Photo Gallery: Guitar World Magazine Covers Through the Years — 1987
In 1987, Guitar World made the big jump from six issues to eight.
There were plenty of new faces to add to the ever-growing list of Guitar World cover artists (Oddly, the omnipresent Edward Van Halen was missing this year).
While Yngwie Malmsteen ushered in a new year for the second time in a row, the remaining covers featured well-established artists making their first appearances on the front page. Steve Vai & Billy Sheehan, Chris Squire and Trevor Rabin, Andy Summers, Mark Knopfler, The Edge, Joe Perry: All were active and on top of their game in '87. All but one.
In June, Guitar World paid tribute to Randy Rhoads, who died in a plane crash five years before, with the late guitarist's first cover issue. He first appeared within the magazine's pages a short time before his death. Since then, his fixture in the heavy metal community had become solidified, based virtually on just two major-label releases with Ozzy Osbourne, Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman.
In 1987, the live album Tribute was released. It was the only live recording of Rhoads since the Mr. Crowley Live EP. Unlike other fallen artists, Rhoads left behind very little unreleased material, so there was much fanfare over the release of Tribute.
There have since been no new major releases from the Rhoads estate, but Guitar World continues to this day to pay homage -- with the occasional cover story -- to one of the great heavy metal guitarists who redefined the parameters of his instrument in an all-too short career.
It had only been a year since Yngwie Malmsteen graced the cover of Guitar World, but the phenom was back to kick off 1987 with a candid interview with Joe Lalaina. Malmsteen talked gear, influences and his slow progression from solo-oriented material to more commercial songwriting.
Aerosmith were back in full force in 1987. The hard-partying band had been through drug-addled self-destruction yet managed to resurrect themselves and return to form with Permanent Vacation. Guitarist Joe Perry got clean and sober and reflected in his interview with Steve Rosen the joys of working drug and alcohol-free.
Mark Knopfler was still riding high off the mega-success of Dire Straits' hit album Brothers In Arms. In his interview with Gene Santoro, Knopfler talked about his side projects, working with Eric Clapton and why he humbly never considered himself that special of a guitarist.
With Steve Howe out of the band, Trevor Rabin stepped into Yes' lead guitar role with big shoes to fill. Fortunately the South African-born Rabin proved a capable replacement. Rabin had penned Yes' biggest hit, 1983's "Owner of a Lonely Heart," and was the driving productive force behind 1987's Big Generator.
The Joshua Tree elevated U2 to superstar status. No doubt much of the album's success was owed to the textured guitar work of The Edge. The Irishman's sparse, lyrical playing offered a respite from the barrage of notes coming out of L.A.'s Sunset Strip.
There wasn't much in the way of live material for the late Randy Rhoads. The trailblazing guitarist's career was cut too short for much to be captured to tape. A couple of shows, however, did make it to the mixing board, and in 1987 Tribute was released. Guitar World celebrated the occasion with this special commemorative issue.
The Police had been defunct for three years, but Andy Summers managed to keep himself quite busy in that time. His work with Robert Fripp kept him at the forefront of avant-garde guitar, and he'd begun his foray into film scoring that preoccupied him for the remainder of the decade. Summers also released a book of his photography, Throb, which he talked about in the April issue of GW.
By 1987 David Lee Roth was poised to strike back at Van Halen's success with new frontman Sammy Hagar. He recorded Eat 'em and Smile with the superstar duo of Steve Vai and Billy Sheehan. The two virtuosos talked shop about working with Diamond Dave in the March issue.