Archive for the ‘Guitars’ Category

Earlier this week, Fender proudly announced the release of its new Brad Paisley Signature Telecaster  But lucky for all of us, that isn’t the only new signature model joining its line.

Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien collaborates with Fender for signature guitar

Fender has also partnered with Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien to launch the new EOB Sustainer Stratocaster. But instead of a signature stamp, the neck plate is engraved with a custom “Flower of Life” design.

Launching the EOB Sustainer Stratocaster, O’Brien has added a Seymour Duncan JB Jr humbucker in the bridge, vintage synchronised tremolo bridge along with vintage-style tuning machines with a Texas Special single coil in the middle and Fernandes Sustainer in the neck.

Set to launch on November 14th for a cool £949, the O’Brien EOB Sustainer Stratocaster signifies the first piece of Radiohead signature gear to be created.

According to an official statement, the guitar’s neck plate is engraved with a custom “Flower of Life” design instead of a signature stamp and Fernandes Sustainer  a “uniquely designed electronic system that enables the controlled sustain of any single or group of notes within the guitar’s sound range.”

Ed O’Brien Sustainer Stratocaster

The guitar features a Seymour Duncan JB Jr humbucker at the bridge, a Texas Special single–coil in the middle, and a Fernandes Sustainer (the guitar’s namesake) in the neck. The guitar’s “infinite sustain” is controlled by an on/off switch, an intensity knob, and a three–position switch — fundamental only, harmonic only, or blend.

Jimi Hendrix Monterey Stratocaster

It’s also equipped with vintage–style appointments, like a synchronized tremolo bridge and tuning machines. This is the first time Fender has collaborated with a member of the beloved English band, so we’re excited to hear the Sustainer in action. It will retail for $1,099.99.

George Harrison Rosewood Telecaster

Also announced on the floor are three more Fender signature models: the Jimi Hendrix Monterey Stratocaster ($899.99), the George Harrison Rosewood Telecaster($2,499.99),

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Smashing Pumpkins singer and bass player Billy Corgan has announced plans to sell almost all of the rare music equipment he used throughout his career.

Partnering with online music gear marketplace Reverb, Corgan plans to place up to 150 listings which includes a a Stratocaster and a pair of Marshall JMP-1 amps that featured on iconic records Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

“Of all the artist-owned gear we’ve been fortunate to sell on Reverb, this collection of gear from Billy Corgan has arguably the most historic prominence – you can feel it when you pick up any one piece,” Reverb’s Jim Tuerk said in a statement issued to Rolling stone. “These are the tools that not only defined one of the all-time greats, but an entire generation of music.”

Corgan, who will also sell his 1969 Gibson EB-3 Bass, described the instrument as having “a very Jack Bruce sound.”

“I used this on everything from Mellon Collie to Machina,” he added. “It’s one of those secret-weapon recording basses.”

 

 

Here are a handful of things on offer, according to Reverb:

  • Corgan’s #2 Stratocaster. A modified, star–covered 1988 Fender AVRI Strat that recorded most of Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie, including “Today,” the solo of “Cherub Rock,” and many more.
  • A pair of Marshall JMP-1s that were the main preamps for Mellon Collie album and the tour.
  • Two Alesis drum machines, one used for the loops on “1979” and another that was used to record many early Pumpkins‘ demos before Jimmy Chamberlin joined the band.
  • The modified 1990s Les Paul Special used to record much of the Machina album and played regularly on that tour, and the two backup LP Specials from the tours.
  • The rackmount ADA MP-1 preamps used to record Gish.
  • A Fender Subsonic Stratocaster in Sonic Blue from the Zeitgeist era signed “This is what true freedom looks like. Billy Corgan.” One of the few items in the shop signed by the guitarist, it was originally set to go to auction in 2008 before Corgan decided against it.
  • The Fernandes sustainer guitar used in the studio and on tour for most of Adore.
  • A 1969 Gibson EB–3 Bass in Walnut dubbed the Mountain Bass used as a “secret weapon” on everything from Mellon Collie to Machina.
  • The small Crate combo amps used to get the distortion sounds on Machina.
  • The arsenal of Diezel and Bogner amps used to record and tour for Zeitgeist.
  • Dozens of collector–grade vintage guitars, including two ’58 Strats, a ’63 Candy Apple Red Strat, a 1953 Gibson Super 400, and a ’66 Rickenbacker 360.
  • A vintage 1950s accordion and an autoharp used on the Mellon Collie tune “We Only Come Out at Night.”

This year, The Fender Custom Shop turns 30.

To celebrate the legendary shop that has built guitars for the likes of Eric Clapton, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, The Stones, Jimmy Page and Bob Dylan, director Ross Haines has made a short documentary dedicated to the ‘nirvana for guitar lovers’.

