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.

Smashing Pumpkins’ most recent studio album, 2012′s Oceania, will be followed up by two releases in 2015, according to main man Billy Corgan. From SmashingPumpkinsNexus.com, via Alternative Nation:

For those interested in sound, think: ‘guitars, guitars, guitars, and more guitars;’ but more so on the epic side of things than say, grossly metallic.

Read more at AN.

Right here.

"Good luck with your band"

“Good luck with your band”

Here’s a cool document unearthed by a friend, a handwritten letter from Steve Vai himself. Steve’s comments date the page to the days of the Alcatrazz album Disturbing the Peace. I like to imagine him pausing from working up “Lighter Shade of Green” to jot this note.

Thanks to Chris Ingalls for sharing.

Former Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ guitarist and REM sideman Buren Fowler has died. Though he’d maintained a lower profile of late, Fowler was very visible for a time. From Slicing Up Eyeballs:

His time with R.E.M. dates back to the mid-80s, when he served as a guitar tech with the band an played occasional second guitar on the Pageantry and Work tours. He joined Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ after that, and played with that band for five years, during which time the group recorded Mystery Road, Fly Me Courageous, Smoke and Wrapped in the Sky.

No cause of death as been released.

Read more and check out a complete Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ concert at SUE.

Right here.

To commemorate the passing of Kyser Capos founder Milton Kyser, The Unique Guitar Blog is running an in depth post about capos. The article covers the history, usage and variations of the device. For example, were you aware that classical and flamenco guitarists also capos? From UGB:

Capos are still being produced for classic and flamenco players. These devices, known as cejillas, are made of an ornate piece of wood or ivoroid that usually has a strip of felt on the bottom.

Read all about it and see photos at UGB.

Right here.


The well of Hendrix material continues to flow, now producing a book from Bloomsbury. The publisher has issued Jimi Hendrix Starting at Zero: In His Own Words, a memoir assembled from the late guitarist’s own words. From Bloomsbury, via Guitar Aficionado:

(Hendrix) did leave his own account of himself, locked away like a Chinese puzzle in his many interviews, lyrics, writings, poems, diaries, and even stage raps. Starting at Zero brings all these elements together in narrative form.

Read more at GA.

Right here.

We’ve lost another true giant among guitarists: Flamenco legend Paco de Lucia has died at the age of 66. Born Francisco Sanchez Gomez, the guitarist had an impact that reached well beyond his instrument in his Spanish  birthplace, Algecrias. Via BBC News Europe:

Algeciras is to hold two days of official mourning. Its mayor, Jose Ignacio Landaluce, called the musician’s death an “irreparable loss for the world of culture and for Andalusia.”

Author Emma Martinez, in a sidebar of the BBC article, reflects on de Lucia:

For me, as for the vast majority of my contemporaries, Paco was, is and forever will be the ultimate flamenco guitarist. As a classical guitarist (retired), for me he also became simply the world’s greatest guitarist regardless of genre, and one of the world’s best composers for guitar.

Read more at BBC.

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.

Guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Bob Casale, a founding member of Devo, has died at 61. Brother and bandmate Gerald Casale said the following in a a statement, via Rolling Stone:

Bob was there in the trenches with me from the beginning. He was my level-headed brother, a solid performer and talented audio engineer, always giving more than he got. His sudden death from conditions that lead to heart failure came as a total shock to us all.

Read more at RS.

Right here.

Ron Jarzombek, guitar maniac behind the likes of WatchTower, Spastic Ink, and Blotted Science, recently answered reader questions on at Reddit. Inquiries covered topics from the history of progressive music, to playing and recording techniques to twelve-tone composition:

I don’t follow any of the rules like “you can’t play a note twice until you’ve played every other note in the row”, using a matrix, retrograde, inversion retrograde, etc… I don’t do any of that. The 12 tones/notes are there for all of us to do whatever we want with them. End of story.

Read it all are Reddit.

Right here.

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