It’s a beautiful Indian Summer day, and I’m standing on Queens Gate Road in London, England, a stone’s throw from the legendary Royal Albert Hall, where Led Zeppelin played in 1970, a performance immortalized on 2003’s Led Zeppelin DVD.
Fans of Alex Skolnick’s shredding in Testament might be shocked by his new album, Planetary Coalition, a collaborative world-music project driven by Skolnick’s crystalline, beatific acoustic guitar and assimilationist composing skills. But it’s not a case of a metal jaguar changing his spots; Skolnick is simply displaying all of them for the first time.
Guitar fans might remember seven-string guitarist the Commander-In-Chief from her “Zigeunerweisen Op. 20" guitar-duel video, which she made with classically trained guitarist Thomas Valeur. That video, which was premiered on GuitarWorld.com, was one of the site's 10 most-watched videos of 2013.
The first concert I ever attended was a Scorpions show in 1984. I remember this event because, at the time, I was excited about checking out the openers, a young, up-and-coming band called Bon Jovi. Little did I know I'd also be bearing witness to what would become one of rock’s biggest juggernauts.
The first truly 21st century guitar hero? A post-modern chops monster? Annie Clark, a.k.a. St. Vincent, is an enigmatic artist on many levels. As a player, her influences are all over the map. The niece of new agey jazz guitarist Tuck Andress, Clark had some of her earliest professional experiences as a roadie and, later, opening act for his duet Tuck and Patti.
Nearly two decades after making their last and most influential record, 'Slaughter of the Soul,' Gothenburg’s melodic death metal progenitors At the Gates come back with a vengeance on 'At War with Reality.'
From a guitarist's perspective, the 1970 Woodstock film, which documents the highs and lows of the August 1969 Woodstock Festival, has several highlights. There's Jimi Hendrix's immortal take on "The Star-Spangled Banner"; a lengthy, mind-blowing performance by newcomers Santana; and Pete Townshend's high-flying Gibson SG acrobatics with The Who, to name just a few.
Critics snubbed it upon its release in 1972, but Exile on Main St. has become one of rock’s greatest landmarks. Keith Richards recalls the making of the Rolling Stones' masterpiece and how the album’s new reissue project became a walk down memory lane.