Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter, aka Bill & Ted, are actually both bassists

The Bill & Ted movies have always been an electric guitar-heavy franchise – and that includes air guitars – but it looks as if the third installment, Bill & Ted Face the Music, will be the most six-string-heavy yet.

Gibson has partnered with the film’s distributor, Orion Pictures, as the official guitar brand of the film, supplying more than 30 Gibson, Epiphone and Kramer models for the film – including the Vintage Sparkling Burgundy SG Special used by “Bill” S. Preston Esq. (Alex Winter) and the white Flying V played by “Ted” Theodore Logan (Keanu Reeves) in their excellent band, Wyld Stallyns.

But, funnily enough, in a recent chat with Gibson TV’s Mark Agnesi to celebrate the release of the film, Alex Winter revealed that he and Keanu Reeves are actually both bassists.

“Both Keanu and I play bass,” he told Agnesi. “We played bass when we first met, which is hilarious. We used to duel, both of us on bass, just jamming. Neither of us played regular guitar.”

Which is not to say there wasn’t plenty of great guitar playing around them.

“We had coaches teaching us how to play the guitar parts,” Winter continues. “We had Stevie Salas doing the shredding on the first [film] and Steve Vai on the second. It was a lot of fun. We worked with a lot of guitar players and there was always a big musical component to both films.”

Reeves, of course, used to play bass in alternative band Dogstar, who toured for nearly a decade, even during his post-Matrix fame.

As for how “Bill” wound up playing an SG?

“I was a really big AC/DC fan so I was the reason that the SG was introduced into the Wyld Stallyns lexicon,” Winter explains. “Because that was Angus’ guitar and I thought it’d be really cool if Bill played an SG.”

As for some of the other Gibson guitars on display in the new film? There’s a Tobacco Burst Les Paul Standard 50s, Pelham Blue ES-335, Epiphone Slash Les Paul and Lzzy Hale Signature Explorer and, of course, the purple Kramer Baretta Special used by Rivers Cuomo in the video for Weezer’s Beginning of the End, the first single from the soundtrack.

Bill & Ted Face the Music is out August 28, and to celebrate, fans can enter to win a Gibson SG Special like the one Winter plays in the movie, as well as the purple Kramer Baretta used by Rivers Cuomo in the Beginning of the End video.

To preorder the film, head to BillandTed3.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.