But sage John understands, as do the patrons of a Paris restaurant
called Vishnou (of all names). Yngwie's loud disavowals of practice and
influences are harder to swallow than the spiciest vindaloo; it
intensifies the irony that he built his reputation on a musical ideal the
man who quietly munches chutney beside him created 20 years earlier. Maybe
all these two do have in common is their instrument after all.
Small wonder our talk eventually found its way to the French Open. Here
they are, the John McEnroe and Arthur Ashe of the guitar - gut string
tension of a different kind.
MUSICIAN: Although you've both made a lot of strides for
guitar, you've also received criticism for forsaking emotional depth. Is
there such a thing as overdeveloped technique?
MALMSTEEN: I think it's not technique, really, but how you use it.
I think that technique can also be how you play a vibrato. Vibrato is, in
my opinion, the most important thing - not speed. I think both of us,
actually, are kind of known for brrrrrrrr.
McLAUGHLIN: Technique is a global concept, isn't it? What people
do, particularly with guitars, is they split this global concept into
things like speed, hammering, thumb, pulling off, vibrato. I agree with
Yngwie, it's not a question of technique, it's whether you use the
technique or whether the technique uses you. The thing is because it's
guitar. Over the years people have used me to say, "Technique, fast, and
it doesn't mean anything." And it's peculiar to the guitar.
MUSICIAN: Yeah, no one ever said Coltrane played fast.
McLAUGHLIN: Or even Oscar Peterson, who has a phenomenal
MALMSTEEN: I think maybe it has to do even with the guitar's being
used in all sorts of different genres; it's also the prime instrument in
rock'n'roll, which is the common man's music, not jazz, and they are not
used to having extreme technique in a rock'n'roll concert. They're used to
hearing Eric Clapton or something.
MUSICIAN: What are the dangers of...
MALMSTEEN: I don't think there are any dangers.
MUSICIAN: John's played his share of thrash, but he's also
played delicate acoustic music, and there are times when you've brought
together very opposing ideas. What are the dangers of bring the common
man's music to that level of sophistication?
MALMSTEEN: I think it's making it more interesting.
McLAUGHLIN: I don't think it's a danger at all. I think it's a
funny word to use. It's not danger. Every generation's going to come up
with its own way of looking at things. Technique and mind and people are
evolving all the time. I mean, look at the difference between the
rock'n'roll of the '50s and the rock'n'roll of the '80s. Worlds apart.
There are so many different variations. Why? Because there is evolution
going on all the time. To hear a guitar player like Yngwie is really nice
for me. I've seen you on MTV.
MALMSTEEN: My really commercial song.
McLAUGHLIN: I don't know. I came in in the middle, and I see
somebody playing the guitar like that, wild, and it stays with me. You
played some amazing shit.
MALMSTEEN: That record's so old to me.
McLAUGHLIN: When you're my age and people say, "Yeah, what about
this record I like, that you made 20 years ago?" Then you can start to
worry. A guitar player like Yngwie wouldn't have come out in the 1950s or
even the 1960s. Things have changed. People like Coltrane, Miles, they've
had their effect, especially on popular music, rock'n'roll, the working
man's music, as they say. It's like jazz in the sense that it takes what
it needs and doesn't lose its own identity.
MALMSTEEN: It's much more demanding listening to jazz. It's come to
a point now like where fusion jazz is musician's music. I love to listen
to Jeff Berlin, Allan Holdsworth - I love him. How many records
does Allan Holdsworth sell? Ridiculously few. Bon Jovi sells a shitload of
records, and I can't stand it.
McLAUGHLIN: There's two different kinds of success. Artistic,
musical and commercial success don't always go together.
MALMSTEEN: I try to put it together.
McLAUGHLIN: But I have to admire people who are true to themselves,
whether they sell a lot of records or not.
MUSICIAN: What about improvisation?
McLAUGHLIN: Improvisation is work. You don't just do
anything. You have to know what the scales are, you have to know what the
harmonic movement is. Unless you know what you're doing, you don't just
start improvising. Ask any classical musicians. They have incredible
technique, they can read anything, they can interpret anything, but you
ask them to improvise and they won't be able to do it, because it's
another way of thinking. It's work.
MUSICIAN: Does that mean that valid improvisation can't happen
early in a musician's development?
