Gibson Flying V
is, to date, the earliest known photo of Johnny playing guitar.
It is reportedly from an audition of Johnny's then band,
for a talent show at Miramar High School in about 1980. It
appears to be a Gibson Flying V model.
Flying V on Wikipedia
Flying V, white pickguard
Gibson Reverse Flying V's
was seen strumming a Reverse V in a Grammy rehearsal photo with Joe
Perry on February 13, 2016. These models were released by Gibson
in 2007 and 2008. Another guitar that might be a second Reverse V
was seen with Johnny's other guitars backstage in Herborn, Germany on
May 29, 2016.
Gibson Flying V (including Reverse Flying V) on Wikipedia
Paul Guitar (seen in 1996)
reunited with The Kids at the Rockandy Club in 1996. Johnny
is on the right in both photos. Unfortunately, there are no
clearer shots, but the headstock and brief view identifies this as a
Les Paul. The color seems similar to the one from 1985, but I
don't think any of the photos are clear enough to see if it's the same
Another Gibson Les Paul Guitar
This is another Les Paul, that
Johnny played with P at the Viper Room in 1993. This one has
a white pickguard.
may be one of three instruments that can be seen in the background of a
video clip that Johnny recorded for an Actors Fund tribute to Al Pacino
on May 23, 2011. Note the guitar on the right.
guitar on the left could possibly be any one of Johnny's many Fenders,
while in the middle is a 4 stringed instrument).
Yet Another Gibson Les Paul Guitar
the days before the 2016 Hollywood Vampires show at Rock In Rio Lisbon,
Johnny was seen with this guitar in rehearsal and backstage with the
Vamps. He began playing it at the July 5 Summerfest show in
Milwaukee. He has used this guitar for songs such as My Dead
Drunk Friends and Pinball Wizard. This guitar looks similar to
the one above, but the
headstock is distinct. After Joe became ill in Coney Island, Johnny put a "JP" sticker on it.
(row 1: photos
1 through 4 May 27, 2016 at Rock In Rio by Ross Halfin and Kyler Clark; photo 5:
July 5, 2016 at Summerfest, Milwaukee WI, photo by Kyler Clark; photo 6: July 7, 2016 in Aurora IL;
photo 7: July 8, 2016 in Orillia ON)
(row 2: photo 1: July 10, 2016 in Brooklyn NY; photo 2: July 12, 2016
in Kettering OH; photo 3: July 14, 2016 in Cadott WI; photo 4: July 16,
2016 in Clarkston MI; photo 5: July 23, 2016 in Jacksonville OR; photo
6: July 24, 2016 in Saratoga CA; photo 7: July 25, 2016 in Paso Robles
CA; photo 8: December 3, 2016 backstage with Ray Luzier at Alice Cooper's Christmas Pudding in Phoenix AZ)
(row 3: photo 1: January 20, 2017 rehearsals in LA; January 21, 2017 NAMM TEC Awards in Anaheim CA)
'59 Gibson Les Paul Burst Guitar
Johnny poses with this guitar
circa 2012. A 2016 Instagram
by Rumble Seat Music identifies this as a '59 Les Paul Burst. It
was one of three that he was checking out at their former Albequerque
store, presumably during Lone Ranger
filming (seen on the right in the second photo below). The store
originally had five of these guitars, pictured together in a group in
the third photo (photo thanks to bare bones). Two of the guitars
were apparently purchased by Joe Bonamassa.
Gibson Les Paul Custom
2015 campaign for the new Dior fragrance, Sauvage, includes his
participation in a short film. Johnny is shown playing this guitar. The guitar is identified as a Gibson
by its split diamond inlay on the headstock and the characteristic
mother of pearl fretboard inlays. It is most likely a Les Paul Custom.
