1983 Ibanez Rocket Roll II


Some time in late 2018, I heard via a facebook group about a guy up in Leeds selling a bunch of old Japanese guitars. Turned out that there was this, a ’78 Greco Mirage and a later 80’s iteration of the same. I came away with this and the ’78 Greco (which will be featured in another post sometime soon). I used the Greco for performances and rehearsals with BroodMother, this I used at home. It didn’t quite fit the look for the band but I kind of wish I had. It was a much better guitar.


This finish on the guitar, for something nearly 40 years old at the time, was exceptionally clean. The paint was still glossy and rich, the few scuffs and dings entirely forgivable (is there a V in the world without a dent on the wing-tips? Not if it’s been played, is the answer) and the hardware free from tarnishing. This speaks volumes. It was a superbly comfortable player and was my go to for practicing for that reason.

The pickups were completely serviceable for what I used it for, but to be honest, I never really tried them out to their full potential so can’t speak to their gnarliness one way or the other. the Bridge is obviously an aftermarket job and would not surprise me at all if it were a DiMarzio of some description.

I know what you’re thinking though… what’s up with the body shape?

Lawsuits are I believe the story there. Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s Gib$on were just starting to dabble in a hobby that it would follow for the next 40 years; suing everyone. Anyone that made an SG, Les Paul, Flying V or Explorer shaped guitar got a sternly worded letter in the post, giving rise to the all the bonkers adventures in guitar shapes that came next (tokai talbo’s, Aria Pro II Urchins, Ibanez Destroyers… the list goes on). One of those new shapes was this; The Rocket Roll Mk II (no surprises for guessing the original Rocket Roll had a more ‘traditional’ shape).

So, I guess we all need to thank Gibson and their morbid jealousy for that at least.