Archive for October, 2008

…then it won’t be Zeppelin.

Posted in Uncategorized on October 28, 2008 by Staff Writer
More rumour mill stuff on a potential Zep tour…

http://www.egigs.co.uk/index.php?a=12569

John Paul Jones, bass player with the legendary rock group Led Zeppelin was one of the guests of the Manson’s Guitar Show held over two days in Exeter, Devon last weekend.
Jones was there to answer a Q&A session, which he concluded by playing a couple of numbers to an excited audience of Led Zeppelin fans. After discussing the formation of the band, the origin of the band’s name, his favourite riffs, their song-writing process, and his more recent work as a producer, he finally confirmed reports that the rest of the band – following their one off appearance at O2 Arena, London last year – were itching to get out on the road.
He confirmed that Robert Plant, the band’s original lead singer, would be unlikely to join them, as he was committed to his work with Alison Krauss, although they could be reunited with him in "a couple of years."
In the meantime, the band who now comprise of Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham (son of the original drummer, John), who John Paul Jones referred to as useful ‘archivist’ of how Led Zeppelin played their songs live, were looking for a new frontman before hopefully taking to the road.
John Paul Jones said, "As you probably know, Jimmy, Jason and I are actually rehearsing and we’ve had the odd singer come in and have a bash. As soon as we know — which we don’t — we will let you know. But we really hope that something is going to happen soon because we really want to do it and we’re having a lot of fun, actually, just rehearsing. Jason is actually tremendous… And what we’ve done so far sounds absolutely fantastic. When it does come, it will come, and you’ll know about it."
He then added, "We really wanna do something and Robert doesn’t want to do this, at least for the moment. I don’t really know what his plans are. He really doesn’t want to make loud music anymore. We do. I mean, I love acoustic music, but it doesn’t stop me from turning something up." Jones also indicated during the interview that there could well be a DVD of the O2 show released.
The Mansons Guitar Show showcased some of the latest technology in the music world, and guests included Jim Marshall, who founded the amplifier company, Justin Hawkins former lead singer of The Darkness with his new band Hot Leg, JJ Burnell from The Stranglers, Jas Morris a former Guitarist of the Year winner, Jethro Tull’s Martin Barre, and Aziz Ibrahim of the Stone Roses.

Aging Titans of Rock and Metal release sparkling new shit material

Posted in Guitar Playing, Heavy Metal on October 27, 2008 by Staff Writer

Well, at least one of them has some great guitar on it and that’s this one: Guns ‘n’ Roses Chinese Democracy single. Not a big fan of the song personally – I agree with a lot of the pundits that it does sound like some industrial band, but then, with Slash gone and his huge musical personality along with it, they (Axl) were unlikely to be able to recreate that spirit of Appetite For Destruction days. But then, things have moved on, their audience particularly so you can’t please everyone.

No excuses for this lot though: Metallica and their Death Magnetic album. I don’t know where to begin – I have so many *bad* things to say about this music and this band that I’ll simply put it in ten-point form:

  1. Shit drum sound and drumming
  2. Shit fuzzy guitar sound with total lack of heaviness
  3. Shit songs with shit uninspiring dynamics
  4. Shit lack of thrash spirit
  5. Shit solos
  6. Shit hair
  7. Shit album name with shit CD inlay
  8. Shit hype
  9. Shit due to total absence of bass sound
  10. Shit direction since shit Black album

Fortunately, I borrowed this from a friend. Boy am I glad I saved my money. And yes, I used to love Metallica from Kill ‘em all up till …Justice. If you’re looking for good metal, go and listen to those albums. Don’t look at Death Magnetic.

Gitbuddy in London – Rockbottom, Croydon

Posted in Guitar Gear, Guitar General on October 27, 2008 by Staff Writer

I’ve been on a little visit to London these past few days – South London to be more exact, in the vicinity of Croydon, which was recently voted ‘the scummiest place in England’ – a factoid that one can’t but help harbour with that sense of swelling pride in the bosom as one walks along the streets in mortal terror of being mugged, stabbed, raped, glassed, shot or just plain ‘dissed’ , while dodging the turds along the pathway.

Having only really just arrived, I haven’t yet had a chance to venture up to the West End of this once great capital to Denmark Street – the famed Tin Pan Alley of London where there is a large concentration of guitar and music stores and where it’s very easy to wile away several hours plucking things, rubbing them and admiring them. More on this later.

