No song in The Beatles' catalog features as many literary and social references in its lyrics as "I Am the Walrus." In writing it, John Lennon drew inspiration from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland (the walrus), a playground nursery rhyme that he and his pals sang as children (the line beginning with "yellow matter custard") and the traditional song "Marching to Pretoria."
In 2008, Guitar World asked Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson to dissect several key songs from the band's past. Starting with "Fly By Night" (1975) and ending with "Test for Echo" (1996), he discussed his guitars, amps and effects. Here's how it went.
A large painting by Metallica bassist Jason Newsted hangs prominently in the front room of Joe Satriani’s San Francisco townhouse, just above the black, upright piano where Satch composed some of the music for his newest album, Unstoppable Momentum.
I'd been into records by Black Sabbath, Zeppelin and Deep Purple, but Rocks sounded like the Rolling Stones, who had been my favorite band from age 3 to 13. It had the blues-based rock and roll thing, but turned up to 15. Aerosmith delivered the songs with such urgency, and the music had an almost punk attitude.
The first thing that I did was write a song. As far as I can tell, it was called “Bluebird.” I still have the piece of paper, and it’s a little difficult to decipher. It looks like the scribblings of a mad schizophrenic. I remember playing that for hours and trying to impress my family that I already started writing songs.
Considering that millions of guitarists have spent countless hours staring cross-eyed at glass pipes, it was inevitable that one day someone would put two and two together and make a glass guitar. For guitarist and glass blower Nick Eggert, who built this unique glass guitar with chili pepper embellishments, the concept of a glass guitar was a perfectly natural development.