Although the last thing the red-hot Beatles needed in early 1964 was a "secret weapon," that's exactly what they got -- in a beautiful Fireglo finish. George Harrison got his first Rickenbacker 12-string in February of that year, during the Beatles' first U.S. tour. The guitar was given to him by Francis C. Hall, owner and president of the California-based Rickenbacker company.
The year was musically memorable for the release of the original Kiss lineup's first album in over 18 years, as well as the studio reunion of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. Other seminal releases include Van Halen III and Korn's Follow the Leader. Check out these albums and more in this week's Best Album poll, below.
There's little doubt as to who owned the covers of Guitar World in 1998. With a new singer and a new album and a Number One song on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks, Van Halen was once again standing on top of the world.
We were making Tales from Topographic Oceans, and we were in a studio called Morgon. It was the first 24 track-studio in London, and we were there for four months. When we got in the studio, being post-hippie, we needed to make it a bit friendly. Jon said, "I'd like a bathroom to sing in." So he had three walls brought in, tiled, and he sung in a booth with three walls of tiles so it sounded like his bathroom. Jon and I were having a lot of fun.
Thirty-five years after the release of The Jam's punk-rock classic In The City, The Jam's former frontman, Paul Weller, will release a new album, Sonik Kicks, in early 2012. The album, which will feature guest appearances by Noel Gallagher of Oasis and Graham Coxon of Blur, is scheduled to be released in the US March 27 on Yep Roc Records. It will be his 11th solo album.
Inside a wood-panelled Sausalito, California, studio called The Plant, Metallica frontman James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich gaze reflectively at a dust-covered relic sitting in the corner of the room. "This thing's been in the closet for 10 years," says Hetfield. "It was the second guitar I ever owned, and it was the only one I had when we recorded Kill 'Em All." He picks up the cheap, white Flying V copy and begins to pluck out southern rock licks in the vein of Lynyrd Skynyrd. "It still plays pretty good," he beams.
One of the most promising bands to have come out of the American metal scene in recent times, Warbringer has just released their third studio album, Worlds Torn Asunder, by far their strongest effort yet.
Recently it was my great honor to sit down with rock legend -- and one of my all-time favorite players -- Leslie West to talk about his new record, Unusual Suspects. The album features Leslie's classic searing and smooth guitar tone, as well as guest performances by music heavyweights like Slash, Zakk Wylde, Joe Bonamassa, Steve Lukather, Kenny Aronoff and Billy Gibbons. Leslie had me fascinated and laughing my ass off.