Gear Factor | Featuring John 5 of Rob Zombie


It’s a Tele Thing

“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been a Fender connoisseur,” John 5 goes on to say in an interview with Gear Factor host Squiggy while talking about his signature Fender Telecaster. “And to have my name associated with greatness like that, it’s amazing. I couldn’t be more proud of anything.”

He pauses for a moment and then corrects himself: “My children, and then being associated with Fender. In that order!”

“I wanted to put my name on something that was just a great guitar. I designed it around the ’67 Telecaster custom,” he reveals. “Even the one with the huge headstock, I designed around a Fender Maverick.”

From Country to Rock to Flamenco

Besides the obvious fact that it’s an awesome guitar, John is proud that it is an affordable instrument. “If you go out to dinner with a group of people, pay for the dinner at a nice restaurant, for the amount of money for that dinner, you can get a John 5 Squier Telecaster and have it for the rest of your life. I love that, and I’m so proud of that guitar.”

And it is the pinnacle guitar for a guy who has played guitar for artists the likes of as Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, David Lee Roth… and k.d. lang.

‘What I love about it [is], you can play it in a country band, or you could play it in a rock band, and that’s really important and I love that about the Telecaster as well. It’s that all-around guitar that you could play in any genre of music.”

Game Changer

Most people who help to shape the course of musical history do so with their recordings. Every so often, there are a few who are game-changers via their inventions. Most legendary is Leo Fender. He falls into the latter category.  In fact, rock and roll would undoubtedly sound very different had Mr. Fender not invented the first solid-body electric guitar to be mass-produced: the Fender Broadcaster. That guitar, which was later renamed the Telecaster, is one of the most recognized and iconic instruments in modern music. The same goes for its brothers in arms, the Fender Stratocaster and the Precision bass.

Leo Fender’s Legacy

John 5 is a Fender guy through and through, and he has his own signature Telecaster. He recently sat down with Gear Factor host Squiggy about the incredible Fender legacy.

“Here’s what’s unbelievable about Leo Fender. He came out with the Broadcaster in 1950. I could easily play my show with the Broadcaster today. Now, what that means [is]: just imagine if you were going to drive across the country in a car from 1950. It’d be pretty uncomfortable. I don’t know if it would make it. Probably not. But I have a Broadcaster, I play it, it’s one of the greatest guitars that I own. It’s possibly the greatest guitar ever built, and it’s the first solid-body electric guitar. Think about that for a minute. What are we using from 1950 today, in 2018? Not many things. This camera that we’re talking into. This microphone. Can you imagine if we were using these things from 1950? If I had my Broadcaster here, the only thing I would change [would be] the strings. And that’s pretty unbelievable. So, thank you to Leo Fender.”

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Catch John 5 on tour for the rest of the month; in July, he’ll be back with Rob Zombie’s band for a summer tour. See all of his dates here.

Brands Behind the Man: Own John 5’s Gear Right Now!

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