Features http://www.guitarworld.com/taxonomy/term/5/0 en Five Modern Throwback Artists Breathing New Life Into Revivalist American Music http://www.guitarworld.com/five-modern-throwback-artists-vintage-mainstream-rock-country-jd-mcpherson-whitey <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="http://www.briansetzer.com/" target="_blank">Brian Setzer</a> did something truly extraordinary in the early Eighties.</p> <p>Despite his 1950s-inspired pompadour-on-acid haircut, his uber-retro-at-the-time hollowbody Gretsch 6120 and his slap-back-delay-laden guitar sound, he and the Stray Cats morphed their retro-rockabilly roots into something new, fresh, exciting and—best of all—modern.</p> <p>And this was during the days of skinny ties, rampant synth-rock and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6HiBxGRfzI" target="_blank">A Flock of Seagulls,</a> for chrissakes.</p> <p>Subsequent generations have enjoyed retro revivals of their own (remember the late-Nineties swing craze and the Squirrel Nut Zippers?)—and some of these acts, including the incredible <a href="http://www.bigsandy.net/" target="_blank">Big Sandy &amp; His Fly-Rite Boys</a> and <a href="http://www.waynehancock.com/" target="_blank">Wayne Hancock</a>—are still going strong in 2015.</p> <p>Whether you're aware of it or not, we're in the middle of a fairly serious retro revival of our own—and it's happening across several genres, including rock, country, jazz and beyond. Maybe the <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/jul/28/jason-isbell-country-music-radio" target="_blank">"real country music vs. ridiculous, laughable Nashville country music"</a> phenomenon gets all the ink these days, but let us not forget a rising force in rock named JD McPherson.</p> <p>Below, meet five current artists who are turning their vintage influences into something new and unique. All of them have released new studio albums in 2015. And remember this is just the tip of the iceberg (Be sure to also check out Austin's <a href="http://www.theconnextion.com/dalewatson/" target="_blank">Dale Watson</a> and Australia's <a href="http://patcapocci.com.au/" target="_blank">Pat Capocci</a>).</p> <p>Some people have a name for this music: <a href="http://www.ameripolitan.com/" target="_blank">Ameripolitan.</a> They also insist we're smack-dab in the middle of an Ameripolitan revolution. And I agree. Read on!</p> <p><br /><br /> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">JD McPherson</span><br /> <strong>2015 ALBUM:</strong> <em>Let the Good Times Roll</em><br /> <strong>INFO:</strong> <a href="http://www.jdmcpherson.com/" target="_blank">jdmcpherson.com</a></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/1026562.jpg" width="300" height="300" align="left" style="padding:10px 20px 10px 0;" alt="1026562.jpg" /></p> <p><em>Let the Good Times Roll</em> is McPherson's second album, the followup to 2010's <em>Signs &amp; Signifiers</em> (re-released on Rounder in 2012), which put the Oklahoma singer-songwriter-guitarist on the "rock ’n’ roll revivalist" map. </p> <p>In 2015, that map has led him to several high-profile gigs, including <em>Letterman</em> and <em>Conan.</em> </p> <p>At the core of this sudden McPhenomenon is an incredibly tight and gifted band that's anchored by former <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQAUPaba5FM" target="_blank">Four Charms</a> bassist (and <a href="Hi-Style Records">Hi-Style Records</a> owner) Jimmy Sutton and drummer Jason Smay, who all you teenie-boppers might remember from his days with <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/exclusive-video-premiere-los-straitjackets-space-mosquito" target="_blank">Los Straitjackets.</a></p> <p><em>Let the Good Times Roll</em> definitely lets the good times—and the hooks, thumping bass lines and greasy guitar riffs—roll into the deepest, darkest corners of your grey matter, from which they are unlikely to be dislodged. So, um, don't bother trying. </p> <p><a href="http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/la-et-ms-essential-tracks-20150215-column.html" target="_blank">As the LA Times put it,</a> the album delivers 11 songs that "split the difference among Buddy Holly, early Stones, the Black Keys and Bo Diddley." The Black Keys reference is no surprise, since Keys frontman Dan Auerbach co-wrote one of the album's standout tracks, "Bridgebuilder," with McPherson.</p> <p>"I found 1950s rock at just the right time in my life," McPherson recently told <a href="http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/22361-jd-mcpherson-a-modern-throwback?page=1" target="_blank">Adam Perlmutter.</a> "It was energetic and fun music for teenagers, but it also had great finesse and musicality. At the same time, it was raw and primal, with the immediacy of the punk rock that I was really into."</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rXn_O8yECCQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">Charlie Thompson</span><br /> <strong>2015 ALBUM:</strong> <em>The Foothill Sessions</em><br /> <strong>INFO:</strong> <a href="http://www.charlie-thompson.com/" target="_blank">charlie-thompson.com</a></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/charlie.jpg" width="300" height="407" align="left" style="padding:10px 20px 10px 0;" alt="charlie.jpg" /></p> <p>In the intro to this story, I wrote that these five artists are turning their vintage influences into something new. Well, in the case of U.K.-based singer-guitarist Charlie Thompson, that does not apply—at all. </p> <p>In fact, Thompson's whole approach involves a charming focus on "old," as you'll hear when you press the "Play" button below and <a href="http://www.amazon.fr/The-Foothill-Sessions-Charlie-Thompson/dp/B00ZXATWFQ" target="_blank">check out his look, graphics and album covers.</a> </p> <p>Thompson's fairly hard-to-find new album is meant to look and sound as authentically vintage as possible, and he nails it—just as Scotland's <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Squarehead-Stomp-Kaisers/dp/B00000JFTT" target="_blank">the Kaisers nailed the whole fake-British-Invasion-band thing</a> in the Nineties. </p> <p>The album, a mix of rockabilly and rollicking country tunes, features the guitar work of the extra-talented <a href="http://tksmith.net/" target="_blank">TK Smith,</a> who was a member of <a href="http://www.bigsandy.net/disc.htm" target="_blank">Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Trio</a> in the Nineties. Other players include Jeremy Wakefield on pedal steel guitar, Wally Hersom on bass, Bobby Furgo on fiddle, Dave Stuckey on drums and Carl Sonny Leyland on piano.</p> <p><em>The Foothill Sessions</em> is not available digitally (not yet, anyway), <a href="http://www.charlie-thompson.com/store/the_foothill_sessions/" target="_blank">but it's totally worth tracking down.</a> It also will be available on vinyl soon, of course!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tJsv5qCYwgM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /></p> <p><br /><br /> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">The Bellfuries</span><br /> <strong>2015 ALBUM:</strong> <em>Workingman's Bellfuries</em><br /> <strong>INFO:</strong> <a href="http://thebellfuries.com/" target="_blank">thebellfuries.com</a></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/bellfuries2.jpg" width="300" height="154" align="left" style="padding:10px 20px 10px 0;" alt="bellfuries2.jpg" /></p> <p>"Loving Arms," the opening track from <em>Workingman's Bellfuries</em> (check it out below), starts off like a super-catchy slice of modern, melodic pop—until the glorious 16-second mark. That's when the guitars, standup bass and drums enter the sonic picture, and the song gets even catchier.</p> <p>That's also the moment when everything falls into place, and you realize you're hearing a truly modern, original take on rockabilly. Let's call it rockabilly pop.</p> <p>The Bellfuries released an undisputed modern-rockabilly masterpiece, <em>Just Plain Lonesome,</em> in 2001. A few years later, they followed it up with <em>Palmyra,</em> a full-on folk-ish rock/pop album that had rockabilly fans scratching their <a href="http://www.layrite.com/" target="_blank">Layrite</a>-coated heads. </p> <p>This time around, the Bellfuries have steered the ship at least partially back toward roots-rock territory, turning in another winner. Perhaps <a href="http://staticmultimedia.com/music/the-bellfuries-new-record-is-contemporary-rock-n-roll-thats-the-cats-pajamas" target="_blank">Static put it best,</a> calling it "contemporary rock-n-roll that’s the cat’s pajamas."</p> <p>"We’re a rock and roll band," says Joey Simeone, the Texas-based band's vocalist and chief songwriter. "People are obsessed with categories, sub-genres. We check into a hotel, and the guy or girl behind the desk asks what kind of music we play. ‘Rock and roll.’ Then they ask what I mean by that. Well…</p> <p>"Let’s see. There’s elements of country music, rhythm and blues. There’s some improvisation on stage that I guess you could say is jazz-inspired. Throw in some gospel…plenty of melodies coming out of older pop tunes. That adds up to rock and roll, last time I checked. If we’re not re-inventing the wheel, I’d rather get to work than worry about renaming it.” </p> <p>There's an undeniable Beatles influence on <em>Workingman's Bellfuries,</em> which is underscored by a rocking new cover of Lennon/McCartney's "She's a Woman." In fact, "Loving Arms" seems—lyrically, at least—to be based on Arthur Alexander's "Soldier of Love," which the Beatles recorded for the BBC in the early Sixties.</p> <p>Note that <em>Workingman's Bellfuries</em> is another <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hi-Style-Records/128232187244719" target="_blank">Jimmy Sutton/Hi-Style Records</a> production.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bydggZ3Rxbk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">Whitey Morgan and the 78's</span><br /> <strong>2015 ALBUM:</strong> <em>Sonic Ranch</em><br /> <strong>INFO:</strong> <a href="http://whiteymorgan.com/" target="_blank">whiteymorgan.com</a></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/WM.PressLive300.jpg" width="300" height="199" align="left" style="padding:10px 20px 10px 0;" alt="WM.PressLive300.jpg" /></p> <p>Chances are, if you're not a fan of modern country music—which Tom Petty recently called “bad rock with a fiddle”—you'd absolutely love Whitey Morgan and the 78's. </p> <p>Morgan, a big, bearded native of Flint, Michigan, has about as much to do with the mainstream Nashville country music scene as Kim Jong-un.</p> <p>His brand of country music full of gnarly Telecasters, dark-and-eerie pedal steel guitars and songs about drinkin', lyin', cheating—you know, broken lives and broken hearts. </p> <p>On <em>Sonic Ranch,</em> Morgan practically bleeds into each song, resulting in a rough-and-tumble honky-tonk noir song collection. Recorded at Sonic Ranch in Texas with producer Ryan Hewitt, the album's fighting spirit reflects Morgan's childhood. </p> <p>"I got my ass kicked on a daily basis and fought like hell each and every time. A growth spurt eventually put a stop to all of that." Morgan witnessed the toll the city's troubled economy had on the people closest to him and informs his musical stylings. "Growing up in Flint ignited the 'never give up' attitude I apply to every part of my life. That's what you learn when you grow up in that town. You also learn that you don't take shit from anyone, ever."</p> <p>Perhaps it's what made Morgan partial to the outlaw arm of country music.</p> <p>I saw these guys live when they passed through New York City in the spring. Although the guitar is very much alive and well on <em>Sonic Ranch,</em> every six-string player in the band, including Morgan, truly unleashes the fireworks when things get cooking onstage. And pedal steel guitarist Brett Robinson simply ... kicks ... ass.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZHhZO21SGI4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">Pokey LaFarge</span><br /> <strong>2015 ALBUM:</strong> <em>Something in the Water</em><br /> <strong>INFO:</strong> <a href="http://www.pokeylafarge.net/" target="_blank">pokeylafarge.net</a></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/0708_pokey-lafarge.jpg" width="300" height="198" align="left" style="padding:10px 20px 10px 0;" alt="0708_pokey-lafarge.jpg" /></p> <p>If I were a guest on some bizarre game show and was forced to describe Pokey LaFarge's music in five seconds or less, I'd call him a "21st century Squirrel Nut Zippers." </p> <p>Thankfully, no such demented game show exists—because that description does absolutely no justice to LaFarge, a St. Louis-based singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who is <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/may/21/pokey-lafarge-something-in-the-water-review" target="_blank">happily unaffected by the music of the past seven or eight decades.</a> </p> <p><em>Something in the Water</em> is a mesmerizing trip through American roots music, with an emphasis on ragtime, jazz, swing and country blues. Produced by Jimmy Sutton (yep, the same Jimmy Sutton who plays bass with JD McPherson and produces the Bellfuries), the album features a diverse cast of players, including members of NRBQ, the Fat Babies, the Modern Sounds and the Western Elstons. </p> <p>Standout tunes include the title track (be sure to check out the music video below), “Wanna Be Your Man,” “Underground,” “Cairo, Illinois” and “Barcelona.” </p> <p>“The Midwest is at the heart of this record," LaFarge says. "The people playing on these songs are from Wisconsin and Illinois and Chicago and St. Louis, and there’s a certain attitude that comes across in the songs and the way that they’re performed. I’m born and raised in the Midwest, and my family’s been here for generations. This is where I’m from and how I think, and that’s reflected in the music I make.” </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FXzEVLSoVqw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em><a href="https://soundcloud.com/damian-fanelli/mister-neutron-comanchero-1" target="_blank">Damian Fanelli</a> is the online managing editor at </em>Guitar World<em> and </em><a href="http://www.guitaraficionado.com/" target="_blank">Guitar Aficionado</a><em>. His New York-based band, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Blue-Meanies/226938220688464?fref=ts">the Blue Meanies,</a> has toured the world and elsewhere. Fanelli, a former member of Brooklyn jump-blues/swing/rockabilly band <a href="http://www.thegashousegorillas.com/" target="_blank">the Gas House Gorillas</a> and New York City instrumental surf-rock band <a href="http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/MisterNeutron" target="_blank">Mister Neutron,</a> also <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsQ9pIkLXiA">composes</a> and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7ICimc774Y" target="_blank">records film soundtracks.</a> He writes GuitarWorld.com's <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/next-bend-clarence-white-inspired-country-b-bender-lick-video">The Next Bend</a> column, which is dedicated to <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/next-bend-10-essential-b-bender-guitar-songs-damian-fanelli" target="_blank">B-bender guitars and guitarists.</a> His latest liner notes can be found in Sony/Legacy's </em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Complete-Epic-Recordings-Collection/dp/B00MJFQ24W" target="_blank">Stevie Ray Vaughan: The Complete Epic Recordings Collection.</a><em> Follow him on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/damianfanelliguitar" target="_blank">Facebook,</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/damianfanelli" target="_blank">Twitter</a> and/or <a href="https://instagram.com/damianfanelligw/" target="_blank">Instagram.</a></em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/brian-setzer">Brian Setzer</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/five-modern-throwback-artists-vintage-mainstream-rock-country-jd-mcpherson-whitey#comments Ameripolitan Charlie Thompson Damian Fanelli JD McPherson Jimmy Sutton Pokey LaFarge retro rockabilly The Bellfuries throwback Whitey Morgan Videos Blogs News Features Wed, 25 Nov 2015 14:19:03 +0000 Damian Fanelli 24844 at http://www.guitarworld.com Save 35 Percent at Guitar World's Online Store This Thanksgiving Weekend http://www.guitarworld.com/save-35-percent-guitar-worlds-online-store-thanksgiving-weekend/25890 <!--paging_filter--><p>Why wait to save big? Start saving now! </p> <p>All your favorite products are on sale right now. <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=35THANKS15" target="_blank">You save 35 percent when you shop at our online store this holiday weekend.</a></p> <p>Just be sure to use code <strong>35THANKS15</strong> at checkout.</p> <p>Once again, that's <strong>35THANKS15.</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=35THANKS15" target="_blank">Head to the Guitar World Online Store now.</a></strong></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/save-35-percent-guitar-worlds-online-store-thanksgiving-weekend/25890#comments News Features Wed, 25 Nov 2015 14:17:03 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25890 at http://www.guitarworld.com Best Holiday Rock Song Poll: "Thank God It's Christmas" (Queen) Vs. "Christmas with the Devil" (Spinal Tap) http://www.guitarworld.com/holiday-song-poll-day-3/25860 <!--paging_filter--><p>It's that special, joyful time of year once again: GuitarWorld.com readers' poll season!</p> <p>This year, we've decided to spread some musical holiday cheer in the form of our first-ever "Best Holiday Rock Song" readers' poll.</p> <p>It's a chance for all those classic-rock holiday favorites (think of the Kinks' "Father Christmas" and/or Greg Lake's "I Believe in Father Christmas") to go head to head against each other, not to mention several much more recent—and possibly harder-rocking entries—in a festive, friendly showdown.</p> <p>With the help of several members of the <em>Guitar World</em> staff, we've selected 32 of our favorite holiday rock songs—and we're asking you to vote for your favorites. You can see the complete 32-song bracket near the bottom of this story. </p> <p>Songs include <strong>Keith Richards'</strong> version of "Run Rudolph Run," <strong>John Lennon's</strong> "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)," <strong>Billy Squier's</strong> "Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You," <strong>AC/DC's</strong> "Mistress for Christmas," <strong>Adam Sandler's</strong> "The Chanukah Song," <strong>Queen's</strong> "Thank God It’s Christmas," <strong>Spinal Tap's</strong> "Christmas with the Devil," <strong>Bruce Springsteen's</strong> "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," <strong>Pretenders'</strong> "2000 Miles," <strong>the Waitresses'</strong> "Christmas Wrapping," <strong>Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers'</strong> "Christmas All Over Again," <strong>Korn's</strong> "Kidnap the Sandy Claws" and many more.</p> <p>We'll be a sharing a new matchup every day, right into late December, including weekends. so get your voting fingers ready!</p> <p><em>Enjoy our first Best Holiday Rock Song readers' poll, which is sponsored by <a href="http://www.bossus.com/" target="_blank">Boss</a>!</em></p> <h1>Today's Matchup</h1> <p><span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">“Thank God It’s Christmas," Queen</span></p> <p>Queen’s lone Christmas song features the trademark harmonies you’d expect, with Freddie Mercury belting out a crisp lead vocal. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6V5mtUff6ik" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">“Christmas with the Devil," Spinal Tap</span></p> <p>This one comes from Spinal Tap, everyone's favorite fictional heavy metal band. This song is reminiscent of their tune “Stonehenge." All that’s missing is the Stonehenge model!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KneOdEDwDEc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /></p> <h1>Vote Now!</h1> <script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8" src="http://static.polldaddy.com/p/9198746.js"></script><p><noscript><a href="http://polldaddy.com/poll/9198746/">Best Holiday Rock Song: "Christmas with the Devil" (Spinal Tap) Vs. "Thank God It’s Christmas" (Queen)</a></noscript></p> <h1>Behold the Latest Bracket!</h1> <p style=" margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;"> <a title="View Wrapping on Scribd" href="https://www.scribd.com/doc/291095699/Wrapping" style="text-decoration: underline;" >Wrapping</a></p> <p><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" src="https://www.scribd.com/embeds/291095699/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;show_recommendations=true" data-auto-height="false" data-aspect-ratio="undefined" scrolling="no" id="doc_92756" width="100%" height="400" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <h1>How the Bracket Was Compiled</h1> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/hat.jpg" width="225" height="186" align="left" style="padding:10px 20px 10px 0;" alt="hat.jpg" /></p> <p>Here's how the bracket was—very unscientifically—compiled.</p> <p>We drew the songs' names out of a hat (It was, in fact, a Quebec Nordiques baseball cap, which is called a <em>casquette</em> in Quebec) to help us create our bracket, which is available for your viewing pleasure below. Obviously, none of these songs are ranked or come from a previously compiled list, so we chose purely random matchups to have as little impact as possible on the final outcome.</p> <p>Remember that, as with any poll, genre might occasionally clash against genre, so you'll just need to decide which song has (or has had) the most to offer within its genre.</p> <p>As always, you can vote only once per matchup (once per device, that is), and we'll be posting matchups pretty much every day of the month, sometimes more than once per day, just to give you an early warning. <em>Merci!</em></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/holiday-song-poll-day-3/25860#comments Best Holiday Rock Song Poll News Features Wed, 25 Nov 2015 13:31:47 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25860 at http://www.guitarworld.com Authors Willie Perkins and Jack Weston Discuss 'The Allman Brothers Band Classic Memorabilia, 1969-1976' http://www.guitarworld.com/authors-willie-perkins-and-jack-weston-discuss-allman-brothers-band-classic-memorabilia-1969-76/25883 <!--paging_filter--><p>I’ve been really enjoying a new book, <em>The Allman Brothers Band Classic Memorabilia, 1969-76.</em> The topic is pretty much right in the title.</p> <p>The book highlights individual collectibles, including band instruments and equipment, T-shirts, apparel and merchandise, autographs, bookkeeping documents, passes, posters, tickets, programs, promotional items, vintage photographs and more. Duane’s daughter, Galadrielle Allman, wrote the introduction.</p> <p>The authors are Willie Perkins—the Allman Brothers' road manager from 1970 to 76—and Jack Weston, an avid ABB collector who hipped me to the awesome W. David Powell coloration of David and Flournoy Holmes that graces the front and back inside covers of <em>One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band.</em> Willie also is the author of <em>No Saints, No Saviors: My Years with the Allman Brothers Band.</em></p> <p>I caught up with Willie and Jack for the following interview.</p> <p><strong>Willie, you were in the middle of a hurricane and at the center of what many consider the best rock band ever. How aware were you of all that at the time, and how much were you just hanging in on for dear life every day?</strong></p> <p><strong>PERKINS:</strong> A lot of hanging on! Linda Oakley told me recently that the band guys had me so flipped out my eyes were spinning around in their sockets like a cartoon character. We were so busy getting it done that there was little time for reflection as I note in the book. I remember early on saying, “This is the best band in America, only America doesn’t know it yet.” That was somewhat prophetic.</p> <p><strong>You kept a lot of documents and files, so you must have had some sense that this stuff would have historical significance. Do you remember when it started to occur to you that things like tour ledgers and guitar cases would be of interest to people?</strong></p> <p><strong>PERKINS:</strong> Probably around the time of Duane’s passing. We certainly knew those guitars had to be secured that weekend before they “wandered” off. I don’t think anyone began collecting for monetary gain. I know I wanted to preserve from a historical perspective any important documents I had possession of. By the late 1990s I realized business checks signed by Duane definitely had collector appeal and monetary value. I receive almost weekly social media inquiries regarding dates and sequences of shows performed and am so glad I held onto copies of the monthly personal appearance financial reports. That info is priceless to me and I have the most comprehensive records for 1971 to 1976.</p> <p><strong>Jack, when did you start collecting ABB memorabilia?</strong></p> <p><strong>WESTON:</strong> I first started to collect Allman Brothers Band memorabilia in the late 1980s. It was driven by my love of the band’s music, which first began in 1971 soon after I heard the band’s <em>At Fillmore East.</em> I began to trade tapes with other tape traders that placed ads in the back section of <em>Relix</em> magazine. Most of the traders at this time were trading Grateful Dead cassette concert tapes, but some were also trading Allman Brothers Band shows. In addition to concert tapes some of the Allman Brothers Band traders were trading posters, handbills, tickets, photos and other ephemera from the band’s early days. When the Allman Brothers Band’s magazine <em>Hittin’ the Note</em> was first published in the early 1990s, I became a subscriber and it had a traders section in it as well which of course fueled the fire.</p> <p><strong>Is there one section or even item in the book that you would like to call special attention to? What are you most proud about?</strong></p> <p><strong>PERKINS:</strong> I am so glad we led off the book with “instruments and musical equipment” because the band was certainly all about the music. I am pleased with the high definition and clarity of the images. Also, Jack and I gave the book design concept to the team Burt &amp; Burt and they delivered exactly what I had in mind. Our publishers Mercer University Press gave us virtually everything we asked for and didn’t edit a single word or image. The colors and concept just pops right off the page.</p> <p><strong>WESTON:</strong> It would have to be Dickey Betts’ 1968 Fender Bassman amplifier, one of the first two purchased by the band in early 1969. It was at first used by Duane Allman, Dickey Betts and Berry Oakley. Then it became Dickey Betts’ stage amp. The band’s first road manager, Twiggs Lyndon, wrote “Allman Bros” and “Dick” on the back panel of the amp in white marker pen. The Lipham Music Co. invoice for this amp’s purchase is also pictured in this chapter showing the amp’s serial number. I learned a great deal after having this amplifier restored to working condition. When I first acquired the amp the two output tubes in it were modern Groove Tubes. These were replaced with a set of original matched 1960’s Fender brand 6L6’s. My friend Skip Simmons of Sacramento, California, did a historical restoration of the amp’s electronics. Only the power supply capacitors needed replacement. All the other active electronics in the amp are vintage original.</p> <p><strong>There are a lot of great and beloved bands but none have their own museum like the Big House. What do you attribute this to?</strong></p> <p><strong>PERKINS:</strong> I give 100 percent credit to the idea of restoring and conserving the Big House to Kirk and Kirsten West. There have been many financial and creative contributions made by countless others, but they had the foresight and love to get the ball rolling. The band inspired a lot of love from a lot of people with the soul, passion and originality of their music. The museum is manned by a great staff and volunteers as well. Nothing like it for any band before or since!