Malcolm Young’s JayDee Jet “White Arrow”

This guitar was made by Jaydee sometime around 1977 as a backup for Malcolm’s number-one Gretsh Firebird.

The guitar is essentially a replica of that guitar with the exact same setup and the same electronics. It originally had a stop-tail bridge, and two Filter’Tron pickups, and it was used as such extensively by Malcolm during the Powerage and Highway to Hell tours.

From that point, it’s not exactly clear what happened to this guitar. Malcolm was seen playing a different Jaydee in the 80s, and what’s even more confusing, Jaydee apparently made a total of three guitars for him. According to Jaydee, one was a double-pickup model with a custom headstock, and the two were a single-pickup model.

The problem with that is that this guitar does not fit in the description of any of those. Based on the information from Jaydee’s website, the first two-pickup model is accounted for, and as said, it had a uniquely shaped headstock. So, it couldn’t be this guitar. The other two both had no pockets for the neck pickups, so again, this cannot be one of those two.

So it’s unclear why exactly Jaydee does not mention this guitar on his website, and what’s the whole story behind it. But the guitar did obviously exist, and Malcolm did use.

The Mods

In any case, sometime towards the 90s, Malcolm modified this guitar so it more closely resembled his number-one Gretsch. He removed the neck pickup, leaving the neck pocket empty, and he installed a Gibson ABR-1 tune-o-matic bridge instead of the old wraparound bridge.

The guitar can be seen in this state in the music video “Big Gun”.

Malcolm playing his Jaydee Custom guitar in the
Malcolm playing his Jaydee Custom guitar in the “Big Gun” music video.

The Guitar with Steve Young

After Malcolm’s death, the guitar ended up with Steve Young, along with Malcolm’s number-two Gretsch. Steve replaced Malcolm in AC/DC in 2014, he’s the son of Stephen Crawford Young, who was the eldest brother of Angus and Malcolm.


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1 month ago

He actually modified this guitar extensively between 1978 and 1980, when he first removed the neck pickup, and later installed the Tune o’ Matic Bridge and removed the switches. I’m basing on some footage that’s out there of him playing it.