Your Daily Dose of Guitar News & Reviews
Rammstein Sells Out Madison Square Garden in 30 Minutes
October 12, 2010 – Tickets sold out in only thirty minutes for the legendary German band Rammstein's December 11th performance at the world's most famous arena, Madison Square Garden in New York City. This will be the only US show by the Berlin-based six-piece band, who have not performed in the United States since 2001. The show was announced September 27th, tickets went on sale for the show Friday, October 8th at Noon Eastern and before an hour passed, tickets were officially sold out. This makes Rammstein the first German band in history to accomplish such a feat.
The band's appearance at the Quebec City Summer Festival in July 2010 already lured thousands of US fans to cross the border into Canada and since last fall, Rammstein's formidable live show traversed Europe in twenty 18-wheelers packed with pyrotechnics, flame-throwers, bazookas and enough ordnance to level a small country.
Rammstein first stormed America in 1998, touring with a set based on their Grammy-nominated breakthrough second release, Sehnsucht, featuring "Du hast," the song prominently featured in David Lynch's film, Lost Highway.
The band's most recent album, Liebe ist für alle da ("Love is there for all"), was released in November 2009 and hit #1 on many charts across Europe, and entered on the Billboard Charts at #13—the highest chart entry for Rammstein in the United States ever.
For more information, please visit www.rammstein.com
Guitar Instructor Lick of the Week 10-12-2010
While he's most commonly thought of as a country guitarist, the late Tele-Master Danny Gatton's oeuvre dipped deeply into the colors of jazz, rockabilly, and blues as well. The result was an inimitable "everything but the kitchen sink" approach to improvisation and soloing.
This week's lick is an example of how Gatton would sometimes treat double stops. Gatton credits the inventive double-stop work of his idol Les Paul for this particular move. Set in the key of E major, the rapid-fire lick is a repeating 16th-note phrase capped with 16th-note triplets. Use a pick for the attack. Your fret hand's index finger covers all the notes at the 9th fret, while either your ring or pinky finger takes care of the 12th-fret hammer-ons and pull-offs. In the video demo, I used my pinky, but if you want to use the lick in the upper register of the neck, switching to your ring finger might be more comfortable. Likewise, you'll find using your pinky in lower registers to be less of a stretch.
One important key to this lick is the right-hand picking pattern for each beat: Down-up-down, followed by the slurs. You might find it helpful to isolate just that pattern using open strings and a metronome. As always, start slowly and work up your speed. And be careful not to rush the triplets.
Epiphone Releases New Zakk Pakk Guitar Rigs For Kids
We've got a pretty musical household filled with many guitars, a piano, violins, a drum set, and other assorted goodies, all of which our young daughters love to fiddle and play with. But they don't yet really have an instrument to call their own. Epiphone may have just made my Christmas shopping a little easier, though.
The company has applied guitarist Zakk Wylde's custom bulls-eye paint job to a Les Paul Pee Wee and a mini Flying V, or "Vee Wee," partnered them with a custom Marshall microstack, gig bag, guitar cable, and a set of picks to create the "Zakk Pakk." Pick up some official Zakk Wylde guitar tabs while you're here, and it's everything your young 'uns need to plug in and start rockin' - berzerker style!
For specs and full details go to Epiphone.com.
Happy 70th Birthday John Lennon ... Imagine
Saturday, October 9, marked the 70th birthday of singer-songwriter and former Beatle John Lennon. He died December 8, 1980, when he was shot by Mark David Chapman outside of his Dakota apartment building, in New York City.
Lennon soared to eternal fame as a founding member of the Beatles and, along with Paul McCartney, formed arguably the most successful songwriting partnership in music history. After the Beatles broke up, in 1970, Lennon moved to New York City in 1971, where he became a leading voice in the Vietnam War protests. He left the music business in 1975 to spend more time with his wife Yoko Ono and newborn son, Sean. Lennon released his comeback album, Double Fantasy, in 1980, but was murdered just three weeks after its release.
Van Halen Tour in 2011?
According to a report at RollingStone.com, Live Nation Ticketmaster chairman—and Van Halen manager—Irving Azoff told a group of touring industry analysts that Van Halen will hit the road in 2011. Azoff made similar statements at a Q&A session in September 2009 regarding a potential 2010 tour, and that never came to fruition, so you can't put too much stock into it, but anytime a healthy Eddie and crazy David Lee hit the road, the rock 'n' roll world is a better place.
Meanwhile, enjoy this vintage live video of "Unchained" ... classic!
John 5, Joe Satriani, Others Contribute to Little Kids Rock Celebrity Guitar Auction
Today, guitarist John 5 (Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson) posted this tweet:
Help @littlekidsrock put music education back in our schools by bidding on the one-of-a-kind guitar I decorated!
The link attached to the tweet takes you to a celebrity guitar auction featuring John 5's custom-decorated Fender Strat plus custom-art axes from musical artists like Gene Simmons, Slash, James Hetfield, and Joe Satriani as well as from noted graphic artists like Stan Lee (Spider-Man), Rob Prior (Spawn: The Impaler, Terminator 2 comics), and renowned pop art icon Kenny Scharf, among others.
There are 30 guitars in all. The guitars themselves are Fender Standard Series Stratocasters, made in Ensenada, Mexico.
100% of the proceeds go to Little Kids Rock, a nonprofit organization that restores and revitalizes music programs in underfunded public schools nationwide. Bid now, and bid often!
Third Photo of Blues Legend Robert Johnson Uncovered?
And so the lore continues to grow ... For decades, only two verified images of the great Delta bluesman Robert Johnson, who legend has it went down to the crossroads and sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his prodigious talents, have been known to exist. Until now.
The Getty Images Hulton Archive recently restored and published a third pic (scroll down to see photo), which depicts Johnson holding an old, unstrung, beat up acoustic guitar and standing next to fellow bluesman Johnny Shines.
Of course, this has stirred some debate in the blues world as to its authenticity, as other photos have previously been "uncovered" only to be later deemed bogus.
One of the believers is respected blues writer/author/guitarist Dave Rubin.
"I saw the original [photo] the day my friend at [Matt] Umanov's received it after winning it on eBay," says Rubin. "I have studied it for three years and gone through a lot of the research with him. I believe it is Robert Johnson and Johnny Shines. However, many people in the blues world do not and get very upset about it."
One of those who disagree would be Bruce Iglauer, the head of venerable blues label Alligator Records.
"If that's Johnny Shines, I'm Jackie Chan," says Iglauer. "The myth of this photo has been carried on long enough. I don't know who the guy on the left is holding a battered unstrung guitar, but the guy on the right has nothing to do with Johnny Shines. In addition, the guy on the right is wearing an metal explansion watchband, which have been highly unlikely for a black man in the Delta (the myth has this taken by some local woman in a small Delta town) in the 1930s ... I have shown this picture to other people who knew Johnny Shines and spent time with him, and no one thinks this is Shines."
Still, even if it's not Shines, that doesn't disqualify the man on the left from indeed being Johnson. Even Iglauer reluctantly allows for the possibility, later saying, "I know that's not Shines. As for the other guy, I honestly have no idea. Could be Johnson or anyone."
To paraphrase a popular saying: A picture is worth a thousand opinions, so here's the new Getty pic, along with the two verified RJ pics in existence. You can also see before and after images of the restoration at Getty Images. You be the judge!
New pic: Old pics: