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    Most rock biographies tend to follow a similar pattern. The artist’s road to redemption is paved with tales of debauchery, drug abuse, marital infidelity and a trashing hotel room or two.

    Although Jim Peterik’s story doesn’t really follow that path, it's even more special.

    For instance, did you know the founder of such bands as the Ides of March, Survivor and Pride Of Lions was already playing shows alongside Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin as a teen? Or that Peterik’s original role in Survivor was one of dual guitarist and lead vocalist?

    Peterik’s new book, Through the Eye of the Tiger: The Rock 'N' Roll Life of Survivor's Founding Member, discusses all of that and much more in a look back at the life and career of one of rock’s best songwriters.

    With the help of writer Lisa Torem, Peterik reveals stories from his almost 50 years in music. Like the time the Ides of March stole the show from Led Zeppelin or when Peterik unwillingly ceded control of Survivor and took on a diminished role in order to achieve a greater good.

    There are revelations of his encounters with Hendrix, Sammy Hagar and Brian Wilson; making studio magic with the late Jimi Jamison (one of rock’s greatest voices) as well as the challenges he faced becoming a husband and father. Oh, and then there’s the little matter of a how a phone call from Sylvester Stallone turned into “Eye of The Tiger."

    Through the Eye of the Tiger is more than just the memoir of a songwriting legend. It’s a classic rock and roll story that’s told through the eyes of someone who has lived through it all.

    I had the pleasure of speaking with Peterik about his new book, career and his amazing guitar collection.

    GUITAR WORLD: What made you decide to write a book at this stage of your career?

    It's a good time in my life. I'm feeling good and have a lot of stories to tell. Certainly, there are a lot more stories ahead of me and quite a few stories behind me that I wanted to get out.

    Did you find it difficult having to recall certain events in your life?

    Absolutely. When I planned on writing the book, I was wondering who was going to want to read it. There’s no conflict in my life. I wasn't a drug addict or had tour groupies. The whole “rise, fall and redemption” is fascinating but I didn't have any of that. But as I started writing, I soon realized that there really was a lot of conflict in my life that I had just buried. I had always lived in a cocoon of creativity. But when you strip away the shield - I went through a lot of shit. It was painful to talk about Frankie [Sullivan] and the conflicts we had and recalling the troubles in my marriage.

    Were you worried about what others might think of your revelations?

    You've got to take a chance. I haven't heard from any other parties and I'm not sure if any of them have read the book or not. All I know is I was honest about my feelings. This is my truth.

    Most people from the Eighties generation know you as the keyboardist for Survivor, when the fact is you were always a guitarist and frontman. How difficult was if for you to make that transition?

    That was the big conflict. In the Ides of March, I was the frontman who played guitar and talked to the crowd. Being relegated to keyboards (which I love) was a support position. I learned early on that there was room for only one guitar player in Survivor, and it wasn't me. It was a hard pill to swallow but there was always a greater good. No matter what my personal feelings were at the time, it was a hell of a band and we were making great music.

    What are some of your best memories of working with Jimi Jamison?

    I remember when we were doing the video for “The Moment of Truth” [from The Karate Kid]. We were in this park and all of these Japanese tourists started coming up to Jimi because they all thought he was Wayne Newton. We were all cracking up. The chemistry between us was so good. I remember he and I used to go on radio stations and just crack up the disc jockey. We had a lot of wonderful moments like that. He was really one of a kind.

    Can you tell me about the time you met Jimi Hendrix?

    When I met him, he was toward the end of his life and didn't really have the energy he had early on in his career. We both had shared a locker room and I remember shaking his huge hand and watching his show. It was a thrill to shake the hand of the master.

    What's your song writing process like?

    Every day I'm writing down ideas, hooks, things that cross my mind and things I hear people say into my journals and idea banks. For example, “The Search Is Over” actually started as a news event I had heard. "The search is over for the missing..." Once I heard it, I wrote down "The Search Is Over." The trick is to stockpile these ideas until the time is right to take them out of storage.

    Let’s talk a little about your guitar collection. How many guitars do you have?

    182. But who's counting? [laughs].

    Which one is your crown jewel?

    In terms of value, it's probably my '58 Flying V. There were only 93 made in the original Korina. It's a beautiful instrument. But then I have certain guitars that mean more to me than the actual value. Like my '69 Goldtop Les Paul that I played "Vehicle" on. Then there’s my '56 Telecaster, which is my go-to Tele. I also have a '54 Sunburst Strat that just rips! It's an amazing instrument. I’ve also got a '65 Candy Apple Red Strat, which is probably the best-sounding guitar I own. The treble pickup sounds like a humbucker. Sometimes Strats can be kind of thin, but this one is loud and full.

    What would you say has been the biggest highlight of your career?

    Believe it or not, it would probably be that Ides of March show with Led Zeppelin in Winnipeg. We proved to ourselves that night that we were the real deal. We took terrible conditions, the shittiest PA and mics, and just killed. We got standing ovations after every song. It was amazing. The headline the next day read, “The Kids From Berwyn Steal the Show." I always go back to that for inspiration.

    For more about Peterik, visit jimpeterik.com.

    James Wood is a writer, musician and self-proclaimed metalhead who maintains his own website, GoJimmyGo.net. His articles and interviews are written on a variety of topics with passion and humor. You can follow him on Twitter @JimEWood.


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    It’s not often you get to work with one of your heroes, but for Melvins guitarist Buzz Osborne, that’s exactly what happened.

    Butthole Surfers’ Paul Leary joined the Melvins for their new album, Hold It In, which will be released October 14. Also joining Osborne, Leary and drummer Dale Crover for this 12-song Melvins outing is Butthole Surfers' bassist JD Pinkus.

    Osborne says Hold It In is a refreshing piece of fiction in a boring world of "fact and bullshit." If Leary’s outside-the-box approach to guitar playing and Osborne’s passion for songwriting are anything to go by, it’s definitely best to just let it ride.

    The Melvins will kick off a round of U.S. tour dates October 15 in Sacramento, California. Osborne, Crover and Pinkus will be the touring roster for this run of dates.

    I recently spoke with Osborne and Leary about the new Melvins record. I also asked Osborne about his Nirvana connection.

    GUITAR WORLD: How would you describe Hold It In?

    OSBORNE: It's a good cross-section of a lot of things we've done as well as some things we've never done. It's the first Melvins record I played on where I didn't write a majority of the material. That was a little different than what we normally do. Paul is also one of my favorite guitar players, and I've thought about doing something like this with him for a long time.