The Dream Factory was born after Ross entered the Fender shop for the first time while scouting for another shoot. “When we walked in we were blown away. It’s just an incredible wonderland of vintage machines and hard-working craftsman doing what they’ve been doing for decades. Any photographer or filmmaker would have a field day in that place. After seeing the Custom Shop, the elite shop within Fender which is pretty much the Holy Grail of guitar making, I was super inspired to tell a deeper story about some aspect of the space. From there, the creative director, Nate Morley, and I brainstormed this concept and as timing would have it, it just so happened to be the 30th Anniversary of the Custom Shop.”

To tell the tale, Ross mixed previously unseen VHS archival footage from the early days and recent conversations with the eight original master builders. Though the film covers a lot in ten minutes, surely there were some wild stories that didn’t make the cut. Ross confirms there were plenty, but Michael Steven’s story takes the cake. “One of the best stories belongs to Michael Stevens, the very first employee of the Custom Shop. He was working on a new project for Eric Clapton. Michael is a real cowboy, Texas bred, and no bullshit dude. Both were getting a bit frustrated because a detail of the neck wasn’t quite perfect and they were having trouble getting in touch with each other to figure out why—this is pre-internet or cell phones, obviously.

So eventually Clapton sent his guitar to the custom shop. This is not just any guitar, this is the famous “Blackie” a priceless piece of rock history. Clapton played “Blackie” almost exclusively on stage and in the studio from 1974-1985, recording songs like “Cocaine” and “Layla”. So for two weeks, Michael slept with Blackie under his bed and a gun under his pillow. In his words, “I didn’t want my tombstone to read, ‘Here lies the man who lost Blackie’.” Luckily no one tried to steal Blackie and Clapton loved the guitar they made for him.

Guitars are pretty personal things, and everyone has their favourites. For Ross, his all time favourite is guitar 001, Fender’s first double neck, which you can see in all its glory in the film.

GREAT GUITARISTS Marc Bolan

Posted: March 25, 2017 in Guitars
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With his glam-rock looks and pop-metal hooks, Marc Bolan led his band T. Rex into the stratosphere in the late ’60s and early ’70s, and his customized Gibson Les Paul was the fuel that propelled it all skyward. Dressed in a simplicity that gave them a broad and infectious appeal, songs like “Ride a White Swan,” “Get It On (Bang a Gong),” “Jeepster,” “Metal Guru,” “Children of the Revolution” and “20th Century Boy” were laced through with addictive riffs and crunching rhythm guitar that sounded consistently massive—and hooked burgeoning metal-heads and teeny-boppers alike. Bolan’s star burned out far too soon when he died in a car accident in Southwest London in 1977 shortly before his 30th birthday, but his music and its influence have remained strong over the intervening decades.

The flamboyant Glam Rock hero Marc Bolan certainly fueled his playing more with passion than technical ability, though he was never shy about letting his Les Paul roar—witness the brazen, beefy saturation pouring out of his Orange half-stack here in this 1973 live clip of the tune “Buick McKane”, (originally from 1972’s studio album The Slider ).

Ironically, given the raw energy meted out here, Bolan’s song-supportive passing figures and chunky rhythm figures on record are surprisingly tasteful and tight; listen to the studio versions of The Slider and “Mambo Sun” for a sample of his ability to orchestrate lines around the rhythm section. Still, it’s no wonder that Bolan was one of the few early ’70s rock gods that the punk generation worshipped: the sheer joy and abandon, and fat sonics, of his live guitar playing wouldn’t be out of place on a Sex Pistols album.

Those who know about Sister Rosetta Tharpe celebrate her legacy like a wondrous secret. She is remembered today not only as the Godmother of Rock and Roll but also as a guitar force to be reckoned with.

The gospel singer captured the hearts of many with a flamboyant personality that radiated on stage as she sang and her distinctively quick fingerpicking style that would influence guitar legends like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Johnny Cash, Eric Clapton, and Elvis Presley.

But Sister Rosetta Tharpe wasn’t only about the stage show. She aimed to challenge her fan base by using both suggestive lyrical content in the context of gospel songs and by using religious lyrics in the context of rock and roll. Straddling the line between secular clubs on Saturday nights and church services on Sunday mornings, she managed to be an inspiration to both the sinners and the saints.

Tharpe was born in Cotton Plant, Arkansas in 1915 and picked up the guitar for the very first time four years later. She toured with her mother in a gospel troupe around the country until eventually settling in Chicago, where her talents were praised and treasured by the church community.

When she recorded her first smash hit “Rock Me” for Decca Records in 1938, the religious fans were appalled by the sexually suggestive lyrics. It was the first song ever described by a music journalist as being a “rock and roll” song, and her 1944 album Strange Things Happening Everyday is often credited as the first rock and roll record.

