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BO DIDDLEY Tribute at 51st Annual Grammy Awards

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 5, 2009 at 11:15 AM

The 51st Annual Grammy Awards show, which will be held on Sunday, February 8th, at 8:00 PM EST and broadcast on CBS, has announced a special musical tribute to the late Bo Diddley. Set to perform are current Grammy nominees Buddy Guy, B.B. King, John Mayer, and Keith Urban. Diddley passed away June 2, 2008. He was 79.

Bo DiddleyArguably the true father of rock 'n' roll (preluding both Little Richard and Elvis Presley), Diddley's biggest contribution to the burgeoning rock 'n' roll sound was the "Bo Diddley beat," the driving rhumba-like rhythm heard in songs such as "Bo Diddley" and "Who Do You Love?" and later in the work of such legends as Buddy Holly, Bruce Springsteen, and U2. As a guitarist, he was equally famous for his signature rectangular Gretsch guitar the "Twang Machine," which he fashioned himself in 1958.

Though he recorded relatively few chart hits, Diddley's seminal role in creating and shaping the sound of rock 'n' roll was recognized with his 1987 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He later received a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement, in 1998.

LEO FENDER To Receive Technical Grammy Award

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 4, 2009 at 4:53 PM

The Recording Academy will honor Clarence "Leo" Fender with a Technical Grammy Award during a special invitation-only ceremony to be held during Grammy Week on Sat., Feb. 7, 2009. The award is presented to individuals and companies who have made contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording field. A formal announcement will also be made during the 51st Annual Grammy Awards telecast, which will be held at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sun., Feb. 8, 2009, and broadcast live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network. Fender’s widow, Phyllis Fender, will accept the award on his behalf.

Leo Fender founded the Fender Electric Instrument Company in 1946. From 1950 to 1954, he spearheaded the most potent creative surge in the history of electrical instrument manufacturing. He designed the first commercially successful solidbody guitar, the Telecaster; invented the modern electric Precision bass guitar; and introduced the most influential of all electric guitars, the Stratocaster. His amplifiers set the gold standard for tone and reliability against which virtually all amps are judged to this day.

After leaving Fender in 1970, he designed guitars, basses, and amps for Music Man, including the innovative StingRay bass, which was the first production bass to feature active electronics. Then in 1979, he teamed with George Fullerton and Dale Hyatt to start G&L Musical Products, which produced such highly regarded guitar models as the ASAT and Comanche. Fender remained involved in the musical instrument industry until his death, in 1991.

"Fender Musical Instruments Corporation would not be the company we are today without Leo Fender's legendary achievements," said Bill Mendello, chairman and chief executive officer of FMIC.  "But more importantly, the world would not be the same without him. His contributions to popular music are immeasurable: by providing musicians with new and innovative instruments to create and amplify their music, Fender helped shape the way we hear music, subsequently leading to the advent of new genres of music altogether."

Guitar Center Sessions Presents An Evening With KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 4, 2009 at 1:03 PM

Guitar Center is pleased to announce the next installment of Guitar Center Sessions: An Evening of Dialogue and Insight with Grammy nominated blues/rock guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd. The evening will focus on Kenny as he shares career highlights, the secrets behind his technique, songwriting, and tone, and talks in depth about his new Fender Signature Series Stratocaster, designed exclusively by KWS. The evening, co-presented by Fender Musical Instruments, is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, February 18 @ 7 pm

Guitar Center Pasadena
2660 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA
(626) 535-0108

Free to the public. Limited capacity.

Win Guitar Lessons with LAMB OF GOD Guitarists

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 4, 2009 at 12:50 PM

Over the past few years, Lamb of God guitarists Mark Morton and Will Adler have earned their place among a new generation of metal guitar heroes. With the band's upcoming Escape the Plague contest, you'll have the chance to win a personal guitar lesson with them.

On February 24th, Lamb of God will release their fifth studio album Wrath. The first 100,000 copies will include a card that directs fans to There, you will be instructed to enter the code listed on the card and answer three questions. The site will then randomly select 100 winners, who will then be directed to the prize page to select their prize. As each prize is chosen, the site will automatically delete that prize and will do so until all prizes are claimed. The site goes live at midnight, February 23rd, 2009.

