Mike Wanchic, Longtime John Mellencamp Guitarist, Launches Official Reverb Shop

If you’ve listened to a John Mellencamp record over the past 40 years, you definitely know guitarist Mike Wanchic’s playing. Today, we’re launching the Official Mike Wanchic Reverb Shop, packed with guitars, amps, mics, and more that Wanchic used on countless records and tours during the last four decades. Like his classic rock pedigree might suggest, the shop is full of tasteful vintage gems.

Most of the gear you’ll find in the shop was kept by Wanchic in his recently closed Echo Park Studios, where Ben Folds, Howie Day, and other artists have recorded. Outside of his guitar playing with Mellencamp, Wanchic is an accomplished producer and engineer. He told us that no matter how important to him this gear is, his real motivation in selling is to make sure that every piece that he no longer has time to play finds a new home with a loving owner.

An example would be the 1974 Gibson Les Paul Standard he has owned for 43 years. According to Wanchic, the guitar appeared on 1980’s Nothin' Matters and What If It Did, 1982’s American Fool, the associated world tours, and more. "It's a sentimental one," he said.

Mike Wanchic's 1974 Gibson Les Paul Standard

"I’ve owned the guitar for so long that’s it's just kind of a part of me, but I realize that no matter how important it is to me, it's not being played. It’s not being used for what it was built for, which is making music," Wanchic says of the instrument. He adds that it's now too too heavy for him to play. "I’d rather have other people playing it, making music with it, and appreciating it. That’s more important to me at this point in my career than sticking it in my closet."

Wanchic’s shop also features a cache of amazing amplifiers, including an Ampeg Reverberocket, a ‘63 Vox AC30 Top Boost, two Matchless Custom 100-watt heads that were handbuilt for Wanchic by Mark Sampson himself, and a Mesa/Boogie Mark III head—Wanchic’s touring head of choice.

Mike Wanchic's Ampeg Reverberocket
Mike Wanchic's ‘63 Vox AC30 Top Boost

Also for sale is a leather motorcycle jacket that was thrown onto the stage by a fan in the late-‘80s during one of Mellencamp’s Detroit shows. The band kept the jacket, taking it to their tattoo artist friend, Kevin Brady, who emblazoned it with custom art that’s "reminiscent of the band’s career." As Wanchic told us, "This is something that is a true collector item for a true Mellencamp aficionado. This is a piece of history."

Mike Wanchic's Custom John Mellencamp Tattooed Leather Jacket

Check out the video above for a closer look at some of the gear for sale right now in Mike Wanchic’s Reverb shop, including a Jerry Jones Shorthorn, a Vox Phantom Brian Jones, and two custom Fender Stratocasters built with Wanchic’s signature "stratoblaster" onboard boosts.


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