Caught on tape: that time Strat fanatic Yngwie Malmsteen trash-talked Ibanez and Les Paul guitars

By Steve Newton

The most popular story I ever posted on Ear of Newt–until I broke the news about AC/DC being spotted in Vancouver a few months ago–was the one from 2014 with the headline Yngwie Malmsten calls Ibanez guitars “a bad copy” of the Strat and says Les Pauls are “furniture”.

For some reason people–mostly guitar players, maybe–went crazy for that blog. They couldn’t believe that Yngwie would slag Ibanez, the highly respected brand favoured by such stellar pickers as Joe Satriani and Steve Vai.

And to compare the mighty Gibson Les Paul to a coffeetable? What type of moron would say that?

Yngwie’s trash talk started when I noted that neither Satch nor Vai–his former partners on the 2003 G3 Tour–were Fender fanciers like himself. I wondered aloud what he liked so much about the Stratocaster, and the slagging began.

No matter what you think of Yngwie Malmsteen–and a lot of people can’t stand him, it appears–you gotta give him credit for knowing how to rile folks up. I just think he’s funny–which is why I couldn’t stop chuckling while he laid the boots to Fender’s competition.

Have a listen:


To hear my full 14-minute interview with Yngwie subscribe to my Patreon page, where you can also hear my interviews with such guitar greats as:

Joe Perry of Aerosmith, 1987
Rick Derringer, 1999
Robin Trower, 1990
Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, 1994
Mick Ronson, 1988
Buck Dharma of Blue Oyster Cult, 1997
Michael Schenker, 1992
Guthrie Govan of the Aristocrats, 2015
Walter Trout, 2003
Mark Farner of Grand Funk, 1991
Jennifer Batten, 2002
Leo Kottke, 2002
Link Wray, 1997
Buddy Guy, 1991
Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1986
Rik Emmett of Triumph, 1985
Sonny Landreth, 2016
Tosin Abasi of Animals as Leaders, 2016
Jeff Beck, 2001
Albert King, 1990
Johnny Ramone of the Ramones, 1992
Peter Frampton, 1987
Otis Rush, 1997
Leslie West of Mountain, 2002
Uli Jon Roth, 2016
Poison Ivy of the Cramps, 1990
Stevie Ray Vaughan, 1985
Malcolm Young of AC/DC, 1983
Steve Clark of Def Leppard, 1988
Roy Buchanan, 1986
Gary Moore, 1984
Ronnie Montrose, 1994
Danny Gatton, 1993
Alex Lifeson of Rush, 1992
J.J. Cale, 1990
Allan Holdsworth, 1983
Kim Mitchell, 1984
Warren Haynes of Allman Brothers, 1994
Derek Trucks, 1998
Susan Tedeschi, 1998
Joe Satriani, 2018
B.B. King, 1984
Albert Collins, 1985
Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, 1984
Dick Dale, 2000
Dickey Betts, 2001
…with hundreds more to come


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