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.

 

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!

This weeks show will feature tunes from Utopia, The Quireboys, Bad Company, Framton, UFO amongst others, as well as tour updates from Joe. 

 
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Joe talks to The Jolt about the current summer tour w/ KISS, new album status, and shares his thoughts on current lineup w/ Queen.  LIsten NOW!

 

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Joe talks new album, DOWN ’n’ OUTZ, social media, Vegas Residencies, side projects, band popularity and much more.  Listen now!