Trapped on a deserted island: What's your guitar, amp and pedal?

Posted by Andrew Backover on

Let's play the "you're trapped on a deserted island, and you can only bring X, Y and Z with you" game. You can only take one guitar, one amp and one pedal. The only stipulation is that said gear must be in your collection today. What's your lineup?

While you are thinking about it, here's mine.


...1995 Gibson Les Paul Studio at left.....or 1997 Fender USA Roadhouse Strat at right.

I defaulted to thinking I would want my 1995 Les Paul Studio with me. It was my first "higher-end" guitar, and I love its meaty tone. It might be heavy enough to smash coconuts. But then I started thinking that diversity of tone would be pretty important when I am stuck all alone with nothing to do but practice and build giant SOS bonfires out of driftwood. Ergo, I will go with my 1997 Fender USA Roadhouse Stratocaster. With its five-way pickup switch and range of volume and tone settings, that should keep me from getting too bored. It would probably serve as a nice oar as well. And just look at that tortoise shell pick guard.


 ...This? Peavey Delta Blues?...............................Or This? 1977 Fender Twin Reverb?...

Gosh, this is another brutal choice. My Peavey Delta Blues is probably my most versatile amp. It features 30 watts of power, with a 15-inch speaker, two channels, including an outstanding gain channel, reverb and tremolo. But will it be loud enough for solo beachfront concert sessions? Hmmmmm. I think I will go with my 1977 Fender Twin Reverb instead. It packs 135 watts of head-splitting tube power, so I might be able to get the attention of a passing-by tanker or cruise ship. It has two inputs for me and for my imaginary volleyball friend, Wilson. In all seriousness, along with the volume, it has on-board reverb (duh) and tremolo. The push-pull volume switch -- intended for gain and breakup -- is fairly useless, however, meaning I will need to make a crucial pedal choice for overdrive/distortion.


Decisions. MXR Distortion Plus on the left.....Mu-Tron III Envelope Filter on the right...

This is hard. Perhaps I should recap. I chose a Strat for versatility but it means I am lacking the power of my Les Paul humbuckers to overdrive the tubes on the Fender Twin (Rubs chin in pensive analysis of the sitch). The Fender Twin is great at tranquil, glassy cleans and, boy, is it loud. But what about when I need something that sounds pretty rude? (Rubs forehead, confused and anxiously). This is a big decision.

Normally, my No. 1 favorite pedal would be my Mu-Tron III envelop filter -- for those Jerry Garcia-inspired, round-sounding, wah-wah groans (not to mention some amazing funk potential). But how would I "reign" over all of the island beasts and ocean life if I could not make them tremble with some good, old-fashioned distortion and overdrive? OK, I think that solves it. I am going with a 1977 MXR Block Logo Distortion Plus pedal.

With distortion dialed down low, the MXR is a solid overdrive pedal to achieve that breakup and extra edge. With distortion dialed up high, ear drums are melting, and Randy Rhoads supplants Wilson as my imaginary friend.

"...You've been a great audience!!!....Thanks for coming out tonight!!!..."

Where will I get electrical power, you ask? Ok, first of all, stop killing my fantasy gear buzz. From my solar-powered generator, of course. I will spear fish, lose weight, get shredded, and my long, wavy mane will naturally become a sun-bleached blonde. I might just look like Sammy Hagar.

OK, that's my deserted island rig. With that gear, I am fairly certain I wouldn't care about being stuck there for at least a little while. What would you choose?

Comment below or email me at: Check out the site for your deserted island gear!

(This blog post is in no way intended to offend anyone who has actually been stranded on a deserted island...with or without guitar gear.)



Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment