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Below, thanks to the wonders and mysteries of YouTube, you can watch a classic BBC documentary called Arena — Heavy Metal from 1989.
The 48-minute video, which originally was shown on the U.K.'s BBC Two as part of its "Heavy Metal Heaven" series, features live footage of Metallica (They kick things off the clip with "Seek & Destroy"), Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Iron Maiden, Jimi Hendrix, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Megadeth, Motörhead, Napalm Death, Slayer, Steppenwolf and more.
There also are then-current interviews with Tom Araya, Geezer Butler, Bruce Dickinson, Malcolm Dome, Steve Harris, Ozzy Osbourne, Jimmy Page, Axl Rose, David Lee Roth, Lars Ulrich and many others. Enjoy!
Want to expand and diversify your guitar skills and repertoire?
Guitar World's new 50 Expert Guitar Licks DVD helps you do it with great guitar phrases written and presented by some of the biggest virtuosos in rock, metal, shred, prog, fusion and other styles, including Joe Satriani, Marty Friedman, Alex Skolnick, Gus G and Guitar World's own resident expert, senior music editor Jimmy Brown.
Each lick includes tab, a written explanation to guide you through the lick and — best of all — video from the artist who created it.
50 Expert Guitar Licks is the most comprehensive instructional course of its kind.
• Michael Angelo Batio
• Jimmy Brown
• Zane Carney (John Mayer)
• Mike Errico
• Marty Friedman
• Gus G (Ozzy Osbourne)
• Joel Hoekstra (Night Ranger)
• Joel Kosche (Collective Soul)
• Jeff Loomis (Nevermore)
• Rob Math (Leatherwolf)
• Gary Potter
• Glenn Proudfoot
• Dave Reffett
• Joe Satriani
• Alex Skolnick (Testament)
• Andy Timmons
The Doors’ Jim Morrison lit the world on fire, but it was guitarist Robby Krieger who supplied the matches. In 2008, the legendary axman shed light on one of rock’s most mysterious bands for Guitar World.
The Doors’ Jim Morrison lit the world on fire, but it was guitarist Robby Krieger who supplied the matches. Here, the legendary axman sheds light on one of rock’s most mysterious bands.
“It was hard living with Jim.”
Robby Krieger is talking about his days as guitarist with the Doors, reflecting on his role as creative sidekick to one of rock’s all-time great lyricists, singers, sex symbols and extreme personalities, Jim Morrison. “It would have been so great if we’d just had a guy like Sting,” says Krieger wistfully. “You know, a normal guy who’s extremely talented, too. Someone who didn’t have to be on the verge of life and death every second of his life.”
The guitarist laughs at his own fantasy. He knows better than anyone that it was Morrison’s inner demons, which surfaced all too frequently, that gave the Doors’ music its resonance and power. But while Morrison was undoubtedly one of rock’s great visionaries, the contributions of the other Doors to the band’s unique sound and success cannot be overlooked. The blues-based, often hypnotic music created by Krieger, organist Ray Manzarek and drummer John Densmore perfectly complemented Morrison’s commanding, sensual vocals and mesmerizing lyrics. And it was actually Krieger who penned many of the Doors’ greatest songs and biggest hits, including “Light My Fire,” “Love Me Two Times” and “Touch Me.”
Remarkably, when Krieger joined the Doors in 1965 he was only 18 years old and had been playing guitar for just two years — electric guitar a mere six months.
“I really learned to play as a member of the Doors,” he asserts. “I just tried to sound like myself—I consciously avoided copying Chuck Berry or B.B. King because that’s what everyone was doing. I tried to come up with the right part for the song and play something that would complement Jim’s singing.
“It must have worked,” he adds coyly. “I think we came up with a pretty good body of work.”
Pretty good, yes. Good enough to have gotten the Doors inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last January and to have inspired Oliver Stone’s reverential 1991 biopic. And, most of all, good enough to enthrall three decades of rock fans with music that remains as powerful and profound in the Nineties as it was in the Sixties.
Robby Krieger cannot escape his past with the Doors, even though the band essentially died with Morrison in 1971. Although he has remained active, touring regularly and recording seven solo albums dominated by instrumental music, Krieger says, “I realized pretty quickly that I would never again have another band like the Doors. Music has become more of a fun thing for me, much like painting is — something that’s personally rewarding. It’s what I do and how I identify myself: I’m Robby Krieger, guitarist.”
Most people would say: Robby Krieger, Doors guitarist. What follows are Krieger’s recollections of the Doors’ career, from their 1967 self-titled debut to 1971’s brilliant swan song, L.A. Woman.
Released January 1967
GUITAR WORLD:What was your first impression of Jim Morrison?
I first met him when he came to my house with John Densmore and he seemed pretty normal. I didn’t really get a sense that there was anything unusual about him until the end of our first rehearsal. Initially, everything was cool. Then this guy came looking for Jim. Something had gone wrong with a dope deal, and Jim just went nuts. Absolutely bananas. I thought, Jesus Christ, this guy’s not normal.
What were your impressions of Ray Manzarek?
When I first met him, he was the “big man on campus” at the UCLA film school. In fact, our first gig as a band was to provide music for one of his student films. Afterwards Ray got up in front of an auditorium full of people and gave a speech. I remember it well, because he had them in the palm of his hand. He was down-right mesmerizing. He was a major character, but Jim kind of kept him in his place. Jim was so out there that Ray’s personality was overwhelmed — which, oddly enough, created a good balance.
And you were pretty much what you appeared to be: a nice, quiet guy who fit in between these two powerful personalities?
Well, dealing with Jim kind of changed me, too, because I was pretty crazy myself. I was the first one at my school to try acid and I was always the one pushing things. Then I got into the Doors and I couldn’t hold a candle to Jim and Ray. [laughs] But I had already gone through acid and I was onto meditation by the time I joined the Doors—I actually met John at meditation class—so I had already mellowed out.
When were the Doors thrown out of the Whisky-A-Go-Go for performing “The End”?
Well, that’s overstating it a little bit. That whole incident has been blown out of proportion. There was a fight with the owner and we were thrown out, but I don’t think we were actually fired. We kept playing the Whisky after that.
Jim’s antics are held in such reverence now. Were they funny at the time?
It was always a bummer. We had this group which we all knew had the potential to be something really big, and Jim was trying to sabotage it by fucking up at every turn. We would call a rehearsal, Jim wouldn’t show, and we’d get a call from Blythe, Arizona, telling us that he was in jail.
Yet you guys were amazingly productive. You produced six studio albums in three or four years. Were his work habits really that bad?
No. the music was all he lived for. A lot of times he was at the office when we weren’t. He’d even live there sometimes, because that was his whole life. We all had lives other than the Doors, but he didn’t, and he kind of resented that. He felt like he was living it 24 hours a day, and we weren’t. And he was right.
But the recording sessions really bored him. We had to hang around interminably until they got the drum sound down and all that shit, so I can’t blame him for going crazy. Paul Rothchild, our producer, was a real perfectionist.
How important was Paul to your music?
It really differed from album to album. On the first one, he just turned on the mic and stepped out of the way. The second album, when we actually had a budget, Paul really got involved in the sound.
We were all kind of freaked out recording the first album because we didn’t know what it would be like. For example, it really bothered us that we couldn’t turn up as loud as we wanted.
Yet it really sounds like you were all playing with total abandon.
That’s because we had been playing those songs for so long that we really had the material down cold. Everything was cut in one or two takes.
Your version of “Back Door Man” is really effective. Were there any debates about how faithful you should be to the original version?
No. For one thing, we probably weren’t good enough musicians to do exact copies and we knew that Jim would never sing it anywhere near the original anyhow. So we just went on our own.
For years it was a little-known fact that you wrote “Light My Fire.” That changed when Oliver Stone made it a point to show how the song evolved in his movie, The Doors. Was it as simple as pulling a crumpled piece of paper out of your pocket and offering it to the band like the movie suggests?
It’s pretty close. Jim had been writing all the songs and then one day we realized we didn’t have enough tunes, so he said, “Hey, why don’t you guys try and write songs?” I wrote “Light My Fire” that night and brought it to the next rehearsal. It was my idea to have that scene in the movie, by the way. I wanted it there because it’s always kind of bugged me that so many people don’t know that I was the composer.
Your solo on “Light My Fire” is truly one of your shining moments as a guitarist. Was it improvised in the studio?
It was the kind of solo that I usually did, but it was different every night. To be honest, the one on the record is not one of my better versions. I only had two tries at it. But it’s not bad; I’m glad it was as good as it was.
Was the whole album recorded live?