</p> <p><strong>WESTON:</strong> The history of the Allman Brothers Band spans over 50 years. As a result, the Allman Brothers Band has a very large and loyal fan base, which encompasses virtually all age groups. From the time the band played free concerts at Piedmont Park in Atlanta until its final concert at the Beacon Theater in 2014, it has always been regarded as “the People’s Band." I can’t recall many other bands having this unique type of fan base other than the Grateful Dead. As you know, the Big House Museum was once the home of the band in the early years. It is not just a museum. It is a home. This unique combination is why the Big House has so many fans coming back year after year to share in the music, culture and legacy of their favorite band.</p> <p><strong>What about the Allman Brothers Band inspires so much passion? </strong></p> <p><strong>WESTON:</strong> To me the passion stems from “The Brotherhood,” which was established early on between the founding band members, their families and the band’s original road crew. In the beginning it was a strong cohesive brotherhood that still exists today amongst the band’s contingent of loyal fans. This passion was inspired early on by founding member Duane Allman, making the musical journey revolutionary as well as evolutionary.</p> <p><strong>Willie, a lot of your tour documents are now in the Big House Archives and were incredibly helpful for me in researching <em>One Way Out.</em> So thanks for that.</strong></p> <p><strong>PERKINS:</strong> I am glad so many of my financial records and other items of interest made it to the Big House Museum, and they will be preserved for current and future fans and historians. I am glad Jack’s and my book will do the same in the printed word and image medium as well.</p> <p><em>Alan Paul is the author of </em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1250040507/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=1250040507&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=alanpaulinchi-20&amp;linkId=YJUWFDQEO6MX5POE" target="_blank">One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band.</a></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/allman-brothers-band">Allman Brothers Band</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/authors-willie-perkins-and-jack-weston-discuss-allman-brothers-band-classic-memorabilia-1969-76/25883#comments Allman Brothers Band Blogs Interviews News Features Tue, 24 Nov 2015 20:46:33 +0000 Alan Paul 25883 at http://www.guitarworld.com Guitar Legends Celebrates 50 Greatest Classic Rock Guitar Songs — with Bonus Instructional DVD http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-legends-celebrates-50-greatest-classic-rock-guitar-songs-bonus-instructional-dvd <!--paging_filter--><p><em>Guitar Legends: 50 Greatest Classic Rock Guitar Songs</em>—including an instructional DVD with tabs—is <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/products/guitar-legends-50-greatest-classic-rock-guitar-songs/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=Legends50ClassicRock">available now at the Guitar World Online Store for only $9.99.</a></p> <p>It's a collection of the best classic rock songs of all-time, from Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Lynyrd Skynyrd, to Nirvana, the Allman Brothers Band and the Eagles!</p> <p>The editors of <em>Guitar World</em>, the world's best-selling guitar magazine, have compiled an entire issue dedicated to the 50 all-time greatest classic rock songs. The issue celebrates the finest of the classic rock anthems. </p> <p>This diverse list not only details every song and artist, but also provides perspective on how each song has influenced musicians. In <em>Guitar Legends: 50 Greatest Classic Rock Guitar Songs</em>, you'll learn everything there is to know about how classic rock impacted the music world.</p> <p>Also included inside the issue: a 60-minute instructional DVD featuring guitar tabs!</p> <p>DVD video lessons on how to play songs from classic rock greats:</p> <p> The Beatles - "I Saw Her Standing There"<br /> The Rolling Stones - "Honky Tonk Women"<br /> Grateful Dead - "Casey Jones" &amp; "Friend of the Devil"</p> <p><strong><a href="<a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/products/guitar-legends-50-greatest-classic-rock-guitar-songs/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=Legends50ClassicRock">">It's available now at the Guitar World Online Store!</a></strong></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/guitar-legends-celebrates-50-greatest-classic-rock-guitar-songs-bonus-instructional-dvd#comments News Features Tue, 24 Nov 2015 16:21:24 +0000 Guitar World Staff 21014 at http://www.guitarworld.com 22 Guitarists, Producers and Gear Makers Reveal Their Tone Secrets http://www.guitarworld.com/22-guitarists-producers-and-gear-makers-reveal-their-tone-secrets/25877 <!--paging_filter--><p>Tone is the Holy Grail for all guitarists. </p> <p>But while Sir Galahad undertook the quest in solitude, it’s rather foolish for today’s guitarists to venture off alone. After all, there are myriad tone junkies who have already made the quest, slain the dragon, grabbed the chalice, and discovered the secrets of great sound. All you have to do is follow in their footsteps. </p> <p>So to help you with your quest for transcendent tone, we assembled a “Round Table” of 50 sonic knights—from famous guitarists and renowned repairmen to manufacturers and engineers—and asked them to share their tips, treatments, and methods. Happy hunting.</p> <p><strong>Visualize</strong><br /> <em>Elliot Easton</em><br /> When you’re attempting to come up with parts and cool sounds, envision the sound you want before you try to create it. I never pick up a guitar until I know exactly what I want to do.</p> <p><strong>Use the Room</strong><br /> <em>George Martin, Producer</em><br /> I’m a great believer in getting the sound right in the studio. If that works, then the rest of it is easy. A room is an instrument, and it affects the other instruments. If you understand what your guitar sound is like “in the raw,” you’ll have a much better idea of how it should be “cooked.”</p> <p><strong>Strip Down</strong><br /> <em>Dave Cell Block, Cell Block 5</em><br /> The old-school punk tone is raw and stripped down—there’s no candy-coated stuff—so stay away from pedals and gadgets. Get a Marshall head, crank it to 10, and plug in a Les Paul. I record with two Marshall half-stacks. One is in a small isolation booth for a compressed sound, and the other is set up in a hallway for natural reverb. The hall sound is brighter and cuts through the mix, while the room sound produces a fat bottom.</p> <p>In the hall, we put a mic behind the cabinet to capture the rumble. When you stand onstage, you hear the cabinet rumbling and that sound should be on tape. Then, a mic is positioned right on the speaker for snap, and another mic is placed 5’ from the front of the cabinet to get the ambience. In the room, we just put one mic right on the speaker.”</p> <p><strong>Optimize Your Guitar</strong><br /> <em>Terry McInturff, Terry C. McInturff Guitars</em><br /> Experienced audio engineers know that it’s essential to have a good source sound to obtain great tones. So guitarists can ensure the best tone for any situation if their sound source—the guitar—is performing to its maximum potential. Locate an experienced luthier who can help you keep your guitar in great shape. Seek recommendations from fellow guitarists in your area, and pay a visit to the luthier’s shop to get a feel for the craftsperson. A luthier who understands your musical requirements and whose shop has a professional vibe and reputation is a good bet. Remember—you are seeking the ideal doctor for your precious guitar. Check references and trust your instincts.</p> <p><strong>Use Your Hands</strong><br /> <em>Fareed Haque, session pro</em><br /> You often can’t depend on amps or rigs for optimum tone production, so learn how to rely on your hands. But first, keep in mind that there is no such thing as “good” tone—the guitar is one of very few instruments that can produce many different tones. An expressive player can use these tones to make the guitar sing. Pick notes all over the neck and listen to how unique each note sounds. Then play one note and vary the tone by plucking closer to, and further away from, the bridge. To vary attack, try picking harder with your pick flat on the string, and softer with the side of the pick.</p> <p>Also, pay attention to how your notes end. Play one note, cut it off suddenly, and then compare that tone with the sound produced when you gently mute the note. Cut notes off with your left hand, your right-hand palm, and your pick, and compare the different effects. You can make notes last longer by messing with the note as it dies away. A real intense, fast vibrato will make a note last longer. Try a classical up-and-down vibrato and a blues-approved side-to-side vibrato at different speeds to see which technique best produces the effect you want.</p> <p><strong>Feed Your Head</strong><br /> <em>Steve Vai</em><br /> Sounding better is mostly in your head. The next time you sit down to play, sit in silence for a few moments and try to imagine how you want to sound. I’m not referring so much to the amp settings or anything technical—I’m referring to the way your fingers hit the strings. Keep that audible image in your mind when you’re playing, and focus to achieve it. It’s also very important to record yourself and listen back with a critical ear. This way, you’ll be able to mold yourself around your own tastes, rather than someone else’s.</p> <p><strong>Use Tube Mics</strong><br /> <em>Sharon Isbin</em><br /> One of the wonderful features of tube microphones is warmth. Tube mics can be used to close-mic acoustic guitars to capture the instrument’s presence, but will not compromise the tone with the brittle high-end often produced by solid-state mics. On my latest release, Dreams of a World—Folk-Inspired Music for Guitar [Teldec Classics International], I used Neumann M149s to capture the lush ambience of the Teldec studio in Berlin. In addition to the close mic, we mounted two other M149s on 10’ poles placed 12’ apart. I was delighted with the clarity, warmth, and resonance that resulted—all of which complimented the sensuous beauty of the music.</p> <p><strong>Fab Feedback I</strong><br /> <em>John Jorgenson, Hellecasters</em><br /> One of the tones I often get asked about is the overdriven, controlled feedback sound on two Hellecaster’s cuts, “Passion” [from <em>The Return of the Hellecasters</em>] and “Son Becomes Father” [from <em>Escape from Hollywood</em>]. On both songs, I used a prototype G&amp;L Comanche that Leo Fender had given me to test in 1989. The combination of the guitar’s Z-shaped pickups, maple body, and two-pivot tremolo made it extremely good for overdriven, saturated tones that would easily move into feedback an octave above the note being played. (This guitar would later be the inspiration for my Fender signature guitar.)</p> <p>I selected the middle/bridge pickup combo, plugged into an old Ibanez Tube Screamer, and ran through the second channel of a Matchless SC30 combo. I cranked the channel volume to two o’clock and turned the master volume to 11 o’clock. This produced a tremendous amount of volume—which is an essential part of the tone. I positioned an AKG C414 about 2” from the speaker—padded down 10dB—and tilted the mic slightly off center from the cone. The signal was then routed to a Neve 1066 preamp (with the EQ flat) and a Manley tube compressor. I sat very near the amp, and actually pushed the headstock into the cabinet to get sympathetic vibrations going through the neck for certain notes. This type of tone and feedback interaction would not be possible with the amp and player in different rooms, as the liveliness of the tone comes from the guitar reacting to the volume of the amp.</p> <p><strong>Mess Up Your Picks</strong><br /> <em>Dan Erlewine, <em>Guitar Player</em> repairs columnist</em><br /> Some of my favorite tones are produced with worn flatpicks. When a flatpick’s edge gets rough, it produces a wonderfully aggressive biting effect similar to a bow being drawn across violin strings. When I really want to make my strings sing, I reach for an old pick. You can reproduce this effect by sanding the pick edges with 220-grit sandpaper, but nothing beats natural pick wear. I’ll also use a common hole punch to create a hole in the center of the pick. This keeps the pick from slipping, turning, or losing position as I’m playing—and I love the feel of my index finger touching the flesh of my thumb.</p> <p><strong>Don’t Read About It!</strong><br /> <em>Dave Navarro </em><br /> Reading a magazine article never helped me play or sound better—playing helped me sound better. An hour or two of practicing in my room has always been more effective and productive than learning what kind of amp Carlos Santana uses.</p> <p><strong>Fab Feedback II</strong><br /> <em>Steve Morse</em><br /> One way to add interest to a ringing chord or long note is to have it feed back along with the note you’re playing—or even an upper harmonic of the note. To do this, you’ll need enough volume from the amp to resonate through the guitar body and its pickups. But the level doesn’t need to be deafening—the secret is not lots of volume, but determining the right distance between the speakers and the guitar. Stand several steps away from the speaker with the input gain cranked—the volume doesn’t need to be any louder than usual—and select the bridge pickup on your guitar. Play each note on your sixth string for several seconds, being sure to cover the other strings with one of your hands so they don’t ring. Do the same thing on the fifth and fourth strings until you find notes that keep feeding back in a useable way—preferably feedback that sustains the note and changes to an upper octave or a fifth above. (Squealing, microphonic feedback means you’ve got way too much volume.)</p> <p>Once you’ve identified a ringing note, move further away from the speaker to get a lower-pitch note to sound, and closer to get a higher note. Remember the spot, or mark it with a small piece of tape. I use this technique every time I play “Perfect Strangers” with Deep Purple so that I can get the D chords to sustain with feedback, and I also use it for the G chords in “Highway Star.”