McLAUGHLIN: Of course it can, on the condition that he's working
towards that, but if you're a classical interpreter, you don't even
think about improvisation, so you cannot improvise. I have a lot of
friends in the classical world. They would love to improvise, but they
don't know how to. Even if you have tremendous technique, it
doesn't mean you can improvise.
MALMSTEEN: There's not one note in any of my solos that's
not completely spontaneous. Straight off. Every night I play
onstage, it's a different solo for every song. Of course, it's in the same
framework: If it's A minor, I play in A minor. I venture out to G, G major
or E phrygian or do some diminished or chromatic runs or whatever, but
it's always improvised. Every solo on every record. Most jazz guitar
players do that, but rock guitar players don't do it, classical guitar
players don't do it. If you hear a live tape of Michael Schenker or Eddie
Van Halen, they play exactly the same solo as on the record.
McLAUGHLIN: I find that hard to do.
MALMSTEEN: I can't do that [laughs]. I can't remember. Too
MUSICIAN: After playing for a while, your hands might start
doing gestures they've become accustomed to doing. It's an unintentional
MALMSTEEN: Oh, I make a great effort to avoid that. Don't ever get
into a rut. For many years, I used to construct my guitar solos: "Okay, I
throw in that run, some symmetric pattern, do that pattern, then do an
arpeggio, then that way and this way." Now it's completely free-flowing.
Most rock guitar players have that certain framework in each key. That's
all they play.
McLAUGHLIN: You have to structure your thought process. You have to
structure your way in music. But these structures should not be permanent.
You should be ready to break them at any moment. Be ready to break down
and bring into question everything you do: your phrasing, even how you
look at the instrument. Listen, I'm maybe twice Yngwie's age, and I'm
still doing the same work. I'm still questioning what I do. We are
creatures of habit. The thing is to recognize when good habits become
bad. At that moment, you've got to be ready to break them and find
yourself a little bit in the unknown. But that's music.
MALMSTEEN: Yeah, but that's very hard. Very few musicians would be
able to do that in my genre of rock'n'roll. Musicians are boxed in,
very boxed in. Same chord progressions, same scales.
McLAUGHLIN: That's dangerous, to use your word. It's hard to
evolve. This is where your technique starts to run you: When you're not
ready to break the structure of your mind, how you approach your
improvisation, at a moment's notice. I practice and I still work hard.
MALMSTEEN: I don't.
McLAUGHLIN: I'm in the middle of breaking a lot of things. But I'm
happy to. Because there are periods where there is no need to. Something
happens in your life and suddenly you start to think differently, you
start to hear differently what you're doing. You say, "It's time. There's
something wrong. I don't like the way I go from A to B. There's another
way to do it and I have to find it." So you start to break structures and
the way you perceive harmonic movement, or your guitar, keyboard,
whatever. It's all the same. It's a way of perception. Music is a
structure. And these are what we have to be ready to break. But there are
moments when I don't think at all, and you're just flying,
everything is just working beautifully.
MALMSTEEN: I understand exactly what you're saying. I'm happy right
now with what I'm doing, and I feel very comfortable...
McLAUGHLIN: [Patting Yngwie's back] Don't worry! It's gotta
MALMSTEEN: A couple of years ago, I had a very serious car
accident. That changed me. I had a brain hemorrhage and the nerve endings
in my hand were not working. I started practicing like crazy like I did
when I was fifteen. But this injury healed, and all the practice I put in
elevated me to another plateau. I might sound a little like I'm bragging,
but right now I feel like there's no boundaries to what I can do. It's
brrr like crazy, much more than I could do before.
McLAUGHLIN: The value of work! Two-and-a-half months ago I broke my
left index finger.
MALMSTEEN: Phew, that's a nightmare.
McLAUGHLIN: Yeah, it was a nightmare. I was having nightmares. I
was waking up in the middle of the night sweating. But there's a good
side. Nothing's all bad and nothing's all good. Already this accident has
affected the way I think.
MALMSTEEN: How long did it take before you could play again?
McLAUGHLIN: I started two weeks ago. It took over two months before
I could touch the instrument.
MALMSTEEN: For me it was about two, three months. I wouldn't
do it because I knew I was going to hate myself. I was in the hospital, I
was very injured, and my friends brought me guitars: "You sure you don't
want to play?" "No. Take that thing away." But that was a little bit of
motivation. As I said, you mustn't fall into a rut.
McLAUGHLIN: I'm a very optimistic guy. I believe everything is a
blessing, or in disguise. Anyway, I was a little crazy. I'm sure you were
a little crazy after your accident.
MALMSTEEN: No, actually I mellowed out soon after that. I've always
been a little bit of a madman. I wouldn't want to put myself up with the
great composers, but what you hear about Mozart and Paganini, like the
crazy lifestyles and women and whatever, I'm a bit like that actually.
MUSICIAN: John, you smile as though you understand.
MALMSTEEN: You've been through it all.
MUSICIAN: When you got to a certain age you cut your hair and
wore white and disavowed alcohol, but here you are sitting and drinking
and seem a lot more earthy than monastic. Are you more impulsive now,
after moving from being young and excited, through being meditative, and
then becoming a human being again and getting back into...ä?
McLAUGHLIN: You know, I hate that "human being." What was I, a
MUSICIAN: By "human being" I mean accepting the limitations we
have. Being in touch with one's spirituality means renouncing oneself,
McLAUGHLIN: Well, I had some peculiar views that were, years ago,
more well-known. I don't broadcast them so much, but I still hold my
peculiar views. They're valid to me insofar as I'm convinced of the great
nature of human beings.
MUSICIAN: But do you grip the view less tightly as you get
McLAUGHLIN: No. I think it's all a question of perception, again.
Have you ever tried living a spiritual life? Well, until you make the
action you'll never know, that's all I can say. You can theorize about it
till you're blue in the face.
MALMSTEEN: What exactly are you referring to?
McLAUGHLIN: Well, not that you renounce anything, but you impose a
spiritual discipline on yourself. You get up at four in the morning and
you meditate. You think about the nature of God, the nature of the
universe, you meditate on the nature of the void - anything that is your
ideal. Whatever inspires you. But keep going.
Whether you become a Zen Buddhist or you become a Sufi, or whatever,
it doesn't matter. The thing is to impose another discipline on yourself,
another structure, and you start to see your life and this universe
differently, and that's important. If not we're just victims of whatever's
going on around us, and I'm against that.
MALMSTEEN: I've never had the motivation to do that. Because
there's nothing I can do. As much as I don't want to be in this
environment, I am in this environment, and I gotta be like what
this environment is like. I can't change it.
McLAUGHLIN: No, Yngwie, I'm not saying that there's anything wrong
with the environment. Your environment is perfect. The world is
incredible, everything's perfect. It's the way we view it, that's
all I'm talking about.
MUSICIAN: Yngwie, can you foresee yourself ever doing some
meditative acoustic music, cutting your hair?
MALMSTEEN: See, I just happen to be very happy in this point in my
life with what I'm doing. I find a lot of artistic satisfaction. Who knows
what is gonna happen in the future? I'm very impulsive.
MUSICIAN: But you have to keep moving. As John pointed out, part
of being an artist is looking at what you're doing and saying, "This isn't
good anymore. I want something more from my music."
MALMSTEEN: Well, I change by changing, I change members of my band.
I keep getting the same questions: "Why don't you change?" "How come you
don't start playing more blues?" "Why don't you do that, why don't you do
this?" Listen, I just happen to be very happy with my style. In fact, if I
may be so bold....
McLAUGHLIN: Be bold!
MALMSTEEN: ... not many players canboast that they have
their own music style. I'm happy with that. You know, nobody comes
up to Jimmy Page or Eric Clapton and goes, "How come you don't play more
classical arpeggios in your blues solos?"
MUSICIAN: Well, there's more potential for you as a young,
facile guitarist to change and grow. You look at it as an insult.
MALMSTEEN: Well, I don't look at it like an insult, but I just live
more like... I feel like a big fuckin' question mark, really.
McLAUGHLIN: The question is a trap. But if you ask me the same
question - "So what are you going to do? How are you going to grow, how do
you see yourself in 10 years?" This is realy difficult.
MUSICIAN: That's not the question. The question was, Do you
think you constantly need to be dissatisfied with what you are in order to
grow as an artist? Yngwie said, "Well, I fire members of my band." He's
pretty dictatorial, which cuts down on how much you can learn from other
McLAUGHLIN: Have you ever played with him?
McLAUGHLIN: Then you don't know. When you're working with
musicians, they've got to love what they do. You can give them ideas. You
can say, "Okay, put the backbeat on the four or the one," or to the bass
player, "Just stay down, don't go up, stay down on the low strings." And
they're going to do what they want to do.