    LEARY: For the most part, it’s a little fresher and an amalgam album. I wrote three songs on there and we’ve also got Jeff Pinkus, which provided another Butthole element.

    Buzz, what was it like working with Paul and Pinkus?

    They're both really good players. Paul is a completely out-of-the-box guitarist that I've admired for the better part of 30 years. They handled it perfectly and are avant-garde to the highest degree.

    Paul, what was it like working with Buzz and Dale?

    Most of my recording experience has been as a producer or with the Butthole Surfers. It was refreshing to be with a group of people who were just as anxious and happy to come up with ideas as I was. It was a whole lot of fun.

    Let’s discuss a few tracks from Hold It In. "Brass Cupcake."

    OSBORNE: That was a song I wrote. I had the idea to let Paul do his amazing vocal work on the middle part of it. His thumb print is all over it.

    "You Can Make Me Wait."

    LEARY: I was stuck sitting in traffic when the idea for that song came to me. I’m usually a "cart before the horse" guy who comes up with the music first. In this case, I had the lyrics in my head and then the music came later.

    "The Bunk Up."

    OSBORNE: That was a song I started writing a while ago. I came up with the beginning riff, and the middle part is a lot of Paul. I played the basic guitar parts and left an empty space for him to do whatever he wanted.

    "Eyes On You."

    LEARY: I usually keep the TV turned on in my studio, and one day there was something on the news about surveillance. I had my guitar plugged in recording at the time and the words just started coming out of my mouth.

    How do you come up with your ideas for song titles?

    OSBORNE: I've been a list maker for years, even before I was a musician. I was always writing things down and kept long lists of things that would make good album titles and things like that. I’m constantly thinking in terms of songwriting.

    Buzz, what can you tell me about your connection with Nirvana?

    OSBORNE: We were all friends long before music ever happened. I was the one who introduced Cobain and Novoselic to music of that nature and took them to their first punk rock shows. I also knew Dave [Grohl] when he was in a band called Scream and told him that Nirvana was looking for a drummer.

    But there's always the good and the bad. The good part is knowing that the things we were involved with had impact on a global level. But the bad part of it (and the thing that overshadows all of it) is the fact that he's dead.

    So it's hard for me to look at it through rose-colored classes and say, "This is amazing!" I don't feel that way. If you can find the upside to drug addiction and death, let me know. When I think of him [Cobain], I don't think of it in an MTV way. I think of it in real terms. We were there when they played their very last show. I knew what was going on with him and everything that was happening. It was all bad.

    What excites you the most about this new Melvins album?

    LEARY: I haven’t really written or performed on an album like this in a long time. It seems like it’s been forever. I’m excited to see what people think about it.

    OSBORNE: The main thing I want to make sure people understand is that this is not a “project." It’s as much a Melvins album as any I've ever done. After the better part of 30 albums, for us to put out a record that's this advanced sounding at this point in our career is crazy. I also can't say enough about how impressed I am to have done a record with Paul Leary. He's one of my all-time favorite guitar players. It's a dream come true.

    For more information, try following the Melvins on Facebook.

    James Wood is a writer, musician and self-proclaimed metalhead who maintains his own website, GoJimmyGo.net. His articles and interviews are written on a variety of topics with passion and humor. You can follow him on Twitter @JimEWood.


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    This is an excerpt from the all-new November 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the rest of this story, plus our cover feature on Jeff Beck and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, not to mention features on Eddie Van Halen/MXR, George Thorogood, the guitar pick revolution, Nita Strauss and Black Veil Brides, plus gear reviews (Epiphone, Zoom, Gretsch, TC-Helicon, Mesa and more) and lessons by Marty Friedman and Steel Panther's Satchel, check out the November 2014 issue of Guitar World!

    Weezer Heads Prevail: Unfazed by perennial reports of rock’s death, Weezer carry on with Everything Will Be Alright in the End, their ninth, and latest, studio album.

    “Rock is dead. Guitar is dead.”

    Weezer’s ninth studio album, Everything Will Be Alright in the End, opens with these two dire statements, both uttered before the opening riff of “Ain’t Got Nobody” kicks in.

    “All those voices you hear on the record are the voices that we’ve heard in our lives and in our careers in recent years,” explains Rivers Cuomo, Weezer’s primary songwriter, lead guitarist and vocalist.

    Thankfully, it seems that Cuomo and the rest of the band—guitarist Brian Bell, drummer Patrick Wilson and bassist Scott Shriner—chose to ignore the naysayers whispering in their ears. “Ain’t Got Nobody” is unabashedly rocking and guitar driven, and if anything, Everything Will Be Alright in the End sounds more like a rebirth for Weezer than a last gasp.

    Hard-edged numbers like the declamatory “Back to the Shack” and the pounding “I’ve Had It Up to Here” are arena-ready anthems, while more emotionally raw numbers like “The British Are Coming” and “Foolish Fathers” feature the plaintive yowl that turned the band’s second album, 1996’s Pinkerton, into a celebrated emo-rock cult classic years after its release and initial commercial failure.

    Everything Will Be Alright in the End also marks the return of producer Ric Ocasek, who previously worked with Weezer on their 1994 self-titled debut (known by fans as the Blue Album) as well as on their also-eponymous 2001 comeback (dubbed the Green Album). The band spent three three-week stretches with the Cars frontman at Los Angeles’ storied Village Recorder studios, and according to Cuomo, this third-time collaboration was a charm.

    “Recording this record felt like much more of a creative process than making the first album,” he says. “Because when we made that record, we’d been playing the songs for a year and a half in the clubs and there had been several rounds of demos. It felt like the songs were pretty much done and there wasn’t room for much more creativity once we got into the studio.

    "And then when we made the Green Album, I didn't want to hear from anyone. This time, there were a lot more unfinished parts, and there was a lot more work left to be done, so it was wonderful to have this amazing creative talent sitting there right next to us in the trenches.”

    EXCERPT: A lot of the lyrics on the new record seem to explore Weezer’s relationship to their fans and how that relationship has evolved over the years.

    We’ve gone through many different phases. Even when we made our second record, Pinkerton, I already had a feeling like, Well, we’ve established this amazing style on the first record, but already I want to do something different. And I assumed that everyone was going to come along with me.

    But a lot of the fans of the first album were not fans of the second album, so then it became this whole issue of, What am I supposed to do here? I have this instinct to try all of these different things and to go off in all of these crazy directions, but at the same time, you can’t really take for granted this amazing connection that happens between us and an audience. I mean, we were really lucky to have that kind of experience on our first record and touch the heart of an audience in such a profound way. And you can’t really take that lightly and just say, “Well, maybe let’s do a hip-hop album next time.”

