Jump to content
Liam

History & Technical Info on Blue (Including Replicas & Backups)

Recommended Posts

Maddie86
9 minutes ago, Drink Coffee And Destroy said:

Bingo. But it asks the question of what guitar is directly behind Billie? 🤨

I just got out the photo and took a close look at it, it's definitely a strat headstock and it looks like the Fender logo was scratched off (I just noticed that the Fender logo was actually left on for the pink strat). It's hard to tell the color because the only part that's showing has tape wrapped around it, but does look like there's a little bit of blue sticking out at the very top of the upper horn, so maybe it actually is another blue replica... Maybe tomorrow I'll try to watch some videos from that era and see if I can find anything, I'll start with "live at the 10 spot". I need to get a working VCR because I actually have a VHS tape with some stuff from that era that I don't think is on youtube yet

another thing... Every time GD releases an album Billie does interviews with the bigger guitar magazines, they always seem to ask if Blue was used on the new album and Billie says no and that's it, I wish they would go more in depth about it. Billie never really talks about the technical aspects of blue, like why he had the Bill Lawrence put in and why he decided to switch to the SH4, and the angle thing must mean something to him, any time he uses a Fender style guitar he gets the humbucker put in at an angle, I'd like to hear his opinion on how it alters the sound

and @Liam, in regards to the original post, where did you get your info about the neck and middle pickups being disconnected? same with the info about the 500K pot that he uses... I'm not saying it's not true, I always assumed those 2 pickups weren't active, but I've never seen it written anywhere

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Liam
6 minutes ago, Maddie86 said:

and @Liam, in regards to the original post, where did you get your info about the neck and middle pickups being disconnected? same with the info about the 500K pot that he uses... I'm not saying it's not true, I always assumed those 2 pickups weren't active, but I've never seen it written anywhere

Info I got directly from Billie's guitar tech :)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Drink Coffee And Destroy
46 minutes ago, Maddie86 said:

Every time GD releases an album Billie does interviews with the bigger guitar magazines, they always seem to ask if Blue was used on the new album and Billie says no and that's it, I wish they would go more in depth about it. Billie never really talks about the technical aspects of blue, like why he had the Bill Lawrence put in and why he decided to switch to the SH4, and the angle thing must mean something to him, any time he uses a Fender style guitar he gets the humbucker put in at an angle, I'd like to hear his opinion on how it alters the sound

That bothers me too. I’d like to find the Total Guitar interview from 1997 because that’s the only time he ever really goes in depth on the Strats.

Regarding the change from Bill Lawrence to Seymour Duncan, I’m not entirely sure. From my own hearings, the Duncan sounds fuller than the Lawrence (based on comparing Dookie and Insomniac side by side, watching old videos, etc.). I personally want to know if it’s an XL or regular L model as they varied during production, Billies was an early 80’s with a chrome ring. The only way to determine that would be to have the pickup read on an impedance meter.

The common legend with angled humbuckers generally is there’s more low end due to the relative position of the poles to the strings. As for why it was done is simply necessity. There was no such thing as a humbucker in a Strat until Eddie Van Halen did it himself.

Edited by Drink Coffee And Destroy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Todd
57 minutes ago, Maddie86 said:

I just got out the photo and took a close look at it, it's definitely a strat headstock and it looks like the Fender logo was scratched off (I just noticed that the Fender logo was actually left on for the pink strat). It's hard to tell the color because the only part that's showing has tape wrapped around it, but does look like there's a little bit of blue sticking out at the very top of the upper horn, so maybe it actually is another blue replica... Maybe tomorrow I'll try to watch some videos from that era and see if I can find anything, I'll start with "live at the 10 spot". I need to get a working VCR because I actually have a VHS tape with some stuff from that era that I don't think is on youtube yet

another thing... Every time GD releases an album Billie does interviews with the bigger guitar magazines, they always seem to ask if Blue was used on the new album and Billie says no and that's it, I wish they would go more in depth about it. Billie never really talks about the technical aspects of blue, like why he had the Bill Lawrence put in and why he decided to switch to the SH4, and the angle thing must mean something to him, any time he uses a Fender style guitar he gets the humbucker put in at an angle, I'd like to hear his opinion on how it alters the sound

and @Liam, in regards to the original post, where did you get your info about the neck and middle pickups being disconnected? same with the info about the 500K pot that he uses... I'm not saying it's not true, I always assumed those 2 pickups weren't active, but I've never seen it written anywhere

I have a working VCR and digital transfer program. I'd be happy to digitize your tape for you & mail it back :) 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maddie86
52 minutes ago, Drink Coffee And Destroy said:

That bothers me too. I’d like to find the Total Guitar interview from 1997 because that’s the only time he ever really goes in depth on the Strats.

