Zakk Wylde is best known as the former guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, founder of the heavy metal band Black Label Society, and as a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and occasional actor. He was also the lead guitarist and singer of Pride & Glory, which released a self-titled album in 1994 before disbanding. As a solo artist he released an album called Book of Shadows in 1996.

As for guitars, Zakk is best known for his Les Paul Customs with bullseye finish. He mostly prefers to play on a shaved maple neck with an ebony fingerboard. Almost all of these guitars mount EMG 81/85 humbuckers and feature some sort of custom paint job. Zakk even designed a couple of guitars, including the Gibson / Epiphone ZV and the Graveyard Disciple model. More recently he founded his own company called Wylde Audio, and plans to make and eventually use those instruments himself.

1981 Gibson Les Paul Custom “The Grail”

Zakk acquired this guitar when he joined Ozzy Osbourne ‘s band in 1987. He traded this guitar to Scott Quinn, who in return received a Gibson SG double-neck.
When Zakk received the guitar, it was equipped with standard humbuckers, but Zakk very soon replaced them with an EMG 81/85 set after trying them out on one of his student’s guitars. Originally the guitar was finished in a white/cream color (still visible on the sides and back of the body). but Zakk felt that this was the defining characteristic of Randy Rhoads, and he wanted something different-so he decided to send the guitar to a luthier for a paint job. The initial idea was to paint the Hitchcock Vertigo design on it, but the guitar came back with bull’s eye decals. Zakk ended up liking it and decided to keep it that way.

Zakk lost his 81 ′ Les Paul at some point in the 1990s, allegedly falling off a truck carrying the band’s equipment. The guitar randomly appeared in a local pawn shop in Texas a couple of years later, and a guy named Jerry Weisinger ended up buying it for $250-at first thinking it was a Gibson Zakk Wylde Les Paul Custom retail. Did you read somewhere that Zakk lost his original 81 ′ Custom, so he pulled the pickups out of the guitar he had just purchased and saw “Z.W.” below them. After comparing the serial number with the “The Grail” available on the website of Zakk, it became clear that he owned the original guitar of Zakk. Fortunately for Zakk, he was contacted by Jerry and received his guitar back.

Regarding the specifications, as mentioned above the guitar was equipped with EMG pickups, and has a shaved maple neck with an ebony fingerboard.

1989 Gibson Les Paul Custom “The Rebel”

This guitar originally started out as a black Les Paul Custom, but inspired by Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd, Zakk then decided to decorate the body with the Southern Rebel flag design. Very soon, however, I discovered that Bret Michaels of Poison already had the same design on his guitar. Because he wanted his guitar to be unique, one day while drinking beer at his house, Zakk began sanding the finish and started nailing bottle caps on the body, which eventually became the guitar’s trademark.

<< I saw Bret Michaels in a Poison video and he had a Southern Rebel flag on one of his guitars. I’m his friend now, but at the time I thought, “I can’t go around with a Rebel guitar. Bret Michaels has a fucking Rebel guitar!” Everyone might yell, “Hey Zakk, I love your Bret Michaels model guitar.”>>

Ozzy Osbourne himself was not a fan of Southern rock, so one day, while he was teasing Zakk about his musical preferences, Zakk realized that his guitar was nowhere to be found. He came out and saw one of the boys with a guitar wrapped in paper, and trying to set it on fire. A few seconds later, the huge flame enveloped the guitar as Zakk was trying to put out the fire. Fortunately for him, the fire mostly burned only paper and the Les Paul itself was not damaged too much.

Zakk Les Paul was damaged once again in an accident caused by his young daughter, who bumped into one of Zakk ‘s guitars while they were standing next to each other, causing them to fall like dominoes. The Rebel ended up with a broken headstock, but it was quickly repaired by Gibson luthiers.