MALMSTEEN: I give them the direction to go in. My new keyboard
player added a lot to the new record. And the bass player did his own
MUSICIAN: Yngwie had an incredible keyboard player (Jens
Johannson) before he changed his band around, and because of
MALMSTEEN: Nah, I'll tell you exactly why. Because I feed off of
musicians. I feed off of their enthusiasm and their passion for the
music, and there was no passion anymore. With the new band, I've never
been so inspired, because they're really enthusiastic. To me, that's a
MUSICIAN: John didn't you have a similar problem with Billy
McLAUGHLIN: No, no, no. You see how things get deformed. It wasn't
Billy Cobham at all. Billy was always cool, but I had problems with Jan
Hammer and Jerry Goodman. They were just fucking jerks! And you can print
it, it's alright. Jerry's cool now, but Jan still has some weird problem
with me after 20 years.
We all know how to deal with failure much
more than we know how to deal with success. I could be wrong. All I know
is that that's really the only bad experience, with those two, and it was
curiously one of the most popular groups that I played in. Funny, huh?
MUSICIAN: Yngwie has never worked for anybody. Do you think he
would benefit from a temporary commitment to someone else's music? You've
said Miles was good at bringing things out that you didn't know you had in
McLAUGHLIN: Yeah, but it was another world. Don't forget, in spite
of everything he says - "I'm not a jazz musician" - Miles' discipline is
jazz. And Yngwie is by himself. I mean, I've heard him play and he's a
confirmed rock'n'roller. I love to hear that. But the equivalent of Miles
doesn't really exist in the rock'n'roll world. Miles is like a godfather
to a lot of people, including myself.
MALMSTEEN: At the same time as I say I am playing rock'n'roll, the
classical influence is so big. I mean,all the chord progressions are
classical. Even a heavy song like "The Fury," with a wakadumwakadum
double bass drum, if you play it on the piano, is completely
classical. I mean, it's the way Mozart would arrange, the inverted chords.
But I'm doing it with the power of rock'n'roll: the sound of distorted
power chords, a double bass drum, the big fat bombs and shit, but the
arpeggios... ä I'm sticking in things that normal rock'n'roll does not
MUSICIAN: I also notice you're using a wah-wah pedal.
MALMSTEEN: Yeah, my Hendrix influence definitely comes in.
MUSICIAN: Ask John what it was like to jam with Hendrix.
MALMSTEEN: [to John] You fuck! Sorry. Did you?
McLAUGHLIN: [pause] Sure.
MALMSTEEN: What was it like?
McLAUGHLIN: Gee, I loved Jimi, man.
MALMSTEEN: He's my fucking hero. I didn't mean that, I'm sorry.
McLAUGHLIN: You can say anything you like, asshole.
MALMSTEEN: You know what I did? My mother gave me a guitar on my
fifth birthday, right?
McLAUGHLIN: Lucky you.
MALMSTEEN: She wanted me to be a musician. She gave me piano
lessons, she gave me ballet lessons, she gave me vocal lessons, flute
lessons, trumpet lessons, everything.
McLAUGHLIN: And nothing worked.
MALMSTEEN: No, nothing. I hated music. On the 18th of September,
1970, I saw a show on television with Jimi Hendrix, and I said, "Wow!" I
took the guitar off the wall, and I haven't stopped since. That's what
triggered me. It wasn't the guitar playing, it was his guitar
McLAUGHLIN: Jimi was a revolutionary.
MALMSTEEN: He was so cool, man. He was the greatest.
McLAUGHLIN: He was a revolutionary.
MALMSTEEN: As far as coolness, you know. As far as coolness, he was
MUSICIAN: Could you tell by being with him that his legend would
grow to such huge proportions?
McLAUGHLIN: Oh, before I met him it was pretty easy to tell. To
hear Jimi play? C'mon. I mean, he turned the world on its ear.
MALMSTEEN: You know, the funny thing is, I burned a guitar last
night. I started playing because I wanted to do that; that's what
triggered it off.
McLAUGHLIN: Poor guitar.
MALMSTEEN: I burned it last night, and it's always a great
MUSICIAN: John, you'd been using distortion before Hendrix
appeared, with albums like Devotion.
McLAUGHLIN: Long before that. In 1962, when I was working with
Graham Bond, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker. I had a big amp made because it was
impossible to find, and I was using distortion on that. But it was
uncontrollable because I still had a hollowbody guitar.
MALMSTEEN: That ES-335?
McLAUGHLIN: Oh, no, I'm talking a long time ago, nearly 30 years
MALMSTEEN: They made 335's in 1962, too, you know.
