Fans of progressive rock had reason to rejoice this past summer when Robert Fripp, the guitarist and bandleader of the legendary progressive rock band King Crimson, dramatically announced he was coming out of retirement and the group was “returning to active service.”
Even though the Empty Hearts feature members of Blondie, the Cars, the Chesterfield Kings and the Romantics — and even though their name was chosen from Little Steven Van Zandt's super-secret list of unused band names — this is no cynically constructed supergroup.
Flyleaf have consistently dominated the active, alternative and mainstream rock charts since their eponymous, self-titled debut was released in 2005. With the arrival of new vocalist Kristen May and the band’s new album, Between the Stars, which was released September 16, that trend is continuing.
Former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley recently dropped by the fun-to-visit Vintage Room at Guitar Center Hollywood. While he was there, he chatted (on camera) about what it feels like to play music, his musical beginnings, and his relationship with Gibson and the Les Paul and more. Below, you can check out the video that chronicles his visit.
Ripe for caricature, they are perhaps two of the most distinctive-looking performers in rock history. Beck, with his much-imitated rooster shag haircut, and Gibbons, dressed in full hipster Wild West drag, look almost disconcertingly the same as they have for the past three or four decades.
I first began having success picking on a guitar that wasn’t plugged in. I was picking really hard so I could hear it acoustically, and when I plugged into an amp, I was surprised that it didn’t sound very good. I discovered that the way I attack the string really affects the tone. Modifying your picking attack—for clean tone, distortion and playing on an acoustic—makes a huge difference in the sound.
Ask him about jamming with jazz greats like Jimmy Raney, Mundell Lowe and Jimmy Smith. Or about sharing the stage and/or studio with the likes of everyone from bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs and the late Vassar Clements to modern-day bluesman Keb Mo’ and the hard-rockin’ Gov’t Mule—not to mention leading his own ensembles as well as his body of solo studio work.
It was recently announced that Hoekstra would be leaving his gig with Night Ranger to become the new guitarist in Whitesnake, replacing departing guitarist Doug Aldrich. Hoekstra’s seven-year tenure with Night Ranger included three critically acclaimed albums and tours, not to mention being part of a killer one-two punch with guitar great Brad Gillis.
Robert Johnson and J.J. Cale represent the yin and yang of Eric Clapton’s musical influences. On one side is Johnson, the famously troubled Thirties-era Mississippi bluesman who moaned about hellhounds on his trail, spooks around his bed and those lowdown, shakin’ chills. On the other side is Cale, the famously laidback singer-songwriter from Tulsa who penned laconic odes to singin’ whippoorwills, “chugalugging” and shakin’ tambourines.
Over the course of his illustrious career—one that includes time in Guns N’ Roses, Slash’s Snakepit and Velvet Revolver—Slash has amassed album sales of more than 100 million, garnered a Grammy (to go with his seven nominations) and was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.