Johnny's Guitar

link to photo of Johnnys guitar

So what type of guitar did Johnny Play? I've heard a bunch of answers to that question and now have 3 good articles:


John Perry came by the other day and left me with this message:

"That TV Les Paul sounded great but it was a dog to play! Long before Dee-Dee went to work on it, the neck was notably bent (it was warped when I played it on the 'Que Sera' album) and it was worse by 'Copycats'. But Johnny didn't give a fuck, 'warped', was probably an appropriate condition for John's favorite instrument.

He was given dozens of instruments every time he played Japan but never kept them. They were sold or traded and he stuck to his beloved TV. HOWEVER, there was one guitar- a white 1962 Stratocaster that I've had for ages (my favorite guitar)- John coveted but never got. He was always tryin' to buy it off me. "Aw c'mon .... lemme have it...." After a series of offers, his last bid was three thousand [English] pounds plus his Wife. Seemed reasonable - but I kept the Strat."

As well as playing on several JT albums, John Perry recorded with The Only Ones and more recently has been working as a studio musician.


Looking for a new axe? Kris Crosby was telling me that for their 97-98 line, Epiphone Guitars is making copies of the Double Cutaway Les Paul Specials, and Les Paul Juniors that Gibson manufactured in 1958-59. They're available with the TV Yellow finish just like Johnny's as well as Cherry Red, and lack. Kris sez "I've already ordered myself a TV Yellow Special, it cost me around $400, but the Juniors which are nearly identical to what Johnny played list for only about $320. With a little shopping around I'm sure they could be bought at $300 or less. Originals like Johnny's are going for around $2000, if you can find one."


For an interesting story about how Dee Dee Ramone, in a fit of rage, destroyed Johnnys guitar check out the book Please Kill Me.
In cyber-space, the guitar is right here so Johnny knows where to find it. One of Johnnys guitars is hanging in the Rock n Roll Hall of fame while another is placed in the Hard Rock Cafe in NYC.

Johnny Thunders Cyber Lounge: www.thunders.ca
Managed by Chris Ridpath: chris@thunders.ca
Modified: April 27, 2001