No. Jim always sang with us, but they rarely used the scratch vocal. “The End” was an exception.
What do you think of the song now?
I think that particular version of “The End” was nowhere near as good as the way we played it many other times. All the songs on the first album were like skeletons of how we really played them. It was just a combination of not having any studio experience and having to do everything so fast. I also think that studios are, by nature, limiting. You cannot get the sound of five big amplifiers on a little piece of tape.
Did you ever think about how strange it was not to have a bass player?
Definitely. We always thought about that. We wanted a bass player, and we auditioned a few — but we never could find one who was right. Looking back, I’m glad we didn’t, because the Doors’ sound was largely a result of the fact that Ray had to play really simple bass lines, which gave the music a hypnotic feel.
And not having a bass player affected my guitar playing a lot. It made me play more bass notes to fill out the bottom. Not having a rhythm player also made me play differently to fill out the sound. And then, of course, I played lead, so I always felt like three players simultaneously.
“Light My Fire,” the first song you ever wrote, was a number-one hit. It’s sudden success must have been mind-boggling.
It wasn’t that sudden. It actually felt like forever to us. We started the band in 1965, and nothing happened for two years. We were going crazy. Finally, after being turned down by everyone in town, Elektra signed us. Our first single bombed, and it was another six months before “Light My Fire” hit. So it seemed like a long time. We felt like veterans.
Did you use your standard gear in the studio? Were you playing an SG?
Yeah, though the first red one I had was a Melody Maker. I had a few red SGs in the Doors, but they’re all gone now, mostly stolen or lost. Amp-wise, I usually used a Twin Reverb in the studio.
You almost allowed “Light My Fire” to be used in a car commercial before Jim put an end to it. Did Jim do the right thing?
Oh yeah, absolutely. In fact, it’s been our policy to reject any subsequent offers—and we’ve had quite a few. I really hate it when I see other bands selling their music to commercials. And by the time a big corporation is interested in using your music, you don’t need the money. So there’s really no excuse.
Released November 1967
When the second album came out it was attacked by many critics as being a retread of the first. Do you think that was valid criticism?
Only on one count. I’ll admit that “When the Music’s Over” was similar to “The End” in length and structure, but so what? Something works, so you do it again. It’s one of my favorite songs.
I don’t think that Morrison’s poetry rap is quite as interesting on “When the Music’s Over” as “The End.”
No, it’s not. How can you possibly top “The End”? What’s left once you’ve fucked your mother and killed your father? [laughs] The reason it’s my favorite song is my solo — I think it’s my best.
That solo is composed of two solos being played simultaneously. Did you improvise both of them on the spot?
Pretty much. In fact, I’ve never been able to reproduce them. That solo was really a challenge because the harmony is static. I had to play 56 bars over the same riff, which isn’t easy. It’s a lot easier to play something over an interesting chord progression. But we did that a lot because we were really into [saxophonist] John Coltrane, who pioneered “modal” jazz and soloed brilliantly over static harmonies and minimal chord progressions. I was always trying to play something that sounded like him — just totally out there in terms of tonality. I think “When the Music’s Over” is the closest I ever came.
You recorded Strange Days less than a year after your debut. Did Elektra put a lot of pressure on you?
No, we were ready. We had tons of material for the first two albums; the pressure came on the third album. We ran out of stuff and Jim was pretty fucked up on liquor by then, so it was hard to write with him and that’s when I started writing more of my own songs. It was also difficult to write while we were touring, so we started writing a lot more in the studio.
What was life on the road with the Doors like?
Not as crazy as you would think. At first, it was mostly teenyboppers and groupies and a few local nuts hanging around. But a couple of years down the road, when people realized how weird we were, we really started drawing some creeps. We still do, I might add—Morrison wannabes show up on my doorstep all the time. And they always want to sing. [laughs]
Speaking of weirdoes, “People Are Strange” has a great chord progression. Did you write that?
Yeah. Jim came up to my house in Laurel Canyon one night, and he was in one of his suicidal, downer moods. So John said, “Come on, Jim, we’ll go see the sunset. That’ll get you out of this.” We went up to the top of Laurel Canyon and it was incredibly beautiful — we were looking down on the sun reflecting off the top of the clouds. Jim had a total mood flip-flop, and said, “Wow! Now I know why I felt like that. It’s because if you’re strange, people are strange.” And he wrote the lyrics right there. Then I came up with the music and we went back down the hill.
Why wasn’t “Moonlight Drive,” the first song you wrote and rehearsed together, on the first album?
It wasn’t really the first song: “Indian Summer” was, and “Moonlight Drive” was the second. But we didn’t think the version that we cut was good enough, so we decided to drop it off the first album and try again next time. Unfortunately we’ve never been able to find the damn master for the first version. I think we may have found it now, and I hope I’m right because I always thought it was good. It was totally different than the one on Strange Days. It was real dark and laid-back, very spooky.
Any strange memories from the Strange Days album?
One time, we were getting ready to leave for the night and Jim didn’t want to stop because he was feeling good. He kept saying, “Man, I want to play all night.” But we were all tired and wanted to go home. Jim finally left, but he came back half an hour later, climbed over the fence, broke into the studio, took out the fire extinguisher and sprayed it into the piano and all over everything. It was quite a surprise in the morning. [laughs]
Were you guys around when Jim recorded “House Latitudes”?
Yeah. He said he had a poem he wanted to read and he wanted something real weird to back it. There were all these instruments in the studio from an orchestra session — harpsichords and pianos and timpani. We all started banging on them and fumbling around inside the pianos, and there were 10 or 12 people just screaming at the top of their lungs. After we laid that down, Jim overdubbed the poem.
The funny thing was, as we were listening back at full volume and Jim was reading, the guys from the Jefferson Airplane came straggling in — high as kites, or course. They stared at us like we were out of our minds, but we just acted casual and said, “Oh yeah, this is one of our songs.” [laughs]
Were you friends with them?
Sort of. We always played on the same bill, but we didn’t really hang out much. There was always a bit of competitive vibe—to see who could blow who off the stage.
We didn’t hang out with other musicians that much — just Van Morrison when he came to town, and occasionally the guys in Buffalo Springfield. We didn’t get too close with the San Francisco groups — especially the Grateful Dead, who wouldn’t let us use their amps one night. We had a gig at Beverly Hills High School in the afternoon and then one about an hour up the coast in Santa Barbara, so we left our gear, figuring the Dead would let us use their stuff. You’d always let people use your amps in those days, but they just refused. I ended up playing through a Pignose or something equally ridiculous.
Ray was aghast at the fact that Pigpen wouldn’t let him use his organ. He kept saying, “Pigpen? Someone named Pigpen won’t let me use his instrument? I could catch cooties from his organ.” He couldn’t believe it.
WAITING FOR THE SUN
Released August 1968
It seems like the band was in a creative lull and feeling a lot of pressure by the third album. Do you see a band like Pearl Jam going through a similar thing?
Their situation is a lot different, but, yes, I see the similarities. I know Eddie [Vedder] — he sang with us at our induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year—and he wants to be like Jim. He was drilling me about Jim — asking me a million questions about how Jim would have reacted to various situations. And he is kind of a troubled person and a very serious guy, like Jim was. But I don’t think he, or anyone else in that band, is too fucked up to write good material. They may not be the straightest people in the world, but it’s not like our situation, where you have a guy who’s really out of control. Eddie’s not like that; he knows what he’s doing.
Does it trouble you to see someone emulate a person whose self-destruction you witnessed?
Yeah, it really does. I always tell people, “Don’t drink because Jim drank. That was a mistake. That’s what fucked him up.” If it weren’t for the booze he might still be writing today.
Had his drinking gotten seriously worse when you were recording Waiting for the Sun?
Definitely. That’s when the liquor really started being a problem. Before that, everything was more or less fine. LSD was no problem because it was a creative thing. There’s nothing good about liquor — it just fucks you up—though at first it relaxes you, which is what you probably need after taking eight-zillion acid trips. [laughs]
“Hello, I Love You” was a number-one hit and Waiting for the Sun topped the album charts. Can that kind of success get you through a creative lull?
It helped a lot. In fact, we were just going out on tour when “Hello, I Love You” hit number one, and it really buoyed our spirits. People always think that we stole that track from the Kinks’ “All Day and All of the Night,” but we weren’t thinking of them at all. What I did steal was the drumbeat: I told John to play something like “Sunshine of Your Love.” So, we ripped off the Cream, not the Kinks.
What specific recollections do you have of these sessions?
A lot of very horrible ones. By that time, Jim was being taken advantage of by various hangers-on. He would bring them to the studio and Rothchild would go crazy — all these drunken assholes would be hanging around, fucking in the echo chamber and pissing in the closets. It was a mess.
Jim would drink with anybody because we wouldn’t drink with him. He would take on all these assholes, who used him: “Hey, we’re hanging with Jumbo.” And they wouldn’t care how fucked up he got—they’d leave him on somebody’s doorstep in his own puke.
At what point did you guys refuse to drink with him?
I never drank with him because I didn’t like to drink to excess and he loved to go until he couldn’t see. I knew what was coming and hated to see it, so I would usually be gone by that point. John and Ray felt the same way.
Were you three using a lot of drugs at that point?
No. Not at all. And the fact that Jim was using so much made us use even less. The romance was definitely gone. Once in a while he would talk me into taking acid — just like you saw in the movie — but not often.
THE SOFT PARADE
Released January 1969
The Soft Parade features several heavily orchestrated, intricately arranged songs. Were you compelled to go into this direction because of the Beatles?
Yeah, totally. In those days you had to try to keep up with the Beatles! But, to be honest, I didn’t really like orchestrating the songs. It definitely wasn’t my idea — it was Paul Rothchild’s. I never would have done it.
Does it sound better to you now?
Actually, it does sound better with time. But I never thought it sounded bad—I just thought it didn’t sound like us. The Doors were lost. It was Jim and the orchestra.
This was the first album where you had individual songwriting credits.
Right. Jim originally wanted everything to say “written by the Doors” to keep things mysterious. But everybody just took it for granted that he wrote everything. I think he realized that wasn’t fair and wanted to give others credit.
Did he actually write the music on those songs where he alone is credited?
No. He would hear the song in his head. But he didn’t play anything, so he would sing a vocal melody, and we would have to figure out what to do. But a lot of times he just had a poem on paper and I would come up with something. Other times I would come up with a melody, and he’d put words to it.
What about the Soft Parade sessions sticks out in your mind?
The endless mixing sessions. That was a very long, drawn-out album. We spent more money on it than we did on any other album. And Jim was hard to find. All the mixing bored the hell out of him. But I think his drinking problem wasn’t as bad as it was on Waiting for the Sun, because he had started making a film, which kept him busy.
There was one funny thing that happened. This crazy guy appeared and apparently he thought that “The Celebration of the Lizard” [a Morrison poem which appeared on Waiting for the Sun] was written about him. He was yelling, “How did you know that I’m the Lizard King, goddamn it! That’s me. You wrote a song about me!” And he smacked Ray right in the eye because he thought Ray was Jim. Ray had his glasses on and they just crumpled. It was a mess.
Before the poem appeared had you ever heard Jim refer to himself as the Lizard King?
He was always obsessed with lizards—he loved that kind of stuff because he’d seen it on acid a lot. But I don’t know when he came up with “I am the Lizard King.” I think he wished he had never said that. It was just another thing he had to live up to.
During the Soft Parade tour, your Miami concert erupted in pandemonium and was canceled. Later Jim was charged with indecent exposure. What do you remember of the concert?
Well, first of all, Jim did not pull it out. But it was bedlam, just total craziness. The place was oversold, thousands of people swarmed the stage, and it collapsed. I remember Jim just rolling around in the midst of all those people and I was wondering if we would ever get out of there. It was very much like in the movie — they did a real good job on that one.
But you had no sense that the incident was going to turn into such a big thing?
No, hell no! Okay, the concert was fucked up, and we didn’t finish, but nobody was angry, nobody asked for their money back. And the cops were friendly — they sat around drinking beers with us after the show. Nothing happened until a week later, when somebody decided to make a stink about it. Some politician decided to make their career at our expense. Then it fucked everything up. We couldn’t play anywhere for a year. The Hall Managers’ Association basically banned us.
Did Jim feel very persecuted?
I’m sure he did. But he wasn’t surprised. He knew he was pushing authority as far as it could go. We really did have the sense that we had pushed the system to the edge and finally they were pushing back.
Released March 1970
“Roadhouse Blues” and a couple of other songs on Morrison Hotel hinted at the changes to come on L.A. Woman—heading in a bluesier, more bare-bones direction.
I think it was a reaction to the overproduction of The Soft Parade. We wanted to get back to basics. “Roadhouse Blues” is one of my personal favorites. I was always proud of that song because, as simple as it is, it’s not just another blues. That one little lick makes it a song, and I think that sums up the genius of the Doors. I think that song stands up really well as an example of what made us a great band. And the session was really cool — one of my fondest memories of the band. We cut the tune live, with John Sebastian playing harp and Lonnie Mack playing bass—he came up with that fantastic bass line.
How did Mack end up on there?
He just happened to be hanging around. I think he had a contract with Elektra and wasn’t recording so they gave him a job at the studio. We just said, “Hey, why don’t you play bass?”
You co-wrote “Peace Frog” with Jim.
Yes. I had written the music, we rehearsed it up, and it was really happening, but we didn’t have any lyrics and Jim wasn’t around. We just said, “Fuck it, let’s record it. He’ll come up with something.” And he did. He took out his poetry book and found a poem that fit. But it always seemed kind of forced to me, to tell you the truth.
The legend has Ray and Jim being very tight, but you’re the one who wrote with him a lot.
In the very early days Ray was very close with Jim; Jim actually lived with Ray and his wife. He was almost like their son, and he was great for a while—he wasn’t drinking or anything. The problem was that Ray became a father figure, so Jim rebelled. He fucked their house up—trashed it on more than one occasion — and took advantage of them in many ways. Then I joined the band and sort of latched on to Jim, and we hung out a lot.
Ray worked up all the early songs with Jim — everything on the first album. Then I wrote a lot with Jim — before I started really writing on my own—and those songs went mostly on the second and third albums.
Did you ever talk about lyrics with Jim?
Not much. He didn’t like to explain lyrics because he wanted people to interpret them themselves. But he thought about that stuff a lot. He was also somewhat into pure impressionism — which I think is what he liked about my songs. I always tried to write something that just fit the music, even if it didn’t especially mean anything.
Released June 1971
Legend has it that L.A. Woman was cut entirely live.
Not entirely, but a lot of it was live, and the song “L.A. Woman” was completely live. I think that could be the quintessential Doors song, and the way we came up with it was amazing. We just started playing and it came together as if by magic. Jim made a lot of it up as he went along, which is amazing because I think it’s one of his most poetic songs. I can remember Jim sitting in the bathroom with the mic singing and all of us just having a great time.
That album was the first time you had a rhythm guitarist— Marc Benno.
That was basically just so we could do it live. It freed me up. And we thought it might add a different flavor. I actually enjoyed it, and I didn’t have to do as much overdubbing.
You still did some overdubbing; it sounds like there are at least four guitar tracks on “I’ve Been Down So Long.”
Yeah, there probably are. Ray played a guitar and Benno played, and I probably overdubbed one too. I think I also overdubbed two or three slide parts.
That slide solo is one of your craziest.
Definitely. I was just trying to capture a mood without worrying about technique.
The beauty of your slide playing — and your blues playing in general — is you don’t mimic the originators. And you never really cleaned your blues up — you left it a little messy. Some white guys tend to be very anal.
That’s right. That’s what I didn’t like about Mike Bloomfield — too perfect. I always just tried to do my thing. I could play traditional blues slide, but all the other guys reacted more enthusiastically to my untraditional slide playing. In fact, that’s what got me into the band. Jim always loved my slide playing—he wanted me to play it almost exclusively.
Did Jim ever critique your playing?
He would always tell me that I was the most underrated guitar player around. What’s funny is that the four of us hardly ever criticized the others’ playing—or even suggested anything. We worked so well together that we hardly ever had to talk about it. Everybody just played the right part in the right place at the right time.
“Cars Hiss By My Window” is a rather unusual blues.
Yeah. That was our Jimmy Reed piece. Jim was really getting into the blues at that time and he loved it when I would just play straight blues. He’d sit there and make up songs on the spot. He just wanted to play all night. It’s too bad because I really think that had we done another album it would have been a lot more straight blues stuff, which I always loved.
How did “Riders on the Storm” develop?
We were fooling around with “Ghost Riders in the Sky” one day and somehow it turned into “Riders on the Storm.” It just happened.
Another change on L.A. Woman is the absence of reverb, particularly on Jim’s voice, which was so heavily reverbed on your first few albums.
Well, Sunset Sound, where we recorded the first two albums, had one of the best echo chambers in the world. It was a live chamber, which they don’t make anymore. And it sounded so great that we used it a lot more than we might otherwise have. We piped everything through there.