    And ever since then, we’ve related to the question of how to find balance in different ways. At times we’ve rebelled and said, “Well, we’re not going to care about anything we’ve done or what anyone’s saying around us; we’re just going to go off and do whatever’s striking us at the moment.” And that was definitely a big part of our process—figuring out how to balance all of the different things that we value.

    Did you approach songwriting any differently for this album? Some of the tracks have really expansive arrangements.

    I wrote a lot of the more exploratory music on piano, and the foundation of the song would be one long extremely emotional jam—a rough outline of the emotion—that I would record on a Dictaphone. I’m not very good at piano, and that limitation can be a strength for me, as I don’t have muscle and finger memory and playing habits like I do on the guitar.

    Also, the piano is wonderful because you’ve got two hands that have equal power to do rhythm, melody and counterpoint, so they can both go off and do whatever they want. Counterpoint is my absolutely favorite part of music, so that was extremely liberating.

    Does the formal musical training that you received in college come into play when you’re devising the contrapuntal movement?

    In those moments of composition, it’s all very much flow and not doing things because I was taught them in counterpoint class. But I think there’s a part of my brain that is at least aware when I’m doing parallel or contrary or oblique motion. So part of my mind is watching the process as it’s happening.

    And I do feel that while I have a natural instinct for counterpoint—a real enjoyment of it—I also have learned a lot in school and from books as well by playing contrapuntal music on both piano and guitar. I have some good books of Bach keyboard music transcribed for guitar, and there’s always a nylon-string guitar hanging on the wall in my house and a bunch of classical guitar books to grab. I kind of do that just for fun.

    It also sounds like you’re really having fun playing lead guitar on this record. There’s an almost subversive nature to the way that you pepper the solos on songs like “Ain’t Got Nobody” with dissonant phrases and chromaticism.

    The trick for me was how to make it sound new and not cliché. Rock guitar has been around for decades now, and there are so many strong traditions, and so much of it is just burned into my fingers. So, nine times out of 10, when I pick up the guitar to jam something, it sounds pretty cliché.

    One way that I get around that is, before I even pick up the guitar, I record myself singing the guitar solo, and then I go back and I learn it on guitar. I sing things that I would never think to play with my fingers. On the solo to “Ain’t Got Nobody,” which I really love, it actually took me a long time to learn how to articulate what I had sung, and I ended up doing some really nontraditional, non-guitaristic things.

    This is an excerpt from the all-new November 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the rest of this story, plus our cover feature on Jeff Beck and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, not to mention features on Eddie Van Halen/MXR, George Thorogood, the guitar pick revolution, Nita Strauss and Black Veil Brides, plus gear reviews (Epiphone, Zoom, Gretsch, TC-Helicon, Mesa and more) and lessons by Marty Friedman and Steel Panther's Satchel, check out the November 2014 issue of Guitar World!

    Photo: Emily Shur

    1114_Gib&Beck.jpg

    Additional Content

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    These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the October 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.

    Today’s assortment of acoustic guitar flavors is almost as varied and vivid as that of electric guitars—from the baritone bellow of a jumbo dreadnought to the polite parlance of a petite parlor instrument.

    Prestige’s Eclipse Series falls squarely in the middle of the pack, where it adheres to the traditional ideal of an acoustic guitar as vocal accompaniment.

    The latest addition to the series is the auditorium-sized Cedar/Rosewood, a stunning piece of craftsmanship that creates its high-energy response with a select cedar top and exotic tonewoods.


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    D’Addario and Rolling Stone are in search of the guitar greats of tomorrow with “The Next Young Gun.”

    This contest is a continuation of the 30-week Young Guns series on rollingstone.com, which showcased artists Kurt Vile, Blake Mills, Tosin Abasi, Guthrie Trapp, Gary Clark Jr. and many more.

    This series premiered in conjunction with the release of D’Addario’s NYXL guitar strings, which were designed to bend farther, sing louder and stay in tune better than any string in history.

    To be considered for The Next Young Gun, guitarists are asked submit a video of themselves playing their own original songs, licks, riffs or solos to rollingstone.com/nextyounggun before October 13.

    D’Addario and Rolling Stone will choose up to eight finalists on October 30 and open online voting from November 5 to November 24, with a distinguished panel of musicians acting as additional judges. Participants and voters on social media can use the hashtag, #nextyounggun to keep the conversation going. The winner will be announced December 8.

    The grand prize includes a profile and coverage on RollingStone.com, a trip to Los Angeles to record at some of the country’s top studios (including Swinghouse and TRS West), a gig at an LA club and a one-year supply of D’Addario strings. Every entrant will receive a free set of D’Addario NYXLs.

    Visit daddario.com and rollingstone.com/youngguns to see D’Addario’s commitment to nurturing creativity and performance.

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    Jeff Bridges & The Abiders new album Live (Mailboat Records) is now available everywhere in stores and online today.

    The band has announced several new concert dates kicking off with a record release show at the Saban Theater in Los Angeles on November 1.

    Several other shows are confirmed to follow throughout the west coast with tickets on sale now. Additional dates will be announced soon.

    Recorded during a summer concert run at Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas earlier this year, Live includes 14-tracks of live recordings of songs from Bridges’ debut album Be Here Soon and self-titled follow up on Blue Note Records, as well as original music from the critically-acclaimed film Crazy Heart and some of his favorite chosen covers of The Byrds, Tom Waits and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

    Live was produced and mixed by the band’s musical director Chris Pelonis and mastered by Kim Rosen (Franz Ferdinand, Dashboard Confessional) at Knack Mastering.

    Over the years, Bridges’ musical endeavors have led him to perform at Neil Young’s annual Bridge School Benefit concert, on the charity-single remake of We Are the World, with his band on the Today Show, Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Austin City Limits, Live with Regis & Kelly, The Colbert Report, live sessions for Yahoo!, SiriusXM, AOL Music, and shows throughout the country.

    The band has been performing live across the U.S. from clubs to theatres to the famed Stagecoach country music festival. Fans will be able to catch Bridges performing and hosting, alongside co-host Sheryl Crow, during the upcoming primetime PBS special "Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years," set to air Friday, October 3rd at 9:00pm eastern.

    Jeff Bridges & The Abiders are Jeff Bridges (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Chris Pelonis (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Bill Flores (pedal steel, guitar), Randy Tico (upright, electric bass), and Tom Lackner (drums, percussion).

