Hugh Cornwell: “I can’t fathom what the attraction is about a relic guitar. It’s battered and beaten up, and suddenly it’s 10 times the price?”

Hugh Cornwell, formerly of the Stranglers, plays Scone Palace at Rewind Festival 2022, in Scotland
(Image credit: Lorne Thomson/Redferns)

Prolific, iconoclastic, and as he reveals here in this tell-all confessional about a life spent buying electric guitars, a collector of affordable Fender Telecasters, Hugh Cornwell helped change the shape of punk and post-punk in 16 years with The Stranglers.

With his 10th solo album, Moments of Madness, out October 21, Cornwell sat down with Guitarist for the latest installment of Bought & Sold, where he tracks his career through guitars past and present, and tackles two of the biggest philosophical questions of our time – cheap electric guitar and top-notch guitar amp, or high-end electric guitar and cheap amp? Humbuckers or single-coils? 

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David Mead

With over 30 years’ experience writing for guitar magazines, including at one time occupying the role of editor for Guitarist and Guitar Techniques, David is also the best-selling author of a number of guitar books for Sanctuary Publishing, Music Sales, Mel Bay and Hal Leonard. As a player he has performed with blues sax legend Dick Heckstall-Smith, played rock ’n’ roll in Marty Wilde’s band, duetted with Martin Taylor and taken part in charity gigs backing Gary Moore, Bernie Marsden and Robbie McIntosh, among others. An avid composer of acoustic guitar instrumentals, he has released two acclaimed albums, Nocturnal and Arboretum.