But L.A. Woman was recorded on an eight-track in our rehearsal space and Paul Rothchild was gone, which is one reason we had so much fun. The warden was gone.
So, even after all your success, you still had that sort of relationship with the producer, where he was cracking the whip?
Yeah, we just kind of took it for granted that he would produce and we would do things his way — you stick with success. And, finally, he was like a rat deserting a sinking ship. I think he figured it was time to bail.
So there was a sense that the Doors were a sinking ship?
Yeah, definitely. We couldn’t play anywhere, we were fucked because of the Miami incident. Morrison Hotel didn’t do that well, Jim looked bad and was getting fat… All things considered, I thought it was pretty cool that L.A. Woman did well.
I think we came up with something so loose because there was no pressure. We figured we were already screwed, so we were having fun again. we were so far gone that it was like our first album.
Just weeks after the album entered the Top Ten, Jim was dead. Do you remember finding out?
Yeah. I got a phone call and I didn’t believe it because we used to hear shit like that all the time—that Jim jumped off a cliff or something. So we sent our manager off to Paris, and he called and said it was true.
People often talk about the inevitability of him dying young. Do you buy that?
No! I thought he would never die. I thought he’d outlive everybody, like one of those Irish drunks who’d drink a fifth of whisky a day and live until they’re 80. He seemed invulnerable, the way he would do things and jump out of windows without getting hurt. I never saw those things, but I would hear about them the next day. For some reason, he was fairly well behaved around me. Somehow our relationship developed where he stayed fairly calm around me, thank God. [laughs]
After Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin died, Jim supposedly told people that he would be the third to die at 27. Did you remember him saying such things?
Yeah. He was definitely obsessed with death. He talked about it all the time.
There’s always been talk that he’s not dead, and Ray has occasionally fueled that idea. Have you ever thought that?
Yes and no. I’ve allowed myself to fantasize at times, but I’m sure that if he wasn’t dead he would have gotten hold of us by now. But then again, if there’s anybody who could pull off something like that, it was him. I still think about him quite a bit. I always have dreams that he’s alive, and we’re playing together again. Wishful thinking.
This one comes to us via a recent post over at kottke.org. It's a clip of Metallica performing "Enter Sandman" in Moscow, Russia, in 1991.
Besides the impressive performance, the clip stands out because of the massive sea of people that turned out to watch the band.
The original post, which you can check out here, draws a comparison between the crowds that turned out for a Moscow food line, the opening of a new Shake Shack in the city, the opening of the Soviet Union's first McDonald's in 1990 — and, of course, Metallica's historic 1991 appearance.
The September 28 show at Tushino Airfield "unofficially" drew 1.6 million people, although more realistic estimates say it was closer to 150,000 to 500,000. You decide!
Queens of the Stone Age made their Austin City Limits debut last week.
It was an epic, hour-long performance, all of which you can watch below.
Also, be sure to check out the bottom video, which is an online-exclusive performance of "Like Clockwork."
For more about Austin City Limits, including the show's schedule (and a behind-the-scenes feature pertaining to QOTSA's appearance), visit acltv.com.
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A new year is upon us, and with it comes the familiar and arguably cliche theme of new beginnings.
People treat January as an opportunity to re-ignite their motivations in a host of different ways. Whether it be to eat healthier, exercise more or start learning an instrument (hint, hint), there is perhaps never a better time than now to start anew.
So I'd like to talk about a subject I think deserves a lot of attention from beginners and experienced players during this time of year: choosing your battles and measuring expectations wisely.
What do I mean by this?
We live in a very exciting time where information is ubiquitous and the steady stream of knowledge never seems to slow down. In general, this is a great thing. But there are always two sides to every coin. Most people (myself included) run the risk of becoming completely overwhelmed by all of the different websites and YouTube videos that are out there on any given topic of interest. Particularly for a beginner guitarist, this could stop you dead in your tracks.
Instead of comfortably drinking from a water fountain, it could seem as if you're unsuccessfully drinking from a fire hose. How can we get back to the manageable analogy of the water fountain in which we control when and when not to take a drink? There are many answers to that question, but the common denominator for all possible scenarios is self-discipline.
Along with controlling the volume of information, we also must make sure we're receiving reliable information. So let's look at a few of the ways in which this can be accomplished.
THE MORE SOURCES, THE BETTER
The internet is indispensably useful, but all it takes is one bad website or YouTube video with incomplete or inaccurate facts to set you on a path which leads to bad habits and poor techniques. My advice is to always check out multiple sources when learning something new. By visiting several websites and watching multiple YouTube videos on the same topic, you can significantly lessen your chances of absorbing faulty information.
GUITAR SPECIFIC OR GENERAL MUSIC BOOKS
If a particular subject or technique is still not clarified, then it might be a good idea to buy a professionally published book either for guitar playing or general music concepts. The obvious advantage here is that the authors often times have many years of musical experience and, in some cases, have received formal education at a college level.
Another advantage is that the publisher has a reputation to uphold and generally likes making money off of book sales. Both of which can be jeopardized if their product contains erroneous material. If you decide to explore this option and you're an intermediate or advanced player, I'd recommend checking out Creative Guitar (books 1 and 2) by the super-talented and knowledgable Guthrie Govan.
JOIN AN INTERNET FORUM
This can be a good substitute for those who don't have many musically inclined friends and would like to receive some advice from other musicians. However, this option definitely falls under the "the more sources, the better" category concerning the information you hear from your fellow forumers. Always be skeptical of an overly opinionated individual and search other websites to confirm what you've read at a particular forum.
There are those who say that, in this day and age, guitar lessons are becoming obsolete. Think about it: Why do you need a guitar teacher when every conceivable playing style can be easily found on the internet, fully explained, with video, for free?
Well, precisely for the reasons we've been talking about. The role of a guitar teacher has somewhat shifted from a gatekeeper of knowledge to that of a mentor, personal trainer or coach. Obviously the quality and personality of the teacher needs to be compatible with your learning style, but a good teacher can really help you turn that fire hose back into a water fountain.
Similar to books, any DVD or internet videos which have been released by a professional company or distributor likely has reliable information for the same reasons. It all depends on how you like to learn. Some people prefer reading, others prefer learning visually. Generally, theory based concepts might be better suited for books and physical techniques for videos.
So that's a pretty solid list of options that can help insure you're receiving high-quality information. Again, this applies to beginners or experienced players alike.
In Part 2, we'll focus more specifically on how to control the volume of information, especially if you're approaching this from a DIY mentality.
Chris Breen is a New Jersey-based guitarist with 14 years of experience under his belt. He, along with his brother Jon (on drums) started the two-piece metal project known as SCARSIC in 2011. Due to a lack of members, Chris tracked guitars, bass and vocals for their self titled four-song demo (available on iTunes, Spotify and Rhapsody). They have recently been joined by bassist Bill Loucas and are writing new material. Chris also is part of an all-acoustic side project known as Eyes Turn Stone. Chris teaches guitar lessons as well (in person or via Skype). If you're interested in taking lessons with Chris, visit BreenMusicLessons.com for more info.
As the Winery Dogs, Richie Kotzen, Billy Sheehan and Mike Portnoy team up for some roof-raising improvisation on their self-titled debut.
“I’ve been playing in a trio format almost since I started playing guitar,” Richie Kotzen says.
“The key is listening, responding to what’s going on around you, and not being afraid of space. If you’re talking with someone, and you stop and take a breath, they might want to respond, and then you respond. And when you’re in a three-piece band doing that improvisational thing, it’s the same. It’s language, it’s talking. It’s conversation.”
There’s good conversation aplenty on The Winery Dogs, the self-titled debut from the new power trio featuring Kotzen, bassist Billy Sheehan and drummer Mike Portnoy.
After all, each of these guys has some remarkable credentials. Kotzen has handled guitar duties for Poison and Mr. Big, collaborated with everyone from Gene Simmons to Stanley Clarke, and pursued a prolific solo career.
Sheehan counts Mr. Big, David Lee Roth, Talas and jazz-rock-fusion trio Niacin among the many musical feathers in his cap, while Portnoy has co-founded prog-metal legends Dream Theater as well as progressive supergroups Transatlantic and Liquid Tension Experiment.
While their impressive résumés and even more impressive chops might lead you to expect a total shred-fest, The Winery Dogs is actually filled to the brim with sturdily constructed, hard-driving rock and roll. Tracks like “Elevate,” “The Other Side” and “Time Machine” contain their share of stunning interplay and jaw-dropping licks, but the emphasis throughout is placed firmly on groove and melody.
With Kotzen’s soulfully smoky pipes leading the charge, the overall effect is something like a proggier Grand Funk Railroad crossed with Soundgarden at their most accessible.
