Malcolm Young – 1963 Gretsch Jet Firebird
About the Guitar
As with all my guitar sculptures, I start by transferring my scale drawing onto a wood base, making sure to accurately mark out all the features of the guitar; pickups, volume & tone knobs, jack plugs, bridges, fret position, headstock features etc.
From there I usually start by laying out the outline of the body shape using an appropriate material that best fits the guitar characteristics. For the Gretsch Jet Firebird I used heavy-duty motorcycle chain to shape the body and headstock.
The body is predominately constructed out of motorcycle and car parts. Furthermore, if you look carefully the tailpiece has a been modified to incorporate Malcolm’s initials.
I have used a common technique of super heating metal and then quenching with motor oil, to achieve the rainbow/purple effect on the fret boards and pickups.
The guitar sculpture also comes with its own unique guitar stand. This is specifically tailored to the needs of the guitar with respects to its look, balance and body shape.
About The Artist
Malcolm Mitchell Young (January 6, 1963 – November 18, 2017)
Young was originally born in Glasgow, Scotland but emigrated to Sydney, Australia in 1963. Coming from a musical background he quickly formed AC/DC alongside his brother Angus Young in 1973. They decided on the name of the band from seeing it on the back of their sister’s sewing machine.
In 1980, AC/DC released their tenth studio album “Back In Black” with newly recruited singer Brian Johnson; earlier that year, Bon Scott, the previous vocalist, died from alcohol poisoning. “Back In Black” was a tribute to Bon Scott and remains the second highest selling album of all time.
As a result, in 2003 AC/DC were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. MTV rank them as the seventh “Greatest heavy metal band of all time”.
On 16 May 2012, Angus was named Best Australian Guitarist of All Time in a poll conducted by Australian Guitar Magazine.
Malcolm has used Gretsch guitars throughout his career, notably the Jet Firebird. His brother George Young handed down the guitar to Malcolm who stripped it of its original red paint to the bare maple wood. Furthermore, he removed the two front humbucker pickup, leaving only one at the bridge. As a result, this gave Malcolm a distinct and iconic sound that resonates through all of AC/DC’s classic albums.
Shortly before Malcolm’s death in 2017, the Gretsch Guitar company released a signature series dedicated to him called the G6131MY- CS.
Other guitarists that also made the Gretsch Jet Firebird their guitar of choice include:
Neil Finn – Crowded House