Instead, I did make a passing pilgrimage to the once proud ‘ROCKBOTTOM’ – Croydon’s largest music store (at least it was back a few years ago – I don’t know of any others).

When I was a teen, this place was somewhat of a Mecca for me where I would go whenever I had some free time or cash to stare at the instruments in wonder and hang around hoping to pick up licks or tips  from other more advanced guitarists or the owners. I’d hang around for hours in there just to buy a pack of strings, but always looking at all the cool gear they had. I bought my first effects pedal in this store. This store was also the place where I first heard of Yngwie Malmsteen from a helpful older guy who was shredding away and couldn’t wait to impart everything he knew to me and Warhead who were there together.

Additionally, when I was in the band, we used to come and rehearse in their basement studios in the evenings. Indeed, Rockbottom was a large part of my life back then.

Unfortunately, the store is passing the way of the rest of the urban decay that permeates much of South London. Sadly, it has the atmosphere of a junk shop now and was, at the time, staffed by a couple of loutish Estuarine dropouts who, judging by their conversation were probably into Avenged Sevenfold or some other talentless cretin band and had a combined IQ of about 6. One of them was plucking away on a acoustic and had the musical skills of some pubic hair clippings.  There’s been no evidence of any effort to restore or regenerate the shop since the mid-eighties when we used to come here. The stock seems to be that which caters to the lowest common denominator – Corts and Washburns (the cheap ones) were everywhere alongside cheap-ass solid-state Laneys, covered in dust from the late 80’s and I didn’t see any decent Gibsons (come to think of it I don’t remember seeing a Les Paul) nor any higher end Fenders. Despite not having had a guitar in my hands now for the best part of five days, I had no desire to touch any of the instruments on display for fear of catching ‘cheap’. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least that this ends up as one of those businesses that goes the way of the dodo now the Internet is challenging them on price all the way. Don’t pardon the pun, but this place really has fulfilled its namesake and arrived at the rockbottom for quality, service, appearance and so forth. Honestly, if/when I come back again to this part of the world, I sincerely doubt that I will ever visit the place again.

Oh well. Next week, when I have time, I will venture up to Denmark Street for a looksee.

A picture I love

Posted in Guitar Playing, Shred Guitar on October 17, 2008 by Staff Writer

…Jason Becker.

Guitar For The Practicing Musician magazine published this as a poster along with a long article about Jason’s struggle with Lou Gehrig’s disease in 1994. That story and this picture moved me greatly.  You can read it here.

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Current guitar list

Posted in Guitar Gear on October 15, 2008 by Staff Writer

In order of acquisition, most recent first:

Tom Anderson Atom

Ibanez Pat Metheny PM-120

ESP Ltd. Kirk Hammett Junior

James Tyler Studio Elite HD

Gibson Les Paul Standard

Paul Reed Smith Custom  24

Fender Yngwie Malmsteen Signature Stratocaster

Epiphone Les Paul Mini

Martin HD-28

Alhambra 4P Student Classical

Fender 50th Anniversary Deluxe Stratocaster

Ibanez S-570

Taylor Baby

Steve Vai lesson finally went for $12600

Posted in Shred Guitar on October 10, 2008 by Staff Writer

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Wow. $12600 smackeroonies for an hour with Steve Vai. That’s $210 a minute boys and girls.  Congratulations to the lucky winner and congratulations to Steve for raising the money to support his friend’s treatment.

Master Out Of Action – Lapstick

Posted in Guitar Gear on October 10, 2008 by Staff Writer

I failed to mention that for the past 4 weeks, Master has been firmly out of action with a nasty leg injury resulting from a motorcycle crash and has been holed-up in hospital.

In an effort to regale him I called him and asked him if he would like to use one of my short scale guitars in the hospital but off course he was waaaay ahead of me. When I turned up to visit he had this very cool thing called a ‘Lapstick’

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Now of course, I have to get me one of those. I travel a fair bit and as much as I love my Baby Taylor, it is still too cumbersome to carry around frequently on an airliner. Similarly, I love my Kirk Hammett Jr. (although I think I need to set that guy up now) but the case it comes with is fairly flimsy and I wouldn’t trust it to be safe in transit.

The Lapstick comes in this tiny case – probably smaller than your average violin case, so it’s very portable. The price makes me grimace a bit though (USD 659) and perhaps I will look at buying a second hand one.

Definitely desirable though…