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Ted Nugent live in 2013. Photo: Willie G. Moeley

Anyone who’s ever captured Ted Nugent top top tour has actually seen this instrument, and also during the Summer of 2003 it to be intended to be the only guitar offered by the motor City Madman during his one-hour slot.

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“That to be pretty much due to time restraints,” stated Dean Mitchell, who has actually been Nugent’s guitar technology for a number of years. “He wanted to just keep going, and didn’t want to have to stop to adjust guitars.”

In enhancement to being distinct as a absent guitarist’s main instrument, the Byrdland is unique amongst Gibson electrical guitars. Designed through the input of guitarists Billy Byrd and Hank Garland (the name is acquired from your surnames), the was presented in the mid 1950s as among the company’s first “thinline” hollowbody models. That is 23 1/2″ scale is likewise unusual, being more typical the a college student guitar 보다 a professional instrument.

Standard Byrdlands were originally obtainable with P-90 pickups, and acquired humbuckers in the so late ’50s. Share finishes to be sunburst and also natural, and also Gibson made the model with Venetian (rounded) and also Florentine (pointed) cutaways, as well as spruce or maple tops.

Da Nuge’s preferred Byrdland configuration is a spruce-top model with a Florentine cutaway, and also Mitchell said that the guitarist has had actually the instrument due to the fact that his days through the Amboy Dukes. It’s well-known as “Number 4” – Nugent numbers his Byrdlands sequentially, and also the first three were shed in a fire that damaged an Amboy Dukes trailer. Number 4 has actually been broken on more than one occasion, yet has always been restored to Nugent’s sonic satisfaction.

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Photo: stack Gould.

The guitarist’s no-holds-barred playing style has necessitated the removal of the pickguard on every one of his Byrdlands. Keep in mind the wear – down to the bare hardwood of the optimal – not just where a pickguard would certainly have safeguarded it, but also around the volume knobs.

According come Mitchell, the wear is because of a mix of Nugent’s sweat and also his constant manipulation that the controls.

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“He’s the only guitar player I recognize who constantly works his volume knobs and pickups,” Mitchell said. “He’s always transforming up, transforming down, transforming up halfway, back and forth between each pickup.”

Modifications include an old Gretsch threaded strap button knob that serves as the lid for the toggle switch, and Mitchell avers that “…it’s less complicated for that to get at, and it watch cooler! We put those on all of his guitars.”

In 2003, the original Patent applied For (P.A.F.) pickups, i beg your pardon had begun to “squeal,” follow to Mitchell, were changed by Gibson Burstbucker 2 models.

Battered, worn, and also reinforced, Nugent’s ’62 Byrdland is together outspoken and also unique as its owner, and also Nugent has actually relied ~ above its sound for countless years. Perhaps Nugent’s affection and reliance top top this instrument are ideal summed increase by an anecdote recounted by his guitar tech.

“I to be looking in ~ the wear top top it…” Mitchell recalled through a chuckle. “And i asked Ted if he want me come sand it down and also put a tiny lacquer on there. That told me if ns touched it, he’d shoot me. He wants it come be favor Willie Nelson’s acoustic!”


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