Tom Morello’s Gibson J-45 “Black Spartacus”
This is Tom’s main steel string acoustic guitar which he’s been using as The Nightwatchman. The guitar is completely black and features Morello’s own design on the left of the bridge which combines the Kenyan, Italian, and American flags along with the hammer and sickle symbols.
The guitar is dubbed “Black Spartacus”, and Tom even wrote a song about it called “Black Spartacus Heart Attack Machine” – a name inspired by Clash’s Mick Jones Clash who referred to his guitar as “heart attack machine”.
Tom also used this guitar at the Occupy Wall Street protest in 2011 and still has the setlist from that day taped to the back of the guitar.
The Gibson J-45 was first introduced in 1942 and has remained in continuous production ever since. It is known for its warm, balanced sound and is a favorite of singer-songwriters, folk musicians, and country players. The J-45’s solid spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides contribute to its rich, full-bodied tone, while the mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard provide a comfortable and playable feel.
Over the years, the Gibson J-45 has undergone several changes and updates, including variations in finishes, electronics, and neck profiles. Tom’s guitar is definitely from the modern era, as it’s obvious from its finish and overall state.
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