July 2014 has been an atrocious month for legendary guitarists: On the heels of Johnny Winter’s departure, famed Lou Reed and Alice Cooper collaborator Dick Wagner has died at 71. From The Detroit Free Press:

(Wagner) had famously overcome a series of medical issues during the past decade, retraining himself on guitar after a stroke paralyzed his left arm. He succumbed to respiratory failure at Scottsdale (Ariz.) Healthcare Shea Medical Center, where he had been in intensive care for the past two weeks following a cardiac procedure.

Aside from his high profile stints with the above, Wagner was also a widely recorded studio player, appearing (with various levels of public credit) on albums by Kiss and Aerosmith.

Read more at the Free Press.

Right here.




The ’90s were a time of cross-pollination in heavy music with the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Ministry melding industrial and metal textures to great popularity. Stabbing Westward were another successful, if less visible act in the same vein. Founding member Christopher Hall is seen here with the Ibanez Talman, another product of that decade. The band was riding their breakthrough release Wither Blister Burn & Peel when this ad ran in Guitar World, March 1997.

It’s amazing what you can buy if you have piles of money. For example, a Martin D-28 that once belonged to Elvis Presley will go to auction in Memphis next month. The guitar is currently owned by Greg Page, founder of the children’s group The Wiggles and mega Elvis collector. Despite the fact that this item and the others to be listed don’t originate from the Presley estate, they’ve all been verified as legitimate. According to Today.com:

Everything up for sale has been given the stamp of approval from the new Graceland-affiliated authentication and appraisal service, Graceland Authenticated.

Read more and take a look at the Martin at Today.com.

Right here.

The amazingly robust reddit.com/r/guitar community is hosting an interesting conversation about guitar prices, “Is there a point where a guitar just becomes simply over priced?.” In an age where you can spend more on a Gibson reissue than on a decent used car, the answer seems to be a resounding, OF COURSE. But the opposite position has a surprising amount of support. User nobodygivesafuckk (!) describes a fleeting meeting with Vince Gill’s $12,000 Kelton Swade strat:

5 years and hundreds of guitars played later, nothing else has come anywhere close, both tone-wise as well as playability. I got to play it for about 3 hours, and to this day that memory is still my most vivid one when it comes to guitars. I’m sorry, but nothing even comes close. So yeah, I guess you get what you pay for.

Read along or join the discussion at Reddit.

Right here.

G.C. Jr. beneath not very 'bright lights.'

G.C. Jr. beneath not very ‘bright lights.’

Blues bellwether Gary Clark Jr. brought his modernized mix to a sweltering Kansas City last night. Highlights of his 19 song set at Crossroads KC included “Please Come Home” and a scorching “Numb.” Here’s how the Kansas City Star’s Tim Finn summed up the young icon:

Clark can be an incendiary guitarist when he chooses, and there were plenty of fireworks all night: salvos of notes and chords delivered at high speed and in high volume, then splintering and climaxing almost libidinously into a seismic resolution …

Read the entire review at Back to Rockville.

Right here.


Reaching for the uncommon chord

Reaching for the uncommon chord

Allan Holdsworth displays one of his typical arthritis enhancing chord voicings in this ad for his own Carvin Custom Shop models, the HF1 and HF2 “Fatboy.” This piece dates to 2000, making it contemporaneous with the album The Sixteen Men of Tain. Pulled from Guitar Player, September 2000.



King’s X have been active since 1980; this Yamaha ad appeared 20 years into their career, concurrent with the album  Please Come Home… Mr. Bulbous, inset here. Ty Tabor is pictured with his signature model, since discontinued by Yamaha. Scanned from Guitar Player, September 2000.


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