In The Style Of Luis Alberto Spinetta

By Miguel Ángel Ariza

In the nation of football gods the most unbridled passions for artists also occur, there are those who praise them and those who bury them in life. Our hero today is unanimously praised for his figure and his work...which isn’t easy being a staunch supporter of River Plate in a nation, Argentina, and a city Buenos Aires, divided by the eternal fight between white and blue, or those with the red band against those with the yellow band. Spinetta put them all on the same team, his own, and he did so by using an infinity on various guitar models.   

The first one we will talk about is a Swedish Hagstrom that he bought in the late 60s and used it until his luthier made him his “Gota”, the guitar that was his main tool during that changing decade. 

In the early 70s he began to toy with the big American brands, firstly with a couple of different Gibson SG models, and later, after completely diving into the Hendrix world that moved him so much, he switched to the Fender Stratocasters of his idol. 

But as we warned, it didn’t take him long to keep changing guitars and returned to the Gibson fold using several models like the Gibson ES-345, the odd Les Paul, and even the double-neck EDS-1275

Years later, now in the 80s, another luthier, Christian Iannamico, started making Spinetta guitars, his famous Plumas, some of them fitted with the primitive MIDI systems. But the guitar he used most during that period was one of the most horrible models in the history of electric guitars, but which seemed to give Spinetta everything he needed to feel happy onstage, a Steinberger, very similar in look to “The Lazer” which Johnny Winter played in his later years. 

To conclude naming some of the innumerable models that have meant something in Luis Alberto Spinetta’s career, we must add here his journey as the endorser of the Yamaha Pacifica and also his move to the Japanese brand with the Fernandes R8, which he used in the 90s.

We could go on adding names of models to this list but we would rather end the article talking about his favourite amp in his later years: the Bogner Shiva, which Spinetta himself said if he often got on stage with it “it tore his head off”. Throughout his career we can see him using various Marshall and Fender heads, even a Roland, but when he got his hands on this model for the first time, he didn’t want to switch again...and that, considering who we are talking about, emphasising the countless times he changed guitars ‘every so often’, it can only mean that he liked it much more than a lot.  

Perhaps he, like the great geniuses, didn’t want to stay very long in the same place, nor make the same type of music, hence the eternal quest for guitars always in search of a new sound...of course what never changed was the recognition of all the Argentine (and world) fans who bid him farewell in 2012, knowing that if they made an ideal team of 11 Argentine rockers, he would certainly wear #10 on his back.