John 5 reveals his guitar rig for Mötley Crüe’s upcoming world tour

John 5's guitar rig
(Image credit: John 5/Instagram)

Earlier this week, John 5 met up with his new Mötley Crüe bandmates to commence rehearsals for the band’s upcoming world tour – rehearsals that were, if Nikki Sixx’s word is anything to go by, “fucking epic”.

Now, as if anticipation ahead of the forthcoming tour with Def Leppard wasn’t high enough, John 5 has taken to social media to show off his complete guitar rig that will be accompanying him on his premiere trip round the world with Mötley Crüe.

John 5’s affinity for the Telecaster is well-documented, but the former Rob Zombie guitarist seems to have taken things up a notch for his latest job: in the video, he can be seen showing off a variety of Floyd Rose-equipped Teles, each flashing a striking gold-plated, silver-plated or black finish.

We’ve seen John 5 play these models before, most notably in his Mötley Monday videos, where he posts a number of Crüe covers to his social media channels. Having said that, John 5 has previously favored hardtail hardware, with both his flagship and upcoming Fender signature guitars both featuring conventional Tele bridges.

His defection to the ranks of Floyd Rose, then, looks to be a fairly recent phenomenon for John 5, who will no doubt be plenty busy with the whammy bar during Mötley Crüe’s tour. Indeed, he reveals his main guitar will be his "Gold" Tele, which features the Floyd Rose.

Despite this, there are plenty of hardtail Teles and a handful of John 5’s go-to guitars from his previous live appearances, including his LED-loaded, strobing single-cut that he’s used during his solo shows, and, of course, his signature Telecaster.

A more eye-catching six-string addition to John 5’s live arsenal is a Gibson Chet Atkins SST acoustic guitar, which will see some action during Home Sweet Home.

As for guitar amps and effects pedals, John 5 juxtaposes his flashy guitars with a relatively simple setup comprising a handful of Marshall JVM heads, Marshall cabinets, a rack speaker simulator and a very modest pedalboard that is made entirely from Boss pedals.

Specifically, the ‘board boasts a Radial Engineering SGI-44 line driver, an A/B switcher and five Boss effects pedals: the SD-1 Super Overdrive, CH-1 Super Chorus, OC-5 Octave, NS-2 Noise Suppressor and DD-8 Digital Delay. There’s also a mystery Boss pedal sitting underneath the Super Chorus, but it’s impossible to tell what it is. Having said that, its yellow casing suggests it might be another overdrive unit.

John 5 will head out on tour with Mötley Crüe later this year for the first time since being announced as their new live guitarist following Mick Mars’ retirement. Mars, the band’s founding guitarist, stepped back from live duties as a result of his ongoing battle with ankylosing spondylitis.

Mötley Crüe will play their first live show of the year on February 18 in Mexico City. For a full list of tour dates, visit the band’s website.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.