The world of yowhatsshakin


Already in the 1980s, John Jorgenson, later of Hellecasters fame, was not only a G&L ASAT endorser but also provider of some exciting new ideas. One was to add a dummy coil underneath a wide-bobbin Magnetic Field Design (MFD) single-coil pickup for hum cancellation, a project already started during Leo’s lifetime, which was supposed to become the defining feature of a John Jorgenson Signature model. After Leo’s passing, Seymour Duncan was called upon to finish the development of this pickup, but he unfortunately was seriously strapped for time. Another example of ideas provided by John was to finish the swamp ash body with Silver Metal Flake to add “... some sparkle to the guitar under stage lighting”. As if his riffs are not sparkling enough already. To highlight that finish, the earlier JJ Sigs have a clear, high-gloss, plastic guard made of transparent drum shell allowing the finish underneath to be visible. But the onerous manufacturing process forced some changes (see the 2nd pickguard John Jorgenson Signature in my collection). Otherwise this model has the Saddle-Lock bridge, usual controls (volume, tone, 3-way switch), and gloss finished hard-rock maple Bi-Cut neck with 12” rosewood or maple (rare) fingerboard. When G&L wanted to bring out this new guitar during the 1995 NAMM, the main problem of output reduction of the pup with hum cancellation coil still had not been resolved. Therefore they opted to equip the JJ Sig with 2 “ordinary” wide-bobbin MFD pickups but without keeping John in the loop on this decision. G&L even announced the introduction to their dealers in the May 1995 issue of the “G&L Craftsman” (see picture below). However, note that whereas both the George Fullerton Signature and Jerry Cantrell Signature model get a bit of a blurb, John is only featured in a picture playing his guitar. “Hear” the end of this story from the horse’s mouth by reading this interview published on (01/25/2010). Now you know it didn’t end well for G&L. Not surprisingly, in all no more than about 190 Signatures were manufactured.

For more info, consult Greg Gagliano’s website for an exemplar with a rosewood fingerboard as well as one with a maple fingerboard (both of them with 2nd style pickguard).


G&L John Jorgenson Signature Model (1st pickguard)

The story behind this guitar

Year:                 1995

Serial number:   Not in collection (yet)

Neck date:         Unknown

Body date:         Unknown

Strings:              Unknown

Still searching for this rarity. It is so much easier to find a 2nd pickguard JJ Sig. Sigh! Although there aren’t too many available, an intended, chromed neck plate supposed to be used on all John Jorgenson Signatures is shown in the pictures below. Craig Dewey has another one, and beyond this JJ0076, I have seen JJ0023 and JJ0035 on eBay.