Watch senior Apple executive Craig Federighi shred on a triple-neck electric through a full Marshall stack

Craig Federighi
(Image credit: Apple / YouTube)

Tech keynotes are many things but rocking ain’t one of them, at least, not until this year when Craig Federighi, senior vice president, software engineering, at Apple made a timely intervention with some blistering shred chops and one of the most bonkers electric guitars we have seen in the wild – and certainly in a corporate setting.

Where did Federighi get this beast? The answer could be Danelectro, Jackson or Ibanez, or all three, because this custom electric, finished in white with a rainbow stripe decal that evoked the history of Apple branding, had elements of them all. 

The first neck was a 12-string Dano, ideal for some Roger McGuinn jangle. The second looks very much from the Jackson stable, perhaps a Soloist. The third looks like an Ibanez with a reverse headstock. It looks like it weighed a ton. 

But that’s okay, because Federighi is only giving us a cameo. A little ‘80s hard rock goes a long way in the clean near-utopian aesthetic of the WWDC23 Apple Keynote, during which the new the latest MacBook Air 15” was introduced alongside new developments in software, services, and operating systems – not to mention the headline-grabbing spatial computing headset Apple Vision Pro, which look like ski goggles for real-life Tron adventures.

Federighi evokes Eddie Van Halen with a ripping two-handed tapped arpeggio line – the Marshall JCM800 full-stack giving him a tone that’s brown enough to get the job done. Then he launches into Tony Iommi’s signature riff from Paranoid to usher in the next segment. Those tech guys really know how to let their hair down, huh.

But Federighi has form. Look on YouTube and you will find him in the most incongruous of settings with a guitar in hand, riffing some Van Halen with a PRS.

Federighi’s fleet-fingered chops might grab the headlines in the guitar circles but there was more significant news coming out of Apple this week, with the updates to the 15-inch MacBook Air, Mac Studio and Mac Pro of particular interest to musicians. 

The MacBook Air is among the best laptops for music production – particularly if you want it to be portable. The MacBook Air has had its its Liquid Retina display increased to 15.3”, and it packs a M2 processor under the hood.

In other recent Apple news – indeed, in other music production on the go news – Logic Pro has finally been released for the iPad. It is the first time its flagship DAW has been made available for the platform, and is priced £5 a month or £49. 

See Apple for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.