    JEFF BRIDGES & THE ABIDERS CONFIRMED DATES:

    DATE VENUE CITY/STATE
    November 1 Saban Theater Los Angeles, CA
    November 2 Canyon Club Agoura Hills, CA
    November 9 Great American Music Hall San Francisco, CA
    November 10 City Winery Napa, CA

    More info at www.jeffbridges.com


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    Has any piece of musical equipment proliferated more, or more rapidly, than the humble electric guitar effect unit?

    Though there is no official tally, suffice it to say that thousands of stomp boxes, effect devices and processors have been created for the electric guitar over the past 60 years (and that’s not including rackmount effects). Conceivably, more than half of those devices are distortion, fuzz and overdrive effects.

    So how did we come up with a list of the top 50 electric guitar effects of all time? Actually, it was easy, as most of these stomp boxes and devices turn up in the pages of this magazine on a regular basis every time we ask artists what they use in the studio and onstage.

    Other effects got the nod for being the first of their kind (like the DeArmond Tremolo Control, which dates back to the Forties and was the first optional effect device) while a few passed muster for being undeniably cool or influential — even if they’re so rare that it will cost you a few thousand bucks to score one on eBay.

    Popularity also was a critical factor in our choices, although we generally passed over a few best-selling reissues or boutique clones in favor of the real deal. So even though the Bubba Bob Buttcrack Tube Overdrive may sound more soulful than an original Tube Screamer, if it’s little more than a copy with slightly upgraded components, it didn’t make the cut.

    If you love effects like we do, we hope you'll find this top-50 list a useful guide to discovering the classic effect boxes that have shaped the guitar sounds of rock, metal, blues, punk and many other styles. And if you're like us, it will undoubtedly compel you to plunk down a chunk of cash for a collectible pedal or two on eBay. Don't say you weren't warned.


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    As we've been reporting, the latest wave of Led Zeppelin remasters will be released October 28.

    This time, Led Zep fans can prepare for new-and-improved versions of Led Zeppelin IV and Houses of the Holy.

    Speaking of which, it seems a previously unreleased track from the remastered Houses of the Holy has turned up online. Below, check out "The Rain Song (Mix Minus Piano)." It's a more intimate take on the classic 1973 cut, with more emphasis on the guitars.

    In a statement, Jimmy Page said "'The Rain Song' is the sort of piece of music Led Zeppelin could approach and do so successfully and so masterfully. This whole genre of the sensitivity, where it can sort of caress you, it’s something that I’ve always been very proud of. The companion disc version is really a good blend of everything that’s actually being played.”

    Have a listen and let us know what you think in the comments or on Facebook!

    Additional Content

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    Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the exclusive premiere of "Enigma Opera Black," a new song by French guitar virtuoso Stéphan Forté.

    It's the title track from Forté's new album, which will be released October 28.

    Guitar fans also will appreciate the appearance of master U.K. guitarist Andy James, whose guitar solo can be heard from 04:05 to 04:48.

    This is Forté’s first studio album in three years and the first to be released on his new label, Zeta Nemesis. The guitarist was able to swing for the fences in a way he hadn’t in the past. The result is a fresh neo-classical, metal masterpiece.

    “I’ve been listening to a lot more modern kinds of stuff, whether it’s metal or classical, and I wanted to do an instrumental album, but not the kind of cliché Neo-Classical Eighties kind of thing,” Forté said. “Even though my first album is not really like that, it can have that kind of feeling. It’s still dark and metal and heavy, but I really wanted to move to something more modern.”

    Forté incorporated an array of lower-end instruments to bring metal music into a contemporary mind frame.

    “Even though I’m not a big fan of the word ‘djent’ because I think nowadays it means just about anything, I kind of like the thought of using lower range instruments,” he said. “The fact that we’ve been using seven or eight string basses makes everything sound a bit more modern.”

    Recorded at X Fade Studios in Nanterre, France, Enigma Opera Black was co-produced by Forté’s Adagio bandmate and keyboard player Kevin Codfert. The duo spent a year writing, recording and mixing the material.

    “I took my time,” Forté said. “I really wanted to take my time and to be happy with every note, and even though I’m not happy with every note now, at least I’m close and created something that I enjoy listening to.”

    Enigma Opera Black is available for pre-order HERE. Be sure to follow Forté on Facebook.


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    The third annual CBGB Music & Film Festival will take over Manhattan October 8 to 12 — providing five days of incredible concerts, art exhibitions, movies and entertainment-industry shoptalk.

    And Guitar World will be right in the thick of things.

    On Saturday night (October 11), we're hosting a kick-ass evening of music featuring four of the most exciting up-and-coming female-fronted alternative and punk rock bands in New York City at Manhattan’s legendary R Bar on 218 Bowery (right across from where CBGB used to be).

    C’mon out and join Guitar World Editor-in-Chief Brad Tolinski, have some beers and watch these women work it!

    The bill includes:

    9:45 p.m. Wise Girl
    With a sound somewhere between Nineties alternative and riot grrrl, Wise Girl is a sharp, power pop foursome that draws from the past but produces something wholly modern. 2013 marked the release of the band’s first, full-length, debut, You’ll Just Have To Wait. The album is a 10-track LP filled with power chords, driving beats and fabulously quirky lyrics.

    9 p.m. Izzy Zay & The Inmates
    Vocalist/guitarist Izzy Zay is a very strange and mysterious girl. She speaks fluent English, French, Portuguese and Spanish, so it’s often difficult to pin down where she’s from or where she’s been. With her beautifully resonant voice and evocative lyrics, she explores the same subconscious landscapes and symbolic terrain as the Doors or perhaps Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd. The band features Guitar World’s Brad Tolinski on guitar and violin.

    8:15 p.m. Sharkmuffin
    Sharkmuffin's name fits. The Brooklyn three-piece outfit crafts adorable pop music with jagged, garage-aged fangs. With lyrical subjects including incest, mythical bestiality and homicidal heroin using femebots, girl group-esque hooks are paired with heavy Seventies-inspired guitar riffs to create the raw sound of these punk-rocking debutants. With these guys, it's no secret the end goal is fun

    7 p.m. Party Lights
    Party Lights unabashedly wears their power pop hearts on their sleeve. The bastard child of Cheap Trick and the Go-Go's, the Brooklyn quartet doesn't see a problem with worshiping at the altar of the Knack and the Real Kids every now and again (and again and again). Songs about revenge, heartbreak and bad choices might be bad for real life but are songwriting gold, and luckily — depending on who you ask — Party Lights has been through it all, surviving by the skin of their teeth.


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    There once was a time when rock radio was dominated by great riffs, a period when the only thing that mattered was that unmistakable guitar sound that instantly identified a band or song.

