It's a Monday night in May at a packed Iridium Jazz Club at Broadway in New York City. The Les Paul Trio has just finished a set highlighted by loose, playful readings of "All of Me," "Blue Skies" and "Sweet Georgia Brown." But the evening is still young, and just before the last piano flourish fades, the Trio is joined on stage by a grinning, Les Paul-toting Ted Nugent, the Motor City Madman himself. After thunderous applause, he and his guitar launch into a solo instrumental take on "The Star Spangled Banner."
The accomplishments of U2 and The Edge during the past seven years could be the basis for a success scenario that any band of young hopefuls could follow. Yet they are not content to simply issue Top Ten records every other year and fill concert arenas. That's too easy a goal for a group of musicians that has challenged every cliche in the rock 'n' roll book and managed to take with them a still-growing retinue of followers.
"You can't get more basic and efficient than this," croaks Leslie West as he gestures at his brand-new Les Paul Junior. Gibson has given him the first of their re-issued line, in honor of all he did for that model by playing it to death-his earlier ones literally fell apart from use -- in Mountain and West, Bruce & Laing.
As an old-school blues-influenced guitarist, John Mayer has amassed fans of all kinds, through his both critically and mainstream friendly style that has sold more than 20 million records. After a brief stint in college, Mayer hit the music scene in the late ‘90s and has become an entertainment icon ever since.
Things have certainly been changing for Joe Satriani. Suddenly a lot of people besides a few musicians know his name, have heard about his awesome chops, are picking up his first record, Not of this Earth. Which must be why, on this hot and muggy Sunday night in New York hundreds of folks have thronged to a converted church, now a club, called Limelight. In conjunction with the New Music Seminar, Guitar World is sponsoring a concert featuring Satriani.
The Metal Masters Clinic 2 — featuring Slayer's Kerry King, Anthrax's Frank Bello and Charlie Benante, Megadeth's David Ellefson, and drum legend Mike Portnoy—is taking place today at the Best Buy Theater in New York City. You can watch that and a concert by Anthrax—featuring some mind-blowing surprise guests — right here. The clinic is being presented by Samson, Hartke, Zoom, and Best Buy Music Gear.
If Primus were supposed to grow into stuffy adults and write mature, heartfelt ballads of years gone by, no one gave them the memo. The band's first album of new material in the millennium, Green Naugahyde, is everything you've come to expect from a Primus record: Les Claypool's funked out bass lines, Larry LaLonde's spacy, Zappa-inspired solos and even the return of a familiar face for Primus fans, drummer Jay Lane.
Foo Fighters recorded their latest album, Wasting Light, in their lead singer's garage. Then they embarked on a tour playing in fans' garages as their only venues. The same band has also been nominated for six Grammys, sold out Wembley Stadium (twice) and been called our generation's answer to Tom Petty by Pitchfork.