Thursday, December 29, 2011

Jimmy Page's and Led Zeppelin Guitars

There is no denying that Jimmy Page is a Rock and Roll Titan

Jimmy's image conjurers a very iconic guitar - The Gibson Les Paul!
Few people ever write a hit song - Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin famously released albums instead of singles! They have sold more than 300 million albums world wide. Considering that an average album weighs 145 grams - They have sold a lot of vinyl! Led Zeppelin still is a mega band even though they aren't on tour - yet!

Rarely has Jimmy's image been rightfully associated with a Fender Telecaster - Do your homeword! Jimmy often used a Telecaster in Led Zeppelin studio recordings.

This is a small sample of Jimmy's quiver used at the 1977 Oakland Colosseum concert.

This is the type of fret work Gibson should employ on all of their Les Paul's in my opinion!

This is an example of Jimmy's Gibson reissue Les Paul #2

Gibson Les Paul #2

Jimmy in action - !

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Van Halen Family to reunite for 2012 Tour with David Lee Roth

The Van Halen Family will be back on tour once again featuring David Lee Roth as the frontman for the group.
Tickets will go on sale on January 10, 2012. "Like" Van Halen on Facebook here and get all the details as they become available.
I wonder if the hasty details are coming about as Europe's debit crisis has made long term prospects of business far more risky and a less profitable venture to those who are getting crash courses in global economies? European bands are also finding difficult to be paid in the USA due to the fluctuation of the dollar. Essentially, bands must go to the markets that can support their fee's in order to make a profit. So the global economy could be the catalyst foisting this tour to fruition. Especially as we see the market in Europe darkening.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Ed Roman Luthier and Entrepreneur - Ed Romans Guitars Las Vegas - RIP

Ed Roman has passed away! If you have ever been looking for excellent guitars then most likely you have visited his web site or his showroom in Las Vegas. Many great guitarists have bought guitars from Ed or at least popped into his shop to see what Ed had on hand. Ed's passing was a bit premature as he was only in his early 60's.
For the guitarist, going to Las Vegas and not stopping by Ed's would be an unthinkable oversight. Ed Roman was outspoken but at the very least had the courage of his conviction to his opinion. I loved reading Ed's Rants. 
The Rants were justification alone to visit the site. Here are a couple of links to my favorite rants. The Gibson Les Paul neck fracture rant which is hard to fault and you can tell that Ed was passionate about the problem. Got to read the PRS FAQ here! Finally, the over-priced guitar rant. Agree or disagree, Ed had an opinion and he had the courage to stand up for his convictions. There are not too many guitar website that contain enough content to keep you clicking for hours, Ed Roman Guitars site is hot!

There were a lot of stars that purchased guitars from Ed. Ted Nugent had a custom guitar that housed a Derringer pistol in the back of the guitar. The Rev. Billy F. Gibbons, Keith Urban, Rick Derringer and others. Click here for a list of endorser's. Many people loved the QuickSilver guitar which is direct competition for many guitars including PRS.

I personally never bought a guitar from Ed's but I almost did so as they sell Baker guitars. The sale never came to fruition but nevertheless, I enjoy the Ed Roman site and I am sure that it will be there for all of us to use, refer, and enjoy for years to come.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Rodrigo Y Gabriela and C.U.B.A. - AREA 52

 ATO Records is excited to offer the first song from the soon-to-be released Area 52 from Rodrigo y Gabriela. The song is called "Juan Loco," and is available for download on SoundCloudRodrigo y Gabriela - Juan Loco (feat. CUBA) by ATO Records
"Juan Loco" is a compelling and powerful representation of the unique hybrid of metal, latin, and jazz that is the unmistakable signature of Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero. For Area 52, the duo took their sound a step further into the unknown -- "Juan Loco" now boasts a 13-piece Cuban Orchestra and brilliant bass by Carles Benavent, who has played with the likes of Paco De Lucia, Chick Corea and Miles Davis.

About the track, Rodrigo says, "For 'Juan Loco,' we decided to get Carles Benavent to play the bass as well as he did on 11:11 because it felt like he could just change the rhythm in terms of the bass line, in terms of making it a little bit less latin and more kind of his way - you know, which could be jazzy, could be more flamenco based style or whatever. And it goes well with the guitars because it's a very hyper-active track in terms of playability and he suits perfectly for these kinds of tracks."

