Joe Bonamassa’s Tech Gives a Backstage Tour of His Rare Guitars

Instead of storing them in a vault, Joe Bonamassa likes to take his rare guitars out and use them in concert.
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Joe Bonamassa has a vast collection of vintage guitars, amps and effects. But as any true fan of his knows, Joe doesn’t keep the best stuff locked up at home—he takes it out on the road and uses it.

Awhile back, Engines of Rock decided to find out what goes into setting up Joe’s vintage gear for a show and went straight to the man in charge of the blues guitarist’s rig: Mike Hickey, Bonamassa’s guitar tech.

In this video, Hickey takes us backstage, where we get to see several of the rare guitars Joe uses onstage, including his 1959 “Skinner” Les Paul Standard, 1959 “Carmelita” Les Paul Standard and 1955 Fender Stratocaster. As Hickey confirms, “We like to take the rare guitars out and use them in concert as opposed to storing them in a vault somewhere.”

Hickey also walks us through his backstage duties and talks about going shopping for vintage gear, undoubtedly one of the highlights of the job.