We’re a strange lot, us guitarists. Whether John Mayer is a Fender artist or not shouldn’t matter. Guthrie Govan playing an 8 string Strandberg shouldn’t matter. Greg Howe suddenly playing Carvin Guitars shouldn’t really be news. But to many of us it is news, it does matter, and why? Because we’ve been brainwashed by decades (in some cases a lot less) of advertising by guitar companies that create some kind of lucrative contract between themselves and a guitarist in order to sell more guitars and make the artist some extra pocket money. Now I’m not saying the Guthrie Govan Charvel isn’t worth buying, it is a very unique offering for Charvel, I just think it’s funny how we all collectively shout WTF?! when these endorsed artists appear with a different brand, myself included.
Clearly Guthrie felt that the Strandberg 8 string Boden was the best tool for the job in the situation he was using it in, John Mayer on the other hand maybe doesn’t really need an endorsement deal at his level of fame constraining him to certain guitars, he says he will continue to play Fender guitars but his signature model will be discontinued and he will no longer be an exclusive Fender Artist. He cites change to the Fender Corp. as the reason, “I love Fender guitars and will continue to play them, but the fact is that the company as it is today isn’t the same one I started with.” I have seen a few videos of Mayer lately playing various guitars including a Duesenberg and thought nothing of it, now that he’s posted that tweet I’m suddenly interested. Gah! And as for Greg Howe his last endorsement didn’t go so well and the company folded so it makes sense to go with a reputable company known for making some fantastic looking guitars.
Guthrie Govan recently performed at the Hans Zimmer Revealed event in London with the German film score composer alongside Johnny Marr (which I found an interesting choice). Some video has started to appear online of this event and features Guthrie playing a distinctive Strandberg headless guitar. Now personally I couldn’t see from the video below whether Guthrie is playing a 7 or 8 string model but at 5:47 you get a close up and it does look like a pretty wide fretboard… oh dear, see what I’m doing?! Like I said, I don’t know why I should be obsessed by this kind of thing, I just am. Help.
Finally, check out this video of Greg Howe playing a recent Carvin acquisition that he posted up on Instagram. Also check out this photo of Greg admiring his new custom Carvin that Jeff Kiesel, owner at Carvin Guitars, built for Greg.
Looks like a cool guitar, I never really understood why Greg stopped endorsing ESP Guitars as they have such a huge following (and advertising budget) but the Carvins definitely seem like a good fit for Greg Howe and look forward to seeing more videos.
So there you go, my obsession with people playing guitars basically on a par with women’s magazines obsessed by celebrity fashion… Please tell me I’m not alone?