“It’s bad. It’s real bad”: Joe Bonamassa reveals just how many guitars he owns

The blues rocker also talked about how he almost became a member of UFO.

Joe Bonamassa playing a Gibson Les Paul.

Image: Getty

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Just how many guitars does Joe Bonamassa own? In a new interview, the blues rocker and bona fide gearhead has revealed the extent of his sprawling collection.

In a recent appearance on Talkin’ Rock with Meltdown released 7 November, Bonamassa said he’s amassed “about 400 guitars and 400 amps”. “It’s real bad. It’s not a good thing,” he added. “I have more guitars and equipment than any other human should ever require or need or want to be in the same room with.”

His collection comprises a few legendary instruments, such as Tommy Bolin’s 1960 Gibson Les Paul, three original Flying Vs and a 1951 Fender Nocaster (which, as Bonamassa has hinted, might receive a Fender Custom Shop version). 

“It is what it is,” Bonamassa said, “I’m the son of a guitar dealer and I got the bug.” But he also claims he no longer needs anything else in the way of gear and that he doesn’t want “any more stuff”.

Elsewhere in the interview, Bonamassa revealed that he almost ended up playing with rock band UFO when he auditioned at 18 years old. The spot ultimately went to Vinnie Moore, but Bonamassa said he understood, as he didn’t have the right image the band was looking for at the time. 

“I auditioned at Pete Way’s house in Columbus, Ohio and they liked my tone, they liked my take on Rock Bottom, but I looked like Opie Taylor with a Flying V,” Bonamassa said jokingly. “Vinnie Moore is much better suited for that gig than I would’ve been at 18 years old, and he still has that gig.”

Bonamassa is currently performing in New York, and will wrap up his 2019 tour in St. Augustine, Florida on 23 November. He has also announced tour dates in both America and Europe for 2020. 

Read Joe Bonamassa’s Guitar.com guide to buying vintage guitars.

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