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, […]

Getting Started with my Jackson

Here is a picture of my Jackson guitar’s headstock, that’s the place guitarists twiddle those round thingies to tune our instruments. Those round thingies point to the sky, to me they represent what’s possible where as the bridge (the other end of the strings) gives us the foundation, the root of the power we send […]