Paul Gilbert Dishes the Dirt on His Audacious New Album, 'Behold Electric Guitar'

(Image credit: Ty Milford)

Paul Gilbert is a really big Beatles fan. At various times over the past decade, he and ex-Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy satiated their Fab Four Jones by playing in a tribute band called Yellow Matter Custard. The Beatles seem to always be on Gilbert’s mind in one way or another, and he references them frequently during our discussion, regardless of the topic at hand.

“It’s just kind of the way I think,” he says. “My brain has been programmed to listen to music a certain way because of the Beatles.” Even before he picked up the guitar, as a child growing up in in the Pittsburgh suburb of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Gilbert listened to the Beatles nonstop, and he recalls the devastation he felt when he heard they were breaking up. “I was shocked,” he says. “I was only three years old, but something about their writing was so gripping to me that I couldn’t imagine a world without them.”

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Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar World, Guitar Player, MusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.