GI BLOG

Your Daily Dose of Guitar News & Reviews

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Eddie Van Halen Striped Sneakers Now Available

Posted by Michael Mueller on April 3, 2009 at 1:46 PM

The Van Halen Store is proud to offer the most anticipated and fan-requested Van Halen wearable ever—Eddie Van Halen striped sneakers! These classic High Top and Low Top shoes are just like the ones Eddie's been wearing for years. And like Eddie's guitars, they sport the greatest graphics in the history of rock 'n' roll: the "Eddie Van Halen" stripes! This is the first time these shoes have been made available to the public.

The red/white sneakers are available now, and you can pre-order the yellow-striped shoes for their July release date. High-top versions are $59, low-tops are $54.

EVH red white
evh white
evh yellow black

GEORGE HARRISON To Be Honored with Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Posted by Michael Mueller on April 3, 2009 at 12:29 PM

On Tuesday, April 14, the late guitarist and music legend George Harrison will be honored posthumously with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in front of the legendary Capitol Records building on Vine Street. Accepting the star will be Harrison's wife Olivia and son Dhani.

Born February 25, 1943, in Liverpool, England, Harrison became a household name when his band, a little quartet of mop-top lads called the Beatles, basically took over the world. Over the course of his Beatles career, Harrison contributed such gems as "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," "Taxman," "Something," and "Here Comes the Sun," to name just a few. His lifelong interest in Indian culture advanced considerably through his friendship with Ravi Shankar and affected all of The Beatles and their musical explorations.

George HarrisonIn addition to his well-known legacy as a founding member of the Beatles, Harrison also had an extremely successful and gratifying solo career. His first solo album, All Things Must Pass, received worldwide acclaim, and The Concert for Bangladesh, which featured Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Ravi Shankar, Leon Russell, and Ringo Starr, among others, was the first benefit concert of its magnitude and set a worthy example for all benefit concerts to come.

In 1987, Harrison formed the Traveling Wilburys with Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty. The group would go on to earn a Grammy Award and are still remembered as the "supergroup" with no equal.

After a life of excursions in the arts and spiritual adventures, George Harrison passed away in 2001. The following year, A Concert for George was organized by Eric Clapton and Olivia Harrison. Filmed at The Royal Albert Hall his former bandmates Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne created a magical night. The event captured something of the warm and intense impact George had on those fortunate enough to know him well.

Martin Scorsese is currently directing a documentary feature about George's remarkable life, and on April 14, Capitol/EMI will announce plans for a new George Harrison music release.
 

Roy Rogers' MARTIN OM-45 Fetches $460,000 at Auction!

Posted by Michael Mueller on April 3, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Roy Rogers Martin GuitarAn anonymous bidder has acquired the "King of Cowboys" Roy Rogers' treasured OM-45 Deluxe Martin Guitar, one of the rarest and considered among many collectors the most coveted. The winning bid during an auction held today at Christies in New York was $460,000. The guitar was put up for auction by The Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Museum in Branson, Missouri.

Originally purchased, used, for $30 at a California pawn shop in 1933 by a young and unknown musician by the name of Leonard Slye, this guitar was the very first OM-45 Deluxe model guitar Martin produced in 1930 (#1 of 15 total). It is the prototype for one of Martin's rarest, most beautiful and highly coveted models. Slye, years later, would go on to become cowboy legend Roy Rogers, never knowing the historical significance of the guitar. Over time, the Martin OM-45 Deluxe would become synonymous with the Rogers stage and film persona.

Sold brand new for $225 in 1930, this guitar was Martin's most expensive model to date. It is not known who the guitar was originally sold to and what happened between that 1930 purchase and Slye's bargain buy a few years later. What is certain is the information still found in C.F. Martin's records, and like many things in Martin's history, upon closer inspection the numbers often tell a previously unknown story. Comparing the timeline, order and expense record books with the serial number log and the notes for the first OM-45 and OM-45 Deluxe models, it's clear that serial #42125, the OM-45 Deluxe made famous by Roy Rogers, is the very first OM-45 Deluxe model produced.

In 1938 when Gene Autry temporarily walked out of his film contract with Republic Pictures, Leonard Slye became "Roy Rogers" and was assigned the lead role in Under Western Stars. The film earned an Academy Award Nomination for best song and made Rogers an instant star. Rogers retired his Deluxe by the mid-1940s and in 1967 it was pulled from his collection for display at the Roy Rogers museum in a glass case. Its serial number, 42125, stamped into the neck block, would years later reveal that this particular guitar has epic historical significance beyond its already documented celebrity status. How fitting that this unique OM was, unknown to its owner or anyone else, already the stuff of legend even before that fateful pawnshop encounter with a future western idol. A two-time inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Rogers passed away in 1998.

In 2006, Martin honored Roy Rogers with a replica signature edition of his famous guitar. Additionally, the C. F. Martin Custom Shop has received many orders based on the highly collectable OM-45 Deluxe model guitars.
 

