Gavin Rossdale reveals how he became the owner of Joe Walsh’s Fender Jazzmaster ‘Hotel California’ – and why he wasn’t too happy when the Eagles legend signed it

As one of the most iconic songs of all time, with one of the greatest guitar solos, it’s fair to say that the Eagles Hotel California holds a special place in music history and, by extension, the equipment the band used to record the 1976 effort.

While most people would be impressed with these instruments, including the purple Fender Jazzmaster electric guitar that Joe Walsh used to play the song’s verses, the same can’t be said for Bush’s frontman Gavin Rossdale, who has bought the iconic offset without caring about either Hotel California or the Eagles.

Talk to guitar world‘s Amit Sharma for an upcoming interview, Rossdale recalled rather pragmatically how he came to own the Fender Jazzmaster, and explained that – because he “didn’t care about the Eagles” – he was less than impressed when Walsh voluntarily signed it for him.

“I bought this guitar from Vintage and Rare, this fantastic guitar shop in London,” Rossdale explained. “When I was a child, I went there with no money. I was one of those annoying customers who would never buy anything, so when I signed a recording contract, I went over there and bought a guitar. I tried all the guitars in there. The Jazzmaster was in the window, oddly enough.

“I knew I loved the look of the purple Jazzmaster in the window, but I wouldn’t let myself buy the first thing I saw – I had to try every guitar in the store,” he said. he continued. “I went back to the Jazzmaster and it sounded good.”

Although the Vintage and Rare seller probably thought Rossdale would be more encouraged to buy the guitar knowing it had belonged to Walsh, it turns out the Bush frontman didn’t care.

“They told me Joe Walsh once owned it,” Rossdale said. “I’m English, so who cares about the Eagles, really? I don’t care about the Eagles, but I can respect them even if I don’t listen to them. Everyone was freaking out about it, but it didn’t mean much to me.

After buying the Jazzmaster, Rossdale then decided to have it checked by Walsh himself, but mainly for financial reasons.

“Actually, I was led by [the Eagles’] manager for a long time,” he recalls. “So when I met Joe, I asked if he knew about this guitar. He picked it up and started playing it, then said, ‘Yeah, I used it for the verses on Hotel California!’

“So I got him to sign a piece of paper to prove it and told my kids to sell it the day I died – because I’d used it on [Bush’s debut album] Sixteen Stonewhich has some history, but the big chunk of history is the fact that it had been used on Hotel California“, added Rossdale. “And of course, I respect that, even if I don’t care about it personally.

However, while the mismatch was with Walsh for verification, the Eagles guitarist thought he would further increase the value of the instrument by signing the body – something that didn’t go down too well with the Jazzmaster’s new owner. .

Rossdale continued, “Here’s something I’ve never told anyone and it’s awesome. I sent the guitar to Joe to check and look over with his tech, who’s probably been with him forever. And he sent it back signed with his name on the real guitar.

“As soon as I saw it, I had to get that shit off me. I am a professional musician! I don’t give a fuck, it’s just for my kids to sell when I’m dead… wake up, I don’t care! [laughs]”

Bush’s new album, The art of survival (opens in a new tab) — which may feature the now signatureless Fender Jazzmaster — arrives today (October 7).

Nicholas E. Crittendon