“An icon of Seattle’s grunge rock sound refreshed and redesigned”: G&L is bringing back the Rampage for its first production run in nearly 40 years

Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains performs at Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center on August 20, 2019 in Noblesville, Indiana.
(Image credit: Keith Griner/Getty Images)

G&L has announced the return of its hugely popular Rampage electric guitar, made popular by Jerry Cantrell. 

The Stratocaster-style guitar gained a cult following for its minimalist design, with the Alice In Chains guitarist finding his to be an ever-reliable workhorse. Its reprised edition, the Rampage 24, is due to land later this year. 

The confirmation of the Rampage’s return came via a series of social media posts that paid tribute to its legacy as a totem of the Seattle grunge scene.  

The original Rampage, released in 1985, didn’t last long with the firm – which was founded by Leo Fender – quickly deciding to focus on other models. 

That flash-in-the-pan lifespan helped it garner cult status, with only a few limited-edition runs, including a Jerry Cantrell signature model, coming over the next 39 years.

Thus, the ‘24 model marks its second large-scale production and the first time many players will have the opportunity to play and own one. 

“This year we’re bringing something special back to the stage, the G&L Rampage,” the official announcement reads. 

“After design experimentation, Leo Fender’s vision crystallized into beautifully proportioned rock machines including the Rampage, a minimalist powerhouse with a single humbucker and a design as bold as the sound it produced.

“It was more than a guitar, it was a statement, and the absence of the Rampage left a void in the guitar world. You’ve kept asking for more, and the time has finally come.”

There are no further details to mull over, save for that its design as “an icon of Seattle’s grunge rock sound,” will be “refreshed and redesigned.” 

Cantrell had bought his Rampage from the Dallas music store he worked at in 1985, and has rarely been seen without it since. It was recently on display at Seattle’s MoPOP Museum, with Cantrell underlining its role in his career. 

Jerry Cantrell

(Image credit: Future)

“That guitar has been on everything I’ve ever recorded, pretty much – 98.9% of every song, that guitar’s on there somewhere,” he said. “I tried for decades to wreck it and it still exists.”

“It’s nothing fancy, he said of the instrument to Total Guitar in 2014. There’s plenty of fancier, cooler guitars, but it’s just a meat and potatoes guitar, and that’s always felt comfortable for me to play from the get-go.”

With further news on the Rampage 24 pending, it will be interesting to see if its most famous advocate, who has in recent years released “Wino” Les Paul Customs and acoustic guitars with Gibson, will be involved in its promotion.

Phil Weller

A freelance writer with a penchant for music that gets weird, Phil is a regular contributor to ProgGuitar World, and Total Guitar magazines and is especially keen on shining a light on unknown artists. Outside of the journalism realm, you can find him writing angular riffs in progressive metal band, Prognosis, in which he slings an 8-string Strandberg Boden Original, churning that low string through a variety of tunings. He's also a published author and is currently penning his debut novel which chucks fantasy, mythology and humanity into a great big melting pot.