Photo Gallery: Guitar World Magazine Covers Throughout the Years — 2004
It's not a household name. And it shouldn't be. It belongs among the ranks of Mark David Chapman and Yolanda Salvidar -- people who forever altered the course of artistic history but who deserve no more than scant vilification and quick dismissal.
Looking back upon Guitar World's covers of yesteryear, it feels pertinent to recall the moments that made up those 12 months of publication -- to reminisce upon events and milestones that shared a timeline with GW's issues. But some events have such monumental impact, they cannot help be the first and last thing a person thinks of when they look back.
Gale injected the cruelest charge into 2004. On December 8, he entered the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio. Damageplan was playing. Gale stepped onstage during the band's set. Using a 9mm handgun, he shot and killed Darrell "Dimebag" Abbott along with three other innocent people.
Tragedies born of senselessness and lunacy have plagued society since time immemorial. This was no more special or insignificant than any other. But it held a painful resonance for guitar fans. Anyone who knew Dime would attest he was the nicest, most genuine person you'd ever meet. And anyone with a set of ears and a stereo could tell you, hands down, Dime was a master of the guitar; a true virtuoso with seemingly limitless talent.
On December 8, the world was robbed of that talent. It was also robbed of Nathan Bray, Erin Halk and Jeff Thompson. So when looking back upon this week's gallery of Guitar World issues, remember all the great guitar moments of 2004, remember Dimebag and the path he blazed for groove metal devotees -- and remember the heroes who showed courage under fire that horrible night in Columbus, Ohio.
The King had been missing in action for five long years before this feature, Ed's first major interview in that time, with GW Editor-in-Chief Brad Tolinski. Said the returning Van Halen, "There is nothing that can keep me down. Whatever stands before me I will deal with it."
"You either strive for greatness or you go home, 'cause you've gotta give it all or nothing." These were Zakk Wylde's words of wisdom as he lead Guitar World readers through an intense six-string boot camp, which featured additional practice tips John Petrucci and Joe Satriani.
In our first holiday issue, Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong opens a can of rock opera whoop ass on the establishment. The success of American Idiot gave Armstrong a platform for dissent. "I finally felt like the media had crossed the line between journalism and reality TV."
You can only do so many "100 Greatest" lists. Flipping the idea on its head, Guitar World presented 100 moments in the instrument's history that still make listeners wince a first note. Smart idea? That depends who you ask.
In 2004 Jet were unabashed in their devotion to simplicity. "To me, it's more about attitude than actual musical knowledge," said guitarist Nic Cester. "I think musical knowledge can be more of a hindrance to rock and roll."
It was a sad day (albeit a temporary one) for jam-band devotees when de facto Phish leader Trey Anastasio dissolved the Vermont rockers. But the guitarist explained, "The guys were and have been understanding. There's still this very deep love. It's weird."
The September issue, highlighting Ozzfest 2004, featured two separate covers -- one featuring Black Sabbath, the other featuring Judas Priest. "Playing the big summer show is a great career move," said Judas Priest's K.K. Downing, "and we plan to shine every night."
Some Kind of Monster was not your ordinary, self-promoting rockumentary. It was a no-holds barred look at the inner-constructs of a heavy metal supergroup. Said Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett, "Our attitude from the beginning was 'Warts and all.' We said to the filmmakers, 'Show us good. Show us bad. Just show us.'"
Marking the band's first major-label record, Elephant brought Jack and Meg White mainstream success. White's stripped-down, bluesy guitar riffing made him a darling of contemporary critics, but he still had much to prove among the guitar enthusiasts.
Blues heads are better than one.* Guitar World fans got a double dose of guitar greatness when Jimmy Page and Joe Perry sat down to talk about all things blues -- the music at the cornerstone of each players' legendary bands.
*Vote for Worst Pun Ever.
In his last GW cover appearance as a living, breathing musician, Dimebag dishes the dirt on the breakup of Pantera and the rise of his new, brutal groove metal outfit, Damageplan.
With 2003's Blink-182, the SoCal Pop-Punk trio took a more "mature" approach with their self-titled fifth LP, adding experimental elements to their tried-and-true uptempo powerpop.
Probot -- it sounds like an iPhone app, but in 2004 it was Foo Fighter's frontman Dave Grohl's much-heralded heavy metal album. Assisting Mr. Grohl in his metal pursuits was former Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil and ultimate heavy metal disciple Jack Black.