The Insane Story of the “Bogus” Deep Purple: Part One

The Insane Story of the “Bogus” Deep Purple: Part One

The management company Steve G worked for were fly-by-night, used car salesman types, determined to make a fast buck from the legions of rock n’ roll fans, ethics be damned. That year, they’d organized a “Steppenwolf” reunion tour. Steppenwolf was a hot ticket, but the problem was that their version of the band that featured no original members. After being sued by real Steppenwolf front man John Kay, the company decided to try another tactic and made plans to form a new version of Deep Purple. Unlike with their “Steppenwolf” facsimile, Steve G and co tried to build a new Purple lineup that featured actual past members of the group, albeit none from Purple’s most famous iterations.
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The Story of Allman Brothers’ At Fillmore East

The Story of Allman Brothers’ At Fillmore East

The Allmans’ recorded output went practically unnoticed. However, their reputation as a live act grew, thanks in no small part to their relentless touring schedule. In 1970 alone, the band played over 300 shows, honing their chops and building an underground following. Given the band’s prowess as a live act, talk inevitably turned to capturing the band in concert for a future release. As Duane Allman told DJ Ed Shane that year: "You know, we get kind of frustrated doing the [studio] records, and I think, consequently, our next album will be ... a live recording, to get some of that natural fire on it."

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More Great Quotes from Eddie Van Halen

More Great Quotes from Eddie Van Halen

“If you want to be a rock star or just be famous, then run down the street naked, you'll make the news or something. But if you want music to be your livelihood, then play, play, play and play! And eventually you'll get to where you want to be.”

 “I'm not a rock star. Sure I am, to a certain extent because of the situation, but when kids ask me how it feels to be a rock star, I say leave me alone, I'm not a rock star. I'm not in it for the fame, I'm in it because I like to play.”

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Remembering Eddie Van Halen

Remembering Eddie Van Halen

The revolutionary impact of his playing reverberated pretty much from the get-go. Legend has it that when Van Halen supported Black Sabbath at London’s Hammersmith in 1978, half of the crowd vanished after Eddie and co. finished their set; decamping to nearby pubs to try and make sense of what they’d just witnessed. In the face of the literal Eruption that Edward brought to the stage, the lumbering, power chord chug of Iron Man was positively Jurassic.

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Gibson Oddities: The Marauder

Gibson Oddities: The Marauder

“I never played one live! They were horrible," Stanley told Vintage Guitar in 1997. He was perhaps being uncharitable with that comment. Anyone who’s played a Marauder will likely tell you that they’re a fine – if unconventional – instrument. But you can see why Stanley, in a quest for KISS’s hard rock thunder, didn’t get on with the Fender-like axe. In the end, Stanley did find a purpose for the Marauder during KISS’s live shows...

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The Evolution of the Gibson Logo

The Evolution of the Gibson Logo

The Gibson logo is iconic. It’s made its way from guitar headstocks to just about everything; t-shirts, coffee mugs, beanie hats and keychains. But, the Gibson logo didn’t just magically appear. It originally looked very different, evolving over decades into the version we recognize today. In this article, I’m taking a dive into the history of the Gibson logo and the many revisions it went through.

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What’s the One Gig You Wish You’d Seen?

What’s the One Gig You Wish You’d Seen?

Cal Jam doesn’t get the same love as festivals like Monterey Pop or Woodstock. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t have the late ‘60s countercultural cred, happening a full five years after the summer of love reached its peak. Maybe it’s because it was staged to be filmed for television (as part of ABC’s legendary “In Concert” series). Why do I love California Jam so much? It is because it established the record for the largest concert sound system ever assembled? Was it because it featured the first ever appearance of the Good Year blimp at a music festival? 

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The First Riff

The First Riff

Guitar lessons eventually followed. But, classical guitar didn’t grab me in the same way that my own freeform compositions had. Firstly, I didn’t know any of the songs I was supposed to be learning. Secondly, it required the kind of co-ordination and finger dexterity that I was – at that time at least – far too impatient to master. “I read somewhere that there are these things you can use to hit the strings so you don’t have to use your fingers. I think they began with a P,” I once told my guitar teacher. “The thing that begins with a P is called practice,” he replied. He was right, of course, but that didn’t mean I wanted to hear it.