Area 52 was produced by the legendary Peter Asher and will come out on January 24, 2012. The record contains nine of Rod and Gab's favorite songs from their own catalogue re-arranged and re-configured for a 13-piece Cuban orchestra comprised of some of Havana's finest young players, collectively known as C.U.B.A. It's Rodrigo y Gabriela's first recorded collaboration with another group of musicians.

Area 52 was mixed by Rafa Sardina, one of the leading studio musicians in the Latin music world, and arranged by London-based pianist, composer and arranger Alex Wilson. Recording took place in the Miramar district of Havana, Cuba, at Abdala Studios, founded by the Cuban folk hero Silvio Rodriguez, as well as at Rod and Gab's studio in Ixtapa, Mexico. Other players on the record include: drummer John Tempesta (The Cult, Testament, White Zombie), sitarist Anoushka Shankar, and drummer Samuel Formell (Los Van Van). 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RIP Hubert Sumlin - Very sad!

We have lost a Blues Legend!
The sound behind Howlin Wolf has passed away! Without Hubert Sumlin there wouldn't be:
Eric Clapton
Jimmy Page
Jeff Beck
Keith Richards
Michael Bloomfield
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Jimmy Vaughan and many more including you!
No words can adequately express the profound loss!
Some songs that he put the tracks on: Smokestack Lightning, Spoonful, and Killing Floor. Just those two are monumental. Then there is the rest of his catalog which is equally great and relevant. Mr. Sumlin never won a Grammy - That alone should disqualify a lot of people who have because skipping Hubert is sacrilegious.

Hubert was lovable and honest. We don't see many people like him anymore much less have someone who can tell us stories about getting knocked out by Howlin Wolf.
In memory of Hubert Sumlin 1931 to 2011.
I love the story about drinking coffee!

Lesson's from Hubert where worth their price in gold!

I always enjoyed Hubert's stories. He was one of the last connections to the past.

At this time I don't have enough time to devote to a proper tribute but when I do - I'll update my page but here is a link to the New York Times article.

RIP Hubert Sumlin! You will be missed!

Thank you Hubert for being you!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Brian Setzer plays Mystery Train

Brian Setzer Rocks!

Links to Brian Setzer's webpage here!

Danny Gatton Lesson

If you don't know about Danny Gatton - You should! Players like Joe Bonamassa will be the first to tell you that Danny Gatton was a monster talent. Go to the Danny Gatton website by clicking here! Fender makes a special Danny Gatton Telecaster which you can see by clicking here.
Check out Danny and his technique because doing so will make you a better player!

Super fun!
Check out Danny's gear here!

100 Greatest Country Music Guitarists

Certainly only a list. These lists are more for reference than competition or hierarchy. At this time about half of the players listed have links that will further inform you as to their respective talent. I urge you to further investigate these players.

I had to revise my list because Mr. Sugiyama (Country music Sensei) pointed out that I failed to list Buck Owens! Be mistake - ! Bakersfield sound is the real deal!