McLAUGHLIN: I know, but I didn't have one. I had a Gretsch.
McLAUGHLIN: An old Gretsch. [Affecting old geezer's voice]
We were quite pure in those days, know what I mean?
MALMSTEEN: I wasn't even born.
MUSICIAN: Another thing you guys have in common is that you're
the only two mainstream guitarists to embrace the scalloped fingerboard.
Yngwie, did you discover it through John?
MALMSTEEN: No, that's funny. I used to work, for about two or three
months, when I was about 14 years old, as a guitar repairman
[chuckles], believe it or not.
McLAUGHLIN: You were a guitar repairman?
MALMSTEEN: A luthier, yeah.
McLAUGHLIN: I was too. It's very interesting.
MALMSTEEN: Yeah, I was a luthier, but a 17th or 16th century lute
came into the shop, and instead of frets, the fretboard was carved out
concave, and the dip in the wood was the fret. I said, "Wow, that
looks so nice," I did it on one of my bad necks, just experimenting. All
of a sudden I could feel a string. I got a really good grip on the string.
I didn't play it like down like that. I played it normal, but it felt like
very high frets. And I did it on my good necks and then went on. The first
time I saw you with it was on the cover of Guitar Player, and I
said, "Fuck, it's cool."
MUSICIAN: Do you both use it for the same reason?
MALMSTEEN: I play like normal. I think you push down right?
McLAUGHLIN: Nooo, no.
MALMSTEEN: Somebody said you wanted to emulate a sitar.
McLAUGHLIN: Don't believe everything you read in magazines.
MALMSTEEN: That's for sure.
McLAUGHLIN: I never said that.The reason was exactly like Yngwie
said: You feel the string, you can do what you what with it. You don't
have any friction between the end of the finger and the fingerboard. It's
just your finger against the string against the fret. It's your string,
your note. You get more vibrato expression from the one note. That's the
MALMSTEEN: A lot of people ask me, "Why do you do it? Does it make
it easy to play fast?" No, it's because you get so much more control of
the note, because the string goes perfectly into the fingertip. You can
really shape the note.
MUSICIAN: You both play classical, nylon-string guitar with a
MALMSTEEN: I in fact play nylon-string with a pick and the fingers
at the same time.
McLAUGHLIN: Sometimes I do that too. Occasional notes I do with the
fingers, with the pick in the hand, to get the chord.
MALMSTEEN: Basically, what the classical guitarist would do with
the thumb we do with the pick.
MUSICIAN: Some players say that without alcohol or drugs, they
might not have begun thinking as creatively.
MALMSTEEN: That's bullshit, man. That's so false. No, no, no.
Alcohol is like a release of tension. I don't think it enhances music at
all. I think it's something you do when you don't play. I'm not
pro-drugs at all. Against it 100 percent.
McLAUGHLIN: Well, I grew up in the '60s, so I was dropping acid and
MALMSTEEN: I've never done it.
McLAUGHLIN: Which certainly had its effect on me. To alter the
state of your consciousness is not necessarily bad. The question is, how
do you do it, and under what circumstances.
MALMSTEEN: I'm not a party pooper. But whem I'm a professional
musician, I'm completely straight. And that's my point of view.
McLAUGHLIN: That's the only thing we're gonna hear, isn't it?
MALMSTEEN: That's right. Everyone is entitled to my opinion, you
McLAUGHLIN: To your opinion!
MUSICIAN: Let's look at what you've done. Yngwie was a guitar
hero when we didn't have a guitar hero. He kind of brought it back as a
solo instrument. John did the same thing a while back, before many other
historical players came into their notoriety. For the next person to come
along, there's got to be something you guys haven't hit on. Yngwie's taken
guitar to a wild level of technique, which John almost invented
McLAUGHLIN: Notice how he speaks about me in the past tense? You
MUSICIAN: Wait, I'm speaking of events and impact and...
McLAUGHLIN: What am I, an old man or something?
MUSICIAN: I was about to make an objective observation
McLAUGHLIN: Impossible. That's an impossibility. Anyway, go
MUSICIAN: Today, with your classical concerto, you've adopted a
more traditional role that...
McLAUGHLIN: I'm not playing classical music.
MALMSTEEN: He plays with a pick.
McLAUGHLIN: I'm playing my music in a classical formation. I've
also got the trio.
MUSICIAN: Well, the point I was going to make was...
