Filming A Hard Day's Night was often a brutal, seven-days-a-week affair that took a lot out of the band and crew. So one can imagine how Walter Shenson, the film's producer, felt when he pulled John Lennon aside during filming and said, "I'm afraid we're going to need a song called 'A Hard Day's Night,' something up-tempo that can be played over the main titles."
Earlier this month, for one night only, I went from being one of four guitarists in a Monkees tribute band to being the only guitarist in a band supporting two actual Monkees — Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz. To make things even weirder, I used a Les Paul that once belonged to Tim Sult of Clutch, just so I could say that guitar went from Clutch to the Monkees in just over a year.
Forty-eight years ago today — March 13, 1965 — guitarist Eric Clapton quit The Yardbirds. It's one of the best things that ever happened — period. Clapton, a self-declared blues purist, thought the band — which included vocalist Keith Relf, guitarist Chris Dreja, bassist Paul Samwell-Smith and drummer Jim McCarty — was getting too commercial.
From a guitarist's perspective, the 1970 Woodstock film, which documents the highs and lows of the August 1969 Woodstock Festival, has several highlights. There's Jimi Hendrix's immortal take on "The Star-Spangled Banner"; a lengthy, mind-blowing performance by newcomers Santana; and Pete Townshend's high-flying Gibson SG acrobatics with The Who, to name just a few.
In the current March 2013 issue of Guitar World, guitar legend Peter Frampton gives GW readers the full Dear Guitar Hero treatment, answering 12 questions about everything from Pensa Suhr guitars to the status of his long-lost (and recovered) 1954 Gibson Les Paul.
The John Varvatos clothing line, which has made a habit of using rockers in its recent ads — everyone from Paul Weller to Joe Perry to Iggy Pop — has recruited a new set of six-string stars for its latest campaign.
I recently performed at B.B. King Blues Club on 42nd Street in New York City. The band was well-rehearsed; the staff fed us well and poured red wine (and Red Bull) down our gullets, treating us like the swell blokes we are. Our friends were there, plus lots of strangers. The sound crew did a great job. We even had chord charts right there in front of us. Yet we all made careless mistakes here and there.
For those of you who missed Guitar World's Rock & Roll Roast of Zakk Wylde, which took place in January at The Grove in Anaheim, California, worry not! We're in the process of bringing you as much footage as possible from that night. In fact, here's comedian Jim Norton's segment of the Roast, which features some great one-liners, including, "What an amazing collection of people. If a bomb went off right now, the record industry would lose exactly $500 next year."
Will 2013 be the year of Deep Purple? It's starting to shape up that way. The current version of the band, featuring guitar whiz Steve Morse, are releasing a new studio album in April; they recently posted a mysterious trailer for the upcoming disc.
Last night on Saturday Night Live, Sir Paul McCartney and the surviving members of Nirvana performed their new track, "Cut Me Some Slack," for the second time in four days. The collective, which features McCartney, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear ("Sirvana," anyone?), debuted the song last Wednesday night at the 12.12.12 Concert for Sandy Relief at New York's Madison Square Garden.