In the style of the 1986 Guns N’ Roses

By Miguel Ángel Ariza

The year 1986 was going to be a crucial year in the career of one of the most recent great rock bands in history, Guns N' Roses, a band that was the direct heirs of the giants of the previous decade, the golden times of the genre, and was responsible for carrying that torch until it was picked up by the ‘90s grunge generation. In 1986 Guns and Roses signed their first major record deal with one of the world's largest companies, Geffen Records and, as a celebration of that union, the following year they released the record by which they will be eternally remembered, Appetite for Destruction, an album that would always allow them to hold the rank of rock stars by selling more than 30 million copies, and led to them monopolising the charts around the world for months. The throne of rock had new kings.  

Shortly before that breakthrough almost every member of the band was in a precarious economic situation and, in some cases, they had a variety of addictions that made the verb ‘save’ not very fashionable in the group. Hence, some of the instruments that had the honor to be used on that record and with which the band began to play huge stadiums all over the world were not too ostentatious, such as Duff McKagan's Fender PJ Bass as, with the advance that McKagan received from Geffen, he could have bought himself a bass guitar from the then newly opened Japanese Fender factory. That PJ-555 had some Seymour Duncan series pickups installed that would become an essential part of his sound and that of the band.

Izzy Stradlin
seemed to be smarter with his purchases than his colleagues because he managed to buy for a more than affordable price a Gibson semi-hollow ES-175 whose box, far from being held back by its possible feedback or its classic image and not very aggressive for the time, became a hallmark of his tone during those years. He was also seen shortly afterwards with a Carvin SH225 (also semi-hollow). But he didn’t only use this type of guitar at that time, and we can also seen him with a more virile guitar, such as the ESP Eclipse Custom.

And to finish the trinity of string instrumentalists in this famous band we have to talk about a guy called Saul, known all over the planet as
Slash, who we could talk about for weeks. However, in this article we will only say that in those years, after having flirted with several BC Rich models such as the Mockingbird and the Warlock and others from the Jackson brand, a guitar model that would be forever linked to his image and of which he has been a great defender over the last 30 years: the Gibson Les Paul ... however, neither of the two Les Pauls that he had when he was recording the Appetite for Destruction were authentic Gibson. The first is said to have belonged to none other than Steve Hunter and was built by a luthier named Peter 'Max' Baranet. The second Les Paul that he acquired and used in the final touches of the recording of that masterpiece was also a replica, this time built by Kris Derrig; who finished up building the now mythical Seymour Duncan Alnico Pro II almost by chance (they were the ones in the store). That guitar became the main guitar of one of our most recent guitar heroes, and Slash has played it on each and every one of the Guns N' Roses albums, as well as employing it in his solo career.

Shortly after the release of that album, the economic problems disappeared from the lives of these musicians and they certainly invested a lot of money in improving their equipment. What they could not improve in the rest of his career was the 1987 album release of Appetite for Destruction, an album that began by welcoming us to a jungle that a few years later would end up devouring each and every one of the members of this band, and cause their separation.