</p> <p><strong>Blend Amp Tones</strong><br /> <em>John Connolly, Sevendust</em><br /> Tone comes from three things that you can’t buy in a music store: your right hand, your left hand, and volume. If your tone is lacking, turn up your volume! (Your neighbors will love it.) In the studio, I run through two amps: a Marshall JCM 2000 TSL and a Marshall Valvestate 100-watt stereo chorus (with the chorus off). The tube amp gives me warmth—which works great for taming the sharp mids of some digital effects—and the solid-state amp provides a very clippy, chunky, and tight low end. For a massively heavy low end, I’ll run my Rocktron Replifex one octave down and use a DigiTech Whammy to go two octaves down. When you hit the bottom with stacked octaves like that you really start moving some air—you have to be very careful how hard you pick when using this many octaves because a heavy hand will produce a muddy mess. I used this technique on Home to get the low G# one octave lower than the bass.</p> <p><strong>Follow the Song</strong><br /> <em>Mike Turner, Our Lady Peace</em><br /> The first concern of any guitarist should always be the song. The song will dictate the part, and the part will dictate the tone, so pay attention! After that, the most important things are to play in time, play in tune, and play musically. People tend to overlook these three simple things in the search for the ultimate tone. At some point in a tonal obsession, you become more of an engineer than a guitar player. You’re there to play guitar, so just use your ears and do it.</p> <p><strong>Compile Licks</strong><br /> <em>Reeves Gabrels, David Bowie</em><br /> At the start of a project, I like to make a DAT compilation of tones, sounds, riffs, and stuff that others might consider throwaway guitar junk. Then, if I feel a track needs a curveball, I’ll sample some stuff off the DAT, play it on a keyboard, and see if I can get that dog to hunt. The opening riff for “Little Wonder” [from David Bowie’s Earthling] was exactly that: three E notes with different vibratos, played on a Parker guitar through a Mesa/Boogie V-Twin. The notes were sampled and played on a keyboard—but not in their original octaves. This made for a distinctive sound that hung more with the drum ’n’ bass vibe we were into back in ’96. Learning how to play that riff live was a real bitch—a helpful, rut-busting lesson. Sampling yourself is a great way to learn about your playing.</p> <p><strong>Punch In</strong><br /> <em>Marty Friedman</em><br /> On “Time, the Beginning” [from Risk], I struck a note before the machine was recording, and punched in and out of Record before I let go of the note. Then I rewound the tape past the note that was just recorded, held the next note, and punched it in so that it overlapped the previously recorded note. I continued until I had a long string of notes with no attack that seemed to connect seamlessly and beautifully. This technique is great for creating backing guitar parts that add a spooky, lyrical guitar vibe to a song.</p> <p><strong>Don’t Over-Refine</strong><br /> <em>David Torn</em><br /> While it’s valuable and necessary to go through phases where you attempt to emulate your favorite player’s tone, if you spend an inordinate amount of time over-refining your sound in order to precisely emulate someone else’s, it’s likely that you’ll wind up scraping away your most personalized sonic scars, blemishes, bumps, and warts. In the long run, those deleted bits might have been your defining musical personality traits. In other words: If it’s broke—but you think it could be good—don’t fix it! Your guitar tone plays a relational role with your music, so don’t be afraid to use thin, weedy, grotty, bulbous, degraded, viscous, harsh, sickly sweet tones if they suit the overall gestalt of the music. Play (and process) from your heart, and use any available brain waves as support.</p> <p><strong>Find the Right Partner </strong><br /> <em>Leni Stern</em><br /> First, find a guitar that you love. One that sounds great with and without an amp, and that makes you feel like playing forever. Second, learn one of J.S. Bach’s violin sonatas and play it really legato—let the notes overlap and find fingerings that make it possible to produce a continuous flow of sound. Finally, start your day by playing one note and making it sustain as long as possible. Use vibrato—like sax players and singers—until you start hearing a sound that is yours alone.</p> <p><strong>Swap Preamp Tubes</strong><br /> <em>Mark Baier, Victoria Amplifier Co.</em><br /> While most guitarists are aware of the influence that power tubes have on amplifier performance, many overlook the importance of preamp tubes. Proper preamp tube selection is critical to bringing out the best in your amp. Take some time and acquaint yourself with the sonic nuances of different brands of tubes in the same tube family. For instance, there are dozens of different brands and vintages of 12AX7s available. By learning the sonic characteristics of these variants, you will be able to better calibrate your amplifier for your specific needs.</p> <p>Often, swapping the modern Russian or Chinese 12AX7s found in most new amps with quality NOS (new, old stock) varieties can turn a bland-sounding amp into something much more musical and intuitive. Start by swapping tubes in one socket only—preferably the first input tube—and listen carefully to a familiar lick or chord progression. You’ll be surprised at the contribution this one tube can make. And don’t overlook the tubes in your rack gear or tube-driven footpedals. The next time you get a jones to spend $300 for a pair of RCA Blackplates or Mullard EL34s, remember the same money can buy a dozen or more quality NOS “peanut” tubes.</p> <p><strong>Kill the Reverb</strong><br /> <em>Brent Mason, session pro</em><br /> One thing live players have a tough time doing when they get into the studio is turning off the reverb. (I had to go to reverbaholics anonymous!) Reverb can mask your sound so that it doesn’t cut through the track enough to really pop—and once you track with reverb, it can’t be removed. Your parts will jump out a lot better if you cut them dry.</p> <p><strong>Flip the Pick</strong><br /> <em>Craig Chaquico </em><br /> Use the round edge, instead of the pointy part of your pick, to get a fatter tone for solos. This is the opposite of getting high, harmonic squeals from the pick and finger, and the technique works best with heavy-gauge picks and strings. (I prefer the sound of Jim Dunlop Polycarbonate Gel picks and Dean Markley medium-gauge Blue Steel Cryogenic strings.) You can experiment with finding different sweet spots on the pick, and for a little more attack, you can score little grooves in the rounded part of the pick with a file or razor blade. I’ve used this pick trick on both electric and acoustic solos, but the technique can really be heard on the solo for “Jane” [from Jefferson Starship’s <em>Freedom at Point Zero</em>].</p> <p><strong>Get Your Own Power</strong><br /> <em>Eric Johnson</em><br /> For optimum amp tone onstage, plug your amp into your own AC outlet. Plugging into common power strips with other band members will be destructive to the even harmonics of your amp sound—especially if synths and computer gear are sharing the strip. For safety reasons, however, it’s still best to stay on the same circuit as the other players.</p> <p><strong>Get Weird</strong><br /> <em>Buckethead</em><br /> In the track “Jowls” [from <em>Monsters and Robots</em>], the “chandelier” scrape at the beginning of the song is achieved with the trusty Roland SE-50 set to produce two pitches descending and two pitches ascending, thus creating the sound of four minor seconds. No delay was used, the level of harmony was 100 percent on each note, and the volume levels of the actual note and the processed harmonies were equal. Save me the slunk!</p> http://www.guitarworld.com/22-guitarists-producers-and-gear-makers-reveal-their-tone-secrets/25877#comments News Features Tue, 24 Nov 2015 15:13:09 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25877 at http://www.guitarworld.com Best Holiday Rock Song Poll: "2000 Miles" (Pretenders) Vs. "Christmas Wrapping" (The Waitresses) http://www.guitarworld.com/holiday-song-poll-day-2/25859 <!--paging_filter--><p>It's that special, joyful time of year once again: GuitarWorld.com readers' poll season!</p> <p>This year, we've decided to spread some musical holiday cheer in the form of our first-ever "Best Holiday Rock Song" readers' poll.</p> <p>It's a chance for all those classic-rock holiday favorites (think of the Kinks' "Father Christmas" and/or Greg Lake's "I Believe in Father Christmas") to go head to head against each other, not to mention several much more recent—and possibly harder-rocking entries—in a festive, friendly showdown.</p> <p>With the help of several members of the <em>Guitar World</em> staff, we've selected 32 of our favorite holiday rock songs—and we're asking you to vote for your favorites. You can see the complete 32-song bracket near the bottom of this story. </p> <p>Songs include <strong>Keith Richards'</strong> version of "Run Rudolph Run," <strong>John Lennon's</strong> "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)," <strong>Billy Squier's</strong> "Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You," <strong>AC/DC's</strong> "Mistress for Christmas," <strong>Adam Sandler's</strong> "The Chanukah Song," <strong>Queen's</strong> "Thank God It’s Christmas," <strong>Spinal Tap's</strong> "Christmas with the Devil," <strong>Bruce Springsteen's</strong> "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," <strong>Pretenders'</strong> "2000 Miles," <strong>the Waitresses'</strong> "Christmas Wrapping," <strong>Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers'</strong> "Christmas All Over Again," <strong>Korn's</strong> "Kidnap the Sandy Claws" and many more.</p> <p>We'll be a sharing a new matchup every day, right into late December, including weekends. so get your voting fingers ready!</p> <p><em>Enjoy our first Best Holiday Rock Song readers' poll, which is sponsored by <a href="http://www.bossus.com/" target="_blank">Boss</a>!</em></p> <h1>Today's Matchup</h1> <p><span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">“2000 Miles," the Pretenders</span></p> <p>Here's one of the only holiday songs in this competition that doesn't have anything remotely holiday related in its title. It's an emotional classic from 1995.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/OxCSo_cJ9mY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">“Christmas Wrapping," the Waitresses</span></p> <p>Yes, I forgot cranberries too! This infectious track—from the band that "knows what boys like"—never gets old. And be sure to check out its killer bass line by Tracy Wormworth! </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nud2TQNahaU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /></p> <h1>Vote Now!</h1> <p>The polls are closed! "Christmas Wrapping" by the Waitresses has advanced to the next round.</p> <h1>Behold the Latest Bracket!</h1> <p style=" margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;"> <a title="View New on Scribd" href="https://www.scribd.com/doc/290976098/New" style="text-decoration: underline;" >New</a></p> <p><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" src="https://www.scribd.com/embeds/290976098/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;show_recommendations=true" data-auto-height="false" data-aspect-ratio="undefined" scrolling="no" id="doc_48644" width="100%" height="400" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <h1>How the Bracket Was Compiled</h1> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/hat.jpg" width="225" height="186" align="left" style="padding:10px 20px 10px 0;" alt="hat.jpg" /></p> <p>Here's how the bracket was—very unscientifically—compiled.</p> <p>We drew the songs' names out of a hat (It was, in fact, a Quebec Nordiques baseball cap, which is called a <em>casquette</em> in Quebec) to help us create our bracket, which is available for your viewing pleasure below. Obviously, none of these songs are ranked or come from a previously compiled list, so we chose purely random matchups to have as little impact as possible on the final outcome.</p> <p>Remember that, as with any poll, genre might occasionally clash against genre, so you'll just need to decide which song has (or has had) the most to offer within its genre.</p> <p>As always, you can vote only once per matchup (once per device, that is), and we'll be posting matchups pretty much every day of the month, sometimes more than once per day, just to give you an early warning. <em>Merci!</em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/pretenders">Pretenders</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/holiday-song-poll-day-2/25859#comments Best Holiday Rock Song Poll Pretenders The Waitresses Tracy Wormworth News Features Tue, 24 Nov 2015 13:26:30 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25859 at http://www.guitarworld.com Song Facts: The Beatles — "Get Back" http://www.guitarworld.com/song-facts-beatles-get-back <!--paging_filter--><p>The Beatles' 19th single in Britain—"Get Back," backed with "Don't Let Me Down"—was released April 11, 1969, so the song was already well known when the <em>Let It Be</em> album was released a year later. </p> <p>However, the single version (available on <em>Past Masters</em>) was recorded January 28, 1969 (as was "Don't Let Me Down"), while the album version was recorded the previous day—and it shows. The single version is more powerful, and the band attacks it with a bit more confidence, perhaps the result of giving the tune an extra night to sink in. </p> <p>Other differences are the result of mixing; the single version (3:11), which benefits from a healthy dose of reverb, starts off cold and features nothing but pure Beatles-style R&amp;B, fading out after some extended jamming and riffing by Paul McCartney ("Your mama's waiting for ya, wearing her high-heel shoes and her low-neck sweater"). </p> <p>The album version opens with some January 27 studio chatter (including John Lennon's "Sweet Loretta Fart, she thought she was a cleaner, but she was a frying pan" parody) and ends with a snippet of the January 30 rooftop performance, with Lennon hoping the band had "passed the audition."</p> <p>Both versions feature Lennon playing lead guitar, getting a pleasing P90 tone out of his sanded-down Epiphone Casino; George Harrison on his custom-built rosewood Telecaster and McCartney on a Hofner 500/1, most likely his 1963 model. Both versions also feature brilliant playing by longtime Beatle friend Billy Preston, a recent Apple Records signing and true professional who melded quickly with his new, albeit temporary, band mates.