    Thankfully, the four members of Crobot — Brandon Yeagley (lead vocals), Chris Bishop (guitar), Jake Figueroa (bass) and Paul Figueroa (drums) — have made it their mission to bring back elements of those days.

    Crobot’s new album, Something Supernatural, was produced by Machine (Clutch, Lamb of God, Cobra Starship, Gym Class Heroes) and will be released October 28 on WindUp. It incorporates a lot of riff-heavy groove and funk mixed with a modernized spin.

    I recently spoke with Bishop about the new album, his gear and more. As a bonus, we're also presenting the worldwide premiere of the new video for “Skull of Geronimo,” which was created by Bishop (who also happens to be a visual artist). Check out the interview and “Skull of Geronimo” below!

    GUITAR WORLD: How would you describe Something Supernatural?

    I like to say it’s like “Clutch meets Funkadelic” with a little bit of doom tossed in there. It’s definitely on the heavier side of things.

    What was the writing process like?

    We rehearsed and wrote the album in this shed behind Brandon’s house. It was inside this room that was filled with deer heads and things like that [laughs]. It was a super-cool place to jam in.

    Most of the songs started out as previous ideas or as riffs and structures I brought to the table. Others would come out of jams where Jake would come up with a riff. That’s the beauty of being a riff-rock band. Sometimes the coolest pentatonic riffs are the ones people connect with the most.

    What can you tell me about the song “Nowhere to Hide”?

    That song was one of the first ones we collectively wrote as a band when we got together with Jake and Paul. I remember we wanted to write a song similar to Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen,” with a heavy riff and groove people will remember.

    What about the track “Skull of Geronimo”?

    That was written during that same session. Jake and I were in the writing room mapping out really technical riffs that just went on forever. We eventually cut them down and put a little Rage Against the Machine flair to it. That’s how the chorus riff came to be. For the verses, we wanted to take it in more of an ambient Soundgarden kind of direction. I really like that whirly delay sound on the guitar.

    What was it like working with Machine?

    It was amazing. Machine did some of our favorite albums of all time, and working with him was like having a fifth member of the band. He’s someone you can really trust to help you make the decisions you need to make. The recording tricks and tones he gets and the way he pulls creative things out of you that you never knew that you had is incredible.

    Tell me a little about your musical upbringing and the origin of Crobot.

    I first started learning how to play guitar when I was 10 and got good at it pretty quick. I took a little break while I was in high school to play baseball but still continued to play. My mom was the one who always said I needed to move and become a musician. So once I turned 20, I moved to Pennsylvania, where I met Brandon and we started Crobot.

    Who were some of your influences?

    The one player that influenced me the most and to this day I still love is Audley Freed (Cry of Love). I hear a lot of his influence in my own playing. I’m also a big fan of Rage Against the Machine and Clutch. Tim Sult’s simplicity and the way he uses effects is phenomenal.

    What’s your current setup?

    I’m all Orange and have used them for years. I also play Telecasters. My main one right now is a 60th anniversary American Tele. My back up is a '72 Tele Custom with P90’s in it. My pedal board has two fuzzes, two octaves, a wah and a tuner. I also have a really crazy oscillator delay that I had modded a bit. I took out the tap and changed the knobs around so I could manipulate it with my foot. I use that to build tension. You can definitely hear it in the songs. It almost sounds like a spaceship taking off.

    What excites you the most about Something Supernatural?

    We made a bold statement with this album and had a lot of people behind us who really believed in what we were doing. Machine really knew what we were going for as far as hard-hitting grooves and powerful riffs — and who doesn’t love that?

    For more about Crobot, visit crobotband.com.

    James Wood is a writer, musician and self-proclaimed metalhead who maintains his own website, GoJimmyGo.net. His articles and interviews are written on a variety of topics with passion and humor. You can follow him on Twitter @JimEWood.


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    Here's one fresh from the Guitar World video archives!

    It's a clip that appeared on the disc that accompanied our January 2006 issue, which features Metallica's Kirk Hammett on the cover.

    In the first part of the video, Hammett shows you how to play Metallica's classic "Master of Puppets." After that, Metallica buddy Zach Harmon invites the Guitar World cameras to take an exclusive tour of Metallica HQ, gear and all. Enjoy!

    Additional Content

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    Fender is proud to announce the release of the Piha’ea Soprano Ukulele.

    Piha’ea is Hawaiian for playful, and that’s exactly what this soprano-style uke is, and it’ll have players smiling as soon as they strum their first chord on it.

    An affordable yet highly playable instrument that doesn’t compromise on tone, it features an all-mahogany body, black neck and body binding, rosewood bridge, Fender headstock with open-gear tuners, and more.

    For a limited time, the Piha’ea Soprano model is available in an all-natural finish or a version with a red screen graphic of a beautiful hula girl.

    fender ukulele hula_hi.jpg

    For more information, go to www.fender.com.


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    Orion Guitar Gear has announced its new Pink Panther guitar strap.

    Proceeds from the sale of the strap will raise funds for breast-cancer awareness through Susan G. Komen Greater New York City.

    The Pink Panther is made of premium-quality pink leather, metallic silver leather stars and gunmetal hardware and is backed with premium-quality black leather on the back side for extra comfort. This unique strap will draw attention and show support for breast-cancer research.

    Orion Guitar Gear, which was founded in 2012, is based in New York City and has gained recognition as the maker of top-quality straps worn by artists such as Chris Cornell, Reignwolf, Ed Roland, Jerry Cantrell, Tyler Bryant and many others.

    For more about Orion Guitar Gear, visit orionguitargear.com.

    PINK PANTHER out of case close-up (black background).jpg


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  • 10/01/14--11:18: SongTown: Significant Others
  • There is a standard joke in Nashville that goes "What do you call a songwriter without a wife or girlfriend?" The punchline is "homeless."

    There is almost always some truth in a joke. The truth in this one is that most of us - me included - need some support, both emotional and financial, early in our careers if we hope to succeed.

    It takes a long time to make money in this business. if you are not independently wealthy, then you are going to have to have someone help support you if you decided to devote all of your time to songwriting at some point.

    That can take a toll on relationships. In my first marriage, my wife agreed to go back to work full time as a pharmacist for a while to let me try to get things going as a writer. It took much longer than we thought it would take and it caused a lot of friction. She wanted to quit work and be home full time. I was always "right on the edge" of something big happening.

    By the time something big did happen, she was angry and bitter. She resented my songwriting and she resented me. She even resented my success. She resented the fact that I loved my work when she worked in a job she didn't enjoy too much. Trouble was, I didn't find out about all of that resentment until it had been festering for about 5 years. By that time, it was a tough mountain to climb. And we couldn't fix it.

