Photo Gallery: Guitar World Magazine Covers Through the Years — 1988
There were a number of firsts for Guitar World in 1988. It was the first year a total of 10 issues were published (Technically, there were 11 covers, but more on that in a moment), with all but February and August seeing new material.
It was also the year Guitar World began printing full guitar and bass transcriptions. Only bits and pieces of notation had previously gone to press. Racer X's "Scarified" and Michael Hedges' "Ragamuffin" were the first songs to get the tab and notation treatment -- yes, we did traditional musical notation back then too -- in the May issue.
That year was also a first in cover experimentation. In April Guitar World had its first "split cover," where half the magazines that month had one cover and the other half had another cover. That month featured one cover of Dokken's George Lynch while the second featured Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee of Rush. Typical of split covers, one usually outsells the other by a significant margin. There are no copies of the Alex Lifeson/Geddy Lee issue in the Guitar World archives, perhaps a clue to that month's big seller?
Regardless of the magazine's new additions, there were loads of great stories, great pictures and great clothes. Seriously, check out some of these outfits. Memories.
Next week we'll revisit 1989, which features some more fresh-faced firsts and one tragic finale.
To find out more about the first 30 years of Guitar World magazine, check out our 300-plus-page book, The Complete History of Guitar World, which is available only at the Guitar World Online Store.
Rising from the ashes of near ruin after the death of bassist Cliff Burton, Metallica was ready to forge ahead in 1988 with ... and Justice for All. In his first cover issue, lead guitarist Kirk Hammett talks about his band and what separates them from those other metal acts.
Jimmy Page had recently reunited Led Zeppelin for a reunion performance at Atlantic Records' 40th anniversary concert. He felt the performance went well, but was displeased with the sound, illustrating the iconic guitarist's constant concern for quality control.
The now clean and sober Stevie Ray Vaughan was full of life and optimism when he sat down with Bill Milkowski for a frank interview about the blues legend's past indiscretions. Said Vaughan, "Between the coke and the alcohol, it got to the point where I no longer had any idea what it would take to get drunk."
With the animosity between Keith Richards and Mick Jagger an ever-growing concern throughout the eighties, Richards went solo and released Talk is Cheap, but the guitarist expressed reservations about working without the band he'd led for the past 25 years.
By 1988 Steve Vai had pretty much done it all. He'd worked with avant-garde extraordinaire Frank Zappa, replaced Yngwie Malmsteen in Alcatrazz and joined forces with Billy Sheehan to make up David Lee Roth's all-star post-Van Halen band. He was just a year away from joining Whitesnake when this issue hit newsstands.
By now Yngwie Malmsteen had become a challenger to Eddie Van Halen's position as most dominant Guitar World cover artist. For the third year in a row, he'd been featured in the magazine's anchor story. In this issue, Yngwie opened up about his new album, Odyssey, and the near fatal car accident that almost ended his career.
Despite Yngwie's efforts, Eddie was still king of the covers in 1988. There was still much division among fans of the old Van Halen and those of the Sammy Hagar-fronted VH. Ed commented: "I don't think our first six albums were bad, but we have a different quarterback now, so we're running different plays."
The first of our April split covers. George Lynch was riding high on the success of Back for the Attack, which peaked at No. 13 on the US Billboard charts. Lynch and Dokken spent most of 1988 touring; their shows in Japan would later comprise the live release Beast from the East, further cementing the band's popularity.
It was the second time in three years a special issue was dedicated to Jimi Hendrix. Nearly 18 years after his death, the guitar community still could not get enough of the genius trailblazer. More commemorative issues were to follow -- and you can imagine even more are to come.
Michael Schenker's career was anything if not turbulent in the eighties - or for its entirety, for that matter. In 1988 he was still working with Robin McAuley in the McAuley Schenker Group. Here Schenker talked candidly about his ups and down with bands and members, and his time apart from UFO.