VERTIGO [2004]

Vertigo John 5

Release Date: August 31, 2004
Number of Discs: 1

Label: Shrapnel
Length: 42:23
ASIN: B0002O3CR2

1Needles CA3:22
2Feisty Cadavers4:12
3Pulling Strings3:45
4*Sugar Foot Rag3:04
5Dead Man’s Dream3:29
6Sweet Georgia Brown (Ben Bernie cover)2:43
7Flatlines, Thin Lines3:35
1018969 Ventura Blvd2:37
11Zugg Island Convict3:21
12*Salt Creek (Albert Lee cover)2:51


“I think when I released “Vertigo”, my first instrumental album, that was a shock. It wasn’t just metal, there was crazy bluegrass on it! And people said: Oh my god, listen to this, I don’t know, if I like it, but listen to this. It sold so many copies and did really well, people liked it. I haven’t got any complaints yet, people enjoyed it.”

John 5 speaking to, April-May, 2006



Watch the FULL length version of God Is Closed, the video which accompanied the Japanese version of John 5’s 2004 release Vertigo. The video appeared on the website at that time and was reintroduced in 2011 from a rip of the Japanese CD. Now it is on You Tube for the first time.


  • Produced By: Kevin Savigar except *produced by Billy Sherwood
  • Engineered and programmed By: Kevin Savigar except songs marked with a * which were engineered and programmed by Billy Sherwood with additional engineering by Chris Justice.
  • Mixed By: Bob Marlette at Henson Recording Studios except songs marked with * which were mixed by Billy Sherwood at 4 Tune’s room.
  • Henson Recording Studios Assistants: Keith Gretlein & Jon Berkowitz
  • Recorded at: Satinwood Sound, 4 Tune’s Room and the Office
  • Computer Engineer: Sid Riggs
  • Album Artwork & Concept by: John 5 and Mayanne Bilham BLACKSUN
  • Layout: Taste Design
  • Mastered at: Satinwood Sound
  • Musicians:
  • John 5: All guitars, banjo, bass, mandolin and lap steel
    Kevin Savigar: Keyboards
    Graham Ward: Drums
    Billy Sherwood: Bass & lap steel
    Bourbon Bob Bartell: Bass
    Jay Shellen: Drums
  • John 5 exclusively plays FENDER Guitars and Marshall Amps
  • For the latest on J5 go to:
  • This album is dedicated to the memory of William Lynn, Denice Lowery and Dennis Kietley.
  • Special Thanks to the following: 
  • Aria Giovanni, Audrey Lowery, Mark (Go F#@k Yourself!) Friedman, May Kay Kirtley, JT Harding (The Kid), Rodger Carter, Tony Ciulla, John Ciulla, Robert Knight, Steve MaCully, Nick Bowcott, Richard McDonald, Mike Eldred, Alex Perez, Red Dave, Chris Fleming, Nicolle and Jeremy Lowery, Chet Haun, Jacques Van Gool, Ginger Fish, Norman’s Rare Guitars, Suzy Matthews, Les Paul, Jim Marshall, John Greenburg, Tim Heyne, Alex & Hayley, Hans & Kara Struff, Emma Ludford, Dave Weidman, Ruta Sepetys, Zakk Wylde, Steve Vai and Dimebag.
  • Additional thanks to: 
  • Kenny MacPherson, Jeff Brabec and everyone at Chrysalis Music for their support. Mike Varney and everyone at Shrapnel Records.


This isn’t just your mindless tremolo bar or fretboard wankery either. His shredding is well placed and thought out. He often favors adding melody and feeling to his songs over shredding constantly. Sure, the metal or industrial hits may have the insane metal guitar going for them, but on the other tracks John is creating haunting melodies, plucking away like he’s playing a banjo, or making a nice bluesy atmosphere. This guy knows his music.

For the full review from Sputnik Music click HERE

Set the CD on “random play” and you’re sure to fool others into thinking it’s a compilation of several top guitar shredders. Things kick off with a pair of tracks that are what you’d expect from a former Marilyn Manson guitarist: the over-the-top shredfest “Needles, CA” and the riff rocker “Feisty Cadavers.” But this soon proves to be a completely false assumption, as evidenced by such bluegrass ditties as “Sugar Foot Rag” and a cover of “Sweet Georgia Brown,” the square dance-esque title track, and a blues-rock track that brings to mind the “guitar duel” between Steve Vai and Ralph Macchio in Crossroads, “Pulling Strings.” Although some may automatically write off Mr. 5 due to his ghoulish makeup and attire, Vertigo will certainly please fans of such technically proficient shredders as Steve Vai and Steve Morse.

For the full review from All Music click HERE