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ESP 901 "Engel"


The first known and photographed live usage of the "Engel" can be traced back to May 11, 1997, when Rammstein was playing the Babylon in Munich.

The "Engel" was also featured in the television appearance that was broadcast by VIVA TV in Germany which six songs of Rammstein´s set from Düsseldorf on October 23, 1997 were broadcast.


While Richard played his first ESP 901 "Herzeleid" for most songs, for the hit "Rammstein", you can see him prominently use his "Engel" 901.

The guitar was used until the end of 1997 and then retired for studio use only. Richard continued to use the "Herzeleid" instead, but for several years, he added ESP KH-2 guitars, the official signature model of Kirk Hammett, to his arsenal.

It is not known exactly when and how Richard acquired the guitar. It is only known that because of massive touring around the world, he needed a reliable backup for "Herzeleid." Whenever there was a technical problem with his main guitar, for example, going out of tune, the tobacco burst "Engel" was used.

After the success of their debut album "Herzeleid", Rammstein recorded a follow-up record, "Sehnsucht", which was released in August 1997.

To promote the album, a first single was released. The video for "Engel", shot by famed directors, Hannes Rossacher and Norbert Heitker was shot in March 1997 and premiered in April the same year.

Shot in Hamburg at Prinzenbar, the video contained From Dusk Till Dawn-inspired scenes. While Rammstein members Till Lindemann, Christoph Schneider and Flake Lorenz portrayed characters in the video, Richard Kruspe, Oli Riedel and Paul Landers were acting the part of the house band.


This video showcases the premiere of Richard Kruspe's new and second ESP 901, a custom, one-of-a-kind birdseye Maple and Mahogany in tobacco burst finish with gold hardware, bearing the serial number 108201. The guitar already had a combination of active EMG pickups installed. 

The guitar also has an interesting upgrade installed. Richard had fit the guitar with a SIMS LED system. With a mini switch on the pickguard, he could light up the position dots, giving him better sight of the fretboard in dark environments.

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These photos show the original condition of the guitar before Richard decided to sell the "Engel" along with its mate, Richard's main 901 "Herzeleid" in early 2016. 


This is the last photo ever taken of Richard Kruspe with the "Engel" in early 2016 before it was sold on June 1 and shipped to the United States where it is now retired in the same collection along with the "Herzeleid."

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