Jonny’s disdain for guitar worship by no means new, and it is well placed. In my opinion, the single most important characteristic of an electric guitar is that inspires you to play. This could be the look of the guitar, the particular tonal response of the pickups, or how it feels to play it. Claims that particular pickups and “tone-woods” will more accurately replicate the sound of a ‘54 Strat are great for selling boutique guitar, but they’re putting massive emphasis on unimportant, often inaudible subtleties.
He’s exaggerating to make a point, but not by all that much. The only difference between any solid-body and semi-hollow* electric guitars is the pickups. Which there are a few pickups out there with odd frequency responses, most of them fall into a very specific range, with only very slight variation between them. Either way, though, those differences can be replicated quite easily by adjusting the EQ of an amp or using and EQ pedal.
The point is, electric guitars sound like electric guitars. Stop trying to find miniscule differences between different ones and start making music.
*The solid center block of semi-hollow electric guitars causes it to function identically to a solid-body electric. If you really do hear any difference between a Les Paul and an ES335 (which is pretty hard in a blind test), it’s because the pickups are wound slightly difference. The resonating chamber of true hollow-body electric guitars does contribute to their sound (proof that this resonance affects the vibration of the strings in that hollow-body guitars are extremely prone to feedback when the gain is turned up). Many guitarists would tape over the f-holes to prevent this feedback, thus defeating any contribution to sound that the guitar itself may have given. They are lighter than solid-body guitars, though, so that’s a reason in itself to use them.