But it's also the year rock fans got to see a particularly extraordinary assemblage of iconic musicians on one stage. I'm talking about that special night when Metallica, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Joe Perry, Ronnie Wood, Flea—and some other bipeds—performed "Train Kept A-Rollin'" at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
Some more incredibly rare video of the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan in action has suddenly become available on YouTube. Below, watch Buddy Guy jamming with Vaughan on July 30, 1989, at Buddy Guy's Chicago club, Legends. The event? Buddy Guy's 53rd birthday party!
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.
The capo is to guitars what sugar—or Stevia, if you prefer—is to food. It makes everything sweeter. Musicians started noticing the capo's inherent song-sweetening properties sometime in the early 17th century, when primitive versions of the handy accessory were employed to raise the pitch of a host of fretted instruments.
Below, check out an all-too-brief guitar shoot-out featuring Cacophony guitarists Jason Becker and Marty Friedman. The clip, which is just over a minute long, was shot in 1989 in Japan during one of Cacophony's final tours. After '89, both shredders went their own way to forge solo careers or join successful bands.
Below, check out some pro-shot and just plain enjoyable footage of Santana—who was born on this date in 1947—jamming with Stevie Ray Vaughan; Stevie's big brother, Jimmie Vaughan of the Fabulous Thunderbirds; and lefty guitarist Cesar Rosas of Los Lobos in October 1988.
Below, check out a — let's face it — crappy-quality video of the Fabulous Thunderbirds performing "The Crawl" in what I call the good ol' days of Texas rock and blues (1984), with Jimmie's big brother, Stevie Ray Vaughan, sitting in.
Because the reception in the mountains was terrible and full of static, I couldn't hear it clearly. But it sounded like a "new" Stevie Ray Vaughan song; the guitar playing and the vocals sounded like the late SRV, who had died five years earlier. I could make out some of the lyrics, which included stuff like "I've been gone too long." It as if the late SRV was saying howdy from the grave.
During the interview, Vaughan, who is clutching his Number 1 Strat, launches into "Hideaway," an upbeat instrumental blues classic from 1960, demonstrating how Freddie King (who wrote it with Sonny Thompson) and Eric Clapton (who recorded it in 1966) played the song differently.
Even though Metallica's James Hetfield makes it look all too easy, there are countless guitarists who find it challenging to sing while doing anything on the guitar—besides strumming. Some players (myself included) even get bent out of shape when they're asked to provide the simplest of vocal harmonies while playing basic to semi-challenging riffs.