    So, what did I learn from my experience?

    1) Communicate, communicate, communicate. I should have communicated more to her about what was going on with my music. If I had kept her more in the loop, she might have been more understanding. if she had told me that she resented my songwriting, we could have at least addressed the issue. Lack of communication cause LOTS of difficulties down the road.

    2) Plan for the long haul. There are very few quick success stories in the music business. If you are making a plan to try this full time, talk to your significant other about a number of "what-ifs." Talk about what happens in 2 years, 5 years, 10 years if you still aren't making a full-time salary at songwriting. Planning in advance can avoid lots of trouble later.

    3) Show appreciation to your significant other. I didn't do this enough. If your significant other is supporting you while you chase your dream, a DAILY thank you would not be too much. Tell them in person that you appreciate their support and brag on them in front of others. Remember that you would not be doing this if it weren't for their support.

    4) It is not your significant other's responsibility to "get" you. Writers are a weird breed. We get on creative bursts and forget to pay bills or take care of other life issues. We sometimes go inside ourselves and seem to be pushing the people around us away. We can be hard to live with. It's not their job to understand that. It's OUR job to communicate what is going on in our heads and to help our significant other feel loved and appreciated. They will "get" you if you communicate well and often.

    5) Put your relationships first. Songwriting is not the most important thing in the world. No job is more important than the people that you care about, and that care about you. Keep those priorities straight.

    If you are a "significant other" helping a dreamer you love chase their dream, THANK YOU! You are a special person.

    Marty Dodson

    Marty Dodson is a songwriter, corporate trainer and entrepreneur. His songs have been recorded by artists such as Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Joe Cocker, Leon Russell and The Plain White T’s. He once bumped Psy out of the #1 spot on the K-Pop charts but that’s another story for another day. Marty plays Taylor and Batson guitars. Follow him here: www.facebook.com/songtownusa, at www.facebook.com/martydodsonsongwriter and at Twitter @SongTownUSA or visit martydodson.com


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    Early last month, GuitarWorld.com posted the exclusive premiere of "Angel," a new instrumental track by guitarist and frequent Guitar World contributor Glenn Proudfoot.

    Today, we have the sequel, if you will! It's the official transcription of the song, courtesy of Proudfoot.

    The song is from his new album, Ineffable, which is available for pre-order through glennproudfoot.com and iTunes.

    "I always love to write solo pieces for the electric guitar," Proudfoot says about "Angel," which you can check out below. "It has the ability to sound so sweet and angelic but then, with the flick of a switch, can go to the other end of that spectrum and be totally brutal.

    "This is why, every day, I can ground myself with this amazing instrument. You really have the world at your fingertips. It allows you to convey every possible feeling you could have.

    "This piece is based around the use of harp harmonics. I've always been fascinated with the harp, the long rolling effortless arpeggios and the beautiful way harp players shape chords.

    "The sound is created by using the harp harmonics then finger picking and legato to create the free-flowing sound. I also use wide interval chordal shapes more like a pianist to give it that spacious feeling.

    "This is a very special piece of music for me. I feel incredibly blessed to be sharing it with you."

    You can follow Proudfoot on YouTube or Facebook.

    Angel -PDF


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    In the context of songwriting partnerships, few teams have been as long-lasting — or as successful — as that of Jim Vallance and Bryan Adams.

    Since being introduced by a mutual friend in a music store in 1978, Vallance and Adams have written hits that appear on Adams’ albums You Want It, You Got It; Cuts Like a Knife; and the 1984 monster, Reckless, which sold more than 5 million copies in the U.S. alone.

    Adams will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Reckless in November with a four-disc, super-deluxe reissue package that includes bonus-track demos recorded in Vallance’s basement studio in 1983 and '84.

    Over the years, Vallance has continued to flex his songwriting muscle, penning hits with Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions and Lita Ford, to name just a few.

    I recently spoke to Vallance about the Reckless sessions, his time working with Adams and his upcoming projects.

    GUITAR WORLD: When you think back to the Reckless album, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

    Mostly, I remember how much work we did. Bryan and I got together in my basement studio every day for a year ... noon 'til midnight. Some days were more productive than others, but we always put in the time and did the work.

    What were those songwriting sessions like?

    Bryan and I had a daily routine. He would arrive at noon, we'd have a sandwich and a cup of tea and then we'd go downstairs and get to work. We'd start by deciding if we were going to write a fast song or a slow song and then we'd set up a "drum loop" for inspiration. Usually, Bryan would play guitar and I'd play bass or piano. We'd jam for hours until one of us played or sang something interesting. Then we'd spend time fleshing out the idea or we'd jam some more until another idea materialized. We repeated the routine every day for months. It was always productive. There were very few wasted sessions.

    I’d like to get your thoughts on a few tracks from Reckless."Run to You."

    "Run to You" was written for our producer friend Bruce Fairbairn. He needed a song for Blue Oyster Cult. They didn't like the song, so Bryan recorded it himself.

    "Heaven."

    "Heaven" was written for the soundtrack of a film called A Night in Heaven. It was a dreadful film, but we got a decent song out of it!

    "Somebody."

    "Somebody" was one of those songs where we jammed for a few hours until something happened.

    Bryan has often mentioned the sexual references in “Summer of '69.” Can you tell me the real story?

    Bryan and I were talking about it recently. We were both in the room when "Summer of '69" was written, yet we have very different recollections about what inspired the song.

    I remember when we wrote the lyric I was thinking about all of the things that had happened to me during the summer of 1969: first girlfriends, first bands, lots of great music on the radio. Think about it … you're 17, you’re a budding musician and there's new music being released by the Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter and the Band. Not to mention Woodstock!

    What role (if any) did you play in the recording process for the album?

    I avoided the studio during the Reckless sessions. To be honest, I would have liked a bigger role, but if I'd been in the control room with Adams and [Bob] Clearmountain [producer], there would have been "too many chefs." My suspicions were confirmed a few years later during the Into the Fire sessions.

    I arrived at the studio one day when they were recording guitars. I made a fairly innocent comment about the guitar sound and Bob "lost it." He went nuclear on me. To his credit, he apologized a few minutes later, but my point is, it can get tense in the control room. Sometimes it's better to stay away.

    Can you tell me something that not many people know about the album?

    I attended Tina Turner's vocal session for "It's Only Love." As soon as she started singing, my heart sank. Our track was in the wrong key for Tina's vocal range! I thought we'd blown it, but Tina and Bryan tried a few things. They nudged the melody up a third and suddenly, we were back in business and Tina nailed it! What a thrilling moment that was. It was very exciting to witness.

