Eric Clapton's incendiary six-string exploits with the Yardbirds, followed by a pair of mind-blowing 1966 albums—Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton and Fresh Cream—briefly put the passionate young Clapton atop the U.K.’s, if not the world’s, guitar hierarchy.
The Cowcaster is guaranteed to turn heads. That’s because it is one. The one-of-a-kind guitar, designed and built by artist Brent Gandy of Amarillo, Texas, brims with custom features—from Von Dutch–style pin striping on the back of the neck to a hand-carved bull’s head headstock—all of which are connected to an authentic bull skull.
When I first heard Albert Lee's "Fun Ranch Frolic" in high school, I was floored by its precision and unstoppable groove. It was a decade of plectrum prowess, and there was no shortage of muscular technique to go around. Yngwie Malmsteen was, of course, famous for his ability to play full-picked lines across the strings with seemingly impossible accuracy. And even Eddie Van Halen could sting unexpectedly with blasts of right-hand wizardry.