Watch Tom Morello trade blues licks with Buddy Guy on the Strat legend's spotted Fender

Last week, the fairly self-explanatory Best of Blues and Rock festival was held at Parque Ibirapuera in São Paulo, Brazil.

Tom Morello headlined the festival's first night, which also featured a set from Extreme. Naturally, the two joined forces for a hard-hitting version of Audioslave's Cochise during Morello's set, which featured an extended call-and-response solo section from Morello and Extreme's Nuno Bettencourt.

That, however, wasn't Morello's only unexpected collaboration at the festival. 

Morello also headlined the fest's third night, on which blues guitar legend Buddy Guy also played a set. You can probably see where this is going, eh?

Indeed, Morello joined the bluesman onstage, and donned one of Guy's trademark polka dot Stratocasters to lay down some licks far bluesier than those that populate the electric guitar hero's catalog with Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave.

“No fascismo! Helluva night rocking with Chicago’s greatest guitarist, Buddy Guy, and The Freedom Fighters Orchestra in São Paulo at the Best of Blues and Rock festival,” Morello wrote on Instagram following the performance. 

Though aesthetically light-hearted, Guy's polka dot Stratocaster (the motif also extends to the bluesman's outfits and Jim Dunlop Cry Baby wah pedal) has a bittersweet backstory, connected to Guy's mother, Isabell Guy.

“I promised her that I was going to buy her a polka dot Cadillac to make her feel better, because she had had a stroke and she never saw me play, so I always felt I was lying to her about being a musician,” Guy told Guitar World in 2015. “I was going to get famous and drive back to Louisiana in a polka dot Cadillac to show her I’d made it.

“She saw me with an acoustic guitar at home but she never saw me play after I left Louisiana and moved to Chicago,” Buddy continued. “As a matter of fact, she never saw me play in Louisiana either, because she had a stroke before I left and I had made no records yet until after I got to Chicago in 1957. So I finally got the guitar company, Fender, to make me a guitar with the polka dots, and they’ve made quite a few of them now.”

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.