instrument. “You can play blues on anything. Son Seals played blues on a Guild. Muddy Waters played blues on a Guild,” he says.
“Bobby Parker… was a stone-cold blues man, and he showed up with a Dimebag Darrell [Dean guitar] with the headstock modified,” Bonamassa adds. “And he ripped into the blues, and he didn’t care. That’s the cool thing about the blues, you can play it on anything.”
As for the National Duolian resonator, Bonamassa is visibly taken aback by its well-kept condition, given the fact that during the time of their production, they weren’t fitted with truss rods. “Not a lot of these survived with neck angles that are playable,” he says.
The most mythical six-stringed beast to once be graced by Peter Green is his “Greeny” Gibson Les Paul, though. And while it’s not on hand for Bonamassa to play – it now resides in the collection of Metallica’s Kirk Hammett – the blues guitarist has a few words to say.
“I love the fact Kirk Hammett has the Les Paul,” he says. “He’s playing his music on that guitar. The Les Paul shouldn’t just be a blues guitar. A Gretsch shouldn’t just be a rockabilly guitar. You can play anything on any guitar. As long as it works, and it’s loud.”
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