Throughout his decades with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and, more recently, Fleetwood Mac, Mike Campbell has shown the world a unique gift for tasteful lead guitar playing – always with just the right touch at just the right time.
Campbell, as it turns out, has created this body of work with the help of an enviable collection of guitars, the best of which he shared with Guitar Center in a new video called "Desert Island Guitars."
Campbell begins with his all-time favorite, an absolutely stunning ‘50s Fender Broadcaster.
“It’s priceless,” Campbell says. “I will never sell it. I got it for $600 at Nadine’s Music Store in Hollywood, California when [Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers] were doing our first record. I only had a Stratocaster at the time and Tom was using that. So I needed something good.
"I found this on the wall and it’s natural wood. It’s just beautiful, it plays wonderful. And we used it all throughout the Heartbreakers records. In fact, on 'Mary Jane’s Last Dance' [Petty's 1993 smash hit,] Tom played this.”
Campbell next shows viewers his 1959 Les Paul 'burst.
“This is a particularly good one," Campbell says. "It’s in great condition. I don’t take it out of the house. And it’s a totally different sound than the Broadcaster.
"This guitar represents a lot of records I grew up [on] – Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, a lot of those great players from the ‘60s who inspired me used this same model guitar.
"I got this when we were starting an album called Mojo with the Heartbreakers," Campbell continues. "I started playing it and Tom lost his mind. He said, ‘That’s a great-sounding guitar. I want you to play it on every song. We’re going to make this album around the sound of that guitar.’ And we did.”
There's more vintage gold where that came from, so be sure to check out the whole video above.
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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.