“It was a quality instrument to learn on. Without my dad, who knows what kind of tree trunk I would’ve had”: You’ll never guess what guitar thrash metal pioneer Kerry King learned to play on

Guitarist Kerry King of Slayer displays the Dean Guitars Kerry King signature model guitar at the Dean Gordon Guitars Space at Anaheim Convention Center on April 13, 2023 in Anaheim, California
(Image credit: Daniel Knighton/Getty Images)

Kerry King is perhaps best associated with the Dean and B.C. Rich electric guitars he has brandished throughout his career. However, this wasn't always the case. He actually kickstarted his guitar journey by playing his dad's Gibson ES-175, a hollow body guitar known as the workhorse of jazz guitars.

“It was a fat Ted Nugent guitar,” King reveals in the latest issue of Total Guitar. “It was a big guitar for me as a teenager, but looking back now after playing guitar for so many years, it was fun.

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Janelle Borg

Janelle is a staff writer at GuitarWorld.com. After a long stint in classical music, Janelle discovered the joys of playing guitar in dingy venues at the age of 13 and has never looked back. Janelle has written extensively about the intersection of music and technology, and how this is shaping the future of the music industry. She also had the pleasure of interviewing Dream Wife, K.Flay, Yīn Yīn, and Black Honey, among others. When she's not writing, you'll find her creating layers of delicious audio lasagna with her art-rock/psych-punk band ĠENN.

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