Had a nice little chat with Swedish guitar legend Yngwie Malmsteen the other day, in advance of his Guitar Gods show this Saturday (June 28) at the River Rock Show Theatre.
I mentioned that the last time I saw him live was on the G3 Tour at the Orpheum in 2003 or something. We got to talking about his G3 tourmates Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, and how neither of them are big Stratocaster fans. I asked the outspoken picker what it was about the Strat that has kept him so devoted to it all these years.
“Well, it’s kind of the original instrument,” said Yngwie. “Everything else is a copy of it, you know. All the Ibanez and stuff like that’s just a copy. It’s like a bad copy, really. It’s the same design but it’s a bad copy.
“I’m an original, very purist kinda guy,” he added, “that’s why I use Marshalls, Ferraris–whatever. I like the original stuff.”
And don’t even try mentioning Gibson’s finest around the devout Fender fanatic.
“Yeah, Les Paul’s nice bein’ a piece of furniture,” he replied. “It’s nice to look at. It wouldn’t survive five minutes with me on stage.”
For more from Mr. Malmsteen--including his thoughts on Ritchie Blackmore and Wikipedia's false information--see the story in this week's Straight. Read it on paper for that old-school American Standard vibe.
UPDATE, June 25: somebody just sent me photographic proof that, yes indeed, Les Pauls are furniture