</p> <p>The song's chorus was initially inspired by the plight of Kenyan Asian refugees who were bound for Britain; the phrase "get back" wasn't meant in earnest, however; it was McCartney's satirical comment on the resulting racism brewing in Britain.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bB_99TDwCVk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/268p-BoyhfY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beatles">The Beatles</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/paul-mccartney">Paul McCartney</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/john-lennon">John Lennon</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/george-harrison">George Harrison</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/song-facts-beatles-get-back#comments 2011 Damian Fanelli George Harrison GWLinotte Holiday 2011 John Lennon Paul McCartney Ringo Starr The Beatles Holiday Videos Blogs Features Magazine Mon, 23 Nov 2015 17:53:43 +0000 Damian Fanelli 14110 at http://www.guitarworld.com The Gretsch Electric Guitar Book: 60 Years of White Falcons, 6120s, Jets, Gents and More http://www.guitarworld.com/gretsch-electric-guitar-book-60-years-white-falcons-6120s-jets-gents-and-more <!--paging_filter--><p>Tony Bacon's new book, <em><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/products/the-gretsch-electric-guitar-book/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=GretschElectricGuitar">The Gretsch Electric Guitar Book: 60 Years of White Falcons, 6120s, Jets, Gents and More,</a></em> is available now at the Guitar World Online Store for $29.99.</p> <p>Gretsch guitars have a style all their own: a glitzy, wacky, retro charm that over the years has drawn players from all kinds of popular music, from timeless stars to unknown teens. </p> <p>The Beatles, Chet Atkins, Duane Eddy and Brian Setzer all made their mark with Gretsch, and new bands continually discover and fall in love with the Falcons, Gents, 6120s, Jets and the rest.</p> <p><em>The Gretsch Electric Guitar Book</em> comes right up to the present, including Gretsch's alliance to the powerful Fender company, a move that has done wonders for the reliability and playability of the modern Gretsch axe. </p> <p>Every great model is here, but the book also tells the story of the lesser-known guitars and the projects that almost never happened. There are archival and fresh interviews with Gretsch personnel over the years and with many leading Gretsch players, including Chet Atkins, Billy Duffy, Duane Eddy and Brian Setzer.</p> <p>In the tradition of Tony Bacon's best-selling series of guitar books, his updated and revised story of Gretsch is three great volumes in one: a compendium of luscious pictures of the coolest guitars; a gripping story from early exploits to the most recent developments; and a detailed collector's guide to every production electric Gretsch model ever made.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com/products/the-gretsch-electric-guitar-book/?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=GretschElectricGuitar">Head to the Guitar World Online Store now!</a></strong></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/gretsch-electric-guitar-book-60-years-white-falcons-6120s-jets-gents-and-more#comments Gretsch News Features Mon, 23 Nov 2015 17:45:06 +0000 Guitar World Staff 24593 at http://www.guitarworld.com Best Holiday Rock Song Poll: "I Believe in Father Christmas" (Greg Lake) Vs. “Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You" (Billy Squier) http://www.guitarworld.com/holiday-song-poll-day-1/25858 <!--paging_filter--><p>It's that special, joyful time of year once again: GuitarWorld.com readers' poll season!</p> <p>This year, we've decided to spread some musical holiday cheer in the form of our first-ever "Best Holiday Rock Song" readers' poll.</p> <p>It's a chance for all those classic-rock holiday favorites (think of the Kinks' "Father Christmas" and/or Greg Lake's "I Believe in Father Christmas") to go head to head against each other, not to mention several much more recent—and possibly harder-rocking entries—in a festive, friendly showdown.</p> <p>With the help of several members of the <em>Guitar World</em> staff, we've selected 32 of our favorite holiday rock songs—and we're asking you to vote for your favorites. You can see the complete 32-song bracket near the bottom of this story. </p> <p>Songs include <strong>Keith Richards'</strong> version of "Run Rudolph Run," <strong>John Lennon's</strong> "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)," <strong>Billy Squier's</strong> "Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You," <strong>AC/DC's</strong> "Mistress for Christmas," <strong>Adam Sandler's</strong> "The Chanukah Song," <strong>Queen's</strong> "Thank God It’s Christmas," <strong>Spinal Tap's</strong> "Christmas with the Devil," <strong>Bruce Springsteen's</strong> "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," <strong>the Pretenders'</strong> "2000 Miles," <strong>the Waitresses'</strong> "Christmas Wrapping," <strong>Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers'</strong> "Christmas All Over Again," <strong>Korn's</strong> "Kidnap the Sandy Claws" and many more.</p> <p>We'll be a sharing a new matchup every day, right into late December, including weekends. so get your voting fingers ready!</p> <p><em>Enjoy our first Best Holiday Rock Song readers' poll, which is sponsored by <a href="http://www.bossus.com/" target="_blank">Boss</a>!</em></p> <h1>Today's Matchup</h1> <p><span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">“I Believe in Father Christmas," Greg Lake</span></p> <p>As one third of Seventies prog-rock trio Emerson Lake and Palmer, Greg Lake wrote and sang such classics as “Lucky Man” and “Still, You Turn Me On." A young Lake believes in Father Christmas.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JPm6CheT6rs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">“Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You," Billy Squier</span></p> <p>Scoring massive hits in the early Eighties with “The Stroke," “Lonely Is the Night” and “Everybody Wants You," Billy Squier was, briefly, rock’s shining light. In this classic video, he stops by MTV to spread some holiday cheer. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QPf2snTB2wo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /></p> <h1>Vote Now!</h1> <p>The polls are closed! "I Believe in Father Christmas" (Greg Lake) has advanced to the next round.</p> <h1>Behold the Latest Bracket!</h1> <p style=" margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;"> <a title="View Holiday 01 on Scribd" href="https://www.scribd.com/doc/290746052/Holiday-01" style="text-decoration: underline;" >Holiday 01</a></p> <p><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" src="https://www.scribd.com/embeds/290746052/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;show_recommendations=true" data-auto-height="false" data-aspect-ratio="undefined" scrolling="no" id="doc_63551" width="100%" height="400" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <h1>How the Bracket Was Compiled</h1> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/hat.jpg" width="225" height="186" align="left" style="padding:10px 20px 10px 0;" alt="hat.jpg" /></p> <p>Here's how the bracket was—very unscientifically—compiled.</p> <p>We drew the songs' names out of a hat (It was, in fact, a Quebec Nordiques baseball cap, which is called a <em>casquette</em> in Quebec) to help us create our bracket, which is available for your viewing pleasure below. Obviously, none of these songs are ranked or come from a previously compiled list, so we chose purely random matchups to have as little impact as possible on the final outcome.</p> <p>Remember that, as with any poll, genre might occasionally clash against genre, so you'll just need to decide which song has (or has had) the most to offer within its genre.</p> <p>As always, you can vote only once per matchup (once per device, that is), and we'll be posting matchups pretty much every day of the month, sometimes more than once per day, just to give you an early warning. <em>Merci!</em></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/holiday-song-poll-day-1/25858#comments Best Holiday Rock Song Billy Squier Greg Lake Poll News Features Mon, 23 Nov 2015 13:11:22 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25858 at http://www.guitarworld.com Weird Science: The 10 Strangest Vintage Effects of All Time http://www.guitarworld.com/weird-science-10-strangest-vintage-effects-all-time <!--paging_filter--><p>It’s probably not a coincidence that effects such as wah pedals and fuzz boxes started appearing en masse about the same time that recreational drugs like marijuana and LSD became popular with rock musicians. </p> <p>Indeed, it would take the mind of an incredibly stoned individual—someone deprived of exposure to the sun’s rays, fed a diet of lukewarm Mountain Dew and stale frozen pizza and kept awake for days by snorting lines of Instant Maxwell House—to even conceive of the idea for some of the music industry’s many audio oddities. </p> <p>In salute to effect innovators like Electro-Harmonix’s Mike Matthews and Zachary Vex of Z.Vex (both of whom might be as straight and unpolluted as an Iowa highway, for all we know), we present to you our selections for the strangest and most wonderful guitar effects ever unleashed upon the unsuspecting public. </p> <p>Plugging into one of the following effects is like discovering an ancient Mayan city of gold on the tip of your fingernail while your cat pontificates, in Lebanese, about Proust. Or whacking yourself in the head really hard with a sledgehammer. </p> <p>To find out more about these pedals (and hear more audio examples), check out <a href="http://www.effectsdatabase.com/" target="_blank">Discofreq’s FX Site</a> or <a href="http://tonefrenzy.com/" target="_blank">Tonefrenzy.com</a>. If you’d like to take a crack at building your own, visit <a href="http://www.diystompboxes.com/wpress/" target="_blank">DIYstompboxes.com</a>. </p> <p>Note that, since it's unusual to come across two or three of these effects, let alone all 10, we do not have consistent photos or videos of the effects presented below. Luckily, there's this thing called YouTube.com. We tried to find the most to-the-point and least-annoying video for each effect. (We admit we really love the video for Number 5, the Maestro Rover!)</p> <p>Enjoy!</p> <div style="padding:10px;background:#eeeeee;margin:10px 0;"> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;margin-bottom:20px;">01. Ludwig Phase II synthesizer</span> <p>What could possibly be weirder than a guitar synthesizer pedal made in the early Seventies by a drum company? Like many so-called guitar synthesizers from this era, the Ludwig Phase II is not a synth but actually several effects, including fuzz, voltage-controlled filters and gating, combined in a box that unfolds to reveal a rocker pedal, several oversized mushroom-shaped footswitches and a control panel placed at a height only Verne Troyer would find comfortable. </p> <p>With a little patient tweaking, the Phase II can produce the sound of anything from alien conversations to spaceship landings—the kind of weirdness that’s made it a favorite of Sonic Youth (<em>Washing Machine</em>), Primus’ Larry Lalonde (<em>Pork Soda</em>) and Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready (<em>Binaural</em>).</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ikraEyAaBFA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p></div> <div style="padding:10px;background:#eeeeee;margin:10px 0;"> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">02. Ampeg Scrambler</span> <p>Ampeg is best known for its big ’n’ beefy bass amps, but the company also attempted to exploit the pedal market in a few rare instances. Ampeg’s first effort, the Scrambler, bewildered even acid casualties upon its introduction in 1969, but today’s bizarro stomp box aficionados consider it the Holy Grail. Although these pedals are rarer than Paris Hilton’s brain cells, they were built to withstand nuclear war, so units that turn up are usually in fine working condition. Its two controls (texture and balance) generate a mutated rainbow of fuzz tones ranging from metallic ring modulation with buzzing octave-up overtones to the flatulence of a 400-pound chili cook-off judge.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/JYpuXHqSFpM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p></div> <div style="padding:10px;background:#eeeeee;margin:10px 0;"> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">03. DeArmond Tremolo Control</span> <p>Tremolo effects aren’t particularly strange, but this early Fifties contraption, the first mass-produced external effect device for the electric guitar, earns distinction for its primitive design and clunky aesthetics. (And it was manufactured in Toledo, Ohio—isn’t that weird?) Instead of employing components like transistors, resistors and diodes to generate its on/off effect, the Tremolo Control used a motor to rock a glass tube filled with mercury (the original heavy metal) back and forth across an electrical contact to open and close the circuit. Unfortunately, mercury deteriorates over time, but Windex makes a safe alternative (and it provides “clean” tone). This effect is a favorite of Billy Gibbons, Ry Cooder and Duane Eddy.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/smzp6LsPKTc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p></div> <div style="padding:10px;background:#eeeeee;margin:10px 0;"> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">04. EMS Synthi Hi-Fli</span> <p>Another so-called guitar synthesizer from the Seventies, the EMS Synthi Hi-Fli was mounted on a waist-high stand and looked like a prop from <em>Dr. Who</em> (EMS actually made the synths used to create sound effects for the show). Originally (and appropriately) called the Sound Freak, the Hi-Fli was essentially an early multi-effect unit that combined fuzz, octave shift, ring modulation, phasing and resonant filters to generate synthlike tones. David Gilmour used a Synthi Hi-Fli on <em>The Dark Side of the Moon</em>, and other fans include Steve Hackett (when he was with Genesis) and the Chemical Brothers.