Regarding the change from Bill Lawrence to Seymour Duncan, I’m not entirely sure. From my own hearings, the Duncan sounds fuller than the Lawrence (based on comparing Dookie and Insomniac side by side, watching old videos, etc.). I personally want to know if it’s an XL or regular L model as they varied during production, Billies was an early 80’s with a chrome ring. The only way to determine that would be to have the pickup read on an impedance meter.

The common legend with angled humbuckers generally is there’s more low end due to the relative position of the poles to the strings. As for why it was done is simply necessity. There was no such thing as a humbucker in a Strat until Eddie Van Halen did it himself.

I think someone actually posted scans from that a couple years ago, I'll look through my computer tomorrow and post them if I find them!

I'm actually not a fan of the Bill Lawrence pickup at all, I think it sounds really muddy, even on Dookie, I really love his live tone from the Insomniac and nimrod era!

I did a lot of research on the whole angled humbucker thing a while back, I even did it to one of my own guitars! I like the way it sounds, I just wanted to hear Billie's perspective on it. I know angling them was big back in the 80s before they came out the the "F-Spaced" trembuckers, but seeing as how things have advanced since the 80's there's probably a reason Billie still angles them in the newer guitars he gets. I'm probably overthinking it lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Drink Coffee And Destroy
1 hour ago, Maddie86 said:

I'm actually not a fan of the Bill Lawrence pickup at all, I think it sounds really muddy, even on Dookie, I really love his live tone from the Insomniac and nimrod era!

I did a lot of research on the whole angled humbucker thing a while back, I even did it to one of my own guitars! I like the way it sounds, I just wanted to hear Billie's perspective on it. I know angling them was big back in the 80s before they came out the the "F-Spaced" trembuckers, but seeing as how things have advanced since the 80's there's probably a reason Billie still angles them in the newer guitars he gets. I'm probably overthinking it lol

The Bill Lawrence could get shrill sounding, especially in the pre-Kerplunk days before he got his JCM 900, but it has its moments (Jaded In Chicago). The Duncan definitely is a fuller sounding pickup (I would go with that if I had to pick). I’d also like to think since he started using two amps for Insomniac, the JB probably beefed up the sound better than the Lawrence. Oakland 12/14/95 is a good example of the Duncan at its finest. I’ll definitely do a shootout once I build my Billie Joe Black Strat and the first Blue backup from ‘97.

I’d think the only reason he’d angle them all the time is consistency and probably a cost saving method. Personally, I prefer it more than a non-angled pickup because you rarely see it anymore.

And don’t worry, you’re not the only one overthinking this haha.

Edited by Drink Coffee And Destroy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hammie Stein
6 hours ago, Maddie86 said:

I just got out the photo and took a close look at it, it's definitely a strat headstock and it looks like the Fender logo was scratched off (I just noticed that the Fender logo was actually left on for the pink strat). It's hard to tell the color because the only part that's showing has tape wrapped around it, but does look like there's a little bit of blue sticking out at the very top of the upper horn, so maybe it actually is another blue replica... Maybe tomorrow I'll try to watch some videos from that era and see if I can find anything, I'll start with "live at the 10 spot". I need to get a working VCR because I actually have a VHS tape with some stuff from that era that I don't think is on youtube yet

another thing... Every time GD releases an album Billie does interviews with the bigger guitar magazines, they always seem to ask if Blue was used on the new album and Billie says no and that's it, I wish they would go more in depth about it. Billie never really talks about the technical aspects of blue, like why he had the Bill Lawrence put in and why he decided to switch to the SH4, and the angle thing must mean something to him, any time he uses a Fender style guitar he gets the humbucker put in at an angle, I'd like to hear his opinion on how it alters the sound

and @Liam, in regards to the original post, where did you get your info about the neck and middle pickups being disconnected? same with the info about the 500K pot that he uses... I'm not saying it's not true, I always assumed those 2 pickups weren't active, but I've never seen it written anywhere

Its possible that it could be this guitar. I thought it might be his Fender that was used during the Nimrod tour but the initials are slightly different, as well as the neck having completely different figuring in the wood itself.

