That was the year: 1994

© Caron-Orban/Sygma/Corbis

Once more we delve into GT's achives for a trip back to the past, to reminisce about a year in guitars, music and world events. This time we hit the mid-'90s…


Mesa Boogie launches their Blue Angel series with a head and two combos. It offers a 38-watt head, a 1x12 combo with a Celestion Custom 90 speaker and a 4x10 combo with Jensen Vintage Alnico speakers.

The Dual Rectifier amplifier features an all-valve Class A chassis, blue control panel, two inputs and a switching option that allows 6V6 or EL84 output valves to be used or combine them both for some truly heavenly sounds.

Four Weddings And A Funeral plays in cinemas all over the UK and features Wet Wet Wet's cover of Love Is All Around which spends 15 consecutive weeks at number one. Take That do well with Everything Changes and Sure but the surprise chart topper is Stiltskin's Inside.

Top albums include Bryan Adams - So Far So Good, Deacon Blue - Our Town, Eric Clapton - From The Cradle, Blur - Parklife, Bon Jovi - Cross Road, The Beatles - Live At The BBC and Division Bell from the new look Pink Floyd.

Gibson's newly formed Custom, Art & Historic division produces the Suroeste guitar (Spanish for Southwest), a Les Paul deviation designed by Nashville graphic artist Jim Landers.

Just two guitars are produced; one with a natural finish but it's the second one with its turquoise finish and genuine turquoise ornamentation that steals the show at Winter NAMM. It's a unique presentation and one of the most unusual guitars ever to be built on the Les Paul blueprint.

Presidents Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin sign the Kremlin Accords as a promise not to aim nuclear missiles at the other country's targets; Nelson Mandela becomes South Africa's first black president; Fred and Rose West are charged with multiple murders in Gloucester; British Coal closes more pits; and the Women's Royal Air Force is fully merged into the Royal Air Force.

Footballer Bobby Charlton receives a knighthood, Sir Matt Busby and Billy Wright sadly die and Gary Lineker retires from football to become a TV sports presenter and to eat lots of crisps.

The first episode of The Vicar Of Dibley is aired on BBC1, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean win the British ice-dancing championship and Woodstock'94 marks the 25-year anniversary of this infamous event.

In spite of the brand new Beatles single Free As A Bird selling well (a UK number 2), Rickenbacker cease production of their 325JL and 355JL guitars. Based on Lennon's own guitar with three vintage-style pickups, tune-o-matic bridge and Jetglo finish the 325 has a vintage vibrato whilst the 355 features a trapeze tailpiece.

There was also a 12-string version, the 355/12JL and all features a white bi-level scratchplate with Lennon's signature and a cartoon self-portrait of his head. Although more accurate Lennon style versions will follow, these become well sought-after limited edition instruments.