    How did you get started in songwriting?

    Blame the Beatles. I was 11 when I saw them on television and knew right away that I wanted to be a musician. I started playing drums and guitar, but songwriting didn't happen until I was 15 or 16. I had an uncle who wrote songs, and that helped humanize it for me. I realized you didn't have to be a Beatle. Anyone could have a go at it.

    You mentioned the process you used when you wrote with Bryan. Was this the same for some of your other collaborations? Namely Aerosmith, Ozzy, Lita Ford, Scorpions?

    When I was working with Bryan in the 1980s, we didn't have any time constraints. We just kept writing until we had enough songs for an album. If it took a year, like it did with Reckless, then it took a year. Plus, we lived near each other so getting together was easy.

    It was different with artists like Aerosmith. They'd come to Vancouver or I'd go to Boston. There were also significant costs involved (flights, hotels, rental cars, restaurants) so the record company expected results. I was under a lot of pressure to deliver album-worthy songs, but I didn't mind. In fact, deadlines can be quite inspiring. It's a bit like school, where the teacher says, "I want a 20-page essay by Friday." You don't have a choice. You just do it or you get a failing grade. People don't know this, but songwriters don't get a salary. We only get paid if the album sells, and that's assuming your song makes it on the album in the first place!

    What projects are you working on right now?

    A few years ago I decided I only want to write with Bryan. I've done the 50-artists-a-year thing and it's a recipe for burn-out. I don't want to do that anymore. With Bryan, it's still a lot of work, but we know when to take a break. We pace ourselves. Bryan has three albums on the go. He's just released an album of cover songs (Tracks Of My Years) which includes one new Adams-Vallance original, "She Knows Me."

    In November, Bryan's releasing a 30th anniversary edition of Reckless with seven bonus tracks. Six of the bonus tracks are Reckless-era demos; recorded in my basement studio in 1983 and '84. We remixed them from the original 16-track tapes, but we didn't replace or re-record anything. It's me on bass, drums and keyboards, Bryan on guitar and sometimes Keith Scott playing lead. They're raw demos, never intended for release.

    But the project I'm most excited about is an album of all-new material, hopefully ready for release in 2015. I think it's our best songwriting since Reckless. One of our heroes, Jeff Lynne, is producing. It's such a thrill working with Jeff!

    James Wood is a writer, musician and self-proclaimed metalhead who maintains his own website, GoJimmyGo.net. His articles and interviews are written on a variety of topics with passion and humor. You can follow him on Twitter @JimEWood.


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    The all-new November 2014 issue of Guitar World is available now!

    In the new issue, we feature Jeff Beck and Billy Gibbons. As they prepare to hit the road together for a summer tour, the two guitar legends wax philosophical on the rock and roll relationship between guitars, cars and everything in between. Like their music, Billy and Jeff’s insights are entertaining, surprising and, yes, surreal.

    Then, Guitar World focuses on Crown the Empire. They've managed to set themselves apart by infusing their aggressive sound with orchestral elements, spoken-word pieces, sonic collages, samples, glitch electronics and souring arena-rock choruses, among other things. After a stellar debut with The Fallout, they return as metalcore superstars with their epic follow-up, The Resistance: Rise of the Runaways.

    Next, unfazed by perennial reports of rock’s death, Weezer carry on with Everything Will Be Alright in the End, their ninth, and latest, studio album

    Later, we talk about Brian Bell. As Rivers Cuomo’s sonically savvy guitar partner, he gets plenty of chances to shine.

    Finally, as MXR celebrates its 40th anniversary, Eddie Van Halen tells us how he created his signature sound with help from two of the company’s most popular pedals: the Phase 90 and Flanger. Also, how Eddie’s MXR stomp boxes came into existence.

    PLUS: Progressive picks, Tune-ups for Black Veil Brides, Avenged Sevenfold, Yellowcard, Nita Strauss, Epiphone Pro-1 acoustic and Les Paul Classic-T with Min-ETune electric guitars, Dunlop Uni-Vibe pedal, Man of Steel, Maestro AG's Gibson 18-string harp guitar and much more!

    Five Songs with Tabs for Guitar and Bass

    • Van Halen - “Ain’t Talkin’‘Bout Love”
    • Jeff Beck - “You Know What I Mean”
    • Darkest Hour - “The Misery We Make”
    • ZZ Top - “Legs”
    • Weezer - “Buddy Holly”

    Head to the Guitar World Online Store now!

    1114_Gib&Beck.jpg


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    This is an excerpt from the October 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the rest of this story, including the remainder of our Stevie Ray Vaughan "Top 30" list, Steve Howe/Yes, the 60th anniversary of the Fender Strat, lessons, tabs and reviews of new gear from TC Electronic, Seymour Duncan, Prestige Guitars and more, check out the October 2014 issue at the Guitar World Online Store.

    For someone who spent a mere seven and a half years as a heavy player on the world stage, Texas guitar-slinger Stevie Ray Vaughan left behind a wealth of recorded material—and one hell of a legacy.

    In that blink of an eye between his incongruous appearance on David Bowie’s Let’s Dance in 1983 and his death in a freak helicopter crash in 1990, Vaughan unleashed four indispensable studio albums that hijacked the trajectory of modern blues guitar.

    Without the aid of light shows, edgy haircuts and goofy rock-star posturing, he introduced the MTV generation to passion-fueled guitar music—not to mention the work and importance of Jimi Hendrix, Albert King, Buddy Guy and Howlin’ Wolf.

    He even had time to star in his own mini rock-star drama of drug and alcohol addiction, breakdown, recovery and triumphant return.

    In the all-new October 2014 issue—in honor of what would have been Vaughan’s 60th birthday (It’s about as difficult to picture SRV at 60 as it is to picture Hendrix at 72)—Guitar World looks back at what we consider his 30 greatest guitar moments. Our list digs deep into his six-string artistry, while taking historical importance and other factors into account.

    In terms of material, we’ve considered everything, including his official studio work and numerous posthumous studio and live releases—basically everything that will be included on Legacy Recordings’ new 13-disc box set, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble: The Complete Epic Album Collection, which is slated to be released in October, the anniversary of Vaughan’s birth.

    We also considered his DVDs and videos available on YouTube—pretty much everything and anything he recorded with a Fender Strat, a guitar that, as reported elsewhere in this issue, also happens to be celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.

    FOR THIS EXCERPT FROM OUR OCTOBER COVER STORY, we focus on three performances from Vaughan's October 1989 performance on Austin City Limits. These recordings represent numbers 5, 11 and 12 on our Top 30 list. Enjoy!