  1.    Chet Atkins  
  2.    Merle Travis
  3.    Joe Maphis
  4.    Roy Clark
  5.   Buck Owens
  6.    Speedy West
  7.    Albert Lee
  8.    Maybelle Carter
  9.    Buddy Emmons
  10.    Noel Boggs
  11.   Jerry Byrd
  12.   Tony Rice
  13.  Doc Watson
  14.  Norman Blake
  15.  Ricky Skaggs
  16.  Danny Gatton
  17.  Ray Flacke
  18.  Red Rhodes
  19.  Lester Flatt
  20.  Hank Garland
  21.  Leon McAuliffe
  22.  Roy Nichols
  23.  Clarence White
  24.  Doyle Dykes
  25.  Charlie McCoy
  26.  Jimmy Bryant
  27.  Paul Franklin
  28.  Little Roy Wiggins
  29.  Joaquin Murphy
  30.  Pete Drake
  31.  Jerry Reed
  32.  Curly Chalker
  33.  Grady Martin
  34.  Jerry Douglas
  35.  Junior Brown
  36.  Sonny Garish
  37.  Billy Grammer
  38.  Dan Dugmore
  39.  Charles Sawtelle
  40.  Lee Roy Parnell
  41.  John Jorgensen
  42.  Sam McGee
  43.  Carl Perkins
  44.  Eddie Alkire
  45.  James Burton
  46.  Vince Gill
  47.  Keith Urban
  48.  David Grier
  49.  Glenn Campbell
  50.  Scotty Moore
  51.  Brad Paisley
  52.  Johnny Hiland
  53.  Jimmy Day
  54.  Jerry Donahue
  55.  Herb Remington
  56.  Don Rich
  57.  Ralph Mooney
  58.  Dan Crary
  59.  Don Helms
  60.  Joe Carr
  61.  Bud Isaacs
  62.  Lloyd Green
  63.  Bob White
  64.  Bill Emerson
  65.  Bill Kirchen
  66.  Zane Beck
  67.  Brent Rowan
  68.  Eddie Taylor
  69.  Bobby Garrett
  70.  John Jennings
  71.  Bob Dunn
  72.  Dickey Betts
  73.  Tom Morrell
  74.  Brent Mason
  75.  Hal Rugg
  76.  John Hughey
  77.  Russ Barenberg
  78.  Jimmie Crawford
  79.  James Allen Shelton
  80.  Jaydee Maness
  81.  Rusty Young
  82.  Weldon Myrick
  83.  B. J. Cole
  84.  Johnny Sibert
  85.  Bryan Sutton
  86.  Buddy Charleton
  87. Doug Jernigan
  88. Pee Wee Wightwing
  89.  Tom Brumley
  90.  Jeff Newman
  91.  Roy Smeck
  92.  Eldon Shamblin
  93.  Sean Watkins
  94.  Ry Cooder
  95.  Harold Bradly
  96.  Eric Weissberg
  97.  Peter Rowan
  98.  Billy Bowman
  99.  Dan Crary
  100.  Eddy Shaver
  101.  Buddy Miller

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

TC Electronic Tone print App - Beam it

One of the coolest advancements in technology is now available for you, your guitar and your TC electronics effects. The TC Electronic Tone Print APP allows you to beam new settings to your pedal. It's better that they explain how it works in this video. Be prepared to be impressed!

I doubt I'd play with this on stage but it would certainly put a damper on my practice schedule as I'd be noodling with all the presets.
You will need a smart phone and currently TC only has an APP for iphones. But the Android firmware will be available soon. In addition to the phone, you will need to download the firmware here
This new feature is in addition to the tone-pint feature that comes stock with the tone-print pedal. Tone print allows you to download actual "prints" that other people have made and some of these prints are made by extremely popular musicians. Therefore, in addition to selling extremely versatile and dynamic pedals in their own right, the pedals allow you to collaborate with fellow musicians by creating a library for down and up loading tone-prints in the TONE-PRINT section at the TC site.
TC Electronic has a lot to offer. Click here to view their website!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Imelda May Mayhem track-by-track