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Three Awesome Live Albums to Get You Through Lockdown

Three Awesome Live Albums to Get You Through Lockdown

This week, to satisfy my yearning for live music, I’ve taken a deep dive into my record collection and rediscovered some live favourites. Given how much joy I’ve got out of these records, I thought I’d share them with you today. Putting together this list, I’ve tried to take the road less travelled. I didn’t want to put together a list of classic live albums that everyone already knows like the back of their hand. Instead, my three picks serve as alternatives to some of those classic albums, offering a new look at some legendary bands.

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The Quotable Beatles

The Quotable Beatles

The Fab Four didn’t just revolutionize popular music; they changed the way we thought about musicians as personalities. The way they interacted with the press – their presence humour – ripped up the rulebook and set a precedent for generations of musicians to come. Needless to say, Messrs Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr’s correspondences with reporters have resulted in many a memorable quip over the years. And for this post, I thought it’d be fun to collect some of the best quotes – everything from zingers to profound words of wisdom – uttered by the Beatles.

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Pedal Board 101: The Ibanez Tube Screamer TS808

Pedal Board 101: The Ibanez Tube Screamer TS808

Stomp boxes don’t come much more iconic than the Ibanez Tube Screamer. Arguably the most beloved overdrive pedal of all time, it’s an institution in everything from country to blues to heavy metal. The Edge; Stevie Ray Vaughan; Michael Schenker and Noel Gallagher – all have used a Tube Screamer to sculpt their tone at one time or another. In this article, we’re going to look at the birth of the Tube Screamer, its humble beginnings and why it has that sweet, vocal mid-range hump it’s so celebrated for.
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RIP Martin Birch: Five Classic Tracks

RIP Martin Birch: Five Classic Tracks

Earlier this week, we lost one of the greatest rock producers of all time. You’ve only got to look at the list of bands Martin Birch worked with to recognize his impact on rock n’ roll. He cut his teeth engineering for Fleetwood Mac and Wishbone Ash before moving on to producing such legends as Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Rainbow and Iron Maiden. Today, in honor of the late, great production wizard, we’re taking a run through five classic Martin Birch-produced tracks and talking about what makes them so great.

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The Kinks: How Dave Davies’ Slashed Amp Created Rock Distortion

The Kinks: How Dave Davies’ Slashed Amp Created Rock Distortion

When it comes to breakout singles, they don’t get much better than “You Really Got Me.” The 1964 track didn’t just put the Kinks on the map; it changed the rock n’ roll landscape with its incendiary guitar tone. “You Really Got Me” brought distorted guitar to the masses. It’s the genesis of all things hard and heavy in rock. And, as the legend goes, it was an act of aggression from Kinks guitarist Dave Davis that created the sound and started an amplifier revolution in the process.

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Peter Green: Remembering a Legend

Peter Green: Remembering a Legend

That the instrumental Albatross was a mammoth hit for Fleetwood Mac is testament to the lyrical nature of Green’s guitar playing. One of the biggest selling instrumental songs in English history, it’s the track that the Beatles wished they’d written. As Rolling Stone notes: “Its heavily reverbed guitar partially inspired the Beatles’ “Sun King.” “We said, ‘Let’s be Fleetwood Mac doing “Albatross,” just to get going,’ ” George Harrison recalled. “It never really sounded like Fleetwood Mac  …  but that was the point of origin.”

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Who Is Your Ultimate ‘70s Fantasy Supergroup?

Who Is Your Ultimate ‘70s Fantasy Supergroup?

By the time I read that the album included a bonus track featuring the work of one Mr. James Patrick Page, I was practically throwing banknotes at the screen. The Stones and Led Zeppelin are two of my all time favorite bands. The prospect of those two entities combined into one glorious rock ‘n’ roll supergroup? Of Messrs Richards, Jagger and Page together on wax at last? Shut up and take my money. 
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The Quotable Chet Atkins

The Quotable Chet Atkins

My heroes at the time were guys like Hendrix, Slash and Jimmy Page. Chet Atkins did not feature. Today, though, it would be a different story. Not only was Chet a fantastic guitar player; his sage wisdom on the subject of pickin’ was most definitely bedroom wall worthy. So, with that in mind, I’ve compiled a selection of my favorite Chet Atkins quotes for your reading pleasure. If these speak to you, then I’d heartily recommend printing some of them out and putting them up in your practice space. They’ve been motivating me these past few weeks; hopefully they’ll do the same for you. 

