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ESP Custom Shop George Lynch Signature electric guitar
Collection of Bryan Aoyagi.
Photography: J.K. Shishido.


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Builder: ESP Custom Guitars (Japan).
Model: George Lynch Signature ("kamikaze" version).
Serial Number: none.

Dimensions
Scale Length: 25.5 inches.
Neck Shape: flat oval.
Width at Nut: 1.7 inches.
String Width at Bridge: 2.13 inches.
Overall Length: 39.5 inches.
Widest: 13 inches.
Weight: 10.8 pounds.

Construction
Neck: 1-piece quartersawn maple, bolt on. reverse headstock.
Fingerboard: ebony, 22 frets.
Body: feels like it's made out of lead, but it's probably ash.
Finish: red/yellow/beige/black "camouflage", with "kamikaze" written in kanji and portrait of kamikaze pilot near forearm contour, and silver gltter bombs at the lower cutaway.

Hardware
Bridge: Floyd Rose locking tremolo system, black.
Tuners: Gotoh mini, black.
Strap buttons:
non-locking, black.
Outputs: 1/4" mono.

Electronics
Pickup: Seymour Duncan, single coil (neck) and humbucker (bridge).
Controls:
volume (push/pull pickup select).
Preamp:
none.

Condition: excellent.

Inqueries regarding this instrument: Bryan Aoyagi.

Comments:

     When we first saw this guitar we had to really restrain ourselves not to pass judgement too quickly on this apparent open-and-shut case of tastelessness. Perhaps this would look "exciting" within the context of a hair-metal show, but as a musical instrument to actually use, it's almost uncomfortably heavy (weight-wise) for a guitar, easily the heaviest electric solidbody guitars we've documented in a while. It's also strangely unattractive, with a juvenile and tacky 80's-style pattern-design that looks more like one of Fred Flintstone's shirts than "camouflage". But maybe at least partly because of the weight, the guitar does have a kind of palpable heft and presence to its tone, and the sustain is also very impressive. On other words, this guitar does sound really good. The guitar is impeccably constructed (expert fit and finish, and the bizarre graphics are expertly done) and the neck also feels very good. But perhaps the most interesting aspect of this guitar has nothing to do with the way it plays and sounds - it's the inclusion of the large words for "kamikaze" and the black and white photograph of a young Japanese pilot. Using a memorial photograph and reference to suicide-for-nationalism as a means to construct one's own rock & roll image... - is this Cool? Disrespectful? Perhaps this is what George Lynch intended when designing this guitar - to initiate a critical dialogue among his fans regardng the limits of taste and propriety when dealing with issues of wartime ideology and the politics of style... uh-huh.
     ~ j.k.s.
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