Brian joined the band in the fall of 1993. At this point he was playing a red 1963 Gibson SG Melody maker. Anyway, Brian has said it was a '63, while some folks insist its a '66. in any case it had a very low 4 digit serial number (possibly #1030?) so it was old. The headstock was the early rectangular shape, which came before the more familiar curved style. The tremolo bar assembly was missing, but you'd never know it unless you knew it was supposed to be there. This guitar was all original except for the tuning pegs, which Brian had replaced with locking ones to help keep the thing in tune (which was an uphill battle). The pickups were the original ones, but what they were remains unknown at this writing ('hotrails' have been suggested, but perhaps they are recognizable fromn the picture below). He soon bought an extremely unreliable but awesome looking yellow Kapa "Challenger", a cheap 50's guitar, that was sort of a Fender Stratocaster copy. The thing was simply unsuited for live performance, and Brian later gave this guitar to his sister. I did some digging and learned the following: There is a 70's Kapa Challenger that looks like a big Rickenbacker, this is not it. There is also a: "USA Made (in Maryland) '63 or '64 model. Volume and tone along with 3-way selector. 2 double coil p/u's. Maple neck with rosewood fingerboard. Has Jazzmaster like tremolo tailpiece, 22 frets. Cool kind of mini Strat solid body." That sounds right from my memory.
To replace this guitar, Brian picked up a rare and unusual guitar, a solid aluminum necked Travis Bean.
Later in 1995, both the Red Sg and the Travis Bean were stolen right out of Brian's car, so Brian had to start his guitar quest over again. He soon picked up a Fender Thinline, a fairly rare semi hollow body Telecaster style guitar. This has remained in use to present day (2001), usually live during "Surf Wax America" and a few other songs. This guitar is fairly fragile and valuble, so it doesnt see too much action on the road anymore.
For a period in '96 and '97, and intermittenly to present day, Brian has been using a new sunburst Fender Stratocaster. He also has come to use Rivers old Gibson Les Paul Jr. and a cream colored vintage Les Paul. (see "Hooptie Tour" notes, below).
For a period in 1998, Brian also played a vintage white Gibson SG that he picked up while the band was still rehearsing, during the aborted original 3rd album rehearsals. He said he paid about $900, (or possibly $1300) for it at Voltage Guitars on Sunset. Brian says it didnt stay in tune so he sold it or traded it back in somewhere, before it made any public appearences.
As seen in the above photo, Brians first amp setup consisted of a Marshall 2X12 cabinet, a loud little thing that was perfect for the club touring that was to come. Since Rivers had the Marshall SL-X head now, Brian got the Mesa Enginneering 60-watt (pictured inside the Blue album) for his amp. This worked out fine for the first several months of touring in 1994.
Sometime in late 1994 or early 1995, Brian upgraded. He found yet another "tall" Marshall 4x12 of alost the exact same vintage and specifications as Rivers's. (This one didn't say "Mercinaries" on it though!), and he picked up a vintage Marshall head, a MK2 Master Model 100 watt Lead dating from the late 70's. The head is still used frequently, in recording especially. The cabinet is still around but doesnt see much use as yet another new cabinet (a 4x12 marshall reissue cab with 4x25watt speakers) was purchased in 2001, not to mention the "Pod" system often used from the May 2001 Hooptie Tour onward (see below).
Brian had been using a Fender Twin amp for his "clean sound" switching back and forth with a footswitch. In 1996 he bought a new Top Hat amp, the TC-15. This was essentially a Vox reissue with a little more juice. Brian still owns that amp but its basically a home amp now. (later, in 2000, Brian used Rivers' Fender Vibro King and still later he gets his clean sound from the POD system.)
Brian used to use GHS Boomer strings, in the TNT gauge, with a wound .24 G string substituted. Later he switched to GhS Boomer .11's and still later .10's... currently I'm not positive what gauge he's using, but they are still GHS Guitar Boomers. He uses Jim Dunlop plain gray pics, from the very thin .38 thickness up to the .73's, usually settling on the .60s.