Ibanez Jem 555

The History of Erik's Ibanez Jem 555

I purchased this guitar new in the summer of 1994. It is actually not an Ibanez Jem Jr(which most had the black pearl pick guard), but is in fact the earlier Jem555 that came out around the same time as the original white Ibanez Jem 7V. Around this time I had been playing guitar for a few years and had actually amassed a nice little collection of guitars including a rare Gibson Les Paul Jr/Melody Maker and a USA made B.C. Rich Assassin, but sold all of them to purchase this single instrument.

I would play this guitar pretty much exclusively as my #1 axe for the next 10 years. Pretty much every concert I played with my band Aesthetik and ever gig I played in the late ‘90’s would have been played with this Ibanez Jem 555 guitar. It is the guitar that got me through Berklee and is the ONLY guitar I own to be featured on all 5 of my studio albums. It really is a workhorse.

It has however taken a serious beating over time. The bridge cracked and was glued back together, there’s a chip in the tummy contour, the frets have been worn, and the whammy bar doesn’t like to stay in tune anymore. I actually had to adjust the tremolo so that the bar only goes down since it won’t stay in tune floating anymore. This is really the main reason I started modifying my Fender Strat and eventually built my Warmoth guitar.

I still love this guitar, and try to use it for recording as much as I can. It still cuts like a razorblade through a mix and is the only guitar I have with 24 frets. Still plays as smooth as butter, just isn’t as reliable as it once was. It’s definitely become a purely studio guitar now.

Video of Erik playing the Ibanez Jem555 in the 1990's


Songs that feature the Ibanez Jem 555

Three and a Half Years gone..

All there is
She's a Bitch
These Tracks Before
God Hates Fags

disc 1. The Allston Years

The Road Ahead(guitar solo only)
She Says
A Wasted Night
Long Gone

Tastes Like Chicken

Fast Lane
One Night Stand
Death by Drowning
Cherry Pickin'
It's Lynchin' Time
Pool of Dreams
One Night Stand(bonus track)

Schizoprehnic Daze

Schizophrenic Daze
The Abyss
A Freind
Rambling Blues
Playing the Game
I Said
In a Darkened Room

The First Album (Bear Crossing)

All Allone