Welcome to the second GUITARS page!
Photos by Erik Stenemo @ Backlineverket, Peter Rooth; Text by John Norum


Gibson Les Paul Custom Shop 1959
This guitar I mainly use for D drop tunes and it's also used as a backup to my main Les Paul, the '58 Custom Shop.
This one is a little brighter sounding than the '58 but has great sustain and very good attack!
A very nice "fiddle" indeed!

Fender Stratocaster 1972 reissue from 2004
I have only had this guitar for about 3 years now, but it has become one of my favorites!
It has a Basswood body which is a bit unusual for a Strat.
It's a great sounding guitar with lots of bottom end! So if I switch guitars in between songs (live) to a Flying V or a Les Paul (famous for lots of bottom end) you won't notice much of a difference in the bottom end department, that's how "fat" this Strat sounds!
This guitar was the main guitar for the "War of Kings" album, used on almost every song including my favorite instrumental track "Vasastan" and it was also used in the video for the title track "War of Kings".

Gibson Flying V
From the late '90s, I'm not sure about the exact year.
This V is amazing! One of the best Flying Vs I ever heard and I've had a few (well around 10 the last 30 years. If that's "a few" I don't know ...he ...he.)
It has Motor City pickups (Black Belt), Hot vintage humbuckers pickups and they are great!
It has that "midrange" Schenker tone which I love! A great guitar!

Gibson Les Paul Custom Shop 1958
I bought this one in Stockholm about a year ago.
I went in to a music store to just "browse" around. And I saw this Les Paul hanging on the wall and I thought "Wow what a beautiful top (the color) on that Les Paul!"
So I took it down and immediately it felt right! The weight was just perfect! Not too light not too heavy and it sounded great unplugged! Very warm (and cosy ...ha. I hate that word! Its a good name though Cosy Powell! The greatest drummer of all time!).
Anyways I plugged it in and after 10 mins it was sold!
It had all the right frequencies and sounded fabulous! And it was very loud!
So this is definitely one of the best Les Pauls I ever heard and played!

Paoletti Stratospheric Wine Custom J.Norum
This is my latest addition to the guitar "family".
It's my first signature guitar ever (never was interested to have one before) and it's a fabulous sounding "fiddle"!
The body is 150 years old Chestnut wood and it comes from old wine barrels that has been stored for over 100 years in a cellar somewhere in Italy. (The best wine Country in the world by the way, if you are into that type of thing ...ha.)
It has the same pickups (Di Marzio FS-1) and hardware as my other Strat style guitars, except the Steel bridge made by Gotoh which really is no difference to a Fender Strat bridge.
And the other cool thing is that it has a Mahogany neck (just like a Gibson) instead of Maple which gives it a very unique sound compared to a standard Strat style guitar.
It also has an Ebony fretboard (like a Les Paul custom) which also is very unusual for a Strat (Fender always use either Maple or Rosewood for there fingerboards).
It's now out for sale: check it out, I know you're going to love it (well, that is if you like a fat Strat sound of course)!

Fender Stratocaster 1968 Aged relic Michael Landau signature Strat
This one is just a fabulous sounding and playing guitar!
The pickups have just a "hair" more output then a standard Fender Strat pickup and they are slightly warmer sounding as well.
On a all my Strats I have the tone controls connected to the bridge pickup and the neck pickup. (Not the middle. Why? I don't know ...ha! Well It's probably because I don't really use the middle pickup that much.)
Why Fender didn't connect the tone control to the bridge pickup I will never know. Because to me it sounds way better when the tone control are connected expecially to the bridge pickup which sometimes can be very trebely sounding on a Strat.
And it also gives you more sound options. (Im not much of a"treble freak".)
So on the ML Strat the tone controls are hooked up the way I think Fender should have done it in the first place.
A good trick (that I "borrowed" from Eric Johnson) is to put the tone control around 7-8 on the bridge pickup and that will give you a really cool bluesy tone for leads.
It's not a huge difference but enough for it to be a little bit more "musical" sounding.

