Photo Gallery: Guitar World Magazine Covers Through the Years — 1981
In its second year, Guitar World doubled its output, releasing six issues, the first of which featured an interview with Eddie Van Halen. In January, Van Halen appeared on the cover for the first time. Sixteen Van Halen covers would follow.
Although the magazine's focus its inaugural year had been jazz and blues, in 1981 Guitar World began expanding into the world of rock 'n' roll, and even heavy metal. January featured a "Young Guns of Metal" article, and Michael Schenker made his first appearance in the March issue.
While 1981 saw Guitar World branching out to appeal to a wider audience, fusion giants like John McLaughlin and Jeff Beck remained big cover stories. This trend would continue on into 1982.
Check out next Monday's 1982 cover gallery, which kicks off with Journey's Neal Schon.
MARCH 1981: Chrissie Hynde became the first woman to be featured on the cover of Guitar World. Inside, she dished on dealing with The Pretenders' sudden rise to fame.
MAY 1981: Andy Summers discusses The Police and their effect on making reggae music more mainstream.
JULY 1981: Jazz, fusion and blues still reign in the July '81 issue, with features on John Lee Hooker and Charlie Christian and a cover story on John McLaughlin.
SEPTEMBER 1981: Although Jeff Beck firmly rejected the "guitar superstar" label, he did make his first Guitar World cover appearance with the September 1981 issue.
NOVEMBER 1981: The year ended with a detailed axology of Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson's gear. At the time, Lifeson and the other members of Rush were on tour in support of their phenomenally successful Moving Pictures album.
JANUARY 1981: Guitar World's January 1981 cover was already asking if Eddie Van Halen was the World's Greatest Guitarist. At that point, the 23-year-old had made so many waves in the music world that his talent was impossible to ignore. This issue began Van Halen's long and fruitful relationship with the magazine.