the great other

On the eve of KISS’ Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction there’s plenty of chatter from former band members. But none from onetime guitarist Vinnie Vincent. He seems to have gone off the grid following years of professional and personal turmoil, possibly culminating in the January 2014 death of his wife Diane Cusano. From a new Rolling Stone article:

Vincent’s fans and former bandmates have different theories about his current whereabouts: He might be in Nashville, with family in Connecticut, or with some sympathetic female Kiss fan. Wherever he’s gone, believes (promoter) Phil Elliott, Vincent will make his presence known once the bills start to pile up. ‘I don’t know how he’s going to stay afloat,’ Elliott says. ‘When he’s desperate enough, he’ll come out of the woodwork.’

Read more of the (somewhat spotty) profile and see a pic of Vincent’s seemingly abandoned house at RS.

Right here.

Guernsey’s auction house will host a sale of nearly 300 vintage archtop, flattop, and classical/flamenco guitars from a private collection in April. Guitar connoisseur Hank Risan began amassing his impressive arsenal in 1970, according to a new article in Guitar Aficionado. As he told the publication, “I wanted to buy a 1929 000-45 more than anything, and that set me on my journey. I probably bought and sold more than 10,000 instruments putting my collection together.”
Get a load of the available assortment, via GA:
The selection of instruments is staggering, consisting of various D’Angelico, Epiphone, Gibson, Gretsch, Larson, Martin, National, Regal, Stromberg, and Washburn guitars from the 1890s through the Fifties as well as classical/flamenco guitars from master builders like Antonio de Torres, José Ramírez, Manuel Ramírez, and Ignacio Fleta.
Read more and see photos at GA.

Here’s a nice discovery from deep in the web. Singer/songwriter John Martyn, OBE used many altered tunings over his 20-plus album discography and the late guitarist’s website outlines many of them. Aside from common scordatura such as Drop D and DADGAD, you’ll find examples like the title track from Solid Air, tuned CGEbFBbD—half C minor, half Bb. Dig in and take a look at them all.

Right here.

The world of guitar lost many notable citizens during the year 2013. I was prepared to post this list yesterday when yet another was added to the roll. Here are the guitarist deaths covered by Pointy Guitar over the past year:

John Wilkinson
Jef Lee Johnson
Dan Toler
Alvin Lee
Peter Banks
Jason Molina
David Parland
Hugh McCracken
Jeff Hanneman
T-Model Ford
J. J. Cale
Allen Lanier
Philip Chevron
Jan Kuehnemund
Lou Reed
Jim Hall
Eric “Guitar” Davis
Benjamin Curtis

I also personally lost two musical associates this year. Longtime student, bandmate, and friend Tommy Anderson stopped fighting demons and left us in the spring. On the short list of those I’d consider protégés, Tommy was the first. And singer/songwriter/guitarist/friend Abigail Henderson of Kansas City bands Gaslights and Tiny Horse passed in August. RIP to all of the above.

So, 2013, good riddance. You can take that type of bullshit with you.

Here’s a wonderful document of Abby & Tiny Horse.

Toto guitarist and studio veteran Steve Lukather has some thoughts on Spotify culture and the current state of recorded music in general. He’s not so crazy about it. Via Mike Collins’ blog:

It is TOO easy to play ‘pretend pop star’ now. With all the fakery and auto tune-time correction -cut and paste etc.. fuck most young people don’t know how to play a song from top to bottom in a studio in tune and in time and with feeling? I am in the studios all the time and hear the stories from the producers and engineers.. and yet NO ONE cares that ’ so and so’ who sold a shit load  of records ( how much IS that these days? )  cant sing or play. They make ‘McRecords’ for people who don’t even really listen.  It’s background music for people to either find a mate or shake their heads while texting or skyping or doing other things. Environmental noise for the multi-tasker.

And there’s a lot more vitriol where that came from. Read it all at Mike Collins Talks Music, Biz & Technologie.

Right here.

A hot tip from Mr. Beau Bledsoe.

The 1965 Fender Stratocaster with which Bob Dylan created such a ruckus at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival is headed for the auction block. Dylan famously outraged folk purists by playing the electric instrument nearly a half century ago. So, where has the Strat been? From The Guardian:

The guitar has been in the possession of a New Jersey family for nearly 50 years. Dylan left it on a private plane piloted by the owner’s late father, Vic Quinto, who worked for the musician’s manager.

It is estimated that the guitar may bring $500,000.

Read more and see the ’65 Strat at The Guardian.

Right here.

Guitarist Paul Langlois of Canadian favorites The Tragically Hip suddenly lost all hearing in his right ear while the band was recording their 2012 album Now for Plan A. As he told the Calgary Herald, “I just woke up that way. I knew right away, this is gone, because there’s no cure for it and it doesn’t come back.” The paper ads:

He was diagnosed with sudden hearing loss, a rare condition with mysterious causes — a career in loud music not among them. The condition affects only 4,000 people annually in the United States.

Read more at CH.

Right here.



Still talking about arpeggios.

Still talking about arpeggios.

Promo shot, of sorts.

Promo shot, of sorts.

Friends of Pointy Guitar – I’d like to step out from behind the curtain for a minute to request a small favor. I’m honored to have been selected as a finalist in TrueFire’s Next Top Guitar Instructor contest. In that capacity, I’ve submitted five video lessons which will appear over the next few weeks, during which time the public will be able to weigh in on their favorites. Though I’m not normally prone to Internet begging, here is an exception: If you are so inclined, please click on the banner above (or click here) and vote for yours truly. In about 46 seconds—the length of Steve Vai’s “Lighter Shade of Green”—you can register and cast a vote. Thanks in advance.

And now back to regularly scheduled programming.

Though Eddie Van Halen’s supersonic stylings certainly popularized the technique, it’s widely known that that the likes of Steve Hackett, Frank Zappa, and even Billy Gibbons dabbled with fretboard tapping years earlier. But check out this clip from 1965: In a move that prefigures Eddie’s “Spanish Fly” by 14 years, Italian guitarist Vittorio Camardese displays tapping fireworks on a nylon string guitar. Shredding starts at 1:30.

Hot tip from friend of Pointy, Beau Bledsoe.

No, Tony Iommi isn’t coming out with a line of ascots, rather the Black Sabbath legend is donating guitar strings to the charity Wear Your Music who create jewelry from the items. Check out the company’s intro to Iommi:

Having sliced off the ends of three fingers in a factory accident when first starting out Tony switched to very light gauge strings. These make his bracelet especially unique.

An Iommi bobble will run you $200, by the way.

Check out Wear Your Music’s full inventory at their official site.

Right here.

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