Tharpe’s playing showcased the guitar as an extension of herself. The jangly licks acted as a call and response to her singing. She used passionate variation in a way that seemed almost instinctive, though every note was packed with purpose. She would hover her arms in the air as if possessed by a higher power before returning to her guitar, bending her strings with melody-driven, pulsating riffs that left listeners in awe. Sister Rosetta Tharpe would wail, and her guitar would wail right behind her.

While shredding in front of clapping choirs, her tone went from clean and twangy to distorted and full. She was most often seen playing a White Gibson SG in later years but used a variety of archtops and acoustics earlier in her career. She pushed her volume as loud as possible and rarely sang while playing, so that her guitar and voice would be distinguished on their own.

From her expressive hand motions unapologetically interrupting her guitar playing to her honest, exuberant and direct facial expressions, Tharpe had a knack for captivating an audience with animated onstage performances. She often sang directly up at the sky, her shoulders lifting as if with goosebumps from conversing with a higher power, before returning to dazzle the crowd with her fast-paced, blues-inspired lead lines.

Tharpe quickly became the nation’s first commercially successful – albeit controversial – gospel singer. It wasn’t just that most gospel singers at that time would never windmill their guitars. Her life offstage also didn’t always adhere to the norms of her church. Tharpe toured around the world until her later life when she suffered two strokes, ultimately passing away in Philadelphia at only 58 years old.

Her line-walking lyricism helped her to bridge the gap between gospel music and rock and roll decades ago, and her following remains spread out between fans of both genres.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s headstone now reads, “She would sing until you cried, then she would sing until you danced for joy,” acclaim that transcends any barrier-breaking or amount of influence.

Through 10 studio albums and 23 years of world-spanning tours, Wilco has always been a band that’s covered a lot of musical ground. The Chicago outfit’s output has touched everything from country to noise rock, earning them a diverse legion of fans along the way.

Next Thursday, you’ll have the chance to buy some of Wilco’s gear. Jeff Tweedy and company will be opening up a shop on Reverb.com called “The Wilco Loft Shop,” named after their Chicago studio/”safe haven for making music” where much of the gear currently resides, and selling off various items from their collections.

The instruments range from insanely valuable, including a 1958 Gretsch 6021 and two 1940’s Gibson flattop acoustics, all owned by Tweedy, to more collector-focused, like an assortment of guest passes from past Wilco tours. Tweedy discusses the decision to open up the online shop, stating, “Every once in a while we look around the loft and say ‘Geez, there’s just too much stuff up here,’” adding, “We hate to see it go, but we’re sure you’ll put it to good use!”.

A canon this versatile requires an extensive collection of gear. On Thursday, March 16th, the sextet is set to release some of their arsenal back into the wild of Reverb as part of the official Wilco Loft Shop.

This latest batch of Wilco gear reflects the particular tastes of each member of the band. Nels Cline is parting with an experimental offset from Bilt Guitars, while the always eclectic Glenn Kotche has bundled together various lots of percussive odds and ends from his personal stash. Keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen is selling a couple of analog synths, while multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone is passing along a pair of road-tested Telecasters.

The lion’s share of the sale comes from noted gear shepherd, Jeff Tweedy. Choice pieces include a pristine 1958 Gretsch 6120 hollowbody, a modified ’70s Gibson Explorer, a Bigsby-loaded ’67 Tele, and two original banner-era Gibson flattops.

It’s not all collector-grade fodder, though. Also included in this sale are historical oddballs, like a set of Czech-made Jolana guitars from the ’60s, as well as instruments from Harmony, Ovation, and Burns, among many others.

The Wilco Loft Shop will be live on Thursday, March 16th on Reverb.com All items have been used by members of the band on tour and in the studio, and each item will ship with signed certificates of authenticity..

David Gilmour’s Acoustic Take On This Pink Floyd Classic Is So Gorgeous, You Might Forget To “Breathe” | Society Of Rock Videos

It’s no secret that Pink Floyd’s 1973 epic Dark Side of the Moon is one of the greatest rock albums ever written. A sonic landscape that found band members David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Richard Wright plumbing the depths of their artistic abilities to fearlessly explore the topics of conflict, greed, the passage of time, and mental illness, Dark Side of the Moon is an album that when stripped down to its bare bones still remains an absolute wonder to behold – so it’s not much of a surprise that David Gilmour’s choice to go unplugged for one of the album’s key tracks yielded a gorgeous, fresh take.

The second track off of Dark Side of the Moon, “Breathe” gets an acoustic update from Gilmour and thanks to the audio located just below this article, we finally get to hear it all; Gilmour’s complex chord progressions, the little nuances that give it its atmospheric qualities – we even get to fully concentrate on “Breathe” as a living, breathing story as opposed to solely appreciating it as a song. Any musician can transpose their own work into an acoustic piece, but it takes an artist to reinvent it and find new and exciting ways to bring their work to you in a way that’s every bit as exciting the second time around as it was the first, and Gilmour succeeds in spades.