Les Paul Special
(row 1: photos 1-3: June 26, 2011 with Alice
Cooper at the 100 Club in London; photos 4-6: April 11, 2012 with Marilyn Manson at Club
Nokia in LA; photo 7: May 7, 2012 with Alice Cooper, Joe Perry, and Steven Tyler at the El
Capitan Theatre in LA)
(row 2: photo 1: June 3, 2012 with The Black Keys at the MTV Movie
Awards in LA; photo 2: August 25, 2012 with Gore Verbinski in Angel Fire, NM; photo 3: October 12, 2012 with Patti Smith at
the Wiltern in LA; photo 4: September 16, 2015 at The Roxy in W. Hollywood, CA;
photos 5 and 6: September 23, 2015 Rock In Rio soundcheck)
3: photo 1:
September 24, 2015 at Rock In Rio, Rio de Janeiro; photo 2: Hollywood
Vampires appearances on May 24, 2016 in Verona NY, May 27, 2016 in
Lisbon, and May 29, 2016 in Stockholm; photo 3: July 3, 2016 in
Atlantic City; photo 4: July 9, 2016 in Niagara Falls NY; photo 5, July
10, 2016 in Brooklyn NY)
(row 4: photo 1: July 14, 2016 in Cadott WI; photo 2: July 16, 2016 in
Clarkston MI; photo 3: July 22, 2016 in Rohnert Park CA; photo 4:
November 10, 2016 Classic Rock Awards rehearsal with Tommy Henriksen,
Gibson Les Paul Junior
played this guitar with Bill Carter at the Continental Club on October
22, 2011. The headstock identifies it as a Les Paul Junior.
1959 Les Paul Junior
This may be the same guitar that Johnny was playing on September 12,
2017 when he guested with Ian Hunter at the Teragram Ballroom in LA.
Photos 1-5: October 22, 2011 in Austin TX; photo 6: September 12, 2017 in LA
Les Paul "Johnny Thunders"
the July 24, 2016 Hollywood Vampires show at the Mountain Winery,
Johnny was spotted playing this guitar. It appears to be a Gibson
Les Paul, with stickers saying "Johnny Thunders" and "L.A.M.F"
(Thunders' band The Heartbreakers' studio album). Mert Y. notes
that a boutique guitar company called Rock N Roll Relics makes similar
guitars that are distressed and made according to artists'
specifications. This company has both a Thunders model and a Johnny Thunders Tribute
model. The latter is made in "TV Yellow with Chinese Rock or
L.A.M.F. Sticker" that is compatible with the guitar Johnny is
However, although the photo is not very sharp, one can barely make out
the "L" that would match the script "L" of Les Paul. Therefore,
it may indeed be a customized Les Paul that Johnny had aged and
customized on his own, with the stickers added. Mert believes it
may be something along the lines of this 1958 Les Paul Junior
recently sold by Reverb.com. If anyone has any more information
they can share about this unique guitar, please e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org Hopefully he will be playing this beauty
Photo by Suzanne Allison Photography
is seen playing this guitar in the teaser for the 2015 album, Hollywood
Vampires. He then brought the guitar to Brazil for the Vamps' Rock In Rio show.
Gibson SG on Wikipedia
1 and 2: Hollywood Vampires Album Teaser; photo 3: September 23, 2015
Rock In Rio soundcheck; photos 4 and 5: September 24, 2015 at Rock In
Rio, Rio de Janeiro
Gibson ~1965 Firebird
1-3: Brisbane Australia on February 27, 2015; Photos 4-5: San Juan Capistrano, CA. (Photo 4 by James Christopher)
Gibson Custom Joe Perry Boneyard Signature Guitar
with Bigsby Tremolo/Vibrato
played this guitar, appropriately enough, at an Aerosmith show in 2012.
Johnny traded riffs with Mr.
Perry himself, though the latter was playing a different guitar for
that performance. Johnny also appears to be playing this
in the studio while working with Bill Carter on the Road To Nowhere
recording for the West
Voices For Justice soundtrack. It is also
a wall behind him when he made a welcome video for the 30th Gathering
of Nations Pow Wow in April of 2013. In 2015, Johnny played this
guitar with the Hollywood Vampires at The Roxy in W. Hollywood.
1: with Aerosmith at the Hollywood Bowl, August 6, 2012)
(row 2: photo 1: with Bill Carter in the studio, 2012; photos 2 and 3: 30th Gathering of Nations
welcome speech, 2013; photo 4: September 16, 2015 at The Roxy in W. Hollywood, CA; photo 5: September 17, 2015 at The Roxy in W. Hollywood, CA)