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/nwdUWAzBQbs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p></div> <div style="padding:10px;background:#eeeeee;margin:10px 0;"> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">05. Maestro Rover</span> <p>Someone must have spiked the water coolers at Maestro with Blue Sunshine—how else to explain sonic oddities like Maestro’s Bass Brassmaster, Filter Sample and Hold, Ring Modulator and the world’s first fuzz box? The Maestro Rover is a rotating speaker unit that not only looks like a UFO but sounds like one, too, as the speaker can rotate at exceptionally high speeds to create watery, warbling Doppler effects. A built-in crossover routes low frequencies to a guitar amp while it directs treble frequencies to the Rover’s rather low-powered internal amp, which isn’t loud enough to irk even a Ladies’ Auxiliary tea party. That’s why David Gilmour’s Rover is, uh, house trained.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/FDxESYBw2YE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p></div> <div style="padding:10px;background:#eeeeee;margin:10px 0;"> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">06. Electro-Harmonix Frequency Analyzer/Maestro Ring Modulator</span> <p>You know those bizarre, dissonant metallic boinks on ZZ Top’s “Cheap Sunglasses” and the closing theme of <em>South Park</em>? That’s the sound of a ring modulator. Electro-Harmonix and Maestro unleashed this atonal beast of an effect on unsuspecting musicians during the early Seventies, and guitarists have been struggling to tame them ever since. By moving the controls while you play (the EHX Hotfoot makes a handy “third hand”), you can imitate the sounds of extraterrestrial radio transmissions, drunken calypso steel drummers and screaming robot elephants. Who hasn’t wanted their guitar to sound like that?</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/XrJ-2_qk9zM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p></div> <div style="padding:10px;background:#eeeeee;margin:10px 0;"> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">07. ADA Flanger</span> <p>One of the finest pedal flangers ever made, the ADA Flanger generates a wide variety of impressive effects, from jetlike whooshes to shimmering chorus. But spend a little extra time tweaking the controls and some truly bizarre sounds emerge, such as ring modulator–like percussive metal overtones and ghostly moans. Its best (i.e., weirdest) effect is a sort of “auto whammy” that is coaxed out of the pedal by turning the enhance control all the way up. Engage the effect and your guitar’s pitch will rise and fall dramatically and uncontrollably, even if you aren’t playing anything at all. How cool is that?</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/SBJDTPL-RZ0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </p></div> <div style="padding:10px;background:#eeeeee;margin:10px 0;"> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">08. Roland Funny Cat</span> <p>Perhaps the most appropriately named pedal of all time, the Roland Funny Cat sounds like a feline that has huffed a spray can of Rust-Oleum and downed a bottle of Jäger—and is being whipped. Kind of a fuzz/envelope-follower combination, the Funny Cat spews and mews unpredictably, with the effect often becoming more pronounced the softer, or the higher up the neck, you play. Considering how hard it was to get killer buds (an essential part of good pedal design) in Japan during the early Seventies, the Roland engineer who designed this probably smoked a lot of catnip instead.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/MY33v7c_tD4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p></div> <div style="padding:10px;background:#eeeeee;margin:10px 0;"> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">09. Oberheim Voltage Controlled Filter/Maestro Filter Sample and Hold</span> <p>These pedals are identical in every way except for their paint jobs. Controls consist of knobs for range (depth) and sample-and-hold speed, and a switch that engages either the sample-and-hold random-filter effect or an envelope follower, for autowah effects. Even with this limited feature set, the pedals can generate a surprisingly vast palette of strange but wonderful tones, ranging from juicy, drippy envelope-follower funk to guttural auto-arpeggiator stutters. Frank Zappa used one on “Ship Ahoy,” “Black Napkins” and several other songs, so if it’s weird enough for the man who wrote “Poofter’s Froth Wyoming Plans Ahead,” it’s certainly weird enough for you.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/W_ZDsQbBSlQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p></div> <div style="padding:10px;background:#eeeeee;margin:10px 0;"> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">10. Electro-Harmonix Talking Pedal </span> <p>While honorable mention must be made to the Heil Talk Box (which provides guitarists with a tube that they stick in their mouths to duplicate the sound of a stomach being pumped and other barfy delights), the Electro-Harmonix Talking Pedal enables your guitar to speak through purely electronic means. Actually, it only produces “A-E-I-O-U” vowel sounds, but it does give a guitar an uncanny vocal-like tonality that is reminiscent of Yoda speaking Cantonese. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/38tDo_1O0uk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p></div> http://www.guitarworld.com/weird-science-10-strangest-vintage-effects-all-time#comments GW Archive Guitar World Lists Videos Effects News Features Gear Magazine Fri, 20 Nov 2015 15:07:08 +0000 Chris Gill 17446 at http://www.guitarworld.com Joe Walsh: "You Have to Play in Front of People; Even if You Suck at It at First, You Have to Do It" http://www.guitarworld.com/joe-walsh-you-have-go-out-and-play-front-people-even-if-you-suck-it-first-you-have-do-it <!--paging_filter--><p><em>From the GW archive: The story was originally published in the August 2012 issue of </em>Guitar World<em>. The legendary guitarist discusses his first song, first guitar, first show and more.</em></p> <p><strong>What inspired you to start playing guitar?</strong></p> <p>I had first played other instruments growing up. I had lessons on several instruments, and I knew I was musical because I heard music in my head a lot. </p> <p>But the guitar was the first instrument that I could really express myself with. I found that it was the best vehicle I had to get what was inside my head out of it and into somebody’s ears. And when I heard the Beatles while I was in high school, it was inspirational to me. I wanted to be like them, so I took up the guitar as well. </p> <p><strong>What was your first guitar?</strong></p> <p>It was a Silvertone acoustic that we ordered when I was 10 years old from the catalog of the mail-order company Sears Roebuck. It cost about $30. Let me tell you, when that thing finally arrived in the mail, after waiting for it for three weeks, I was on top of the world. And though I couldn’t yet play anything, it was the coolest thing.</p> <p><strong>What was the first song you learned?</strong></p> <p>It was the Ventures song “Walk, Don’t Run,” and it was the first song where I realized that playing guitar was all I wanted to do. And I learned the rhythm part, the lead part, the bass part and everything. I learned every note of that song.</p> <p><strong>Do you remember your first time onstage?</strong></p> <p>Yes, I was 12 and in ninth grade, and it was at a school assembly. I had learned to play stuff on the top four strings of the guitar, more like a ukulele, but I learned enough to be able to play a song, and I had a friend who played trumpet, so it was me on guitar and him on trumpet. It probably sounded horrible, and I remember being absolutely petrified. I eventually became more confident onstage, but I never forgot that first experience.</p> <p><strong>Ever had an embarrassing onstage moment?</strong></p> <p>I have had many. Everything that you think can happen has happened to me somewhere along the way—from totally forgetting the words to tripping on a guitar cord and falling down onstage to blowing up my amp a couple of times. And once that happens, you’re done for the night!</p> <p><strong>What is your favorite piece of gear?</strong></p> <p>I always come back to my 1958 Les Paul “Goldtop” and a 1956 Fender Stratocaster. They were two of the first electric guitars ever designed, and I am not sure anybody has topped them in all these years.</p> <p><strong>Got any advice for young players?</strong></p> <p>You have to go out and play in front of people; even if you suck at it at first, you have to do it. For anybody going onstage the first time, it can be a terrifying experience, and it can be so scary that they never go again. But you have to do it a couple times before you can make your mind up.</p> <p><em>Photo: Ross Halfin</em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/joe-walsh">Joe Walsh</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/eagles">Eagles</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/joe-walsh-you-have-go-out-and-play-front-people-even-if-you-suck-it-first-you-have-do-it#comments August 2012 Eagles GW Archive Inquirer Joe Walsh The Eagles 2012 Interviews Features Magazine Fri, 20 Nov 2015 14:36:35 +0000 Joe Matera 16624 at http://www.guitarworld.com 10 Classic Guitar Solos That Use 10 Classic Effects http://www.guitarworld.com/10-great-effects-solos/25845 <!--paging_filter--><p>What would Eric Clapton's classic "White Room" guitar solo be without that meaty, ubiquitous wah effect? </p> <p>What if Slowhand had decided to opt for heavy tremolo or tape delay instead?</p> <p>Of course, that issue is moot. Because, instead of these pointless questions, what we have instead is a timeless, iconic guitar solo on timeless track by a bona fide guitar god.</p> <p>But seriously, just how much does the stompbox or processor chosen by a guitarist for a particular solo influence how that solo is perceived or enjoyed by the listener? Certainly there's some logic when choosing an effect; tremolo won't do your fast hammer-ons any justice, for instance, and a crunchy overdrive can truly turn your high notes into, well, mush.</p> <p>A well-chosen effect for the guitar solo, however, can wind up being as important as a song's lyrics, vocals, beat and chord structure. Take Peter Frampton's "Do You Feel Like We Do." The song is synonymous with the talk box Frampton used on the extended solo.</p> <p>Here are 10 songs that offer the same experience; 10 songs made special, classic or, dare we say "iconic" by the effect chosen for the guitar solo. By the way, we've left out Cream's "White Room," so feel free to consider that the 11th song. Enjoy!<br /> <br /><br /> <strong>"Flight of the Bumble Bee," Extreme</strong> </p> <p>Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt is one talented dude. By using a short delay repeat time on a Boss DD-3 pedal, Bettencourt tackles “Flight of the Bumble Bee” with a veracity and nimbleness seldom seen today. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/mJvG1i79CPc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>"Do You Feel Like We Do," Peter Frampton</strong></p> <p>While <em>Frampton Comes Alive</em> catapulted Peter Frampton to stardom in 1976, it was this performance on <em>Midnight Special</em> a year earlier that introduced the masses to this gifted guitarist (as a solo artist, at least), <a href="http://www.guitarworld.com/interview-peter-frampton-talks-talk-boxes-and-recording-george-harrison-all-things-must-pass">and also where Frampton debuted his talk box.</a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/y7rFYbMhcG8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>"The Man Who Sold the World," Nirvana</strong></p> <p>This David Bowie cover, pulled from Nirvana’s classic <em>MTV Unplugged</em> show, was revered for its laid-back vibe and melodic appeal. Kurt Cobain used the Boss DS-1 pedal on the lead riff and solo and also was known to use the Boss DS-2. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fregObNcHC8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>"Brighton Rock," Queen</strong></p> <p>Leading off Queen’s third album, <em>Sheer Heart Attack,</em> is the hard-charging “Brighton Rock,” which showcases Brian May’s breakthrough tape echo delay in full force. May is known for building his own guitar, “the Red Special,” with his dad and often employed repeated delays to go along with his signature sound.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Gqgap2i-Lgo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>"Killing in the Name Of," Rage Against the Machine</strong></p> <p>This standout rap/rock offering introduced the world to RATM and guitarist Tom Morello. Using the original DigiTech Whammy, Morello tremolo-picked an unforgettable and unique solo that achieved otherwise-impossible pitch-shifted bends. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7Zb_Ma7fJNw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>"Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)," Jimi Hendrix</strong></p> <p>The wah pedal wouldn’t be what it is today if it weren’t for Jimi Hendrix’s usage on “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)." The Vox Clyde McCoy Wah is featured prominently throughout this well-known Hendrix classic. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9irsg1vBmq0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>"Eruption," Van Halen</strong></p> <p>The guitar industry owes a lot of gratitude to Eddie Van Halen for creating a worldwide market for new effects and guitar sounds. “Eruption,” with some help from the MXR Phase 90 pedal, became arguably the most recognizable guitar solo in rock history, lengthened here in this early Eighties concert clip.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/z_lwocmL9dQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>"Cliffs of Dover," Eric Johnson</strong></p> <p>Eric Johnson rose to guitar prominence in the mid-Eighties, thanks to “Cliffs of Dover." Johnson used fuzz and reverb to get his unmistakable sound that complimented his eclectic, melodic style. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/15eu7ar5EKM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>"Fool in the Rain," Led Zeppelin</strong> </p> <p>A highlight of Led Zeppelin’s final proper studio album, <em>In Through the Out Door,”</em> “Fool in the Rain” was a radio success story that included a very interesting fuzz-laden, octave-below guitar solo by Jimmy Page. Page added an MXR Blue Box to add color and depth to this uncharacteristic Led Zep track. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RFBHYRpA1LY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> <strong>"She Sells Sanctuary," the Cult</strong> </p> <p>The Cult guitarist Billy Duffy captures a very warm, spacey sound on the breakthrough hit, “She Sells Sanctuary." Using a combination of a Boss Flanger, Analog Delay and Chorus, Duffy expertly layers a wall of sound to complement singer Ian Astbury’s emotive vocals.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/mfo5g2p7IZE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/jimi-hendrix">Jimi Hendrix</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/10-great-effects-solos/25845#comments Boss DigiTech MXR Queen Rage Against the Machine Roland Van Halen VOX Guitar World Lists Videos Effects Blogs News Features Gear Thu, 19 Nov 2015 15:43:35 +0000 Guitar World Staff, Damian Fanelli 25845 at http://www.guitarworld.com Take Advantage of Guitar World's Holiday Shopping Sale! http://www.guitarworld.com/take-advantage-guitar-worlds-holiday-shopping-sale/25855 <!--paging_filter--><p>It's time to kick off the annual <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com//?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=KickOffHoliday" target="_blank">Holiday Shopping Sale</a> at the <a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com//?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=KickOffHoliday" target="_blank">Guitar World Online Store!</a></p> <p><strong>Spend $50 at our online store and we'll give you a $10 coupon code to use on a future purchase!</strong></p> <p>This offer ends Sunday, November 22, 2015, on purchases of $50 or more before taxes and shipping.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://guitarworld.myshopify.com//?&amp;utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=daily_scroller&amp;utm_campaign=KickOffHoliday"" target="_blank">Head to the Guitar World Online Store now!</a></strong></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/take-advantage-guitar-worlds-holiday-shopping-sale/25855#comments News Features Thu, 19 Nov 2015 15:42:48 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25855 at http://www.guitarworld.com Metallica's Kirk Hammett Talks 'Ride the Lightning,' Cliff Burton and Benefits of Taking Guitar Lessons from Joe Satriani http://www.guitarworld.com/metallicas-kirk-hammett-talks-ride-lightning-cliff-burton-and-benefits-taking-guitar-lessons-joe-satriani <!--paging_filter--><p>Tucked in a nondescript industrial tract north of San Francisco near San Pablo Bay, Metallica’s headquarters is an oasis for both thrash fanatics and gear heads of every stripe. </p> <p>The massive studio—dubbed HQ by the band—has been Metallica’s base of operations for writing, rehearsals, demoing and all-purpose hanging since late 2001. In a rare case of reality trumping fantasy, it is a place that exceeds expectations. </p> <p>We’ve been invited to HQ to talk with Kirk Hammett about the 30th anniversary of Metallica’s classic sophomore album, <em>Ride the Lightning.</em> </p> <p>Released July 27, 1984, the album showcased their growing musical maturity and willingness to take chances. With brazen disregard for convention, Metallica delivered the pure thrash attack for which they were known while simultaneously branching into progressive, melodic and, ultimately, more marketable territory. Ride the Lightning didn’t just change the band’s trajectory—it reset the course of metal itself. </p> <p>We arrive at HQ before Hammett does, so while we wait, a staff members gives us a tour of the facilities. Everywhere we turn there are choice pieces of memorabilia or references from one of the eras of the band’s rich history. Fan-made banners collected from concerts around the world hang throughout the massive complex. </p> <p>There’s the kitchen table over which drummer Lars Ulrich confronted guitarist James Hetfield in a particularly tense scene from Metallica’s 2004 documentary, <em>Some Kind of Monster,</em> as well as the electric chair from Hammett’s Kirk’s Crypt horror memorabilia collection and the Lady Justice prop head from the 1988-’89 Damaged Justice tour. </p> <p>But the real gold is in the band’s storage room. Not unlike the oversized aisles of a Sam’s Club, the shelves in this room are packed to the rafters, only with gear. A quick scan of the inventory reveals a mint of mouth-watering guitars, from vintage Flying Vs, Les Pauls and Strats to a staggering array of ESPs, Jacksons and Warwicks. </p> <p>HQ’s massive main rehearsal area is bursting with even more gear. Today the room is staged with the band’s acoustic arsenal, as they’re in the middle of rehearsals for an upcoming unplugged gig. Fitting nicely with the objective of our mission, the original <em>Ride the Lightning</em> stage backdrop is hanging across the rear of the rehearsal room. </p> <p>As we take in HQ’s scope and content, we’re reminded that Metallica aren’t your average working band. At this point they’re a metal institution and one of the most successful selling artists in the world. But Number One albums, feature films, massive tours and sprawling rehearsal studios weren’t always a part of the band’s lifestyle. When <em>Ride the Lightning</em> was released 30 years ago, Metallica were a bunch of young musicians from the San Francisco Bay area, hungry to push the limits of the nascent thrash metal genre and willing to go to any lengths to make that happen.</p> <p>“Around the time we were writing <em>Ride the Lightning</em>, I was taking guitar lessons from Joe Satriani,” Hammett says after he joins us at HQ. “I didn’t have a car, so I had to ride my bike to the lessons. And it took me over an hour and a half, because I lived, like, 25 miles away. The lessons were in a guitar store. So I would ride the whole way there—all huffing and puffing and sweaty—and I’d grab a guitar off the wall. After we finished, I’d grab my lesson papers and bike 25 miles again home!” He laughs at the memory. “It was hilarious. I felt like Lincoln walking 18 miles to go to school or something.”</p> <p> Back then, Metallica were a quartet of hellions who ignited the underground thrash metal movement with their blazing, neck-breaking debut, <em>Kill ’Em All,</em> which was released on indie label Megaforce in 1983. But unlike Anthrax, Slayer and other thrash acts that were rising around that time, Metallica had a broader, more ambitious vision of what their sound could encompass. They just had to figure out how to pull it off.</p> <p>By all accounts, their bassist Cliff Burton—who died tragically in a 1986 bus accident—was integral to helping the band expand its horizons. “Cliff studied music in college,” Hammett says. “I had a grasp of music theory, thanks to Joe, but Cliff went the whole length and learned musical theory and everything. And he was way into harmonies. James really absorbed the dual-harmony thing and took it to heart. He made it his thing, but it was originally Cliff’s. Cliff also inspired James greatly on counterpoint and rhythmic concepts.”</p> <p> In early 1984, armed with a batch of new material and fresh techniques, the band decamped to Copenhagen, Denmark (at the prompting of Lars, who is a Danish citizen), and began tracking the record with producer Flemming Rasmussen at Sweet Silence Studios. In two sessions spread over several months, Metallica cut the eight tracks that would comprise <em>Ride the Lightning.</em> The record contained <em>Kill ’Em All</em>–style ripping thrash (“Trapped Under Ice”), but it also incorporated acoustic sections (“Fight Fire with Fire”), epic compositions (“Creeping Death,” “For Whom the Bell Tolls”), exciting structures (“Ride the Lightning”), expansive instrumentals (“The Call of Ktulu”) and, most shockingly, a power ballad (“Fade to Black”). </p> <p> Metallica may have entered Sweet Silence as just another thrash band, but they left as one of the most sought-after acts in the scene. In the months following <em>Ride the Lightning’s</em> release, they were picked up by the major label Elektra and signed to powerhouse management company Q-Prime. With the die-hard metal underground already in their corner and their new backers poised to launch them out to mainstream audiences, Metallica set off on the path to becoming the biggest metal band on the planet.</p> <p><strong>Today, <em>Ride the Lightning</em> ranks as a classic album in the metal genre. Looking back through the lens of the past 30 years, how has your view of the Ride the Lightning era changed?</strong></p> <p>It’s interesting. Just this morning I was telling my kids what I was going to do today. I’m like, “These people are taking a picture of me in an electric chair!” They’re both young, so of course they said, “Why?” I explained it’s because we have a song called “Ride the Lightning” and that’s another way of saying, “You’re getting electrocuted in an electric chair!” Then I had to play them the song and sing them the lyrics. They’re sitting there looking at me, like, Wow. [laughs] </p> <p>So I’m sitting with them, listening to that “Ride the Lightning” guitar solo, and I was like, I have absolutely no recollection of putting all those harmonies on there! [laughs] When we were putting that song together, we had the intro riff, the verse, the chorus, and a part of the instrumental bridge. When the whole thing slows down and there’s that solo section, I remember I pretty much played that solo as it is off the bat.</p> <p>When I recorded that in 1984, I was 21 years old. That’s crazy. In 1984, a guitar solo like that was something. If you put it into context of what was going on back then, it was very modern sounding. Of course, if you put it into today’s context, it sounds like classic rock. [laughs] It’s not like today’s norm, with sweeping arpeggios and 32nd notes everywhere. I also have to say that when I listened to it this morning, I realized that the actual sound of the album is still good. After all these fucking years, it still holds up sonically.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/SOMD8MmBT8A" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>You were still on the indie label Megaforce when you recorded <em>Ride the Lightning,</em> which I assume meant you weren’t working with a big budget. How’d you end up flying to Copenhagen to record with Flemming Rasmussen? Was that a Lars connection because he’s Danish?</strong></p> <p>It was a Lars connection. Also, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow had recorded a couple albums there—<em>Difficult to Cure</em> and <em>Bent Out of Shape</em>—and they’re recorded really well. At that time, studio time was cheaper in Europe than it was in the States. We were already over there, because we had just ended a European tour. Plus, we had the benefit of Lars being Danish, so we worked out a package deal with Sweet Silence Studios. </p> <p>I remember we had landed in Copenhagen to record the album, and we needed a few days to get the songs together. We were in Mercyful Fate’s rehearsal space in Copenhagen. They weren’t there, so they lent it to us. So we were in there playing, and I look up and through the window I see this guy with his back to me. I could tell it was King Diamond, and I was like, Uh-oh, there’s the man himself. And then he turned around and he didn’t have his makeup on! I was like, Woah…unmasked! [laughs] </p> <hr /> <strong>Did you guys do a lot of writing in Denmark? Or did you have most of the tracks finalized before you arrived?</strong> <p>I remember “Fight Fire with Fire” and “Fade to Black” were finished in the basement of a friend’s house in Old Bridge, New Jersey. I think it was this guy called Metal Joe [Chimienti]. Before we went to Europe to tour and eventually record in Denmark, we stopped on the East Coast to play some shows. We knew we needed to finish some of these songs. </p> <p>We had most of “Fade to Black,” except the end part were the solo happens, and I came up with that there. I remember we were writing “Trapped Under Ice” there too. We were using that fast Exodus riff, and James came up with the chorus and I added that whole middle instrumental part. </p> <p><em>Ride the Lightning</em> was written in a few places: the house in El Cerrito, New Jersey, Copenhagen, and down in L.A. before James and Lars moved up to San Francisco.</p> <p><strong>Were you writing the stuff in El Cerrito around the same time you were taking lessons from Joe Satriani?</strong></p> <p>Yeah, absolutely.</p> <p><strong>Do you remember any specific techniques that he showed you that ended up on <em>Ride the Lightning?</em></strong></p> <p>All the stuff I learned from Joe impacted my playing a lot on <em>Ride the Lightning</em>. He taught me stuff like figuring out what scale was most appropriate for what chord progressions. We were doing all sorts of crazy things, like modes, three-octave major and minor scales, three-octave modes, major, minor and diminished arpeggios, and tons of exercises. He taught me how to pick the notes I wanted for guitar solos as opposed to just going for a scale that covered it all. He taught me how to hone in on certain sounds and when to go major or minor. He also helped me map out that whole chromatic-arpeggio thing and taught me the importance of positioning and minimizing finger movement. That was a really important lesson. </p> <p><strong>You guys made a pretty serious jump in songwriting and style between <em>Kill ’Em All</em> and <em>Ride the Lightning.</em> Lars has said that Cliff Burton was an important force in pushing Metallica in this new progressive direction. What was your experience like working with Cliff during this time?