Blues Saraceno Yamaha

Blues Saraceno Yamaha

Guitar Gavel "Gear" Of The Week with Will Ray - Ibanez Montage

Will pays tribute to an old friend's Ibanez Montage that he bought at his buddy's estate. The price of admission is making a guitar speak your language and this one does it for Will.

Yamaha was not left out of the superstrat mania of the late 1980s introducing a very Ibanez “RGish” looking line of guitars in 1987, the RGX series.  

This series' main feature was a double-locking tremolo system. While it was a more aggressive line-up of shredder guitars, Yamaha got into the EVH inspired game in 1980 with the single-humbucker SF-3000. 

Yamaha SF-3000
Yamaha SF-3000

In the chronology of Yamaha guitars the RGX models are important as their success played a role in the creation of the Yamaha Guitar Development (YGD) shop in North Hollywood. It was a U.S. based custom shop that also had R&D privileges. That was 1989.

It was from YGD that evolved the very popular Pacifica and (less popular) Weddington models. 

Alongside the RGX designation there was the cousin RGZ, and lesser known second cousin RGS.  They were manufactured in Japan or (mainly) Taiwan. Though the MIJ models are more highly sought after, high end models also came from Taiwan.      

In April of 1993, for approximately one year only, Yamaha introduced the RGZ-820R Blues Saraceno signature model (MIJ). “R” stands for reverse headstock.  

Saraceno was on fire at this time, his “Plaid” album came out about a year prior and beginning in 1993 he had a short stint playing and recording with Poison (“Crack a Smile”).    

Saraceno’s watermelon “Plaid” album artwork wrapped the front of the production guitar, the body and sides were black. Saraceno’s personal guitar was plaid on all sides.

Yamaha RGZ-820R Specs: Basswood body, Maple neck, Reverse headstock, Gotoh tuners, Height adjustable locking nut, Rosewood fretboard with green dot inlays, Yamaha GR-4 bridge bucker, GH-5 neck, 3-way switch, Master volume, Yamaha TRS Pro tremolo

Guitar Gavel Podcast with Kevin Dodds, author of "Edward Van Halen: A Definitive Biography"

In this episode I have the honor of sitting down with Kevin, straight from his amazing Star Wars guitar room and man cave.

Kevin starts with his guitar origin story beginning with his dad's influences, his first guitars as a young kid, and the impact his brother and grandmother had on his musical interests.

We talk about extensively about EVH, cracking the code on his guitar parts, the reason for his book and more EVH! And of course Kevin has an arsenal of EVH replica guitars for show and tell, plus some fancy fretwork and tips on Eddie's style.

The last fifteen minutes of the show Kevin shares his own reflections on Eddie as a human, his legacy, and the personal impacts Eddie had on Kevin's life.

It's a beautiful conversation and I cannot thank Kevin enough for his time and sharing Eddie's life with the world. Side note:

Kevin's important parenting advice to get your kids playing the guitar- force it on them from the day they are born! :-)


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