By the fall of 1965, the Beatles and George Martin had come to regard the recording studio as a place to experiment, think outside the box and slowly pull away from their tried-and-true formulas. On October 12 of that year, they did just that, recording a brilliant new John Lennon composition inspired by a clandestine affair he was having at the time. The recording would feature an exciting new tool, George Harrison's sitar.
The Beatles were such talented songwriters that it’s easy to overlook the fact that their music has some great—and occasionally groundbreaking—guitar work. With that in mind, Guitar World celebrated the 10 best guitar moments from the band's hit-making history.
Every October 9, a good portion of our online coverage is devoted to the Beatles' John Lennon, who was born on that date in 1940. And this year happens to be a big one for Lennon, since he would've turned a difficult-to-fathom 75. Today, however, we'd like to remember another important John, the legendary John "The Ox" Entwistle of the Who, who was born October 9, 1944.
On June 6, 1971, former Beatle John Lennon performed at New York City's Fillmore East with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. It was a strange night, as you'll see (and hear) in the three clips below. For starters, Yoko Ono also "performed" with Lennon and the Mothers. In reality, all she did was scream.
Over the decades, John Lennon's songs have been covered by thousands of artists. Just think of all the people—from unknown Lithuanian bar bands to Lada Gaga—who have had a crack at "Imagine." Today, on the 75th anniversary of his birth on October 9, 1940, I'm paying tribute to Lennon by rounding up five of what I feel are the best performances of his solo songs by other artists.
Some have tried playing the guitar with their teeth, behind their back, with their feet, etc. And then there was the inventive guitarist who, many decades ago, decided to slip a bottle over his finger and slide it along his guitar's strings (He probably emptied the bottle himself, if you know what I mean).
An incredible piece of blues—and music—history recently surfaced online. Below, check out a rare video of Stevie Ray Vaughan performing "The Sky Is Crying" at an Austin, Texas, club circa 1980—before Montreux, before "Let's Dance," before his cowboy hats—before anyone in New Jersey or Ohio or Paris had any idea who he was. It's so early, in fact, that he's still called "Stevie Vaughan" at this point.
On October 9, a U.K.-based company called Fretlocks will host a launch party in London for its new product, the Fretlocks single-fret capo. Think about that for a second; a capo for one string. This could, no doubt, create opportunities for new chord shapes and licks that are (at this very moment, anyway) impossible.
George Harrison wasn't exactly a fan of being "on the road." After the Beatles' final tour in 1966, he toured only twice as a solo artist. Twice! There was his '74 tour of the U.S. and his '91 tour of Japan. That's it. Outside of that, Harrison's live performances were limited to special events, including the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh, the 1987 Prince's Trust Rock Gala and his April 6, 1992, benefit concert for the U.K.'s Natural Law Party.
Stevie Ray Vaughan fans got a nice little bonus in 1985, when Alligator Records released Lonnie Mack's masterful Strike Like Lightning album. The album, which actually was co-produced by Vaughan and Mack, features Vaughan on several tracks, playing both electric and acoustic guitar, something that very rarely happened.