The first thing you notice is how close together they are. Led Zeppelin are not scattered around the huge stage of the O2 Arena in London like 100-meter-relay runners awaiting the baton, like most bands at this venue. They are huddled within a few feet of each other in the center of the stage, and they stay that way for most of the two hours or so of Celebration Day, the new movie that captures their one-off return to playing live in December 2007.
The Beatles’ “Blackbird,” performed entirely by Paul McCartney using his Martin D-28, was released on the 1968 album The Beatles (commonly referred to as the White Album). From a guitar standpoint, the song’s roots and inspiration can be traced back to McCartney’s early experimentation with a well-known piece by J.S. Bach titled “Bourée in E Minor,” which he woodshedded in his youth.
Thousands of aspiring blues guitarists went down to the crossroads — but only six of them made it to Guitar Center’s Battle of the Blues Grand Finals, which took place August 18 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles.
The sight of Steve Vai conversing amiably in his Hollywood studio with Korn's James "Munky" Shaffer and Incubus' Mike Einziger, both of whom could serve as alternative poster boys, is surprising, to say the least. But these guitarists, their dreadlocks, Adidas trainers and baggy pants notwithstanding, have come not to bury Vai, but to praise him.
Make no mistake. Eddie Van Halen can still kick your ass. The man who single-handedly changed the face of rock is still mean, lean and sharp as a tack. And if you dispute the ownership of the crown, try to imagine a world without him. I came to pay my tribute, sneak a peak at that famous Marshall and meet the man I most wanted to be at 17.
Paul McCartney, who had unofficially taken up the job of lighting various fires under the band after Brian Epstein's death, had a plan to get his band mates back into the spirit of things and, more importantly, back into the studio: a "return to our roots" approach that would make little or no use of studio artifice or multiple overdubs.
On the first leg of Van Halen’s A Different Kind of Truth tour, toward the end of the band’s set, there was a moment during the middle of Eddie Van Halen’s solo spot in the show where the world seemed to stop spinning. Even the techs, security staff and backstage production personnel would stop what they were doing to focus on the celestial sounds emanating from the stage, with huge smiles on their faces that mirrored Ed’s beatific grin as he unleashed a staggering cascade of notes. At that particular point in Ed’s solo, it was clear that there was no place in the world that they’d rather be.
A host of musicians, celebrities and comedians — including Duff McKagan, Sharon Osbourne and Scott Ian — turned the heat up on guest of honor Zakk Wylde at Guitar World’s Rock & Roll Roast. The result? A brewtally funny good time.