Here’s a quick list of gift ideas meant to inspire. I guarantee they’ll get a bigger reaction than a gift card or money in an envelope. Several of them are kits that will keep people busy over the winter months. Others are just unexpected gems for guitarists. And remember, if you can’t afford any of these, you can always make a lap steel guitar out of a 2x4 using the plans I posted in this column earlier this year!
In early 1984, film director Walter Hill contacted Arlen Roth—guitarist, columnist and co-creator of the Hot Licks instructional video series—about a new film he was about to make starring Ralph Macchio. It was to be centered on the blues and offer a modern twist on the mythology and legend tied to Robert Johnson. The problem was Macchio couldn’t play guitar.
Metallica’s Kirk Hammett owns one of the most iconic and revered electric guitars: a 1959 Les Paul Standard that was previously owned by Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green and, subsequently, by his disciple, Irish rocker Gary Moore. Hammett, a fan of both guitarists, purchased the guitar for a reported $2 million.
Right off the bat, this one is not new. In fact, it's from 2013. Still, we like it—and you might too! It's a fan-shot clip of Chris Cornell performing "One." Songs titled "One" were huge for U2 and Metallica, even though their respective "One" compositions have very little to do with each other. However, that didn't stop Cornell from blending both songs into one song.
As any rock fan knows, the Beatles never got back together. What they might not know is that even partial Beatles reunions and "near misses" were frustratingly rare back when such things mattered (prior to George Harrison's death in 2001). Which is why the video below is so enjoyable.