There were a number of firsts for Guitar World in 1988. It was the first year a total of 10 issues were published (Technically, there were 11 covers, but more on that in a moment), with all but February and August seeing new material.
It was also the year Guitar World began printing full guitar and bass transcriptions. Only bits and pieces of notation had previously gone to press. Racer X's "Scarified" and Michael Hedges' "Ragamuffin" were the first songs to get the tab and notation treatment -- yes, we did traditional musical notation back then too -- in the May issue.
That year was also a first in cover experimentation. In April Guitar World had its first "split cover," where half the magazines that month had one cover and the other half had another cover. That month featured one cover of Dokken's George Lynch while the second featured Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee of Rush. Typical of split covers, one usually outsells the other by a significant margin. There are no copies of the Alex Lifeson/Geddy Lee issue in the Guitar World archives, perhaps a clue to that month's big seller?
Regardless of the magazine's new additions, there were loads of great stories, great pictures and great clothes. Seriously, check out some of these outfits. Memories.
Next week we'll revisit 1989, which features some more fresh-faced firsts and one tragic finale.
To find out more about the first 30 years of Guitar World magazine, check out our 300-plus-page book, The Complete History of Guitar World,which is available only at the Guitar World Online Store.