Tuesday 21 December 2004

The 2005 Epiphone Calendar is here: A tribute to the women who play Epiphone.
Paul McCartney's fake nails help him play guitar
Beatles' guitar sold for £294,000

Friday 17 December 2004

The Hot Seat: these guitarists' seats from Overkill Design are disguised as Fender amps and have plenty of room inside for loads of guitar accessories. Mind, for that kind of price, I'd want it to be a functioning amp too!
The ‘Team Squier’ Garage To Glory Casting Call: For 2005, Squier has opted to forgo the usual ‘established artist’ photos in the Fender Frontline 2005 catalog...
Classic sound of Boston is still Tom Scholz, still recording on tape
Beatles guitar up for grabs: The Gibson SG as played by both George Harrison and John Lennon is expected to fetch more than half a million dollars when it goes under the hammer at Christie's later today.
Johnson Introduces Delta Blues Resonator: the wood-body JR-410 Delta Blues, available in roundneck or squareneck designs with hand-spun cone and chrome-plated bell brass coverplate/tailpiece.

Tuesday 14 December 2004

Wednesday 8 December 2004

Motley Crue are back!
Nirvana Bassist Puts Himself Up For Auction: see also the follow-up story, Nirvana Fan Pays £4000 For Plane Ride
Manic Street Preachers employ a second guitarist
Obituary: Frank Haggerty, jazz guitarist, played with Sinatra, host of others
Late Slim Dusty nominated for Golden Guitars: the late country music star, Slim Dusty, has received a number of nominations for next year's Golden Guitar Awards.
Pickin' and a grinnin': Johnny Cash's Grammer guitar nets $131,000 at auction
New SE Soapbar II Model from Paul Reed Smith: more yawnworthy guitars from PRS. Zzzzzzz...
Paul Reed Smith Intros Billy Martin SE Model: The lead guitarist for Good Charlotte now has his own Paul Reed Smith SE model guitar, featuring a mahogany neck and body with a matte black finish and black hardware. Well, good for him.

Wednesday 24 November 2004

New Retrofit Stoptail Bridge for Vintage Tremolo Strats: I agree with the sentiment, but I can't say that I like the flame design.
Epiphone Kat Series: Hey, these rockin' semis look quite cool. Nice to see some new Epiphone designs that aren't simply Gibson copies.

Friday 19 November 2004

Beatle guitar goes up for auction: A guitar played by George Harrison and John Lennon is expected to fetch up to £270,000 at auction. The Gibson SG guitar was used by Harrison from 1966-1969 and by Lennon during the White Album sessions.
Zakk Wylde joins the guitar hero sculpture series: KnuckleBonz, Inc. is producing a Zakk Wylde figure as the latest in the Guitar Hero™ Limited Edition Sculpture Series.

Thursday 11 November 2004

Duesenberg Guitars: I recently saw Bill Nelson using one of these babies - it looked cool and sounded mighty impressive.
Electrosonic Adds Neptune to Guitar Head Lineup: it sure looks cool too!
Aerosmith Guitarist Hits Hot Sauce Market
James Hollihan and the Symphony of Guitars "The Nutcracker Suite"
60 firms paying to put 10-foot guitars on Arizona streets
Acoustic Avalon: Britain's biggest acoustic guitar show, Acoustic Avalon, takes place on November 20 and 21, at Leicester racecourse conference centre.
'Acoustic': just Lennon and a guitar
Hard Rock's guitar sign will be the largest one yet

Wednesday 3 November 2004

Palace date for guitarist Clapton: Guitarist and songwriter Eric Clapton is to receive a CBE at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Tuesday 2 November 2004

Sunday 31 October 2004

Fender Stratocaster, Limited edition Antigua re-issue, 2004

Fender Strat, Antigua reissue, 2004
OK, OK... I know I made a bit of a song and a dance a while back about Strats being "the most boring guitar" on the planet (or something). Perhaps I was in denial? Perhaps I just wanted a change? Perhaps I was just a bit pissed off because a couple of years ago I needed the cash and had to sell my japanese 70s style paisley pink Stratocaster.