“Grand Funk is a good band to bring up,” Sheehan says. “I’m a huge Grand Funk fan, and I see some parallels. Like those guys, we got together in a room, with little amps and little drum kit, and made songs. Organic is definitely a word that applies here, in the sense that it grew on its own and we let nature take its course. There was no plan of, ‘We’ll get together and do this thing where it’s kind of soulful.’ We never did that. We just got together, and this is what happened.”
Sheehan and Portnoy had originally planned to form a power trio with former Whitesnake/Thin Lizzy guitarist John Sykes. After the attempt failed, the two men hooked up with Kotzen in early 2012. Their music already sounds as if they've been playing together for years—and, in a way, they have.
Kotzen first collaborated with Sheehan and Mr. Big drummer Pat Torpey on “Locked Out,” a song from his 1998 solo album What Is…, then joined Mr. Big for 2000’s Get Over It and 2001’s Actual Size LPs. “Billy and I have a pretty long history together,” Kotzen says. “A band can be a very fragile relationship, but we already know each other well and know how to deal with each other, and that’s important.”
Sheehan and Portnoy first played together on the 1996 album Working Man: A Tribute to Rush, then joined forces again a decade later for a Who tribute tour with Mr. Big guitarist Paul Gilbert and Extreme frontman Gary Cherone. The Winery Dogs marks the first time the bassist and drummer have really collaborated on original material, but the songs came quickly once Kotzen joined the party. “The first day we jammed together,” Sheehan says, “we came up with about four or five pieces of music that later ended up on the record.”
“One of us would start playing something, be it a drum beat or a bass line or a guitar riff,” Kotzen explains. “And then we’d jam together and make templates of instrumental pieces—verse, chorus, bridge, whatever—then later we worked out the melodies and vocals. And because the songs were written from the standpoint of focusing on the vocal, the shredding elements came into play wherever there was room for them to naturally evolve.
He points to the song “Not Hopeless” as an example. The song was begun from a riff that Sheehan started playing at one of the group’s jam sessions. “It’s pretty much a standard rock song,” Kotzen says.
“It’s not that elaborate. But in the middle of the song, there’s a long instrumental thing where the bass and drums are kind of dueling and moving together, and suddenly the guitar comes in and plays the unison.
"What happened was, Billy started going off, and Mike started responding to what Billy was doing. I was listening to it and decided that, in the second half of that break, I was going to double what Billy did there. It sounds like we went in and charted it out, but that’s really not how it worked at all.”
For the recording, Kotzen used his signature Fender Telecaster (which features a sanded neck, a Schaller D-Tuner on the low E, a DiMarzio Chopper T mini humbucker in the bridge position and a DiMarzio Twang King pickup in the neck position) strung with D’Addario EXL115s (.011–.049) and run through a variety of amplifiers.
“I used a Fender Custom Vibrolux and a Fender Vibro-King—I often had them linked—and I also sometimes had a Fender Bassman linked in with the Vibro-King,” he says. “Also, I have a 20-watt Marshall head that just has two knobs, tone and volume, and I used that with a 2x12 cabinet. And then, for some of the really heavy stuff—it’s stuff you don’t really hear, mostly for texture—I have a 100-watt Plexi, and I doubled certain things with it in the bigger choruses where I’m playing open, whole-note power chords.”
As befits the album’s live-in-the-studio vibe, Kotzen’s guitar tone is fat and natural sounding. All of the reverb and tremolo you hear comes from the Vibro-King. His bare-bones pedal board contains only a Sobot Drivebreaker 4 overdrive, a Tech 21 digital delay and a Dunlop Jerry Cantrell wah. “I also have a rotating speaker, a Mesa/Boogie Revolver cabinet,” he says. “It has a cool chorus sound, which I used in the song ‘One More Time.’ ” Sheehan played his signature Yamaha Attitude bass through his live rig: a Pearce pre-amp, an Ashly audio compressor, and Hartke LH 1000 and HA5500 heads.
According to Kotzen, the stripped-down, organic nature of the Winery Dogs’ sound—both in the studio and onstage—was one of the things that inspired the band’s name. “A winery dog is actually something real,” he explains. “They were used to guard the vineyards and chase the pests away that would spoil the vines and the grapes. So if the winery dogs were guarding the vineyards, you could say that we’re kind of guarding the old-school approach to making records and making music.
“There’s a lot of great modern music,” he continues, “but so much of it is made by people who aren’t really musicians. Technology has allowed them the creative freedom to make music, which is a beautiful thing. But the kind of music we play requires some degree of time alone with the instrument.
"I’m still learning to play, and I’ve been playing since I was seven, so let’s say you need a good five to 10 years with the guitar to really figure out how it works. You spend years learning the instrument, you play with other guys, and when you make the record, you’re in the room playing together. You’re not using a machine to create the art. I’m not dissing that technology; it’s just that this is what we do in the Winery Dogs.”
Photo: Larry Di Marzio
These videos are bonus content related to the February 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now, or in our online store.
Historically, semihollow guitars have been mostly associated with jazz, electric blues, folk-rock and classic rock.
Their clean, warm tones are perfect for full-sounding rhythm work and expressive lead playing. Unfortunately, the semihollow design has typically been too feedback-prone for high-gain amplification and too slow for modern fleet-fingered technique.
As a result, electric semihollow guitars have been relegated, for the most part, to traditional musical styles and embraced by only a small number of modern metal guitarists, who undoubtedly spend a good deal of time tweaking the EQ to minimize feedback and the action for fast fretwork.
Prestige has brought the electric semihollow into the modern world with its Musician Series line of semihollows that feel and sound more like acoustically enhanced solidbodies.
These videos are bonus content related to the February 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now, or in our online store.
Hello, everyone, and welcome to my new GW column. Over the next few months, I’ll be demonstrating many of the techniques and musical devices I employ in my playing and writing with my band, Revocation. I hope the concepts I present will help you become a better musician and inspire you to discover new sounds on the guitar.
I’d like to start off by demonstrating some of the licks I play in the song “Invidious," from our latest, self-titled release. Some of the melodic phrases in the tune are performed using hybrid picking, a technique sometimes referred to as “chicken pickin’,” wherein I combine standard flatpicking with fingerpicking.
Hybrid picking is not usually associated with thrash metal-style guitar playing, but I find the technique to be extremely useful in executing fast, unusual phrases like these.
This is an excerpt from the February 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the rest of this story, plus our "Van Halen 1984 Revisited" interview with Eddie Van Halen and features on Jake E. Lee, Tosin Abasi, Steel Panther, Five Finger Death Punch and John Petrucci's monthly column — check out the February 2014 issue at the Guitar World Online Store.
Twenty-five years on, Ozzy Osbourne and Zakk Wylde recall the audition, rehearsals and recording sessions that resulted in their auspicious debut outing, 1988’s No Rest for the Wicked.
In the pantheon of Ozzy Osbourne solo albums, 1988’s No Rest for the Wicked is neither trailblazing like the Randy Rhoads–assisted Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman nor a high-water mark like the four-times-Platinum-selling No More Tears.
It hasn’t even stood the test of time all that well: although No Rest for the Wicked moved more than a million copies in its first six months of release and was Osbourne’s second-highest charting solo effort up to that point, its songs—including hit singles like “Crazy Babies” and “Miracle Man”—are rarely, if ever, played live by the man today (though in recent years he has resurrected the power ballad “Fire in the Sky” at select shows).
But No Rest for the Wicked will forever stand as an essential entry in the Ozzy Osbourne catalog for one very significant reason: it presented to the metal world the debut of a young guitar phenom by the name of Zakk Wylde. Just 21 years old at the time of the album’s release, Wylde would go on to serve as Osbourne’s right-hand man for many years to come and grow into one of the most dynamic, influential and respected guitar players in modern hard rock and metal.
“He’s a fucking absolutely amazing guitar player,” Osbourne says of Wylde today, speaking to Guitar World from his home in Los Angeles. “And from the word go, he was great. He don’t fuck around. He hits it right in the fucking gut.”
And yet, back in 1987, Wylde—or, make that, Jeffrey Wielandt—was merely one among thousands of big-haired, big-riffing metal guitarists honing their craft in small-town bars and clubs across the U.S. At the time, the New Jersey native spent his days pumping gas at a service station and giving guitar lessons, and his nights playing in a local act named Zyris that had built up a strong area following. Wylde was also, as he has attested often over the years, a huge Ozzy and Black Sabbath fan.