MUSICIAN: There is no point! What kind of strings do you
McLAUGHLIN: No, come on, please.
MUSICIAN: Okay. My idea was that growth as an artist involves
constant dissatisfaction with oneself, and that you seem to have gone into
a traditional vein after years of innovation, as though you've completed
your journey. Yngwie's old hat, in a way. He's old news to a lot of
people, too. Your contributions...
MALMSTEEN: Wait a minute!
MUSICIAN: ä... are in the past, unless you continue
MALMSTEEN: Shit! Five years is a long time ago?
McLAUGHLIN: Come on, what's the question, Matt? [laughs]
Don't screw around.
MALMSTEEN: It's like a cat and a fucking ä... I think you're
talking too much about how you're gonna fuckin' evolve from this, how
you're gonna evolve about that. Listen! I'm a happy camper where I'm at
right now. I don't feel like I have to go anywhere else. When I feel that
way, I'll do something about it. Right now I feel really good about the
way I play. I don't think it's old hat! My imitators - they're old
McLAUGHLIN: Go ahead, Yngwie!
MALMSTEEN: Where's the whole wave of new classical electric
guitar players? Where the fuck are they now?
MUSICIAN: You're using that old trend as your defense. All I'm
MALMSTEEN: What exactly are you getting at?
MUSICIAN: What I'm getting at is...
McLAUGHLIN: Shh, shh, shh, it's coming now! I've been waiting for
this for five minutes already. Okay, the question is...
MALMSTEEN: The question is...
MUSICIAN: I forgot the damn question.
McLAUGHLIN: No, you were talking about evolution, and you have to
be dissatisfied. The thing is, change is going on everyday. Like Yngwie is
saying, tonight he's going to go and play and he's not going to play what
he played last night. When I start my concerts, I'm not going to play what
I played the day before, change is happening all the time. Every day we're
different. You don't notice because it moves by millimeters. But over six
months, you notice.
MALMSTEEN: Incredible. Incredibly great statement. I must agree.
Maybe that's why I don't feel a great desire to just fuckin' shave my head
and go to a monastery. Because I find variation every night.
McLAUGHLIN: You'd look good with a shaved head [laughter].
We were talking about spirituality. If you really want to look at it, this
moment that we have before us is totally unique and has nothing to do with
the moment that just went by. We structure it with a perception,
but it's absolutely new and, in that sense, totally miraculous. It arrives
free, and here we are, and then the next one comes and here we are. This
itself is the greatest miracle. Music? We're a little more exposed to it,
MALMSTEEN: May I say something? I know you're gonna say I'm full of
McLAUGHLIN: Why don't we just say it now? [laughter]
MALMSTEEN: Listen, I play guitar 20 years, and during these 20
years I've never practiced.
MUSICIAN: I don't believe that.
MALMSTEEN: I have never practiced. I've never done an
exercise, I've never done a certain pattern over and over and over,
McLAUGHLIN: Remember what I was saying to you when I was listening
to his tape, Matt? "This guy never practiced in his life."
MALMSTEEN: All I've been doing is just playing. Playing!
MUSICIAN: Practicing is playing, and playing is
MALMSTEEN: No. You can do a diminished scale up and down till the
fuckin' cows come home, but the cows won't come home. I've never done it,
believe it or not.
McLAUGHLIN: Well, I'm a worker, but I love to work.
MALMSTEEN: I hate it. I mean, I could never stand to just move my
fingers, and I hate the sound of it. I hate it. It's just music that
really matters, not the flesh moving over the strings. In my opinion.
You're entitled to my opinion.
Since his last tour with Mahavishnu, Johnny McLaughlin
has been focusing his attention on the acoustic guitar, playing in duos
with bassist Jonas Hellborg and with his current trio. For 15 years John
has enlisted the services of luthier Abraham Wechter, who created John's
first drone-string acoustic (seven drone strings and six regular strings).
McLaughlin currently uses Wechter's 6-strings.
As if 30 square yards of Spandex weren't freight enough, Yngwie also
carries a couple dozen Fender Stratocasters on the road, some of which are
the guitarist's signature model, designed after one of his 1961 pieces.
The Malmsteen Strats feature a scalloped 22-fret fingerboard in either
maple or rosewood, an American standard tremolo and DiMarzio HS-3
single-coil pickups. Onstage, it's Marshalls, Marshalls, Marshalls plus a
selected array of effects that includes a Cry Baby wah-wah pedal and some