He was one of the greatest electric blues guitarists of his time, but Michael Bloomfield is nearly forgotten today. His friend and collaborator Al Kooper hopes to change that with the new box-set retrospective From His Head to His Heart to His Hands.
Among historic Gibsons, Tom Scholz’s 1968 Les Paul “Goldtop”—the first of two that he purchased in the Seventies—certainly ranks high. It’s the guitar heard on every massive Boston hit and all six of the group’s albums to date. As such, it was an ideal instrument for Gibson to replicate as part of its Collector’s Choice Series.
Boston’s Tom Scholz has a musician’s soul and a scientist’s obsession with the phenomena of sound and music. Those qualities have helped him and his long-running group create some of the most lavishly layered, hooky guitar rock of the Seventies and beyond. The guitarist was a senior product design engineer for Polaroid in the Seventies who spent his off hours tinkering meticulously on a set of demo recordings in his home studio.
If Jerry Garcia played in a death metal band instead of the Grateful Dead, he might have designed a guitar like the Guardian. At least that’s kind of the idea that Nashville luthier Sean Farrell had in mind when he conceived this guitar.
I start in the seventh-position B minor pentatonic box pattern with some string skipping and hybrid picking, using my pick-hand middle finger in conjunction with the pick. I hit the first note, on the low E string, with a down-stroke, hammer-on the second note, then pluck the third note, on the D string, with the middle finger, followed by another hammer-on.
On beat three of bar 2, I flip my fret hand over the neck and perform the arpeggios on top of the fretboard. Here, I use my thumb [indicated by the t in the finger prompts below the tab] to fret the low E [sixth string, 12th fret] so I can make the fret-hand transition over the neck without skipping a beat.
Maybe it’s the makeup. Maybe it’s the merchandising. Maybe, at the end of the day, it’s just the music itself. Whatever the source, it is safe to say that few bands have inspired as much fervent devotion—and also rabid derision—as the self-proclaimed “Hottest Band in the World,” Kiss.