Outspoken Strat-lover Yngwie Malmsteen calls Les Paul guitars "furniture"

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

Comments (50) Add New Comment
max clover
The self-proclaimed Guitar God Among Men should read up on the history of his instrument. The Strat is a great guitar, but it's hardly the original electric guitar--it's not even the original Fender electric, as the Broadcaster and the Telecaster preceded the Strat by several years.

As for his dissing of the Les Paul (which also predated the Strat) Mr. Malmsteen would do well to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and check out the permanent exhibit to the late Mr. Paul, who contributed far more to the art of guitar playing than Malmsteen is likely to.
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blah
whoever this guy is, he has no clue about Les Paul guitars. If this guy is a god, why is god playing the hard rock and not a larger venue?????
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Ron Y
Les Pauls weigh a ton, though.

Maybe that's why YM needs the Strat. Because it's hard to lift your guitar while playing a high-neck noodle:

DEEDLY DEEDLY DEEDLY DEEDLY DEEDLY WAAOOOOOW DEEDLY DEEDLY DEEDLY WAOOOOWW WAOOOOAAA GRRR DEEDLE DEEDLY (repeat for thirty-five minutes and call it an album)

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Steve Newton
Ron Y: you are way off. It's "weedly eedly", not "deedly deedly"
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matt murray
actually, it's wankly wankly.
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Alex Rude
Dwat Da Diddly to be precise!
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JC
It's actually at the River Rock Casino...
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Steve Newton
you're right, thanks JC. I've corrected that detail in the blog.
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Paul
Swedish Douche. Not a single chick in the audience when he plays.
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Wanly
Well, I can see which side this author's bread is buttered with. Terrible biased article.
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mike manne
Malmsteen is entitled to his opinion, even if his views seems to bother some. Yes, the telecaster came first, but the stratocaster was still one of the first, even if it came second, it doesnt matter really. The 1950,s right! The les paul is a great guitar, but its not for every player. I wouldnt get to bashed-up by his views, the les paul is a fine piece of furniture isnt it! Afterall its heavy too. Only recently did, they start building some lite ones.I like Les Pauls of course, afterall there is Duane Allman and Dicky Betts right! Gary Moore and Warren Hayes. The stratocaster will always be a very cool guitar, just ask jimi and stevie, so after you have been playing for thirty-somewhat years, you can always own both. Which one will YOU play? HA!
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Scott Moates
Why would a Les Paul not "hold up" on stage with Yingvay ? He could use a Floyd Rose,and his string gauge. Put his stack dimarzio's single humbuckers on it. Why ,why,why ,!!!!!!! Are you dissing our beautiful guitars!!
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Steve Newton
ya gotta admit, though, this is pretty damn good "weedly eedling": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eK0rvReE-4c
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CWR
It never ceases to amaze me that people are so short sighted about Yngwie. He has some of the best left hand vibrato and note choice in the business! We are all entitled to our opinion and most of us never get called out for liking one thing over another. Yngwie is just expressing what he likes and has his preferences. If you don't agree with what he likes that is your opinion. The fact remains that Yngwie is an amazing talent and has influenced many players over the years. If you don't like his music, don't listen to it. If you like Gibson over Fender, buy a Gibson.
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Basil Stanley
Isn't Yngwie a bit hypocritical about "bad copies" , when that's really all HE is? From day one, he copied Richie Blackmore's style, clothing, guitar, amps, hair, shoes, EVERYTHING. He may be an OK guitarist, but his credibility was shot being in that crap band Steeler, with a bassist who couldn't reliably play an eighth-note bassline.
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Zephead62
Good 'ol Yngwie....different song,SAME SOLO
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max
No matter what he says, he will always be an important icon in the history of metal. Just ask Jason becker, jeff loomis, rusty cooley, paul gilbert...etc and tons of japanese players. "weedly deedly" stuffs are heard by tone deaf, metalcore breakdown fanatic, intermediate players. This guy plays with more emotion most of the robotic players today.
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eddie leiser
you can make a strat sound like a les paul......but not vice -versa......both are brilliant weapons of tone from two genius"s peace!
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pg
If thats what he likes then thats what he likes if you don't like what he has to say then don't lisin to him go lisin to some other crap like chug chug chug on a 8 string guitar
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BD
Putting down a Les Paul over a Strat is like loving one of your children more than the other one. I play Strats, Teles, and Les Pauls, and they all hold a special place in my heart. Just because the Strat works for him, doesn't mean he has to put down a Les Paul. I'm glad I missed him when he played here because I had a gig that night. And I played a Les Paul AND a Strat that night!
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