    05. “Leave My Girl Alone”
    (Austin City Limits, 1989; released on The Real Deal: Greatest Hits 2, 1999)

    One of the most frustrating things about Vaughan’s tragic death in August 1990 was the fact that, in the last two years of his life, his playing had somehow improved. Vaughan’s (and the rest of the band’s) coke-induced distractions were snuffed out, and his portal—that magical gateway that connected the guitarist to his unique source of inspiration, divine or otherwise—was wide open.

    A perfect example is this live 1989 version of Buddy Guy’s “Leave My Girl Alone,” recorded on the Austin City Limits TV show.

    Eric Clapton has mentioned how Jeff Beck “pulls” notes from his guitar; in this case, Vaughan is clearly “pushing” the notes out of his Strat, all in relentless, lightning-fast bursts that make you wonder what you’ve been doing with your life.

    His ominous groans between phrases underscore the passion and excitement he felt during every performance, especially when he was able to experience his surroundings as a clean and sober guitar god. — DF




    11. “Mary Had a Little Lamb”
    (Austin City Limits, 1989)

    “When I go out and play [“Mary Had a Little Lamb”], I can hear people say, ‘Oh, that's Stevie's number,’ ” Buddy Guy once said. “So I say, ‘Okay man, that's Stevie's number.’ But Stevie knows whose number it was.”

    “Mary,” the first Guy composition to be recorded by Vaughan, was the perfect canvas for Vaughan and keyboardist Reese Wynans to slather with their mad skills.

    Like the rest of this priceless 1989 Austin City Limits broadcast, Vaughan is simply on fire.

    Between the song’s funked-up sections, he delivers a series of stellar, note-perfect solos that careen and soar with the aid of some nifty whammy-bar action. — DF




    12. Tightrope
    (Austin City Limits, 1989)

    When Stevie cut 1989’s In Step, his last studio effort with Double Trouble, he showcased more of an R&B/soul approach than ever before, evidenced by the hit tracks “Crossfire” and “Tightrope.” “Tightrope” is a straightforward 4/4 groover with a James Brown–meets–Albert King type of feel.

    Shot on October 10, 1989, for Austin City Limits, Stevie’s performance is extraordinary, displaying a combination of raw power, deep emotion and technical brilliance in perfect measure.

    His Fuzz Face–drenched solo is crushing in its power while also beautifully melodic and precise.

    The intense multi-string bent vibratos at the start of his outro solo (3:42–3:46) are just the tip of the iceberg as he closes out this truly masterful performance. Andy Aledort

    This is an excerpt from the October 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the rest of this story, plus the rest of our Stevie Ray Vaughan Top 30 feature, Yes, the 60th anniversary of the Fender Strat, columns, tabs and reviews of new gear from TC Electronic, Seymour Duncan, Prestige Guitars and more, check out the October 2014 issue at the Guitar World Online Store.

    Additional Content

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    Right now, you're reading a story on a website for (and by) guitarists.

    This means you already play guitar and are looking for a little vindication of your obsession — or you’re a beginner looking to find out whether you've chosen the right instrument.

    Well, here's every reason you'll ever need to quiet the little voice in the back of your head that asks, “Why am I doing this?” Check out the top 10 reasons to start playing guitar!

    10. Mating

    Boys, admit it. Whatever your purportedly purist goals were, you had visions of female affection racing through your mind when you figured out the riff to “Enter Sandman.” After all, it pays off when the fairer sex sees how well you can use your hands. Conversely, girls, though you often don’t get proper recognition as players, you automatically have the rapt attention of every male music-nerd who dreams of dating a guitar heroine.

    09. Piss Off Your Parents

    Rebellion is a natural expression of individuality. Since several generations of adults were raised on rock music, it takes a bit of creativity to get under the folks’ skin. A gentle, new-age acoustic interlude could drive Slayer-loving parents bonkers. And if you want to get artsy, assembling a dozen friends to rehearse an atonal Glen Branca guitar symphony should do the trick.

    08. An Alternative to the Sporting Life

    Too short and skinny to play football? Pick up an axe. The average jock’s self-esteem — not to his mention knees — collapses shortly after high school. For guitarists, life just gets better, as there are years of gigs, jam sessions, and musical explorations ahead.

    07. Improve Your Vocabulary

    Learn the arcane meanings of common words like action, bridge, gauge, stack, shred, and pickup. Using their secret meanings around the square crowd might lead to embarrassing and potentially dangerous situations, but when you speak them around another guitarist, he will recognize you as one of the club and doors will open.

    06. Be the Life of the Party

    People are drawn toward guitarists in social situations — as long as those guitarists play (rather than talk about gear). It’s the guitarist’s responsibility to lead the campfire sing-alongs as well as make night club audiences gasp at ripping-good riffs or solos. Lamp shades and chicken buckets are optional.

    05. Form a Band and Join the Circus

    It’s a great way to meet friends and gain attention. If the combo is good, you could stay away from home for weeks at a time, eat a steady diet of fast food, associate with mentally unbalanced characters, get ripped off by club owners, and then return to a lousy job so you can save up money to do it all again.

    Nietzsche.jpg

    04. Head Start on a Psychology or Management Degree

    You’ve seen This Is Spinal Tap and The Commitments. Once in a band, you get to observe the twisted little minds of musicians. If you figure out how to make the insane drummer, egomaniacal singer, absent bassist, (ahem) insecure guitarist, and redundant yet snobbish keyboardist get along and show up for gigs on time, document it and put it on your college application. Dammit, sociologists get published for writing about musician subculture.

    03. Versatility

    You can’t play chords on a violin. You can’t slur notes on a piano. You can’t play counterpoint harmonies on a sax. Pete Townshend couldn’t have beaten up Abbie Hoffman at Woodstock if he had played bagpipes now, could he? It ain’t perfect, but the guitar has a vast range of musical possibilities for those who take the time to learn it well.

    02. Slay Your Idols

    OK, Nietzsche (pictured above), once you master “Eruption,” the next step is proving you’re faster than Yngwie, more inventive than Hendrix and more athletic than Angus. You will dominate the guitar universe and lay your heroes to waste! Good luck. Don’t attempt to be a god. Strive for guru status, develop a cult of followers, and sell them instructional videos.

    01. Enlightenment

    If you wade though all the other reasons for playing and make it a lifelong activity, the realization will hit that you possess the gift of communicating with people through the sublime language of music. Ever walk away from a gig or a jam session and felt as if you had just been in another world because your playing was so good? That’s the ticket to nirvana, brah.


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