“I loved Sabbath, loved Randy, and I thought Jake [E. Lee] was great, too,” the guitarist, now 46, recalls. “And I remember around that time [in 1987] hearing Ozz on The Howard Stern Show. Jake was gone and he was looking for a new guy. And Barb [Wylde’s then-girlfriend, and now wife, Barbaranne] said to me, ‘If you could just get a tape to him…’ And it was like, ‘Yeah, sure. How am I gonna do that?’ ”
The answer to that question came just a few weeks later, after a Zyris performance at Close Encounters, a club in Sayreville, New Jersey. “It was a Saturday night gig, in front of, I don’t know, maybe 108 people,” Wylde says with a laugh. “Nothing too spectacular. And afterward, I’m loading up my gear and this guy named Dave Feld comes up to me and says, ‘Have you ever thought about auditioning for Ozzy?’ And I’m like, ‘Sure, whatever dude. You know the guys from Zeppelin, too?’ But he told me if I put together a demo tape and took some pictures he could get it to a friend of his, [photographer] Mark Weiss, who had just finished doing a shoot with Ozzy.”
Though Feld would later work for Atlantic Records—according to Wylde, he was responsible for pairing another New Jersey band, Skid Row, with singer Sebastian Bach—at the time he was merely a local acquaintance of the guitarist’s. “Dave said, ‘I can’t promise you anything, but it’s a shot,’ ” Wylde continues. “So I figured, Why the hell not?”
For his audition tape, which over the years has cropped up in various configurations online, Wylde compiled a few original riffs and solos, as well as some acoustic classical performances and his interpretations of Rhoads’ leads from the Blizzard of Ozz classic “Mr. Crowley” and Diary of a Madman’s“Flying High Again.” Even at this young age, Wylde’s playing, despite some era-appropriate pop-metal and neoclassical moments in the original material, sounds remarkably similar to his style today, full of incredibly speedy and precise alternate-picked passages and wide, vocal-like note vibrato.
The quality of the recording, however, did not match that of the playing. “I think I had two boomboxes going,” Wylde recalls. “I recorded myself doing the rhythms on one, then played that back and soloed along with it and recorded that on the other one. It was early multitracking.” But Feld did in fact make good on getting the tape, via Mark Weiss, to Ozzy’s camp. In time, Wylde received a call at his parents’ house from Osbourne’s wife and manager, Sharon, asking him to come out to L.A. “The running joke was that it was one of my jackoff friends putting his mom on the phone to fuck with me,” Wylde says. “But then they sent me a plane ticket.”
Wylde was one of several hopefuls, out of a pool of what has been reported to have been more than 400, to receive an invite to audition. He recalls arriving at an old rehearsal space off of Lankershim Boulevard in Los Angeles. “I walk into the room, and here I am, first time ever in L.A., and I’m meeting Ozzy Osbourne. And Ozz comes in and—I’ll never forget it—he goes, ‘Have I met you before?’ ”
For the rest of this story, plus our "Van Halen 1984 Revisited" interview with Eddie Van Halen and features on Jake E. Lee, Tosin Abasi, Steel Panther, Five Finger Death Punch and John Petrucci's monthly column — check out the February 2014 issue at the Guitar World Online Store.
Photo: Neil Zlozower/AtlasIcons.com
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In advance of this month's 2014 Winter NAMM Show, the gang at AXL Guitars has released two intentionally mysterious teaser videos for their new line of guitars.
The videos were posted with the line, "Be the first to see the all new AXL USA 2014 line at Winter NAMM 2014."
The AXL USA booth (#5476) will be in Hall B at the NAMM Show, which takes place in Anaheim, California, January 23 to 26.
In celebration of it’s 15th anniversary, Red Bull Music Academy will release full-length feature film What Difference Does It Make? A Film About Making Music. Directed by award-winning director Ralf Schmerberg and shot at the 2013 Red Bull Music Academy in New York, the film will premiere on February 17 through limited engagement screenings in select cities across the globe including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit followed by a free worldwide digital release on February 18 on redbullmusicacademy.com.Watch the official trailer here>>
What Difference Does It Make? A Film About Making Music explores the challenges that a life in music can bring. Through arresting and original images orchestrated in a rhythmic and musical way, the film seeks to go beyond music, and ask questions about life itself.
Artists featured in the film include Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Giorgio Moroder, Erykah Badu, Nile Rodgers, Rakim, Skream, Q-Tip, Bernie Worrell, Egyptian Lover, Ken Scott, Thundercat, Richie Hawtin, James Murphy, Debbie Harry, Stephen O’ Malley and many others. Every one of these artists has been heavily influential in shaping the face of music today and all of these artists have lectured or been studio tutors at the Red Bull Music Academy.
What Difference Does It Make? A Film About Making Music evokes the heady atmosphere of the Red Bull Music Academy, a place where fresh musical ideas tend to spark between artists representing different genres and generations. In a different city each year, 60 up-and-coming musicians from around the world participate in workshops with musical luminaries in a custom-fitted complex of studios and workspaces. By night, they perform in the city’s cult venues and concert halls, alongside contemporary and classic innovators as well as heroes and heroines of the local scene. Long after the last notes are played, the experiences and insights gained there tend to resonate deeply in the lives and practices of those who take part.
View the trailer here:
Applications for the 2014 Red Bull Music Academy, taking place in Tokyo this October, will open on January 15. For more information, visit redbullmusicacademy.com.
Dream Theater have released their first 360° app for iOS.
The DreamTheater360° App, which is available as of today, offers fans an interactive look at the band's Luna Park, Buenos Aires, performance, as captured by Mativision multi-camera 360-degree video technology.
The app, in its first release, includes five interactive songs filmed and produced using the Mativision technology.
From a press release issued this morning:
The app "virtually transports fans directly onto the Luna Park stage right next to the band members and completely immerses them in a unique experience that they can control in real time. Each fan can direct the show by manipulating Mativision’s multi-camera iOS player and enjoy the concert in any way they want.
"They can seamlessly choose to switch from among six different cameras while also being able to rotate camera angles by taping and dragging, or by using the device’s built-in gyroscope. Fans can even zoom in and out or simply switch to “auto pilot” mode and enjoy the show without interaction."
The DreamTheater360° App also includes up-to-date band-related content such as a biography, discography, photos and continuously updated tour information, news and social media. Mativision will constantly surprise fans with frequent updates, adding more exclusive content. The DreamTheater360° App is available from the iOS AppStore now for $9.99. Check it out at iTunes here.
For more about Mativision, visit mativision.com.
We thought we'd glance back at the classic Mark II lineup of Deep Purple — Ritchie Blackmore (guitar), Roger Glover (bass), Ian Gillan (vocals), Ian Paice (drums) and Jon Lord (keyboards) — tearing it up, live in New York in 1973.
The video's title calls it a "Full Concert." And while that's not quite accurate, the clip does represent 22-plus minutes of Deep Purple at the top of their game.
They plow through "Strange Kind of Woman,""Smoke on the Water" and "Space Truckin'" before turning things over to Lord, who is eventually joined by Blackmore, who throws down and steps on his Strat, tosses it in the air, replaces it with another (out-of-tune) Strat and slips into smoke-machine nirvana.
While we don't know much about the show's exact date or venue, we know it was filmed before July 1973, when singer David Coverdale stepped in for Gillan.
The current version of Deep Purple features the same rhythm section seen in the video below — Glover and Paice — plus Gillan on vocals. Dixie Dregs axeman Steve Morse and keyboardist Don Airey round out the band's current lineup. Lord, who died last year, retired from the band in 2002. Blackmore quit in 1993.
Fly Boys. You could easily fool me into thinking that's the title of a mid-Nineties movie about a group of high schoolers who throw a killer house party while their parents are out of town.
But that’s neither here nor there. Fly Boys is the latest line of pedals from TWA, which is distributed by Godlyke.
This collection of pedals is for on-the-go musicians — or pedal geeks who lose sleep at night over how much free space is left on their pedalboards. Each pedal sports a uniform light-weight aluminum chassis, true-bypass switching and a footprint of only 3 ½-by-1 ½ inches.
Here’s a rundown of each pedal, followed by a SoundCloud playlist of sound clips:
FB-1 Distortion: Modeled after a Marshall JCM-800, the knobs are Tone, Gain and Level. Unlike most distortion pedals, I was able to use this with the bridge pickup on my Strat and not lose definition in the low end or cause ear-piercing harshness.
FB-2 Overdrive: Made to sound similar to a TS-808, the knobs are Tone, Gain and Level. Also included is a switch with two settings; Hot and Warm. Warm is for when you need just a little more to naturally overdrive a tube amp. Hot duplicates a cranked tube amp without a noise citation. I used the Hot setting with my Strat’s neck pickup to get a thick, chunky blues tone.
FB-3 Echo: Finally someone did it — a pedal with the features of an analog delay with the brightness of a modern delay! Knobs are Echo, Rate and Intense. Echo controls the volume of the delayed signal. Rate controls the time of the delayed signal, up to 600 milliseconds. Intense determines how many times the delayed signal repeats. With a Tele, I went from a short slap-back delay to an Edge-inspired tone. I rounded things out with a self-oscillating alien attack.
FB-4 Chorus: A warmer, mellower chorus. It's great if you’re trying to replace and older, finicky chorus pedal in your chain. Knobs are Level, Rate and Depth. On a Jaguar with P90s I was able to channel Kurt Cobain and dial in a light pitch vibrato.
FB-5 Metal: I can’t top TWA’s description of “Brutal output levels and an absurd amount of gain.” Knobs are Volume, Distortion and Tone. There’s also a three-way toggle switch of Hi-Boost, Boost Off and Low Boost. I tuned a Les Paul all the way down to A just to show this beast can rumble or squeal.
All the pedals are powered by a 9-volt power supply, which isn't included. I used my Godlyke Power-All to power the entire line. I would suggest Velcro-ing the pedals to a pedalboard. Due to their light weight, they easily shift when stepped on. Even with all five pedals wired up, the total wingspan was smaller than 1 inch wide.
Price: $69 to $79
You can't believe everything you read on the Internet, but Billy Voight is a gear reviewer, bassist and guitarist from Pennsylvania. He has Hartke bass amps and Walden acoustic guitars to thank for supplying some of the finest gear on his musical journey. Need Billy's help in creating noise for your next project? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Most people who visit Mississippi are likely to spend time gambling in Tunica or Biloxi or soaking in authentic blues mojo in Clarksdale.
While Seattle guitarist Danny Mangold did his fair share of the latter during a month-long trip there, he also spent much of his time combing the streets and riverbanks for scraps to build a guitar.
“Street cleaning is pretty laid back in Mississippi,” Mangold says. “I found tons of objects laying around or washed up on the banks of the Mississippi and Sunflower rivers. Everybody there plays guitar, so I found bodies and necks in second-hand stores, grocery stores, gas stations—you name it.”
When Mangold got back home to Seattle, he used the various items he collected to convert a Gibson Les Paul into a one-of-a-kind tribute to the Mississippi Delta, the birthplace of the blues. He decorated the body with photos, rusted furnace hinges, old keys, coins and other found objects, and he finished the wood using lacquer mixed with dirt that he collected from Muddy Waters’ birthplace in Stovall and from the legendary crossroads of highways 61 and 49.
The Clarksdale guitar is just one of 15 similar instruments that Mangold has built to date. Other notables include a Hank Williams tribute Les Paul TV decorated with items found outside Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and an Elvis Presley Precision Bass. “I got a box of metal letters from an old church that had just enough letters to spell out Elvis Presley and Graceland,” he says. “Divine intervention!”
While Mangold’s guitars look like something Fred Sanford scrapped together in a Ripple-induced haze, they actually have high-performance parts that deliver pro-quality tone. “Everything under the hood is high quality,” Mangold explains. “I use Switchcraft pots, Fender and Gibson hardware, Grover or Kluson tuners, and Duncan or DiMarzio pickups.”
Although Mangold has kept three of his creations for personal use and enjoyment, he has sold the others, usually for an average price of $2,500. “I’m bored with the sameness I see in guitars everywhere,” he says. “That’s what inspired me to build guitars that tell a musical story.”
For more information, visit facebook.com/danny.mangold.9.
He’s been pumping iron for 39 years and is most famous for being the Misfits’ guitarist. But what Guitar World readers really want to know is …
Is it true that you’re [Misfits bassist] Jerry Only’s little brother and that you were a roadie for the band when you were 16? — Frankie Boy
All true, yeah. What happened was, I got a guitar for my eighth-grade graduation, and Glenn [Danzig, vocals] showed me a barre chord and my brother showed me the 12 notes on the big string, the E. And that’s still pretty much all I know.
So when their guitar player wouldn’t show up—he lived in Manhattan and sometimes he couldn’t show up for rehearsal—I would just play with them, and I picked it up really quick. One day he couldn’t make it to rehearsal, and Glenn just turned to me and said, “You do it.” I was like, “Fuck yeah I’m doin’ it!” and I did.
Abominator is your first album since Gorgeous Frankenstein back in 2007. What have you been up to for the past six years? — Sarah Ainsley
I’ve been writing like crazy, basically. We’ve actually written almost three albums. We’re just about done with the second one now. They’re waiting on me to finish it up, but I’ve been doing the Danzig Legacy Tour and I haven’t been able to record because Glenn has all my guitars with him in his storage.
I think I have four songs left to finish on guitar and bass and that second album will be ready to mix. We were going to make the first one 18 songs, but it was 70 minutes long and I never got through it once while driving anywhere. But it was awesome! Every song was great. Eventually we decided to record six more songs and then split it into two albums.
What amp head and cabinets did you use on the new record, and how does that differ from your classic Misfits setup? — Lucas Hidalgo
I made the cabinets, as well as the guitars. I fill the cabinets with 25-watt Celestion Greenbacks and Vintage 30s. My amp is an Ampeg SVT classic bass head. I run a Demeter preamp through it, and the rest is me.
Is it true that you’re trained as a machinist? Do you ever take jobs to pay the bills between tours and records? — Dylan
Yeah, you’d be surprised how many well known musicians have regular jobs. And yes, I’m a machinist. That’s how I made my guitars—at a machine shop.
I’m from Patterson, New Jersey, and as far as I’m concerned, the Misfits put Lodi, New Jersey, on the national map. Do you still live in the area? — Tony Sancarlo
I live about 50 miles from there. I moved all over and then I had to come back. But I still I live in Jersey, yeah.
What was it like to have Metallica cover the Misfits’ “Green Hell”? Were you able to make money from it? — Kenny
I didn’t get any money for it because Glenn owns all the publishing rights on that stuff. But I think Metallica did a great job with it, and it definitely helped us with our careers. They also did a great version of “Die, Die My Darling.” I couldn’t believe it when I first heard it!
When did you first get into weightlifting, and how do you stay so jacked when touring? — Nick Velez
I’ve been working out since I was 10, and I’m 49, so that’s 39 straight years. My dad was a boxer, so he was in pretty good shape, and we had weights around. I don’t know why I started—I just did it. You just have to watch what you eat and be consistent. I just do it every day that I can, and when I can’t do it, I don’t do it.
And I don’t give a fuck if I don’t do it for a day and I’ll go have a pizza. I don’t care. You can’t let it bother you, and you can’t make it like, “Oh, I’ve got to go on a workout program.” No, just be on one and have a diet. It has to be part of your life, not a chore. Actually, I’m pretty lazy about it. I should look a lot better than I do. I should look like the Hulk by now.
What led to your departure from the Misfits in 2001? — Robert Wilson Jr.
My brother wanted to go in a different direction, basically with him singing [following the departure of singer Michael Graves in 2000]. He didn’t want to get Michael or [drummer] Dr. Chud back in the band, and he didn’t want to get a new singer or a new drummer. I can’t sell you something if I don’t believe it, know what I mean? If I don’t believe it, how can I make you believe it? So with him singing…let’s just say it’s not my taste.
What’s the story behind your devilock hair style? What is the secret ingredient that you use to hold it in place? I heard you use egg whites. — Stuntman James
No egg whites—fuck no. The history of it is Elvis, Dracula and Michael Landon as a teenage werewolf [in the 1957 film I Was a Teenage Werewolf]. Those guys were the pioneers. I keep it in place with K-Y Jelly and electrical tape.
I saw you play a set with Glenn Danzig recently, and it was fucking amazing. Have you two managed to stay friends all these years, and have you all talked about a Misfits reunion? — Ben Green
Yes, we’ve always been friends, which is why I continue touring with him. The last time we talked about a reunion was in 2002. Jerry and I flew out to see Glenn and his manager to discuss it. Everything went really well. And then I drove back to the hotel with Glenn and he dropped us off, and we were talking about writing songs and doing a record and everything.
He basically asked Jerry to stop doing what he was doing: “Let it die, and then we’ll do it.” It was all planned out and everybody was into it, but the next day there was a problem and it just didn’t happen. But I was into it then, and I’m still into it. Right now, I’m the only one who is into it. Everybody wants to know who’s stopping it from happening, and it’s not me. I’ll drop the Doyle thing right now and go do it because that’s what these fans want. I’d love to make a Misfits record where I’m writing with Glenn.
