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 back in 2018–was the one from 2014 with the headline Yngwie Malmsteen 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? Has he never heard Gary Moore play one?

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 interviews with Yngwie from 1985 and 2014 subscribe to my Patreon page, where you can also eavesdrop on my one-on-one conversations with such guitar greats as:

Billy Duffy of the Cult, 1989
Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest, 2005
Vivian Campbell of Def Leppard, 1992
Colin James, 1995
Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown, 1998
Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, 2003
David Lindley, 2002
Marty Friedman of Megadeth, 1991
Nancy Wilson of Heart, 2006
Jeff Golub, 1989
Jim McCarty of the Yardbirds, 2003
Luther Dickinson of North Mississippi Allstars, 2001
Steve Hackett from Genesis, 1993
Buddy Guy, 1993
Steve Lynch of Autograph, 1985
Don Wilson of the Ventures, 1997
Trevor Rabin of Yes, 1984
Albert Lee, 1986
Robert Cray, 1996
Jeff Healey, 1988
Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi, 1993
Kenny Wayne Shepherd, 1995
Elliot Easton from the Cars, 1996
Wayne Kramer from the MC5, 2004
Roy Buchanan, 1988
Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash, 2003
Davy Knowles of Back Door Slam, 2007
Steve Stevens of Atomic Playboys, 1989
Warren Haynes of Gov’t Mule, 1998
Robben Ford, 1993
Jason Isbell, 2007
Joe Satriani, 1990
John Sykes of Blue Murder, 1989
Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, 1998
Myles Goodwyn of April Wine, 2001
Mike Campbell of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, 1999
Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers, 1992
Randy Bachman of the Guess Who, 2001
J.J. Cale, 2009
Joe Bonamassa, 2011
Tommy Emmanuel, 1994
John Petrucci of Dream Theater, 2010
Eric Johnson, 2001
Ace Frehley from Kiss, 2008
Allan Holdsworth, 1983
Steve Vai, 1990
Tony Iommi of Heaven and Hell, 2007
Stevie Ray Vaughan, 1990
Rick Richards of the Georgia Satellites, 1988
Steve Morse, 1991
Slash of Guns N’ Roses, 1994
Brian May from Queen, 1993
Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers, 1991
Jake E. Lee of Badlands, 1992
Rickey Medlocke of Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1997
John Fogerty, 1997
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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