Today, ladies and gentlemen, we give you a guy who has played with Junior Wells, Muddy Waters, Koko Taylor, Sonny Boy Williamson and Little Walter, among many other real blues legends and has been one of the main or the main influence for Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix. Are we exaggerating? Not at all, we are talking about one of the biggest living legends of the electric guitar: Buddy Guy.
The man who took Chicago blues to harder sounds and who history forgot in favour of those long-haired men in the second half of the 60s. But he was the culprit. All the above-mentioned names have shown their allegiance to this giant of the electric guitar. Even Hendrix, who seemed to come to Earth in a spaceship, knew that he owed a lot to Buddy Guy, a fellow who was already playing his Fender Stratocaster behind his head and with his teeth at the end of the 50s, much earlier than the wizard from Seattle. We all have a father.
Before that we heard him on recordings with a Gibson Les Paul Gold Top, also from the 50s. But make no mistake, his name is linked to the Strat, and thanks to him, so is Hendrix’s name, and Jeff Beck’s, Stevie Ray’s etc….Later he would change that model, which according to him was a 1957, for one of the early 60s during that decade but it is later, in the 80s, when he finds what today is his favourite guitar, from the custom shop of one of his most advantaged students, Mr. Eric Clapton, which has his name on it, precisely the legendary “Custom Shop made for Buddy Guy”. Besides this 1989 Fender Stratocaster, he uses his iconic spotted Fender Strat which is his Signature model for the American brand.
Regarding his amps, these days they are made exclusively for him by Chicago Blues Box. Some of his boutique amps are based on the blackface circuits of the Fender Bassman, which has been his head amp for most of his career.
We are talking about a guy who has been playing since the 50s and who, he acknowledges, rocked it up simply to see if he could get a bit more attention on white radio stations, so his use of pedals was centred solely on the Dunlop Cry Baby Buddy Guy since the boost for his solos can be had by simply activating the one fitted in the guitar’s circuit.
This is Buddy Guy’s gear, a guy who deserves much more fame and, as I’m sure he would agree with me, a lot more money for his work, in a career that did bring him absolute recognition and veneration from that whole generation that changed the world by copying him and took the glory, the fame...and the cash. And here at Guitars Exchange we know that without Buddy Guy nothing would have been the same.