I cant seem to find any videos of this being used so perhaps it was just the backup for the E tuned fender?
scan0004-1.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Liam
1 hour ago, Hammie Stein said:

 

I cant seem to find any videos of this being used so perhaps it was just the backup for the E tuned fender?
 

That guitar was a fan replica, not actually Billie's/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WhiteTim
10 hours ago, Drink Coffee And Destroy said:

That bothers me too. I’d like to find the Total Guitar interview from 1997 because that’s the only time he ever really goes in depth on the Strats.

Regarding the change from Bill Lawrence to Seymour Duncan, I’m not entirely sure. From my own hearings, the Duncan sounds fuller than the Lawrence (based on comparing Dookie and Insomniac side by side, watching old videos, etc.). I personally want to know if it’s an XL or regular L model as they varied during production, Billies was an early 80’s with a chrome ring. The only way to determine that would be to have the pickup read on an impedance meter.

The common legend with angled humbuckers generally is there’s more low end due to the relative position of the poles to the strings. As for why it was done is simply necessity. There was no such thing as a humbucker in a Strat until Eddie Van Halen did it himself.

The guy who did those Dookiefied covers during the trilogy era posted that he spoke to someone who worked on Dookie (the engineer if I’m remembering) who said Billie didn’t use blue on Dookie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
disappearingfs

Billie Joe made different Blue copies in 1997 but actually only used one of those, it's that one noticeable in different live performance from Nimrod days, when playing newer stuff, in E tuning. Then, like already said, he had that punk and rosey back-up Strats but used 'em very rarely. I remember a ''Paper Lanterns'' performance for that natural-rosey one. He also used the Tele we can see in the ''Nice Guys Finish Last'' music video during MTV's NYE short set, during ''Scattered''. To add more, he also add a red one, used in Green Day's show behind that music store, Live in the Alley or something closer. For those Blue replicas we can't see, except for that cleaner one on that magazine's pic, I'm pretty sure there's nothing incredible to find about, I guess they're just a bunch of Strats with random stickers just to remind the primordial Blue, even if he ended up using only one of them, that one I mentioned before that you can also see in their set at V Festival, again, from those days. I know it's nothing new but I hope it helps a bit, been a Billie Joe guitar researcher for years... Lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maddie86
2 hours ago, WhiteTim said:

The guy who did those Dookiefied covers during the trilogy era posted that he spoke to someone who worked on Dookie (the engineer if I’m remembering) who said Billie didn’t use blue on Dookie

The engineer for Dookie said in this article here that Billie used Blue as one of the main guitars for the rhythm tracks on Dookie, and I feel like I remember an interview with Rob where he said Billie used Blue for that album. https://www.soundonsound.com/people/green-day-basket-case

I also remember someone saying that he used a les paul on Dookie but I've never seen anything to back that up

2 hours ago, WhiteTim said:

The guy who did those Dookiefied covers during the trilogy era posted that he spoke to someone who worked on Dookie (the engineer if I’m remembering) who said Billie didn’t use blue on Dookie

The engineer for Dookie said in this article here that Billie used Blue as one of the main guitars for the rhythm tracks on Dookie, and I feel like I remember an interview with Rob where he said Billie used Blue for that album. https://www.soundonsound.com/people/green-day-basket-case

I also remember someone saying that he used a les paul on Dookie but I've never seen anything to back that up

11 hours ago, Drink Coffee And Destroy said:

The Bill Lawrence could get shrill sounding, especially in the pre-Kerplunk days before he got his JCM 900, but it has its moments (Jaded In Chicago). The Duncan definitely is a fuller sounding pickup (I would go with that if I had to pick). I’d also like to think since he started using two amps for Insomniac, the JB probably beefed up the sound better than the Lawrence. Oakland 12/14/95 is a good example of the Duncan at its finest. I’ll definitely do a shootout once I build my Billie Joe Black Strat and the first Blue backup from ‘97.

I’d think the only reason he’d angle them all the time is consistency and probably a cost saving method. Personally, I prefer it more than a non-angled pickup because you rarely see it anymore.

And don’t worry, you’re not the only one overthinking this haha.