Ovation Standard Balladeer L X
This is a the best sounding Ovation I ever heard.
I have compared it to Martins, Gibsons, Fender acoustics you name it and this one sounds the best! For my personal taste anyways.
It has Al Di Meola's signature preamp in it which are awesome!
I used this one on the "Almost Unplugged" DVD (Europe) and a tour and bunch of gigs with my great sister Tone Norum (one of the best female singers in the world).
So I just had to have one after hearing the album "Friday Night in San Francisco" in the '80s, (I've had a few) with the amazing Al Di Meola, John McLaughling and Paco de Lucía.
Al and John used the Ovations and Paco (RIP) - being the greatest flamenco guitar player ever lived - used a nylon-string flamenco guitar.

Kids Bass
This bass is called "Kids" but it's definitely not specifically made for "kids" (who came up with this name for a bass? ...ha), of course anyone can play it.
This bass was a gift from a good friend of mine Peter Baltes (bass player of Accept) when he and I were playing in the Don Dokken band (1989-1992).
And he also played on a few of my solo albums. A great bass player and song writer!
This bass is custom built by "Kids" guitars in Japan and it sounds great!
It has very powerful EMG pickups and a great neck with a Ebony fretboard.
I love it!

Fernandes "mini" Les Paul
This is a Fernandes "mini" Les Paul that was a gift from a fan in Japan when we (Europe) toured there in 2005.
Japanese fans are always very generous and like to give you gifts which is very nice!
So i brought this "baby" home and gave it to my son Jake because me being 6.2 ft tall obviously it's "slightly" too small for me ...he.
It has a tiny little amp built inside the body and a small speaker in the neck pickup cavity which is running on a 9 Volt battery and it's loud!
This is also the guitar that Jake has on the "Play Yard Blues" album cover and I'm playing a Les Paul (which I don't have anymore, but don't tell anyone...).

SR "mini" Flying V
This guitar was also gift from a Japanese fan when we toured Japan in 2015 and it's a really cool "mini" Flying V!
Even though this thing is tiny it still sounds pretty good!
And I gave this one to my son Jim (who's 4) and he loves it!
And he said "It's a Flying V!" I couldn't believe it, he knew the model! (Papa has thaught him well ...ha).
Anyways he enjoys it very much and he's very proud of it.
And it's a good "beginners" guitar for kids even though it's not a full size scale guitar, it sounds good!
Eddie Van Halen used one of these "mini" guitars live on the song "Little Guitars" from the album "Diver Down" and it sounded great!
So there you go: "If it's good enough for Eddie it's good enough for anyone!"

Back of the 1965 Stratocaster

And finally, friends! This has been my main guitar for the last 32 years! This is my baby!
Fender Stratocaster 1965
I bought this one in 1984 and I've used it on every album ever since, including "The Final Countdown" album, my first solo album "Total Control" (it's the guitar on the front cover), and I used it exclusively on the "Face It Live '97" album - which is one of my favorite guitar sounds of all time! - and many more.
It's very special to me, because of its history, but more importantly, it's the best sounding Strat I ever heard!
The pickups are not original (but I do still have the originals): It has old DiMarzio FS-1 (Fat Strat) pickups which is my favorite single coil pickup, and the FS-1 are also fitted in all my Strats, including my signature Stratospheric Wine Custom J.Norum (Strat style) by Paoletti Guitars.
The guitar has also gotten a "nickname" over the years. It wasnt anything I planned, it just happened (like BB King's "Lucille", Clapton's "Blackie" and many others).
So the first name that just "popped up"out of the blue was "Gamla Bettan" (a Swedish name, in English it would be "Old Betty").
The guitar is now retired from touring but I still use it a lot in the studio because no other guitar sounds like this one.
It has a very unique tone that I've never heard in any other guitar, it just sounds great!
Yngwie Malmsteen played it once and the first thing he said was "How much?" ...ha ...ha. "Sorry, it's not for sale, but I still love ya!"