JEFF BECK To Headline Montreal Jazz Festival

Posted by Michael Mueller on April 3, 2009 at 11:45 AM

Jeff BeckAccording to Billboard.com, legendary guitarist Jeff Beck will make his first-ever appearance at the Montreal Jazz Festival, which will feature more than 650 concerts from July 1-12, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

While Beck is generally considered one of the founding fathers of electric blues-rock guitar, much of his material through the years has incorporated jazz harmony and phrasing. This is, of course, most evident in his two landmark jazz-fusion albums, Blow by Blow and Wired, the latter of which featured his cover of Charles Mingus's "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat."

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Jazz Festival. Other artists scheduled to play the monumental summer concert event include Wayne Shorter, Ornette Coleman, Jackson Browne, and Buddy Guy & Susan Tedeschi. Tickets for the festival and individual concerts are on sale now at montrealjazzfest.com.

New BACK DOOR SLAM Disc Produced by Peter Frampton Due June 16

Posted by Michael Mueller on April 2, 2009 at 1:51 PM

Since parting with his band mates Adam Jones and Ross Doyle earlier this year, Back Door Slam guitarist/singer Davy Knowles has been cooped up in the studio recording new material with legendary guitarist Peter Frampton taking a spin in the producer's chair. The result is Coming Up For Air, which is due out on Blix Street Records on June 16, 2009. You can check out a sneak preview of one of the new songs, "Saving Me," below, performed by Knowles on a 1934 National Resonator—oh yeah!

In the meantime, Knowles will be hitting the road for three weeks beginning April 6, opening for the incomparable Jeff Beck. For this series of theater dates, Knowles will be doing it all on his own, previewing new tracks and rolling out Back Door Slam past favorites in a solo acoustic setting.

Here are the tour dates with Jeff Beck. Back Door Slam summer tour dates will be announced soon.

April 6 Scranton, PA
April 8 Philadelphia, PA
April 9-10 New York, NY
April 13 Boston, MA
April 15 Cleveland, OH
April 16-17 Chicago, IL
April 18 Milwaukee, WI
April 21-22 Los Angeles, CA
April 23 Oakland, CA
 

Killer Guitar Solos in Pop Songs - Who's in Your Fave 5?

Posted by Michael Mueller on April 2, 2009 at 1:16 PM

LukatherOur Fave 5 series continues this week in a realm not often associated with great guitar solos: Pop music. In a genre dominated by keyboards, danceable beats, and platinum hooks, the guitar's role is often relegated to quiet arpeggiated chords or single-note and double-stop funk-style rhythms, with an occasional lead fill. But every once in a while, a producer will let the guitarist step into the spotlight for 15-20 seconds of glory.

So here they are, my fave 5 pop solos. Be sure to leave a comment to let us know what you think I did right, and of course, what I missed.

 

5. "Beat It" Michael Jackson (solo by Eddie Van Halen)
4. "Running With the Night" Lionel Richie (solo by Steve Lukather)
3. "Baker Street" Gerry Rafferty (solo by Hugh Burns)
2. "Black Cat" Janet Jackson (solo by Dave Barry)
1. "Rosanna" Toto (solo by Steve Lukather)
 

MARSHALL Introduces the Haze Series of Tube Amps

Posted by Michael Mueller on April 2, 2009 at 8:13 AM

Marshall HazeIt seems that every week there's a new amp boasting more gain, heavier sounds, hot-rodded circuits, and such. So it's nice to see a company design an amp focused on good clean and bluesy overdrive tones. This week at Musikmesse, in Frankfurt, Germany, Marshall Amplification introduced the new Haze line of compact and portable valve-driven performance amplifiers. Of course the big question is: do they come in purple?

The Haze 40 combo is equipped with a single Celestion G12-66 Marquee 12" speaker. The Haze 15 head can be paired with matching single 12" Celestion G12-66 Marquee-loaded cabs as well. The preamp section is powered by three ECC83 tubes. Both Haze models features two channels (normal and overdrive) that share a three-band EQ, and a Bright switch adds emphasis to the highs. A selection of retro-style effects offers authentically-voiced Echo, Vibrato, and Chorus. An emulated spring-reverb is also included. Effect settings are retained by each channel for immediate recall during performance. All effects remain truly bypassed when completely off, providing a more direct signal path. An included two-way footswitch allows for channel switching and turning effects on and off.

The Haze 40 combo features unique cabinet construction elements. The closed-back cabinet has been modified with four circular holes to preserve the best aspects of both an open-back and a closed-back design. The speaker is asymmetrically mounted, allowing for extended lows. This combo also features an additional presence control in the EQ, as well as a boost switch to add more depth to the low-mids. A bypass-able effects loop is also included. For recording or directly patching into a PA system, an emulated speaker line output recreates the speakHistory of Marshall Ampser response. Power is provided by two EL34 tubes.

The Haze 15 head is powered by a pair of 6V6 tubes. Two 8-Ohm and one 16-Ohm speaker jacks are provided. The matching MHZ112 cabinets feature finger-jointed construction and a closed back design for robust tone and efficient power handling. The MHZ112B is a straight style (base) design; the MHZ112A is the traditional Marshall angled (top) style. Together with the Haze 15 head, they form a striking mid-size stack that is easily transportable.

The Marshall Haze 40-watt combo (MHZ40C) and the 15-watt head (MHZ15) will be available July 2009 with respective MSRPs of $,1000 and $840. For more info, visit the Marshall web site.

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