</strong></p> <p>Cliff was a total anomaly. To this day, I’m still trying to figure out everything I experienced with him. He was a bass player and played like a bassist. But, fucking hell, a lot of guitar sounds came out of it. He wrote a lot of guitar-centric runs. He always carried around a small acoustic guitar that was down tuned. I remember one time I picked it up and was like, “What is this thing even tuned to, like C?” He explained that he liked it like that because he could really bend the strings. He would always come up with harmonies on that acoustic guitar. I would be sitting there playing my guitar and he’d pick up his bass and immediately start playing a harmony part. And he would also sing harmonies. I remember the Eagles would come on the radio and he would sing all the harmony parts, never the root. </p> <p><strong>The harmonies are really apparent on this record, too, on tracks like “Creeping Death.”</strong></p> <p>Totally. He wrote that “Creeping Death” harmony part and the harmony in the intro to “Ride the Lightning.” He even helped me with a lot of the harmony stuff I played in the solo to “Ride the Lightning.” I remember, I thought he’d just grab a bass and show me. But no, he had me write out all the notes in my solo on a piece of paper. Then he grabbed a pencil and went through and notated it, “If you’re playing E, then G, then A, then C…” I’m looking at him like, What? But I took the paper and worked it all out. And you know what? It was perfect. </p> <p><strong>What was the actual recording experience like when you finally entered Sweet Silence Studios? It was winter and you were far away from home. Did the isolation make for a super-creative experience or a lonely one?</strong></p> <p>It was super creative, but it was also very lonely and depressing for us because we were one step away from being homeless. We had all embarked on this to become signed by a record company, make records and go on tour. But at the time we were living a hand-to-mouth existence, and all of us were worrying about what was going to happen. Would a gig show up? Or would we get a phone call saying, “You guys are too extreme.” There were a lot of different factors. </p> <p>We were also lonely because we were so far away from home. At least Cliff, James and I. We all had girlfriends at the time, and we were away for three or four months at a time. It was that sort of lonely feeling you get from being on the road and away from loved ones for a long time. I think that basic feeling was channeled into the album.</p> <p><strong>Where were you staying while you were over there?</strong></p> <p>We lived at the studio. Well, first we were staying at our friend’s house, but we totally thrashed it. Then we were living upstairs in an empty floor of the studio. That was crazy, because it was the middle of winter and we’re living among piles of asbestos and particleboard. But we rallied around each other, because that’s all we really had at that point. All of us were taken out of our lives, like maybe a year and a half prior with <em>Kill ’Em All,</em> and we fended for ourselves. We were so young and just trying to figure it out. A lot of the time we didn’t know what we were going to do, and we were fearful. I think that’s why we really embraced the consumption of alcohol so much. [laughs] We drank a lot. Actually we drank tons up to 1998. [laughs]</p> <p><strong>It’s interesting that you say that, because nowadays Metallica are an institution. There are probably fans born in 1998 that never realize at one point you were just another struggling band.</strong></p> <p>Totally. You know that we actually recorded <em>Ride the Lightning</em> in two different time periods? We started recording, then we took a break and went over to England to do a tour with the Rods and Twisted Sister. But when we got to England, the tour got canceled. We had no money, so we got stuck and couldn’t get back to Denmark. So we stayed in England for a couple weeks, and I just hung out and drank a lot of English beer. [laughs]</p> <p>But yeah, I remember a time when I only had one fucking guitar. I had to borrow a second guitar in the studio for <em>Kill ’Em All,</em> because my guitar didn’t have a whammy bar. Even when <em>Ride the Lightning</em> came along, I just had three guitars. I had the black-and-white Gibson Flying V, a red Fernandes and the Edna, which was a black Fernandes Strat that was on the cover of [The $5.98 E.P.:] <em>Garage Days [Re-Revisited]</em>. Those were my three guitars.</p> <p><strong>Speaking of gear, is it true that all your Marshall amps were stolen in Boston right before you headed over to Denmark?</strong></p> <p>Yes. And when we got to Denmark, they only had a few amps in the studio. That country is so small that all the major music stores are in Copenhagen. So Flemming Rasmussen called all the stores and said, “Bring down all the Marshalls that you have.” We tried ’em all and found a couple that were good. We just worked with what we had. Oh, there was this guy in some band that had a great-sounding Marshall that we used. We dubbed it the “Best Sounding Marshall in Denmark.” We used his head for the majority of the album.</p> <p><strong>What other gear were you using back then?</strong></p> <p>I had the [Dunlop] Cry Baby wah I’ve always had and an [Ibanez] Tube Screamer. On <em>Kill ’Em All,</em> I used a Boss Super Distortion, because my Tube Screamer got stolen. But on <em>Ride the Lightning</em> and on every album since, there’s always been a Tube Screamer for the solos. Actually, we were just rehearsing some acoustic stuff for an acoustic gig. I needed a boost to drive my solo, and what do I go for? The Tube Screamer. And it worked perfectly.</p> <hr /> <strong><em>Ride the Lightning</em> was the first record you had writing credits on. [Hammett replaced original lead guitarist Dave Mustaine in 1983 prior to the recording of <em>Kill ’Em All</em>.] At that point were you feeling a lot more comfortable about bringing your ideas to the band? </strong> <p>Absolutely. Actually, the title “Ride the Lightning” was my idea. I had taken it from a passage in a Stephen King novel, <em>The Stand. </em>There’s this prisoner, and the line’s something like, “He was stuck on death row and ready to ride the lighting.” </p> <p>Anyway, when I joined the band, those guys went out of their way to make me feel comfortable. It wasn’t like when Jason [Newsted] joined the band [after the death of founding bassist Cliff Burton], and we weren’t as far established as we were when [bassist] Rob [Trujillo] joined. </p> <p>We hung out all the time back then. I remember right after recording <em>Kill ’Em All,</em> James was like, “Check this out,” and played me the riff to “Creeping Death.” But it was played really slow, like half time. It just naturally sped up over the course of time. </p> <p><strong>The middle section of “Creeping Death” came from some material you were working on during your time in Exodus. How exactly did it find its way into that song? </strong></p> <p>We had the rough outlines of a few songs, like “Creeping Death,” “Ride the Lightning,” “Fight Fire with Fire” and “Fade to Black.” As we were getting those songs together, I gave them a bunch of riffs. Not only did they listen to my riff tape but they also listened to the Exodus demo tape. That’s how certain riffs got taken out of the demo, like the fast riff in “Trapped Under Ice” and the “Die by my hand” riff from “Creeping Death,” which I wrote when I was 16 or 17 years old.</p> <p><strong>“Ride the Lightning” is also partially credited to your predecessor, Dave Mustaine. Were you conscious about constructing the solo in a way that really distinguished yourself from him?</strong></p> <p>He had nothing to do with any of the guitar solos on <em>Ride the Lightning.</em> That was more of the situation with <em>Kill ’Em All.</em> For that record, I was the new guy on the block. I thought, Okay I’ll start the solos the way Dave did, and then I’ll go somewhere else. His approach and my approach are completely different when it comes to solos. For me, Ride the Lightning was the first time I had a blank slate to come up with guitar solos. And I had a fucking field day. </p> <p><strong>The opening track “Fight Fire with Fire” begins with an acoustic intro, which is a huge statement coming on the heels of the thrashing cuts that made up <em>Kill ’Em All.</em></strong></p> <p>That acoustic piece was Cliff’s! Cliff wrote that on the down-tuned acoustic guitar I was talking about. He had a really good grasp of playing the guitar, and a good grasp of classical modulations. That intro was his piece. We heard it and stuck it onto “Fight,” and it worked fantastic. We knew that was going to be the opening track. There was no question about it.</p> <p><strong>I heard a rumor that the instruments on “For Whom the Bell Tolls” were tuned slightly sharp to match the opening bell that chimes.</strong></p> <p>Nope. The chimes are slightly flatter. [laughs] Nah, it’s not us…it’s the chimes! Again, that bass intro was something Cliff had. He would play it all the time at soundcheck. I remember the first time he played it thinking, Wow. That’s a weird fucking riff. It was unlike anything I’d ever heard. </p> <p><strong>“Fade to Black” raised some eyebrows among fans at the time, because it was a ballad. But I’m wondering from a technical standpoint, was that track harder to cut because you all couldn’t hide behind tons of loud guitars?</strong></p> <p>I realized that some of the more difficult things to record are not necessarily the most technically demanding or challenging. I remember taking a ridiculous amount of time to record the three-note arpeggios that I play throughout the piece, because we wanted the intonation to be just right. During the recording, I remember I couldn’t hit those notes as hard as I usually did, because they would go sharp. So I took a lot of time hitting them softly, so they would chime perfectly. For something that sounds like it would take 15 minutes, it took about three or four hours. You never know how long something will take to record. The simplest things might take forever and the hardest you might nail in two takes.</p> <p><strong>That track was also controversial because of its lyrics, which dealt with suicide. Were you surprised when parental groups started accusing Metallica of promoting self-harm?</strong></p> <p>We weren’t expecting any of it. When they called us out for that, I was thinking, Why are these people even wasting their time? First of all, it’s just music. Second of all, it’s entertainment. Third of all…really? [laughs]</p> <p><strong>The instrumental “The Call of Ktulu” features a pretty epic guitar solo. How daunting was that to put together?</strong></p> <p>That was another track that had a rough skeleton of the main riff and the progression that modulates up. I remember first hearing it and thinking, This is a fucking amazing track! We kept working it, and it just got bigger, longer…and more pretentious. [laughs] But when you’re in your twenties, you don’t really have too much perspective to know when something’s pretentious. When it came to do the guitar solo, I was like, Fucking hell. This is a three-minute guitar solo! I knew I had to fill it up with melodic stuff and I couldn’t just rip throughout the whole thing or it would sound one-dimensional. I knew I needed to put some dynamics and melody in there to keep people’s attention.</p> <p><strong>Did you have to do a lot of prep work and chart things out before?</strong></p> <p>Actually, that guitar solo was the one that I was the least prepared to record. I only had half the solo, and we did a lot of it in the studio. And for some reason I decided to double the solo. It wasn’t good enough to play it all once; I had to play the exact same thing twice! The reason why I draw attention to the fact that I doubled the solo is because there’s this one note that I bend and it’s not quite there. But maybe it gives it an interesting Ktulu-ish effect!</p> <p><strong>It took you guys nearly 30 years to perform “Escape” live. Why the wait?</strong></p> <p>Yeah, we played it for the first time at Orion Fest [in 2012]. At the time we thought we’d write a song that was a little more accessible and melodic and less metal and grinding. It was also in the key of A, which is pretty rare for us. “Escape” was also the last thing written in the studio. I didn’t have anything for it, so that guitar solo was one of the most difficult to record. The song was pretty much an attempt to write something that would get radio’s attention. But it never really happened for us. They ignored that song…along with everything else!</p> <p><strong><em>Ride the Lightning</em> was released on Megaforce in July 1984. But soon after, Metallica were signed by Elektra, which rereleased the album later that year. Did getting picked up by a major label drastically change your lifestyle?</strong></p> <p>Well, it felt good knowing that we finally got on a major, because that’s what we wanted to be on the whole time. But none of the majors were interested at first. The amazing thing is that it all happened in one night. We were playing Roseland Ballroom in New York City after we had recorded <em>Ride the Lightning.</em> That night, we got signed to Elektra, Q-Prime [management] and ATI, which was a booking agency back in the day. All three of those things happened that one night, and we didn’t even play that well! We went onstage and played, but we weren’t vibing like we usually did, and we were a little sloppy. So we came offstage and we were a little bummed out, saying, “Fucking hell, they’re not going to sign us. Are they even still here?” [laughs] Then Elektra came backstage and said, “Great fucking show, you guys were amazing!” [laughs] And Q-Prime said, “We are definitely working with you guys. Congratulations!” And we’re all looking at each other, like, Really? </p> <p>After it all sunk in, we were really excited. Being signed to Elektra meant that our record would make it to a lot of places that wouldn’t be possible with an independent label. We knew we’d be able to tour a little better, like in a real tour bus and with better promotion. And, most importantly, we knew we’d be better off financially, so we could make a better-sounding record, which of course ended up being <em>Master of Puppets.</em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/metallica">Metallica</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/metallicas-kirk-hammett-talks-ride-lightning-cliff-burton-and-benefits-taking-guitar-lessons-joe-satriani#comments August 2014 Kirk Hammett Metallica Videos Interviews News Features Magazine Wed, 18 Nov 2015 15:51:45 +0000 Brad Angle 21607 at http://www.guitarworld.com