Photo Gallery: Guitar World Magazine Covers Through the Years — 1982
The year 1982 is marked by a number of milestone moments in music. Some were events of historical importance (the release of Michael Jackson's Thriller, the biggest-selling album ever); others were cultish events of subtle yet mythical integrity (the release of the film Pink Floyd The Wall).
And others were simply tragic. Perhaps most significant for the majority of the guitar playing community was the March 19 death of Randy Rhoads. By age 25, Rhoads had written and recorded two albums with Ozzy Osbourne and in that short time elevated himself to the top ranks of the guitar elite.
Rhoads made his first appearance in Guitar World in May 1982. That issue was on newstands when Rhoads died in a plane crash in Leesburg, Florida. The young guitarist has been featured in the magazine posthumously on several occasions, but the May 1982 issue remains Guitar World's sole record of Rhoads while he was alive.
Its preservation serves as testament and joy to the value of music journalism, regardless of what January's cover artist might think!
Up Next: 1983 and The Doors' Robby Krieger.
He opened 1981 and closed 1982 for Guitar World. There was no denying Van Halen had become an irresistible force to be reckoned with by 1982, thanks in no small part to Diver Down and its hits "(Oh) Pretty Woman" and "Dancing in the Street."
In ways it's difficult to separate Steve Howe from his enduring presence as the lead guitarist for Yes. But in 1982, Howe was riding high on the success of his supergroup, Asia, which had earlier that year released its eponymous debut album that included the hit song "Heat of the Moment."
The hugely successful Escape album quelled no fire in guitarist Neal Schon. Although Escape generated three top-ten hits for Journey, critics were of mixed enthusiasm. Schon told Guitar World in the year's debut issue, "Columnists and reviewers have their heads shoved so far up their asses that they can't even see straight." Ouch!
Although he had boycotted print interviews at the time, Frank Zappa agreed to sit down with Guitar World writer John Swenson after his perennial Pumpkin Day concert celebration in New York. The late guitarist talked among other things about directing a band, funding his ambitious music aspirations and a young guitarist he'd acquired by the name of Steve Vai.
Sting breaks the six-string barrier and becomes the first, and one of the fewest, bassists to grace a cover of Guitar World.
Prior to his interview, Adrian Belew had worked with Frank Zappa and since grown an impressive resume of artist collaborations, including David Bowie, King Crimson and Talking Heads. Guitar World dubbed him the "World's Premier Electric Guitarist."