I just watched the Oakland video on youtube, I've never seen it before! It was a good show, and I agree, he had a good tone. It's interesting though, it looks like he's actually using 4 amps to power his cabs! and for paper lanterns he's using a black strat that I haven't seen before, it's not the same one from the Gilman street era. I also remember someone saying a few years ago Billie used a Fender Jag-stang to record insomniac, which I never heard before, and then Tre comes out playing one in this video, crazy!! I feel like the Insomniac sessions are their least talked about recording, all I know is that it was done at Hyde Street Studio and the sessions were really tense and apparently Tre's hands bled from playing Panic Song. Mike said he used the G3 on that album and Billie's amps were mentioned but I haven't seen an article saying which guitar he used

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Drink Coffee And Destroy
3 hours ago, disappearingfs said:

Billie Joe made different Blue copies in 1997 but actually only used one of those, it's that one noticeable in different live performance from Nimrod days, when playing newer stuff, in E tuning. Then, like already said, he had that punk and rosey back-up Strats but used 'em very rarely. I remember a ''Paper Lanterns'' performance for that natural-rosey one.

To add more, he also add a red one, used in Green Day's show behind that music store, Live in the Alley or something closer.

The Paper Lanterns performance you are referring to is San Jose, 12/4/97 where he used the pink/natural Strat, which was also used on Hitchin' A Ride on French TV. The Red Strat was used at the HMV Alley show for the old songs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Drink Coffee And Destroy
20 hours ago, Maddie86 said:

The engineer for Dookie said in this article here that Billie used Blue as one of the main guitars for the rhythm tracks on Dookie, and I feel like I remember an interview with Rob where he said Billie used Blue for that album. https://www.soundonsound.com/people/green-day-basket-case

I also remember someone saying that he used a les paul on Dookie but I've never seen anything to back that up

I just watched the Oakland video on youtube, I've never seen it before! It was a good show, and I agree, he had a good tone. It's interesting though, it looks like he's actually using 4 amps to power his cabs! and for paper lanterns he's using a black strat that I haven't seen before, it's not the same one from the Gilman street era. I also remember someone saying a few years ago Billie used a Fender Jag-stang to record insomniac, which I never heard before, and then Tre comes out playing one in this video, crazy!! I feel like the Insomniac sessions are their least talked about recording, all I know is that it was done at Hyde Street Studio and the sessions were really tense and apparently Tre's hands bled from playing Panic Song. Mike said he used the G3 on that album and Billie's amps were mentioned but I haven't seen an article saying which guitar he used

Correct, Blue was used for rhythm. It's entirely possible he used other guitars.

He actually has two sets of the same amps in that video. That was the last tour before he started using wireless units in his setup. One set was for Blue, the other was for whatever backup guitars were on hand.

Edited by Drink Coffee And Destroy
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WhiteTim
6 hours ago, Maddie86 said:

The engineer for Dookie said in this article here that Billie used Blue as one of the main guitars for the rhythm tracks on Dookie, and I feel like I remember an interview with Rob where he said Billie used Blue for that album. https://www.soundonsound.com/people/green-day-basket-case

I also remember someone saying that he used a les paul on Dookie but I've never seen anything to back that up

 

Yeah I always doubted that I got in a lil debate with him but he was adamant that what the dude said cause I never seen Billie play anything else until Nimrod tour 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hammie Stein
23 hours ago, Liam said:

That guitar was a fan replica, not actually Billie's/

Glad I finally cleared that up! Do you have any other information regarding it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Liam
28 minutes ago, Hammie Stein said:

Glad I finally cleared that up! Do you have any other information regarding it?

I did once but I don't remember where I found it. Basically from memory, it was a replica a fan made and showed him to get signed

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Drink Coffee And Destroy
6 hours ago, Liam said:

I did once but I don't remember where I found it. Basically from memory, it was a replica a fan made and showed him to get signed

Never knew the story with that one. I also wanted to mention it’s worth noting on Blue #2 (my profile pic), the bridge is left handed.

Edited by Drink Coffee And Destroy
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
disappearingfs
21 hours ago, Drink Coffee And Destroy said:

The Paper Lanterns performance you are referring to is San Jose, 12/4/97 where he used the pink/natural Strat, which was also used on Hitchin' A Ride on French TV. The Red Strat was used at the HMV Alley show for the old songs.

Yes, and Blue ''2'' is the one you have as profile pic :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
papa
On 12/16/2018 at 10:14 PM, Drink Coffee And Destroy said:

That bothers me too. I’d like to find the Total Guitar interview from 1997 because that’s the only time he ever really goes in depth on the Strats.

