Guitarist John 5 on his favorite gadgets

Gadget love comes in many variations. Here at CrunchGear, we tend to focus on cellphones, cameras, computer equipment, and the occassional sex gadget to satisfy Biggs’ prurient interests. But in reality, “gadget” afficinados can follow any number of different categories of gear. And what is interesting is how people can be completely immersed in one type of gadget and equally un-interested in other items.

Virtuoso guitar player John 5 is a perfect example of this intense focus of interests. Currently rocking with Rob Zombie’s band, the musician has also performed with Marilyn Manson, K.D. Lang, Lynard Skynard, Avril Lavigne, Paul Stanley, and many others. His latest instrumental solo release The Art of Malice was released this week and contains a diverse mixture of heavy metal, bluegrass, country, and even some flamenco-flavored shredding.

In John 5’s case, his gadget obsession involves the tools of his trade: guitars. While that’s not surprising, the extent of his collection is. He’s accumulated hundreds of vintage Fender Telecasters, including a 1950 Broadcaster model valued at over $130,000. Check out this incredible video of John discussing his collection. When he describes his passion for collecting these instruments as like a drug addiction, many of us can certainly understand that obsession.


Infinitely knowledgeable about one type of “gadget,” John 5 isn’t interested in cellphones, computer equipment, or computer equipment. “Rob Zombie had to take me to the store to buy my laptop,” he laughs. He does use the Voice Memos function on the iPhone for capturing those random riffs and licks that pop up in his mind. But that’s the extent of his other gadget uses. It’s all about the guitars for John 5.

Which brings us to another discussion topic: the lasting use and value of gadgets.

In 1950, the Fender Telecaster was cutting edge technology, used by the earliest of adopters. Sixty years later, working musicians still use the instrument. Or, at least the working musicians who are successful enough to afford one.

In today’s culture of planned obsolesence, our gadgets don’t last more than a couple of years for most of us. Sure, Mom and Dad may still be lugging around a 1999 flip phone. But for readers of CrunchGear, we cycle through our gadget utility belt pretty quickly. What items that we drool over today will fetch super high prices at auction in fifty years?