“Ritchie Blackmore’s phrasing is so cool – he just played with so much fire”: Pete Thorn and James Cole on how they replicate iconic solos and tones in The Classic Rock Show

James Cole and Pete Thorn
(Image credit: Future / Will Ireland)

“I want it to be loud, a little out of control,” says Pete Thorn, in his urbane Los Angeles drawl. “There needs to be some feedback.” Even if you’ve never watched any of Pete’s highly regarded YouTube videos exploring the world of cutting-edge guitar gear, you’ve almost certainly heard his playing before. He’s been a first-call session and sideman for huge acts such as the Eagles, Chris Cornell and Alicia Keys. 

Now, however, he’s reflecting on what it takes to recreate rock’s greatest hits on stage without the music becoming too predictable or sanitised. “There’s got to be some balls…” agrees James Cole, with refreshing directness. 

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Jamie Dickson

Jamie Dickson is Editor-in-Chief of Guitarist magazine, Britain's best-selling and longest-running monthly for guitar players. He started his career at the Daily Telegraph in London, where his first assignment was interviewing blue-eyed soul legend Robert Palmer, going on to become a full-time author on music, writing for benchmark references such as 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and Dorling Kindersley's How To Play Guitar Step By Step. He joined Guitarist in 2011 and since then it has been his privilege to interview everyone from B.B. King to St. Vincent for Guitarist's readers, while sharing insights into scores of historic guitars, from Rory Gallagher's '61 Strat to the first Martin D-28 ever made.