Playing live might be the best way to hone your performance skills, but when it comes to technique, you need practice, practice, practice. If you play an electric guitar, your woodshedding sessions demand an amp that not only reveals the details and nuance of your playing but also sounds great—so great that it makes you want to practice more and become the best guitarist you can.
Well, there was a talent show where they told us we were too loud and kicked us out, but my first gig was with Panic at Huntington Beach. Although the sex, the girls and the drugs were rampant, it was marred by the death of two friends: the guy who did our sound and our drummer at the time.
Any guitar that features a flat top, double cutaways, dual humbuckers and a locking Floyd Rose is typically pigeonholed as a “shredder’s guitar,” suggesting a predetermined limit of expression and application. In fact, the platform was originally conceived to correct performance-limiting design flaws and, consequently, addressed the requirements of technically proficient virtuosos, helping them to develop their talents fully.
In 2013, G&L debuted the Fallout model, which was based on the company’s original SC-2 guitar introduced 30 years before. While the Fallout retained the SC-2’s slim body shape and 25 1/2–inch-scale length, it featured a different pickup configuration that made it ideal for a wider range of players.
These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the September 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.
The Om symbol means so much to Shawn Bowen that he has four tattooed on his body. When he decided to design a custom guitar to play with his bands Didges Christ SuperDrum and Stones of Madness, it was pretty much predetermined that he would make it shaped like the Om symbol as well.
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.
And it made me think immediately of my Les Paul Junior from the  Revenge/Alive III tour. It was one of the most beat-up Les Paul Juniors ever. I got it at Guitars R Us on Sunset Boulevard, and we recorded with it a lot. Gene [Simmons] loved it. Kiss even rented it for [1998’s] Psycho Circus, because they wanted that sound. It had a humbucker in it—a Seymour Duncan JB—but there was just something about the mahogany body.