Scott Ian has been a super Jackson fan from the start, and in the latest installment of the California guitar brand Youtube (opens in a new tab) Thrashed Series, Anthrax Guitarist Shows Off Some of His Favorite Customs electric guitars.
And there’s a wealth of high-performance gold in its vault, with plenty of custom graphic finishes that trace the most significant moments in Anthrax history. Those familiar with Scott Ian’s work will not be surprised to learn that there are many V-shapes and his collection is a true endorsement of the aesthetic perfection of a six-in-line Jackson doll.
“Such a part of thrash metal was pointed headstock guitars, and Jackson certainly led the way with that,” says Ian.
Ian kicks off his tour with a replica of the Randy Rhoads Concorde, the asymmetrical V developed by Grover Jackson and guitarist Ozzy that would change the game for metal guitars. The Concorde is said to inspire the Rhoads range which has been a cornerstone of Jackson design since the 80s.
Ian’s first significant Jackson was a 1982 Custom Shop Rhoads that every Anthrax fan will recognize as the NOT guitar. He has Sgt. D sticker on the front, NO graphics on the front and side of the body – and hides a secret. It’s a refinery. The original was finished in animal print, which was fashionable at the time but not very gung-ho.
“I paid for this guitar,” says Ian. “And even in 1982, a Rhoads Custom Shop was very expensive. I think probably in the two highs – $2,700, $2,800. I worked my ass off. Used it on all the Spreading The Disease, Among The Living tours. It’s a bit iconic. I always use it. I break it on every album.
Other gems include his NOT Soloist, which is finished in black with the New York Yankees decal on the body, NO inlay and the coolest thing ever – that needs to be done on more Custom Shop models, just think of the possibilities – is that it’s fretless above the 14th fret.
After all, what is a drum machine like Ian doing at this end of the set if not making weird noises? “One mic, one volume, that’s all I needed,” says Ian.
For a player who loves his utility guitars, there are some really cool pieces in his vault, but his number one – which he reveals on tape – takes a beating.
Why Jackson? Well, part of the reason is that the Custom Shop is game for everything.
“That’s what’s so great about the Jackson Custom Shop, I think they really like it when you come up with ridiculous ideas and then they can bring them to life,” says Ian.