Imelda May's second full album Mayhem was released on 4 October on Decca and we asked guitarist Darrel Higham to talk us through each track. The album is reviewed in the next issue of Guitarist which is on sale 27 October.
1. Pulling The Plug
A sultry opening number driven by Al Gare's slapping whale-fiddle, a cool acoustic and a suitably twanging electric melody line. The solo shows off some of Darrel Higham's best techniques.
Darrel Higham: "Probably my favourite track on the album, due to its bass intro and Bo Diddley-esque beat. Al Gare (bass) and Steve Rushton (drums) are quite brilliant on this.
"This needed lots of strong rhythm parts, hence the high level of acoustic (my Favilla, made in 1973) and one more electric rhythm guitar sort of echoing the acoustic. This solo was a one-take-wonder – I love a good banjo roll and feel that the world could always do with another... Peavey Rockinghams through a Peavey Delta Blues (with the one 15-inch speaker) are the main weapons of choice throughout the album, however further overdubs and guitar parts were replaced at Sphere Studios in Battersea, London, during the mixing phase with Andy Wright and Gavin Goldberg."
"I used whatever I could get my hands on during this period – my Gretsch guitars (aWhite Falcon and a US custom shop 6120) and an old Telecaster belonging to Andy. The album was recorded at a studio I co-own own in Hampshire called Embassy Studio."
2. Psycho
A sumptuous mix of contemporary swagger and fifties flavour, the chorus is catchier than a cold in a nursery. Darrel nods towards both Vic Flick and Duane Eddy during the Bigbsy-bending lead break.
"This track took awhile to gel. We'd been gigging it for ages and on early versions I played a six-string baritone guitar. However, it wasn't working for our ears and felt it needed more of a jangly hook to mesh it altogether. I just had to spend a bit more brain-time on it. The solo was tortuous as it's a rhythm that I find hard to play to so I just decided to keep it very simple and, hopefully, relatively tuneful.
"Most of the effects on the solos came directly from my little Zoom G2 pedal that I use onstage. I mainly use an ambient setting which gives a nice full sound. I've just bought one of those Danelectro Reel Echo things and that gives a masterful vintage echo for a few songs in our set. The Zoom is such a versatile pedal and I've used them for many years. Terrific value as well.
"That's our Border Collie, Alf, growling on the end of the track. He's a star."
3. Mayhem
Backed up by a brilliant video, the title track tells the story of a rocky love affair that ends in tragedy...or does it? Imelda works wonders fitting in streams of lyrics whilst keeping the emotion up, before Darrel steps on a fuzz box and all hell breaks loose.
"Another track that took awhile for me to find something that really worked to the terrific groove laid down by Al and Steve. Imelda came up with the main intro riff on her little six-string Ukulele. The solo was another – like so many on this album – that evolved from earlier versions.
"I'd been trying an octave thing on the two E strings, a la Johnny Burnette, but it wasn't working. I felt this really needed a tough guitar hook and sort of stumbled upon a variation on the boogie pattern that fitted in nicely. Again, like Psycho, we'd been playing this live for awhile and I'd been changing the solo every now and then.
"What I ended up with was a proper nod to Eddie Cochran as it's very similar to the one he played on a song called My Babe that was recorded whilst he was over in the UK doing a TV show in 1960. I didn't realise until after we played it back how similar they were, but I'm very glad to have got that obvious influence in as he's such a monumental influence on my playing."
4. Kentish Town Waltz
Another story depicting the trials of young love, this time set in a slowly pulsating 3 / 4 time and accompanied by Dave Priseman's mournful trumpet. A restrained solo that offers whiffs of Scotty Moore is the icing on the cake
"I play my Favilla acoustic on this to flesh out the rhythm. I may have used one of my Gretsches, possibly the 6120 Custom Shop, for the solo, where I relied upon my love of Chet Atkins. Although it's nowhere near as good as the great man, I like to think he'd have approved... I'm a hopeless modern country player, but felt this needed some of that thrown in and so learnt of few riffs that were simple enough for me to remember and they worked a treat! God bless YouTube..."
5. All For You
A wonderfully saucy number that evokes smoky bars, women of the street and zoot-suited gangsters all tapping along to a swing hefty enough to rock an elephant to sleep. The muted trumpet keeps things real too.
"I ended up using Brian Setzer's classic solo in Stray Cat Strut as my inspiration. I love that little run-up the bass strings he does at the end of the first solo and decided to nick it for this. Cheers, Brian, I owe you one! I was particularly pleased with the acoustic on this as it drives it all along and gives it a little more of an early 1950s vibe."
6. Eternity
Written by Higham, Imelda sings parts of a duet with herself as a ukulele and acoustic keep the beat. Check it out and see if you can visualise Elvis himself signing along in his customary manner.
"This was written for something else we were working on with Jeff Beck – long before we started recording Mayhem - and Imelda decided to steal it! This was another song that was crying out for some twangy, country Tele-type sounds."
7. Inside Out
Where muted trumpet and shimmering guitar collide; foot-warming genius. All that's missing is a gaggle of chorus girls clicking their fingers off to the side of the stereo picture.
"Another intro riff that came from Imelda's Ukulele. Dave runs away with this, and rightly so, he's quite magnificent. I just needed to find some nice, bendy chords and used D shapes up and down the neck with open strings to make it more exciting. The guitar helps the swing pattern in the solo and it's a very, very simple thing I'm playing. Less is more and all that. "
8. Proud & Humble
There's more than a taste of the wild west here, with a palm-muted guitar and capo'd acoustic accompanying the vocal delivered in the manner the song title suggests. A smooth trumpet solo injects yet more mood...
"A huge nod to Luther Perkins here [Johnny Cash's first guitarist]. And the acoustic capo'd on the third fret. I put two acoustics on this, both playing in different shapes to beef it up. Another electric rhythm comes in on the chorus, a tad more distorted to help raise the excitement levels, hopefully. Well, it raises my excitement levels, anyway."
9.Sneaky Freak
A truly frightening delve into the mind of the professional stalker. One of the fastest numbers on the album, the music is upbeat and the guitar solo, all pick rakes and finger snaps, is definitely one to try and learn.
"I play a different solo live, for some strange reason, although it's only really the first part that I play differently these days. I suppose you just get used to things in a certain way. This song was written by Imelda for consideration in the film Wild Target. It never made it onto the soundtrack in the end, although Mayhem and Johnny Got A Boom Boom were included.
"This is a good example of how a song was recorded before it was ever played in a gig and over the passing of time I think we've all added different bits to it. I like the solo on this, it's quite aggressive and fits the song well, but I can never how remember to play it live."
10. Bury My Troubles
If we had to pick our favourite song of all here, it'd be this by a whisker. The slinky vibe suits Imelda's voice to a tee, and the muted trumpet and short, sharp guitar chords continue the alley cat fell. Darrel uses a chorus effect to help his solo slither along.
"I used [producer] Andy Wright's old Telecaster on this for the electric rhythm. The solo was already recorded at Embassy on a Rockingham and it's one I'm quite proud of. I suppose you know you've done your job when people hum along with the solo but I know I've done my job as a guitarist properly when I can remember how to play it again months later. Andy added the weird chorus effect on the solo, which I thought was quite cool as it gives it an organ vibe."