Regarding the change from Bill Lawrence to Seymour Duncan, I’m not entirely sure. From my own hearings, the Duncan sounds fuller than the Lawrence (based on comparing Dookie and Insomniac side by side, watching old videos, etc.). I personally want to know if it’s an XL or regular L model as they varied during production, Billies was an early 80’s with a chrome ring. The only way to determine that would be to have the pickup read on an impedance meter.

The common legend with angled humbuckers generally is there’s more low end due to the relative position of the poles to the strings. As for why it was done is simply necessity. There was no such thing as a humbucker in a Strat until Eddie Van Halen did it himself.

Pssst... plenty of folks had modified strats before Eddie came along.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
localinsomniac

Love this discussion, so I wish I had more to add to it.

I do remember reading somewhere that for at least a couple songs on Insomniac, Billie used a Jag Stang. The bass is straight G3, for sure. All you have to do is listen to the tones.

As far as Dookie goes, I always assumed that the bulk of it was recorded with Blue. It would be very interesting to hear what other guitars he may have used in those sessions.

Just for my own clarification, the Pete amp is a modded JCM800, correct?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WhiteTim
21 minutes ago, localinsomniac said:

Love this discussion, so I wish I had more to add to it.

I do remember reading somewhere that for at least a couple songs on Insomniac, Billie used a Jag Stang. The bass is straight G3, for sure. All you have to do is listen to the tones.

As far as Dookie goes, I always assumed that the bulk of it was recorded with Blue. It would be very interesting to hear what other guitars he may have used in those sessions.

Just for my own clarification, the Pete amp is a modded JCM800, correct?

I doubt Billie used a Jag-Stang for Insomniac while it’s possible Billie could’ve got a early copy but the Jag-Stang didn’t go on sale to the public til fall of 95 where as Insomnic was recorded during the Spring of 95 I had the Jag Stang that year got it for Christmas and even if Billie had it modded I dunno if it would produce the tone that was on the album 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
localinsomniac
48 minutes ago, WhiteTim said:

I doubt Billie used a Jag-Stang for Insomniac while it’s possible Billie could’ve got a early copy but the Jag-Stang didn’t go on sale to the public til fall of 95 where as Insomnic was recorded during the Spring of 95 I had the Jag Stang that year got it for Christmas and even if Billie had it modded I dunno if it would produce the tone that was on the album 

I'll have to try and dig up the info somewhere. If not the Jag Stang, it was definitely a non-Strat Fender model. Thanks for the info!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WhiteTim
20 minutes ago, localinsomniac said:

I'll have to try and dig up the info somewhere. If not the Jag Stang, it was definitely a non-Strat Fender model. Thanks for the info!

I've seen a Jaguar being credited to Billie (tho I've never seen him ever use one) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Todd
On 12/17/2018 at 11:20 AM, Maddie86 said:

The engineer for Dookie said in this article here that Billie used Blue as one of the main guitars for the rhythm tracks on Dookie, and I feel like I remember an interview with Rob where he said Billie used Blue for that album. https://www.soundonsound.com/people/green-day-basket-case

I also remember someone saying that he used a les paul on Dookie but I've never seen anything to back that up

The engineer for Dookie said in this article here that Billie used Blue as one of the main guitars for the rhythm tracks on Dookie, and I feel like I remember an interview with Rob where he said Billie used Blue for that album. https://www.soundonsound.com/people/green-day-basket-case

I also remember someone saying that he used a les paul on Dookie but I've never seen anything to back that up

I just watched the Oakland video on youtube, I've never seen it before! It was a good show, and I agree, he had a good tone. It's interesting though, it looks like he's actually using 4 amps to power his cabs! and for paper lanterns he's using a black strat that I haven't seen before, it's not the same one from the Gilman street era. I also remember someone saying a few years ago Billie used a Fender Jag-stang to record insomniac, which I never heard before, and then Tre comes out playing one in this video, crazy!! I feel like the Insomniac sessions are their least talked about recording, all I know is that it was done at Hyde Street Studio and the sessions were really tense and apparently Tre's hands bled from playing Panic Song. Mike said he used the G3 on that album and Billie's amps were mentioned but I haven't seen an article saying which guitar he used

I’m friends with Kevin Army, I’d be happy to pass along any questions about the Insomniac sessions. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WhiteTim
34 minutes ago, Todd said:

I’m friends with Kevin Army, I’d be happy to pass along any questions about the Insomniac sessions. 

Was he the engineer or the mixer? (I forget the credits and don’t have the booklet on me at the moment) 

if hes the engineer ask him if he remembers what guitars Billie used 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×