This new Antigua finish 70s style Strat is lovely, and I think I like the finish more than I liked my paisley Strat. Once again, it's a japanese Strat and it plays and feels just like my old paisley jobbie. Playing this guitar feels like resuming a relationship with an old friend, and I'm beginning to understand now just why the Stratocaster this year celebrated its 50th Anniversary. The guitar is so popular simply because it is a classic piece of design work. I mean, I love my Gibson Flying V but it's not exactly comfortable or convenient to play in a sitting position. The Stratocaster's curves and contours are ergonomically designed to fit to the player's body. It is a superb piece of design.

For me it had to be a 70s style Strat, no other Strat would do. This is partially because I wanted a replacment for my old paisley Strat (the recent paisley reissues are not 70s style), and partly because I like the big headstock and the neck profile. Don't ask me why, it's just what I'm comfortable with, both visually and in use.

These limited edition Antigua re-issues (there's also a Telecaster and a very limited Jaguar available) have been created exclusively for the European market. I got mine for a very nice price all the way from Germany. For more info see www.fendereurope.com.

Monday 25 October 2004

Blur guitarist Graham Coxon to rejoin the band
Singer in appeal for antique guitar's return: Willy Mason is offering a reward for the return of his 70s Gibson Hummingbird, which was recently stolen at a gig in Newcastle.
Building A Good Relationship With Your Guitar
Police on the track of £3,000 guitar: thief walks out of Coventry music shop wih the most expensive guitar in stock.
Swineshead offers hand-made pickups with custom looks
Swineshead offers hand-made pickups with custom looks
Optek Launches FG-400 Series Fretlight Guitars: See songs light up underneath your fingertips!
Line 6 announce the Variax Bass, the world's first modelling bass.

Tuesday 19 October 2004

Spanish guitars made from banned wood: Police in Spain have uncovered an illegal network engaged in smuggling protected wood from Brazilian rain forests to be fashioned into high-quality guitars.
Jim Hall gets Sadowsky signature archtop guitar
G&L introduces Tribute Series Invader XL guitar
Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover's Russian tour report
Michael Schenker inks endorsement deal with dean guitars
Blogcritics.org diss the Epiphone "Bob Marley" guitar
Paul Stanley donates guitar to benefit kids research hospital
Slash selects tracks for his ultimate guitar compilation

Friday 1 October 2004

The Return of the 12-string Stratocaster: back (in Europe, at least) by popular demand!
Fender's Antigua finish makes a rare return
Famous Guitarists Perform at Fender Show: celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster at Wembley Arena.
New Guns N' Roses Guitarist?: Does anyone care any more?
Radiohead Donates Guitar to Homeless Charity: I wish they'd donate ALL their instruments to charity and stop making such hideous dirge-like music.
GAS - guitar acquisition syndrome - gives guys string fever
Six String Arts, the art of the guitar in stunning miniature reproductions: check out these ultra-detailed models of guitars as owned by Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Beatles, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Kurt Cobain and many others.
Fender Jazzmaster and Jaguar - the higher evolution of off-set waist guitars: A tribute to Fender's Jazzmaster and Jaguar guitars.

Monday 20 September 2004

New Golden Age Pickups from Stewart-MacDonald
'Lost' Hendrix concert uncovered
Leo Gregory to star as guitarist Brian Jones
Patented Kaua‘i-built guitars are lightweights: Tucker Guitars build instruments from light-weight albizzia wood. See www.tuckerguitars.com
Ike Turner's Hendrix guitar stolen
Guitar string legend Ernie Ball dies, aged 74
Johnny Cash’s guitar sells for $131,200 (£73,200) at auction
Sting's prized guitar gift for school funds
Vintage guitar plucked from floodwaters only thing he has left: Hellertown man's prize possession saved by passer-by.

