Guitar World is ringing in the holidays with ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons. With a long-awaited album on the way, plus his new Dunlop accessories and signature hot sauce and tequila, the Reverend Willie G. has a wealth of things to celebrate this holiday season. Plus, Slash, Zakk Wylde, Lamb of God, Judas Priest and many others talk about their upcoming albums and projects for 2012.
Here's part 2 of my recent interview with Leslie West. When we left off, Leslie was discussing his leg-amputation surgery -- and his wife. "They put me on Propofol, believe it or not, for two days, and she wanted them to wake me up so she could tell me, 'Listen, this is what's going to happen.' " West said. "She didn't want me to all a sudden one day say, “You cut my leg off." I made a joke with her. I said, you know honey, I meant to say, "Pass the salt” and it came out, “You evil bitch, you cut my leg off” (laughs).
Steve Vai has worn some outlandish costumes onstage. But if his fans saw the baggy, all-white jumpsuit, net-covered pith helmet and massive gloves he often wears around the yard of his Encino home, they would think he's completely lost his mind. This outfit is not some eccentric indulgence, however, but a necessity for Vai's latest obsession -- beekeeping. On his property are four massive hives which last spring produced more than 450 pounds of honey.
Legendary blues guitarist Hubert Sumlin died of heart failure at a hospital in Wayne, New Jersey, last night, December 4. He was 80. As bluesman Howlin' Wolf's guitarist in the 1950s, Sumlin influenced several generations of blues and rock guitarists, including Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmy Page. What made Sumlin's resume even more impressive was that he also was Muddy Waters' for a brief period in the mid-'50s before rejoining Howlin' Wolf's band.
Y2K bugs notwithstanding, 1999 was a payoff year for patient music fans. Several artists made comebacks -- perhaps fearful they only had a few months before computer systems would revert back to the year 1900, and CD players would explode.
Few musical marriages have been so magical, so intuitively right, as that of the great blues singer Howlin’ Wolf and his guitarist, Hubert Sumlin. From the time he joined the blues legend’s band in 1954 until Wolf’s death in 1976, Sumlin played a central role in crafting some of the century’s most memorable and influential American roots music. His economical, stinging fills, unusual rhythmic approach and perfectly placed bent notes are as integral as Wolf’s growl to the blues power of classics like “Spoonful,” “Smokestack Lightnin’,” “Killing Floor” and “The Red Rooster.”
Korn made a lot of enemies this year when it was announced that they had made a dubstep album, even before anyone had heard it. Naysayers pointed to a number of fouls committed, including accusing Korn of making a dance album, of trend chasing and of the ever-vague but always-present "selling out."
There are only a handful of individuals who have pioneered the way music is played on the guitar, yet you would need more than both of your hands to count the number who follow in their footsteps. In fact, it may even become common practice to do so. Let’s take the classic model provided by Jimi Hendrix. The man undisputedly wrote the book on modern guitar playing, and we’d all be lying if we denied taking a page out of Jimi’s book every time we wrote a riff or lick.