To the average electric guitar fan, it was a highly alluring instrument, what with its bold white-on-red colorway, but to John 5 it was so much more: in his own words, it was “the perfect guitar”.
As such, in honor of his new prized instrument, the Mötley Crüe guitarist has composed an instrumental masterclass – aptly titled The Ghost – premiered exclusively at Guitar World.
Though John 5 has spent much of the past year performing tracks from the Crüe catalog as part of his duties as the band’s new guitarist, The Ghost sees the former Rob Zombie virtuoso let loose for a four-minute technical tour de force.
Utilizing almost every trick up his sleeve, John 5 navigates dizzying tapping lines and juggles liquid arpeggios, all of which culminate in the form of a wild tap-heavy outro guitar solo.
Of course, it’s The Ghost (which was actually inspired by a popular New York fashion powerhouse) that is the real star of the show here, with the none-more-white six-string – and its unusual white-finished fretboard – accommodating John 5’s suite of shred sleight of hand maneuvers.
“We recorded the video when I was tracking the song, so it’s pretty special,” he says of his performance. “In the very beginning of the video, I’m using a selective picking technique. There’s a little bit of everything – fast picking, the string skipping, sliding, arpeggios, crazy tapping… the kitchen sink!”
As for how he concocted his tones for The Ghost, John 5 tells Guitar World, “The Ghost Telecaster was used with a Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive pedal and a Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor.” That simple chain was fed through a 100-watt EVH head and an EVH cab.
“The guitar is, to me, the perfect guitar,” John 5 said of his signature Fender. “It has everything; looks, durability, amazing sound, so the only thing I could do is create a song that shows all of its glory.”
It’s not the first time John 5 has waxed lyrical about his signature guitar. Speaking to Guitar World earlier this month, the shred maestro sat down to discuss his latest Fender model, and revealed how he robustly road-tested the prototype before it arrived.
“I insisted on putting it through the wringer first and taking it on tour before the final release,” he said at the time. “I didn’t want anything to go wrong, so I was trying to see if the white paint would wear off or if the toggle might break.
“The only way to make sure of the quality was to take it out for a few years. I was constantly using it and sweating all over it… nothing happened. This stuff won’t break or wear away. It looks and sounds unbelievable and is 100 percent tough. Basically, it’s a road guitar.”
John 5 is set to go on tour in North America next year. A full list of dates can be found on his official website.