“You kept asking for more and the time has finally come”: Grunge’s favourite S-style is making a comeback as G&L Guitars announces the return of the Jerry Cantrell-approved Rampage

Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains, onstage in 1993, playing his G&L Rampage live with Alice In Chains
(Image credit: Brian Rasic/Getty Images)

G&L has announced that it is bringing back the Rampage, the cult-classic S-style popularised by Jerry Cantrell as one of his go-to electric guitars in Alice In Chains

Despite its iconic status, the model has been long out of production. Popular demand  president and CEO, David McLaren, took to Instagram to admit that it was now time to put it back onto the production line, admitting that the Fullerton-based company, founded by Leo Fender, George Fullerton, and Dale Hyatt in 1979, might have been too hasty in writing off the Rampage.  

“By 1991, the music scene was changing and so were we,” says McLaren. “The G&L Rampage, first released in 1985, was discontinued as we focused on Leo Fender’s more evolutionary models, like the ASAT Special and S500. It felt like the right thing to do, as we thought the era of the Rampage had past. But it turned out that Leo had outplayed us all.”

Much of the Rampage’s appeal can be attributed to Cantrell. His iconic 1985 Rampage, aka the Blue Dress guitar, is one of the defining instruments of ‘90s rock and metal guitar

The level of affection for the instrument was made abundantly apparent in April this year, when a distraught Cantrell posted an appeal on social media to locate its whereabouts. It was missing, presumed stolen.

Happily, it was just momentarily lost in transit. Cantrell said that he was “worried to death” that it was gone for good.

The Rampage is integral to his sound. Speaking to MusicRadar in 2021, Cantrell said the combination of the Rampage and his Les Paul is “the meat in the meatloaf” of his tone. 

Acknowledging the cultural significance of the Rampage, McLaren said the time was right to officially bring it back, and not just as a Cantrell signature guitar

“It soon became obvious that grunge was more than a passing trend,” says McLaren. “It was a musical revolution, and the absence of the Rampage left a void in the guitar world. Sure, we did some limited editions later, and of course there were the Jerry Cantrell signature models, but you kept asking for more and the time has finally come. So Get ready for the next era of the rampage.”

No specs were shared. Comments on the G&L page debated whether it will be equipped with a Kahler vibrato unit or a Floyd Rose. Who’s do say they won’t have a hardtail option? There were also details as to when we will see the new Rampage. But it would be a safe bet to say this will be a home run for G&L. We’ll bring you more news as and when it breaks.

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.