As much as he might try to deny it, Eric Johnson is a member of that small group of players sometimes referred to as "guitarists' guitarists." Players—like Jeff Beck, for instance—whose skills are (secretly, perhaps) the envy of his peers. Johnson is, however, well aware of the dual trademarks that are likely to become his legacy: instantly recognizable tone and a painstaking pursuit of perfection.
Guitar World’s May 2015 issue features the queen of noise, Joan Jett! She's been banging out some of rock's greatest power chords since age 15. With her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, there's only one thing you need to know: she still loves rock and roll.
The veteran guitarist has, in his infinite mercy, granted us a rare interview. (Perhaps the imminent release of the new Deep Purple album, Slaves And Masters, featuring Purple's latest member, Joe Lynn Turner, has something to do with this.) At the moment, Blackmore is dining with some friends; he is to join us at the conclusion of his meal.
“We were stuck in Switzerland with nowhere to go, and a friend of ours who was the mayor of the town said that there was an empty hotel we could use,” recalls Ritchie Blackmore. “We gladly accepted and retreated to this lonely hotel in the mountains. We set up all the equipment in the corridor, with the drums and some amps tucked into alcoves."
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.