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The Amps that Powered Rock: The Marshall JTM45

The Amps that Powered Rock: The Marshall JTM45

“Jim Marshall & Son” opened in July 1960 at 76 Uxbridge Road in Hanwell, England. For the aspiring instrument seller, it was a case of right place; right time. Within a few short years, the London rock scene was burgeoning. Soon, the likes of Mitch Mitchell, Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton and John Entwistle flocked to the renamed “J & T Marshall”, by now the de-jour supplier of guitars and amplifiers for the new breed. 

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Cigar Box Guitars: The History of a Folk Instrument Phenomenon

Cigar Box Guitars: The History of a Folk Instrument Phenomenon

The origin of cigar box guitars can be traced back to 1840 and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the emergence of the small, portable cigar box. Due to its small size and widespread availability, the cigar box made for the perfect body to a low-cost, DIY instrument. It seems that would-be strummers took to using them straight away, as trace evidence of cigar box instruments exists from 1840 to the 1860s. 
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Eddie Kramer: Words of Wisdom

Eddie Kramer: Words of Wisdom

Arguably rock’s greatest producer, nobody captures those sounds better than Eddie Kramer. Even if you don’t know the name, you’ll know the records he helped make: Led Zeppelin II, Frampton Comes Alive, Physical Graffiti, Kiss Alive!, The Woodstock Soundtrack, All You Need Is Love and pretty much the entire discography of Jimi Hendrix. Given his near sixty-year career behind the mixing desk, Kramer has a thing-or-two to impart about the ins-and-outs of the recording process. Today, we’ve selected some choice observations from our favourite Eddie Kramer interviews.

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How Taylor Guitars Changed the Sustainability Game

How Taylor Guitars Changed the Sustainability Game

The Grand Auditorium Bodyshape, the NT Neck and “V-Class” Bracing are all products of the company’s unique approach, and brought new life to a centuries old instrument. It’s not just Taylor’s instruments that win them accolades, though. In the past twenty years, the company has led the charge when it comes to making sustainable guitars. Today, we’re going to find out how they changed the sustainability game by changing the way they sourced their woods.

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The Martin D-28: Three Iconic Players

The Martin D-28: Three Iconic Players

Back in 2018, we ran a feature on the history of the Martin D-28. Today, for a long overdue follow-up, we’re looking at some of the players that made the guitar so iconic. The list of legendary D-28 wielders is so long that we’d need an entire article series to cover them all. For the time being though, we’re focusing on three of our D-28 playing guitar heroes and the stories behind their instruments.

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Three Ways to Play Like Chuck Berry

Three Ways to Play Like Chuck Berry

In the world of rock n’ roll, they don’t come much more iconic than Chuck Berry. One of the most influential players of all time, the likes of John Lennon, Keith Richards and Angus Young owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Chuck and the legacy of music he created. It goes without saying, then, that studying Chuck’s playing is about as fundamental a course in rock guitar as you can get. Today, we’re highlighting three ways that you can achieve that classic Chuck Berry sound.

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Genesis: Peter Gabriel vs. Phil Collins

Genesis: Peter Gabriel vs. Phil Collins

As rock critic Colin Maguire noted, on one side were the Collins detractors who claimed "[Genesis] sold out and became too corporate when Collins stepped into the spotlight." On the other were those who argued that “the [prog-heavy] Gabriel years were boring and hard to stomach.” Today, those factions remain.

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Tony Iommi and the Accident that Created Heavy Metal

Tony Iommi and the Accident that Created Heavy Metal

Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi is the man who invented heavy metal. “War Pigs,” “Children of the Grave,” “Symptom of the Universe”: those seismic riffs presented a blueprint that a generation of hard rock axe-wielders would follow. Circa 1970, Iommi’s playing sounded like nothing out there. His doom-leaden, monolithic, end-of-the world riffs were, well, heavy… man.

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