Escape The Plague prizes include:

2 – Trips for two to see Lamb of God perform at a major UK festival in August
1 – Barbecue at your home hosted by Randy Blythe
2 – Mark Morton Guitars (Courtesy of Jackson guitars)
2 – Willie Adler Guitars (Courtesty of ESP Guitars)
2 – John Campbell Basses (Courtesy of Jackson Guitars)
1 – Chris Adler drum kit w/ an autographed Chris Adler snare (Courtesy of Mapex drums)
5 – Golden laminates, good for entry at any Lamb of God show for a year
10 – Introduce the band onstage in your town
20 – Roadie for a day in your town
7 – Sing on stage at soundcheck with the band
20 - $50 giftcards to the Lamb of God webstore (Courtesy of Bravado)
25 – Autographed super deluxe Wrath packages, including the CD, Vinyl, and UBS stick with bonus tracks
1 – Mark Morton guitar lesson
1 – Willie Adler guitar lesson
1 – John Campbell Bass lesson

Lamb of God will commence the North American Wrath tour April 2nd, in Phoenix, AZ with special guests As I Lay Dying, Children of Bodom, God Forbid, and Municipal Waste. For a complete list of tour dates, visit For Lamb of God guitar tabs, click here!


Posted by Michael Mueller on February 3, 2009 at 5:23 PM

If all goes as planned, guitarist Eddie Van Halen has one busy—and exciting—summer ahead. This June, he's marrying his girlfriend Janie Liszweskie. Then he'll watch his son and Van Halen bassist Wolfgang graduate from high school. After that, according to, he plans to begin writing and recording new Van Halen tunes, with David Lee Roth at the mic.

"Dave, Wolfie, Alex and I are a band," he tells Spinner. "I hope that after Janie and I get married, and Wolfie graduates, that we sit down and discuss recording new music, which I have tons of. If Dave's up for singing ... then do another tour, and just see where it takes us. Actually, next week or the week after Wolfie, Alex, and I are gonna start jamming. Maybe we'll give Dave a call and see what he's up to. He's off, always doing his own thing, and he checks in every now and then to see how we're doing."

The album would be the band's first studio effort since 1998's Van Halen III, which featured Gary Cherone on vocals.

Springsteen, Phish, Beastie Boys Set for Bonnaroo

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 3, 2009 at 4:44 PM

The eighth annual four-day camping and music festival Bonnaroo will be held on June 11-14 on the same beautiful 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee, 60 miles south of Nashville. Every year Bonnaroo seeks to make history by offering unique and exclusive performances by rock's greatest legends as well as its most significant newcomers.

This year's lineup includes Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band,Phish, Beastie Boys, Wilco, Gov't Mule, moe., Coheed & Cambria, Mars Volta, Merle Haggard, and Rodrigo y Gabriela, to name just a few. More acts will be announced in the coming weeks.

The final Bonnaroo 2009 lineup will total over 120 bands and over 20 comedians performing on 13 stages over four days. Tickets go on sale exclusively through on Saturday, February 7 at 12:00 PM Eastern.

50 Years Ago Today: The Day the Music Died

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 3, 2009 at 12:24 PM

Fifty years ago today (Feb. 3, 1959), in a frozen cornfield near Clear Lake, Iowa, a small plane carrying Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and JP "Big Bopper" Richardson crashed, killing all three young musicians. As Don McLean coined it in his song "American Pie," it was "the day the music died."

Buddy Holly Stratocaster

While the deaths of all three performers was tragic, it is Holly's influence in rock 'n' roll that is undeniable. With the release of the 1995 Beatles Anthology album, it was revealed that one of the first songs John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison recorded—as the Quarrymen—was a cover of Holly's "That'll Be the Day." Further, Holly was one of the earliest rockers to play the now iconic Fender Stratocaster. The cover of Holly's first album, 1957's The "Chirping" Crickets, featured Holly holding the then largely unknown Fender Stratocaster solidbody, thus inspiring guitarists throughout the U.S. and U.K. to check out this radical new instrument. While Holly may not often be mentioned in the same breath as guitar heroes like Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, or Eric Clapton, his influence on those guitarists and countless others is immeasurable.

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