11. Too Sad To Cry
Boasting an almost New Orleans funeral-style vibe thanks to the mournful intro underneath a marching snare and wobbling guitar, you can feel Imelda's pain as she mourns a lost love. The layered backing vocals are sheer class, and you may well have 'something in your eye' as you listen to this...
"Again, I use octaves in this to get a deep, backing vocal effect. The guitar needed to be really very simple on this, and simple I can do. Another great song by Imelda and she sings the hell out of it."
12. I'm Alive
Infinitely happier, Hawaiian guitar glissandos and harmonics layer emotion upon emotion as Imelda reminds us that she remains within the land of the living.
"Stewart Johnson from The Toy Hearts – one of our favourite bands – played the beautiful steel on this. I just needed to come up with a nice, simple rhythm part to fill it all in. The solo on this is my least favourite on the album as I came up with loads of others that I thought were miles better, but Imelda's the boss and this is the one she chose. There were ructions in the car on the way home, I can tell you..."
13. Let Me Out
Motoring along at a fair old lick, this is arguably the most rockabilly song of all. With a nicely constructed solo full of trills, hammer ons and Bigsby-bent low notes, the chorus will surely see fans screaming the words at the top of their lungs. Nice surprise major chords at the end too.
"This all came together quite quickly, as I recall. The solo needed work as it had to be disciplined and thought out. A bit of Cliff Gallup was needed at the end of the spoken part, I felt. He's another player that is a huge influence on me. "Imelda isn't a purist when it comes to music and so I've always have to go outside of my comfort zones whilst working with her, which makes the job all the more interesting for me.
"Being a bit more disciplined with your playing does have its benefits when it comes to gigs. Creating a strong main riff and then a variation, or slightly more exciting riff for the chorus and then sticking to that throughout the song is a very basic idea that has never lost its power if done right and I try and stick to those principles. Hopefully this one is a future May anthem..."
14. Tainted Love
A unique version of Soft Cell's wedding reception staple, all slapping bass and staccato guitar, Proof, not that it were needed, that Imelda could sing the phone book and make it sound great.
"Al Gare is brilliant on this, with all that slap bass. The guitar influence didn't come from Gloria Jones or Soft Cell but rather a version that was recorded in the early 1980s by British Rockabilly greats, Dave Phillips & The Hot Rod Gang. 
"The intro is purely a nod of the head to their version but the rest is all us. Dave's guitarist was a hugely influential player called Mark Harman. Mark had his own band called Restless and they were as popular as the Stray Cats to us kids on the UK Rockin' scene back in the early 80s. He was, and still is, an absolutely wondrous player. However, I decided to put my own stamp on this and was very happy with how it all turned out."Incidentally, the drummer in The Hot Rod Gang, Rob Tyler, later joined my band The Enforcers for a couple of years and I'm a huge fan of his style – very Dickie Harrell."

