In case you weren't following along at home, the shiny new March 2024 issue of Guitar World is the first issue to feature Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong on the cover since March 2017 and the third Armstrong cover – Louis, Lance, Neil or otherwise – during my 13 years at GW.
It also happens to be packed with stuff!
As much as I enjoy editing and assembling themed issues (like the '80s issue, the '90s issue or last month’s Eric Clapton special), I really love issues like this one, aka “everything but the kitchen sink” issues – the ones with at least seven different features.
It’s where/how/when I feel the magazine does the most good in its attempt to cover and mirror the ever-expanding world of guitar – or at least to deliver an enjoyable slice of that world.
To that end, I’m loving this issue’s mix of characters and topics, including...
>>> Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong tells the origin story behind Saviors, the punk superheroes’ first new album in four years, and looks back on the making of 1994’s Dookie. In a separate feature, Armstrong recalls the making of the band's monumental comeback album, 2004's American Idiot.
>>> Gretsch, Rickenbacker, Fender, Epiphone... Hamburguitar? In the Beatles' mid-'90s Anthology era (which also spawned their 2023 single, Now and Then), George Harrison's guitars of choice were built by a man named Bernie Hamburger.
>>> Code Orange’s Reba Meyers and Dom Landolina shift lanes with The Above (while Steve Albini and Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan come along for the ride).
>>> In a rare Kiss-centric interview, Ace Frehley takes a strut down memory lane and discusses nothing but – you guessed it! – Kiss.
>>> Chelsea Wolfe and Bryan Tulao break down the dark, swirling masterpiece that is She Reaches Out to She Reaches Out to She.
>>> NYC session great Eddie Martinez recalls his time with Run-DMC, Blondie, David Lee Roth and Robert Palmer. He also sets the record straight – once and for all – about exactly who played the Addicted to Love guitar solo.
>>> In a new book, Smiths great Johnny Marr traces his entire career through the prism of his amazing collection of guitars. Why don’t all our guitar heroes do this?
>>> How Ted Nugent accidentally destroyed – and later gave away – his first Gibson Byrdland.
This issue – aka the devilishly good-looking (and very red) March 2024 issue of Guitar World – is available right here, right now.
This issue also features...
We have new interviews with Tool's Adam Jones, Marty Friedman, Mary Timony, Evanescence guitarist Troy McLawhorn, Erik Rutan and Rob Barrett from Cannibal Corpse, Phantom Planet's Alex Greenwald and Helmet's Page Hamilton. There's also a quick goodbye to the late Denny Laine of Paul McCartney and Wings, including a guide to 10 of his essential tracks.
Meanwhile, Joe Bonamassa shows you how to play I Want to Shout About It, Andy Timmons helps you build powerful arrangements, Josh Smith explains how to apply “handcuffs” as a soloing device and Andy Aledort shows you how to mimic vocal melodies on guitar.
This month's transcriptions are Don't Back Down by Mammoth WVH, the live Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash and the 1992 live version of Don't Think Twice, It's All Right by Eric Clapton.
We have reviews of the UAFX Lion '68 Super Lead Amp pedal, the Ernie Ball Music Man Luke 4 SSS, the Stage Right by Monoprice SB100 100-Watt All-Tube Two-Channel Guitar Amplifier with Reverb, the Revv Amplification Tilt Boost pedal and the Squier Paranormal Nashville Stratocaster.
In Power Tools, Chris Gill explores the history and mystery of the mighty Gibson ES-335.
You can buy new issues of Guitar World at Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Hudson News, Books a Million and other stores – and online from Magazines Direct. And, while you're at it, why not save on every issue by subscribing?