Thursday 2 September 2004

Traveler Pro-Series
OK, I'm off to France on my holidays for two weeks now, so there won't be any updates until later in the month when I return. I will be taking my Traveler Pro Series guitar with me (see www.travelerguitar.com), although the unique stethoscope headset is a little uncomfortable, so I'm also packing a very small Danelectro headphone amp which fits nicely into the front pocket of the Traveler's gig bag.

Thursday 26 August 2004

I went to see DKT/MC5 last night, featuring three of the now legendary rock'n'roll revolutionaries the MC5 from Detroit. Absolutely fantastic show, and Wow! that Wayne Kramer can't half play the guitar! It almost makes me want to get a Fender Stratocaster again. (By the way, I noticed he was playing a hardtail, i.e. non-tremolo, Strat, which conversely had the legend "with Synchronized Tremolo" on the headstock. A mis-matched neck and body, perhaps?). Anyway, catch them if you can!
Mother Maybelle's Guitar in Hall of Fame
Eagles guitar expected to be highlight of Swampy auction

Monday 23 August 2004

Annihilator - guitars for sale
BOOTSY EXCLUSIVE BABY BUBBA - Bassist keeps the funk alive and skates around politics with new album. Or so it says here. It's about Bootsy Collins, in case you hadn't worked it out already.
Body Count Guitarist Dead: D-Roc is the third member of the pioneering rock 'n' rap group to pass away.
Jimmy Page to open London Walk of Fame
James Brown Band bass guitarist dies at 72: Bertrand Odom, RIP.
Guitar Auction to Aid Charley's Victims: loads of signed guitars to go under the hammer to benefit those hit by the hurricane.
Mercurio Electric Guitars Offers Interchangeable Pickups: Mercurio Guitars has launched a new line of guitars that feature an interchangeable pickup system so you can change the sound of the guitar in seconds, and works with all standard pickups. For more information, visit www.mercurioguitars.com.

Thursday 19 August 2004

Yamaha Pacifica 112 Guitar Project, Part 3

Having finished sanding the guitar body, I was ready to proceed with applying the wood stain. I decided against using just a single colour and making the guitar look like it would have originally. I decided instead to try to create my own more interesting finish through the use of masking tape and three different colour stains!
Masking the body with tape
Masking the body with tape

The first stain has been applied and the tape removed
The first stain has been applied and the tape removed

Taped up again and the second stain is applied
Taped up again and the second stain is applied

Tape removed again: the first two colours
Tape removed again: the first two colours

A view around the back
A view around the back

The third colour having been applied
The third colour having been applied

Neck, scratchplate and bridge positioned to show what the guitar will look like
The neck, scratchplate and bridge positioned to show what the guitar will look like

Redneck And Here To Stay - An Interview With Gretchen Wilson courtesy of Epiphone Musical Instruments

Wednesday 18 August 2004

Wednesday 11 August 2004

Blink-182's DeLonge Expects 'Always' To Change Life As We Know It: kiddie-band guitar player talks total bollocks.
Tony Mottola, Guitarist, Dies At 86: Tony Mottola, a guitarist who played with Frank Sinatra and on NBC's "The Tonight Show" over the course of a 50-year career, has died.
Former Eagles bassist Randy Meisner hospitalized
Fans of Martin guitars play a happy tune: 100 Martin guitar enthusiasts celebrate their favourite instrument maker.
Guitars fighting cancer
Townshend's Guitar May Fetch £35,000 at Christie's Sale
New York Dolls play on: The New York Dolls say they will honour their commitments following the death of bassist Arthur Kane.
Hendrix memorabilia set for biggest rock auction in London

Tuesday 10 August 2004

Kinks founder treated for stroke: Kinks guitarist Dave Davies is recovering from a stroke having collapsed on 30th June.
Win an Epiphone Bob Marley Les Paul and some other stuff.
Pilot creates cockpit-friendly folding guitar: A Swedish pilot and amateur musician has created a folding guitar that fits into his cramped cockpit. It is similar in size and style to a Fender Telecaster, with a neck that folds back into the body and the strings being pulled onto a roller.

