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The James Hetfield OGV Electra Flying V

James Hetfield Electra OGV
James Hetfield's Electra OGV is none other than the Electra Flying Wedge Model 2236, a Japanese-made copy of Gibson's Flying V

The James Hetfield Electra OGV is a fan favourite guitar. In a recent interview with Metallica’s frontman James Hetfield’s guitar tech, Chad Zaemisch, some fascinating details about James Hetfield’s old Electra Flying V guitar came to light.

James Hetfield Electra OGV

Notably, they acquired a few more of the same model, shedding light on a crucial chapter in the history of rock and roll.

This copy of Gibson’s Flying V, manufactured by the Japanese brand Electra and known as the Electra Flying Wedge Model 2236, played a significant role in shaping musical history.

A guitar James has been using since Kill ‘Em All and still uses today, and it has appeared on 72 Seasons, Metallica’s latest album.

The James Hetfield Electra Flying V

The Origin of James Hetfield’s Electra V

Chad Zaemisch reminisced about the iconic Electra Flying Wedge Model 2236, a budget alternative to Gibson’s Flying V that James acquired in the past. This unassuming Japanese copy guitar, fitted with a Gibson truss rod cover to create an impression, made its way into some of the most legendary albums ever recorded.

Kill em all

James Hetfield’s Fondness for Electra Vs

In his interview with RJM, Chad shared that James now owns at least two of these Electra Vs, using them during live performances. The original Electra Flying Wedge, lovingly referred to as the “OGV,” remains safely stored at home. However, fans can still witness James rocking these Electra-inspired guitars on stage.

James Hetfield's Electra Flying Wedge Model 2236

Refining Electra Vs with Bill Nash

To recapture the magic of the original Electra V, Chad mentioned that they found several of these guitars about a year and a half to two years ago. They equipped them with James’s preferred pickups and sent a couple to luthier Bill Nash for aging, recreating the vintage look that captivated audiences worldwide.

James Hetfield Electra Flying V

Unexpected Quality of the Electra Vs

Initially skeptical about the Electra Vs due to their bolt-on necks, Chad admitted his doubts.

However, upon playing them, he discovered that these guitars offer exceptional consistency and tuning, debunking his initial concerns. They proved to be reliable instruments.

OGV - James Hetfield's Electra Flying Wedge Model 2236

Maintenance of Metallica’s Guitars

Chad emphasized that for a touring band like Metallica, all guitars require regular maintenance, especially when exposed to changing climates and conditions. This ongoing upkeep ensures that the guitars maintain their performance quality.

Metallica Lux Æterna music video

Unique Guitars at Metallica’s HQ

While most of Metallica’s guitars are on the road, a few are kept at their headquarters in California, not because they’re irreplaceable, but because they demand more extensive care. Chad mentioned a Les Paul with a Bigsby as one such challenging instrument due to its complex stringing and tuning requirements.

James Hetfield’s Favourite Guitar

When asked about James’s favourite guitar, Chad highlighted the OGV (James Hetfield’s original Electra V) as the latest addition to their collection, currently holding a special place in James’s heart.

However, James has a fondness for all his guitars and occasionally explores other options for certain songs.


In the world of rock and roll, the story behind the instruments can be as compelling as the music itself. The OGV is certainly one of those guitars that created music history.

James Hetfield’s journey with his Electra Vs exemplifies the unique relationship between musicians and their guitars, a bond that continues to shape the sound of iconic bands like Metallica.

Kirk Hammett’s new Epiphone 1979 Flying V signature model has also just leaked and you can read all about it here.

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