Samuel Clemens’ 1835 Martin is a sight to behold. The instrument, reportedly valued at over $15 million, was a constant companion of the roving author. From Guitarsite:

Mark Twain ‘gigged’ with his 1835 Martin extensively as a singer guitarist, bringing it along to his many travels. Like the main protagonist of his popular novel: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain traveled far and wide, often with only his 1835 Martin, paper and ink to accompany him.

Take a look at this beauty over at Guitarsite.

Right here.

Longtime REO Speedwagon guitarist Gary Richrath has died at 65. The band’s vocalist shared the news on Facebook. Via

My longtime friend and collaborator Gary Richrath passed away earlier today. I learned most of what I know about being in a rock band from Gary Richrath. The entire REO Family mourns his death and shares in the grief of his family, friends, and fans. These words do not come close to expressing the depth of emotions I am feeling at this time.

Without question, Richrath’s work on “Roll With the Changes,” “Keep Pushin'” and many others is inextricably woven into the life’s soundtrack of one growing up in the Midwest, as did this author. Roll easy, Gary.


Right here.



Due to his recent news, Tony MacAlpine is on our minds. Here’s Tony showing a Carvin 7-string in the May 2001 Guitar Player. That year he released the solo album Chromaticity and appeared on the collaboration CAB 2.

Scary news from the Tony MacAlpine camp: The legendary guitarist has pulled out of scheduled tours of Australia and Asia due to health concerns. From his press release, via Guitar World:

Last week I was taken to the hospital with severe stomach pains. Following blood work, multiple MRI scans and various procedures, doctors discovered a large mass in my intestine, and it seems likely we are dealing with cancer. My doctors have advised me this will need to be dealt with immediately, and I am scheduled for surgery this week.

All the best to Tony.

Read more at GW. 

Right here.

Ahh, what one could buy with $14 million: dozens of perfectly respectable houses, 35 top-of-the-line Ferraris, 14 million scratcher cards, bringing traffic at the convenience store to a halt, or … the ten most expensive guitars ever sold, according to The Telegraph. The UK publication recently profiled ten axes that took astronomical prices at auction, including a Washburn Hawk formerly owned by Bob Marley:

This instrument is classified as a national asset by the Jamaican government and is one of the only seven guitars owned by the reggae icon.

Predictably, half of the high dollar guitars are Eric Clapton related.

Look at them all at The Guardian.

Right here.



Austin guitar wizard Eric Johnson is known as a stickler for tone, so an endorsement from him may be more meaningful than most. This Trace Elliot ad comes from Guitar Player, May 2001, appearing not long before Johnson released his website-only collection Souvenir.

Once again we go far into the dark realms of Internet past to resuscitate an Inquisition from the very deceased Grace & Fury website. This interview with Matt Fox from the great Shai Hulud was the first in the series of articles which debuted in early 2001. I think. Matt and the band are on tour right now, so we’re dredging up this yellowed snapshot.

What’s the last album you listened to?
Sepultura – Chaos AD.  I’m listening to it as I answer these questions!!

What is one album you feel everyone should listen to?
Wow, tough choice, there are so many.  As of right now I will say, Damnation AD – Kingdom of Lost Souls.  It is a great album that really got no recognition.  Such a shame, it is a great record.  Listen all the way through a couple of times.  Pay close attention. There are some brilliant moments. It’s one of my favorites.

Name one person, present or past, that you would love to collaborate/jam with.
Hmm, another tough one.  There are just so many people.  It would depend on my mood really, If I was in the mood for heavy and aggressive music, I would say James Hetfield from Metallica.  That would certainly be wonderful. If I was in a lighter and more cerebral mood, I would say, Paul Simon. That would be incredible.  To write a song with Mr. Simon would be a dream come true.

Name one person outside of music that you admire and why.
Jim Henson, creator of The Muppets.  Mr. Henson and his vision/brilliance is responsible for enlightening, educating, and entertaining billions of children and adults regardless of gender, race or religion.  It’s quite an accomplishment. He made a deep and positive impression on the world for what will most likely be centuries to come.  That is admirable.

Do you read music?
Not even one note.

Any other obsessions/passions besides music?
Aside from music, I love film and theater.  I love everything about a good movie or play, but above all, I appreciate realistic and clever dialogue, and good acting.  In the future I would love to write plays and screenplays.  I also love to act, mainly on stage.  During my short stint in college, I majored in Drama /Theater, I would love to act on stage again. I’ll get back to it one day.

What was your first guitar, do you still have it?
My first Guitar was a black Ibanez that I bought from a pawn shop in 1991. I loved that thing, but my friends in Strongarm took it apart with plans of doing something, I can’t remember what. I don’t have it anymore, unfortunately. It sat in pieces at Josh Colbert’s (guitarist of Strongarm) house for a few years. I have no idea what happened to it. I still love Ibanez guitars though.


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