Stevie Ray Vaughan: Number One

August 27th, 1990 was one of the saddest days of my life. Beyond the losses I’ve felt from friends and family whom have passed, the biggest impact a celebrity death has EVER had on me was when SRV passed away 36 days from his 36th birthday. I choked back tears when I heard the news from […]

Jerry Cantrell: Blue Dress

I am a huge fan of Alice in Chains, from the opening of Facelift they had me. Think Jerry McGuire and Zellweger saying “You had me at hello” except it was more like “Take another Hit and Bury Your Brother.” You cannot imagine the smile on my face when I first heard Layne Staley call that […]

Trademarks: The Headstock Wars

In business, when an idea takes off, invariably others will follow the money and get involved and sometimes, it gets ugly. No business ever predicted what would happen with rock and roll in the 1950s except maybe the record companies and radio stations who had been manufacturing artists for years. When Elvis released Heartbreak Hotel […]

Keith Richards: Micawber

You know, when I think of Keith Richards, it’s kind of like this surrealistic stereotype of 60s rockers, well, 60s rockers who survived. Keith looks ancient, seriously, but he’s just 73 years old. Are you kidding me? 73?! No way, that ain’t right. I have to say, I like affecting a Keith Richards’ mumble, this […]

Peter Frampton: The Phenix

Nope, not a typo, that’s the name of the triple pickup, black, 1954 Les Paul Custom that graces the cover of eponymously named Frampton Comes Alive. The Phenix, like its’ namesake, went through fire only to be born again. An amazing story spanning more than 30 years but should take less than 10 minutes to tell. […]

Yngwie J. Malmsteen: The Duck

I’ll be honest, when I first heard Yngwie (pronounced ING-vay) I thought someone was playing a rock guitar album too fast (I had a similar reaction to Paul Gilbert as well). Seriously, it seemed physically impossible to have such speed and fluidity. I listened to that first album by Lars Johan Yngve Lannerbäck in the […]

Eddie Van Halen: Frankenstrat

It was 1978, Jimmy Carter was president, Elvis had been dead a year and “Help us Obi-Wan, you are our only hope” was echoing in our ears. Guitarists in the US were struggling to find an identity in the wash of punk, weak 70s rock, Led Zeppelin, and new wave all mixed together. Bands like the Clash, […]

Jimi Hendrix: The Woodstock Strat

It was August of ’69, about a month after the US put three men into a tiny little can and shot them to the moon. The war in Vietnam was raging, Johnson was president and a little music festival called Woodstock happened over the course of 4 days, August 15th-18th, in Bethel, NY. I was […]