Gary Holt Cites Ritchie Blackmore + Ted Nugent as His Guitar Heroes
For Slayer and Exodus guitarist Gary Holt, the '70s provided some great inspiration. Speaking with The Music Experience's Squiggy, Holt states, "My hero is Ritchie Blackmore. Ted Nugent is one of my heroes, not politically, but guitar-wise ... I'm able to separate the two."
"[Nugent] was bigger than life to me as a kid. Before I played guitar, the guy looked like he was nine feet tall, playing fuckin' 'Cat Scratch Fever,'" says Holt, who also adds, "I remember the time I heard the first Rainbow album and 'Man on the Silver Mountain,' fuck it was so awesome."
While having trouble remembering the exact first song he played on guitar, Holt says he's fairly certain it was Rainbow, as he was really into "Stargazer" and "Gates of Babylon" when he was first picking up the instrument.
These days Holt is a guitar hero to the younger generation, and for him, there's one instrument that's made its mark. Holt has worked with ESP for his LTD Signature Series GH-600, which is based on the Eclipse body style. The guitarist designed the instrument to fit his aggressive, fast style of playing.
"I use one on 'Angel of Death' every night, which depending on the current status of my bad back, if you're going to that lighter guitar, it's awesome. It sounds throaty and chunky as shit," says Holt.
The guitarist recalls deconstructing guitars as a kid to find the best parts. "The LTD, I would've killed to have a guitar [of] that quality as a kid," says Holt. "What I wouldn't have given to have a guitar that good for that price range back in the '80s."
The instrument has a pair of red-covered EMG active pickups, the EMG 89R in the neck with a coil splitter controlled by a volume knob pull switch, and the in-your-face EMG 81 in the bridge. To learn more about the ESP LTD GH-600, click here.
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