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Review: Charvel Guitars Jake E. Lee Signature Model Guitar — Video

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These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the January 2015 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.

It must have been a Herculean task for Jake E. Lee to take over the guitar-playing slot in Ozzy Osbourne’s band after the singer’s beloved rising star guitarist, Randy Rhoads, perished in a plane crash back in 1982.

But that’s exactly what Lee did. With blazing riffs and ripping solos in songs like “Bark at the Moon” and “Rock N’ Roll Rebel,” Jake E. Lee became an overnight guitar hero for many aspiring guitarists who wanted to copy every nuance of his wicked vibrato and incendiary technique.

To perform those and other songs, he relied on heavily modified mid-Seventies Fender Stratocaster that many assumed was a Charvel guitar.

Affectionately dubbed “Whitey,” the guitar originally had a tobacco sunburst finish until Lee’s roommate, who worked as a painter at Charvel, shaved down the headstock and painted it white. The guitar’s most noticeable modification was to the middle and neck single-coil pickups, which were slanted in reverse, a Hendrix-inspired configuration that made it distinctively cool and which makes it all the more surprising that Charvel never seized an opportunity to offer the guitar as a signature model or a variation thereof, despite the company changing hands.


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