“Buckethead made me want to explore the idea of using a kill switch. I love how creative you can get”: How John 5 revolutionized one of Fender’s oldest guitar designs with the Ghost Telecaster

Fender John 5 Ghost signature guitar
(Image credit: Fender)

Though there have been a few signature guitars in the past – the first being the Squier J5 Telecaster launched in 2009 and the two Custom Shop instruments that came after – this year marks the first John 5 model to be produced in the “regular” Fender factory. 

The heavily customized Ghost Telecaster features a one-piece maple neck and alder body, as well as a pair of ceramic magnet DiMarzio D Activator humbuckers, a three-way toggle mounted to its upper bout and an Arcade-style kill switch. 

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Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences as a guitar player. He's worked for magazines like Kerrang!Metal HammerClassic RockProgRecord CollectorPlanet RockRhythm and Bass Player, as well as newspapers like Metro and The Independent, interviewing everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handled lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).