How to Play Queen's Fat Bottomed Girls

Composed by Brian Harold May
Tutor / Audio: Charlie Griffiths
Videographer: Martin Holmes

Total Guitar link!

Record Release

Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin at Kezar Stadium, June 2 1973

I was 11 years old and just learning about Led Zeppelin. My neighbors older brother had Led Zeppelin 1, I heard the album and had to have it. I think I bought the album from a Montgomery Ward's department store. I still have the album and a lot more. I saw Led Zeppelin at the Oakland Colosseum in 1977. That concert lives on in infamy because Led Zeppelin's manager and crew had a circumstance with Bill Graham's people. Since that time, Led Zeppelin has had many changes including the unfortunate loss of John Bonham. Unofficially, the band broke up only to get back together to play in London at the O2!

Look for the release of the official recording of the reunion at the O2 - soon!
Kezar stadium was in San Francisco.

The following information was gleaned from Jimmy Page's website!

Become a member! 


Led Zeppelin’s live show at the Kezar Stadium in San Francisco signaled the midway point of the band’s North American tour, which spanned the Spring and Summer of 1973.
The rickety stadium, formerly inhabited by local NFL teams the Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers, was built in 1922 and had seen better days before the band arrived to play.
Local newspaper reports state that Led Zeppelin’s performance “could be heard up to half-mile away,” while nearby hospital patients complained of the noise.

Another story about the Kezar concert; Led Zeppelin back in 1972-73 could easily afford to hire their own jet. Prior to the San Francisco Kezar show that was presented by the amazing Bill Graham, most of the band flew north from Los Angeles to San Francisco except for one key individual. Jimmy Page as it is told decide to fly among the commoners and take a commercial flight to San Francisco. As it happens, the jet was delayed and being held in rotation circling high above the bay area until they could land. Mean, while, the band minus one Jimmy Page is ready to play and the crowd has been waiting about an hour. Now, in the 1970's it wasn't too uncommon for a band to be late but an hour was pushing patience of the crowd. Bill Graham was completely freaking out and worried about the crowd and the repercussions. He resolved to get up on stage an make an announcement, "Folks, we are sorry about the delay but it seems that Jimmy Page has some problems with his double neck guitar and it's essential for many of Led Zeppelins tunes, we appreciate your patience while Jimmy sorts this problem out," to which the crowd responded with an uproarious cheer and loud applause. Moments later Jimmy showed up and nobody was the wiser! Bill Graham at his best!!!! 
Set list:
Rock and Roll
Celebration Day
Black Dog
Over the Hills and Far Away
Misty Mountain Hop
Since I've Been Loving You
No Quarter
The Song Remains the Same
The Rain Song
Dazed and Confused
Stairway to Heaven
Moby Dick
Whole Lotta Love
Communication Breakdown
The Ocean


For one sunny afternoon performance, Led Zeppelin attracted a crowd of more than 49,000 into an aging, has-been football arena, set a band record for gross revenue at a single concert, enriched the City of San Francisco by more than $25,000, and entertained one entire neighbourhood for free. 
The show climaxed the first half of the band’s 1973 US tour, which began May 4th in Atlanta. They’ll be back doing what they do best-- converting heavy metal into dollars—in July, hitting East Coast cities, plus Chicago and Detroit.
It was reported that the band could be heard up to half-mile away, along the Panhandle. And three blocks up the hill at the University of California Medical Centre, patients complained they couldn’t nap.
The Zeppelin freaks began to arrive for the Saturday show the preceding Thursday. Many brought sleeping bags and stayed overnight in park meadows. By the time promoter Bill Graham opened Kezar’s doors at 5:30am Saturday, several thousand persons were waiting. Graham, who says it is important “how you say hello,” handed out balloons and Frisbees.
- Harry Huddleston, Rolling Stone 1973