Gretsch pays homage to Malcolm Young with the 'Red Beast' Jet signature guitar

(Image credit: Gretsch)

Malcolm Young was one of the greatest guitarists ever – a true warrior of rhythm guitar and the writer of most of AC/DC's timeless riffs. He also stuck with Gretsch through tick and thin and the company are recognising his icon status with a new limited edition signature guitar based on his own '63 Firebird Jet dubbed the 'Red Beast'. 


(Image credit: Gretsch)

Gretsch worked with the man now tasked with playing Malcolm's parts in AC/DC, his nephew Stevie Young, on a guitar that is based on the earliest iteration of the Red Beast. It would later be modded extensively as it continued to be Malcolm's workhorse on stage, studio and in videos - including the red finish being stripped from the top. The guitar would eventually lose two of its three pickups too as Malcolm streamlined down to necessities. 

You can get a look on how the Beast looked in its red glory in the video for It's a Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'N' Roll) below. 

Remembering Malcolm

Malcolm Young

(Image credit: Engelke/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

We salute you: the guitar genius of Malcolm Young

The recreation features a Vintage Firebird Red finish with black pickguard and aged gold hardware, a 2-inch deep double cutaway chambered mahogany body, ebony fingerboard with maple top and harmonica-style Adjusto-Matic bridge and pinned ebony base.


(Image credit: Gretsch)

Pickups are TV Jones Ray Butts Ful-Fidelity bridge, TV Jones Starwood humbucker middle and a TV Jones Ray Butts Ful-Fidelity neck. It's going to sound like a beast alright! 

The Beast can be tamed with individual pickup volume controls, master volume, three-position pickup toggle switch, three-position tone switch and a three-position standby switch.

The G6131G-MY-RB Limited Edition Malcolm Young Signature is $2,799.99 USD, £3,179.00 GBP, €3,699.00 EUR, $5,699.00 AUD, ¥638,000 JPY

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Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.