While countless other guitar companies introduced their own versions of Strats or dreadnaughts at the 2015 Winter NAMM Show, a California percussionist named Andy Graham had the most adventurous and groundbreaking booth this year with his SlapStick instruments.
Clarence White was a genuine double threat. His brilliant, Doc Watson-inspired acoustic flatpicking, which incorporated lightning-fast fiddle lines played on an already-vintage Martin D-28 guitar, helped the bluegrass world recognize the guitar as a lead instrument. Several masters of the genre, including Tony Rice and Norman Blake, list him as a key influence.
Despite the diversity of George Harrison's many pursuits during his 58 years on earth — racing, gardening, Indian religion and culture, film making and anything remotely associated with ukeleles, Mel Brooks or Monty Python — he'll go down in history as one fourth of the Beatles.
When it comes to music, I am most passionate about “feel,” “energy,” “mood” and “vibe.” The band used to laugh at how often I said “the moment” when discussing music, so much so that they turned it into a drinking game. Whether it was coffee, water in the car on the road or a whiskey later at night, if anyone said “the moment,” we’d drink something.
In the past month, Eddie Van Halen donated a replica of his Frankenstein guitar to the Smithsonian—and Les Paul’s Black Beauty sells for $335,500 at auction. Both guitars are iconic and have created legendary music. And both guitars look like they’ve been hacked at with chisels, cut with coping saws and fitted with mismatched parts.