Does wearing the makeup help you keep your anonymity in your day-to-day life? — Gino SanBruno
I try to not take pictures with people without it on. It’s like my Clark Kent as opposed to my Superman. I don’t like to be in Wal-Mart and some dude starts flippin’ out. That really sucks. It happens once in a while, not as much as you would think, and I’m always like, How the fuck did you know it was me? Sometimes they won’t leave you alone, and sometimes they’re cool. But if you’re having dinner with your family it’s like, Come on!
What advice would you give to a young, aspiring musician looking to make it in the industry? — David
It’s not the music hang-out-and-have-a-good-time industry—it’s the music business. And don’t stress so much on being a great musician. Write great songs. I’m a horrible musician, but I’ve been fortunate enough to play great songs.
Who were some of your early guitar and songwriting influences? — Sean Quincy Adams
My first influences for playing were Johnny Ramone and Jimmy Page, the same as everybody else. Joe Perry. The guys in Alice Cooper’s band, whatever their names were. Mick Ronson from David Bowie. You know who really influenced me to write songs? Iron Maiden.
When I heard Iron Maiden for the first time, I’m like, “If I could write songs, that’s what they would sound like,” and that’s what got me started. That, and my cousin came over one day and said, “Do you like Van Halen?” and I’m like, “I don’t even know who that is. I’ve never heard of them.” He hands me a cassette of the first album and goes, “You listen to this and then let me know what’s up.” I had stopped playing guitar, and after I listened to that tape, I picked that guitar back up. It made me want to play.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced as musician, and how did you overcome it? — Chet
I’m not really a musician yet, so maybe the biggest challenge for me is actually becoming a musician. One challenge is guitar solos and understanding what the hell they are. I don’t really give a shit about playing them. I’ll put them in songs if I feel they have to be there, but I have to write them out. I have to sit there and hum them in my head and figure out the notes.
I don’t know any scales, any arpeggios, any G clefs, or any of that horseshit. All I know are the songs I play. I think I know three Ramones songs, two Iggy pop songs and that “Smoke on the Water” riff, and I don’t even know if I play it right. That’s all I know. When people say to me, “Hey, let’s jam,” I’m like, “I don’t jam, bro. I don’t know what you’re talking about. There’s no jam.”
Photo: Travis Shinn
From the GW archive: This story — in a longer form — originally appeared in the June 2006 issue of Guitar World, which is pictured below.
“Fuck it, Hitchcock,” drawled Dime, downing the dregs of his beer.
“We’ve been hammering this for hours and we’re out of booze. Interview and lesson over…we’re hitting a bar, goddammit! Put the camera and tape machine away, I’ll film me playing the riffs we went over when I get home and Fed Ex a tape to ya.”
The date was Saturday, December 13, 2003; the time: 3:30 A.M.; the place: an upscale New York hotel room with an empty mini-bar and a case’s worth of empty Heineken bottles filling every flat surface. The occasion? The interview and planned private guitar lesson for the ‘King Dimebag Returns!” cover story for the March 2004 issue of Guitar World.
I didn’t need any prompting, I hit “stop” on my recorder and we ventured out into the heart of Manhattan. Even at that hour, finding a bar that was still open in “the city that never sleeps” was an easy task. In typical Dimebag fashion, the goateed guitarist was immediately adopted as everybody’s new best friend, especially the bartender, and also in typical Dime fashion, we drank until dawn.
Later that day Dime did a beyond stellar in-store appearance for Dunlop at a Long Island Sam Ash store (despite “one bitch of a hangover!”), and we went our separate ways...
True to his word, within a few days of Dime returning home to Texas, a Fed Ex package containing a videotape arrived. By this time, though, Darrell had agreed to come back for the third run of his wildly popular "Riffer Madness" monthly column as soon as Damageplan’s 2004 touring cycle was over, so I put the video, lesson interview and hand shots away until that time.
Sadly, for the tragic reason we are all still painfully aware of, Dime’s return as a columnist wasn’t to be, and I forgot all about the video tape he’d sent me until a couple of weeks ago when I stumbled across it.
Intrigued, I put the tape in my VCR and watched with anticipation. What I saw blew me away—30-plus minutes of Dime in magical form ripping through Damageplan riffs and some scorching, off-the-cuff licks! Even though the tape was marked “For Your Eyes Only” and was a one-take home video recorded after one of Dime’s all-nighters, I knew I had to share it.
That said, we obviously wouldn’t dream of doing anything with the footage without the permission of Dime’s nearest and dearest. So I called up his brother, Vinnie Paul, and his life-partner, Rita, to tell them what we’d got and what we’d like to do with it. Their response was immediate and identical: “Hell yeah! Run with it!” We’ve since edited the tape down to 13 minutes and, with the blessing of Dime’s family, Guitar World is proud to bring you “The Lost Lesson: Dime’s Instructional Destructional Home Video.”
Before we get started though, there are two things that quickly need clarifying:
01. Dime never intended this footage to be released; it was just done to help me tab-out his playing as accurately as possible. This said, despite its low-tech quality, it blows away most instructional videos, thanks to the man’s personality and playing!
02. Just so you aren’t left scratching your head over the “cholesterol level” wisecracks Dime makes on the footage, a few days before our Manhattan meeting I’d had a physical and was told to lay off red meat and beer because my cholesterol level was too high. Needless to say, that wasn’t going to happen on Dr. Dime’s watch—his staple diet was booze ‘n’ beef! Hence the cholesterol humor...
03. [Added in 2014] Note that we're publishing ONLY the videos from this exclusive 12-part lesson. The original lesson, which can be found in the June 2006 issue of Guitar World, features all 12 tabs and more. Enjoy!
Nick Bowcott and everyone at Guitar World would like to express our sincere thanks to Vinnie Paul and Rita for allowing us to use this precious footage of Dime. Much respect and Big Love, guys...
To recap: Intrigued, I put the tape in my VCR and watched with anticipation. What I saw blew me away—30-plus minutes of Dime in magical form ripping through Damageplan riffs and some scorching, off-the-cuff licks!
Even though the tape was marked “For Your Eyes Only” and was a one-take home video recorded after one of Dime’s all-nighters, I knew I had to share it.
That said, we obviously wouldn’t dream of doing anything with the footage without the permission of Dime’s nearest and dearest. So I called up his brother, Vinnie Paul, and his life-partner, Rita, to tell them what we’d got and what we’d like to do with it.
Their response was immediate and identical: “Hell yeah! Run with it!” We’ve since edited the tape down to 13 minutes and, with the blessing of Dime’s family, Guitar World is proud to bring you “The Lost Lesson: Dime’s Instructional Destructional Home Video.”
Below, check out videos 4, 5 and 6 of this exclusive 12-part series.
Below, check out videos 7, 8 and 9 of this exclusive 12-part series.
Below, check out videos 10, 11 and 12 of this exclusive 12-part series.
When one thinks of 2001, several cultural references spring to mind.
It was the first official year of the new millennium. A new U.S. President assumed office. And then there's the unavoidable image of HAL 9000 from Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, the red eye glowing and speaking in that creepy monotonic voice: "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."
But for all 2001's cultural quirks and musings, it is impossible not to recall what was — for those of us who weren't witness to World War II or John F. Kennedy's assassination — the most horrifying moment in the country's collective conscience: 9/11. Such a moment holds a unique place in every individual's heart and mind.
And then there were the concerts that followed in the wake. America: A Tribute to Heroes and the Concert for New York City saw a varied stable of artists, including Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, the Who and David Bowie, come together to lend some unity and celebration of life in a time of chaos and fear. It was a testament to just how important music is to the contentment of life, not just for the United States, but the entire world.
Of course, the photo gallery below doesn't stop at 2001. It continues through 2007, displaying a full seven years' worth of covers. We hope you enjoy this trip through GW's history. If you're in the mood for more, be sure to check out our photo gallery of every Guitar World magazine cover from 1980 to 1986, from 1987 to 1993 and from 1994 to 2000.
NOTE: Remember, you can click on each photo to take a closer look.
In honor of Guitar World's Van Halen cover this month, here's a little acoustic Van Halen for your listening pleasure. This live in-studio recording comes from a DVD called The Downtown Sessions, which was included within a special package of 2012's release A Different Kind of Truth. The recording features David Lee Roth on vocals with Eddie's son, Wolfgang Van Halen on bass, and Alex Van Halen on drums.
The DVD contains several songs shot live acoustically including "Panama,""You and Your Blues," and "Beautiful Girls."
Here's "You Really Got Me."
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