Saturday 7 August 2004

Yamaha Pacifica 112 Guitar Project, Part 2

Today I spent quite a while sorting out the bad sanding job that someone had done when they stripped the body of the guitar. I don't think they even took the neckplate or perhaps even the scratchplate off the guitar as there was evidence of the guitar's finish underneath both of these!

I did the donkey work with an electric orbital sander and then switched to sanding by hand - you always get the smoothest finish that way. There was also some of the original finish lurking inside the cutaways so I applied Nitro Mors to these areas to dissolve it away, before cleaning it up and re-sanding.

I also checked my box of guitar spares to make sure I have everything I need for re-assembly. I have a loaded Pacifica scratchplate, a tremolo bridge (although with no arm and no springs), and various knobs. Pieces I still need to find (or rather, buy) in that case are tremolo springs, tremolo arm, jack socket and plate for side-mounting, pickup selector cap... and that's it!

Here's what the guitar might look like when I re-assemble it:

Bear in mind that it won't be that colour though. I've not decided on the colour yet, other than it'll be a natural finish, but my inclination is to go for a darker stain, perhaps even mahogany-ish.

Here's a couple of options that I'm considering:

Chrome dome knobs for the volume and tone, rather than the ordinary Strat type knobs, and replacement black pickup covers for the single coils (they look a bit weird here in the photo because I simply placed them on top of the existing pickups for the picture). I'm not decided yet which would look the best (the existing white pickup covers are very dirty), I think we'll have to try it and see when I put the guitar together again.

Friday 6 August 2004

Bass Ukulele utilizing Ashbory strings: Crossbreed a Ukulele with an Ashbory and you get a Bass Ukulele!
DR Introduces Dimebag Darrell Signature Hi-Voltage String
Parker Guitars Introduces Two New Models: Parker is adding two new, more affordable models to their P Series guitars, the Telecaster-ish P-36 with ash body and maple neck, and the P-42 with mahogany body and neck.
Pink Floyd's "The Wall" to be staged on Broadway: Pink Floyd founder and bassist Roger Waters will write the book for the show and orchestrate the music. "Now I can write in some laughs, notable by their absence in the movie," he said.

Thursday 5 August 2004

The Bone by Triff of Switzerland. It's another of those neat little travel guitars - yet another option for a guitar on the move, which can't be a bad thing!

Wednesday 4 August 2004

Yamaha Pacifica 112 Guitar Project

Yamaha Pacifica 112 Guitar Project
I have a new guitar project to get working on, namely a second-hand Yamaha Pacifica 112 body and neck. It does have a scratchplate but there are no electrics and no bridge/tremolo. The neck, however, does have all its tuners intact, and it just so happens that in my box of guitar spares I already have a Pacifica 112 scratchplate loaded with a humbucker and two single coils - all wired up and ready to go. I think I may have a suitable bridge/tremolo for it too.

On the guitar body itself, someone has had a go at stripping it down to the bare wood, but they have hardly made a brilliant job of it. The first job to do will be to get it sanded properly, nice and smooth, and then I think I'll re-apply a finish - I will most likely use my tried and trusted remedy of Ronseal All In One - it's very easy to apply and gives a superb natural finish.

As for the neck, well, at the moment it appears to be slightly bowed, but we'll have to see what it's like once the instrument is finished and strung up. Hopefully, it'll not need much more than a truss-rod adjustment.

More on this project later.

Wednesday 28 July 2004

Killer Guitars from Japan. They've got some strange model names. Personally, I wouldn't have thought naming a guitar "Fascist" would be such a good move.
De Lacugo Guitars: Extreme shape, extreme curvature, and extreme finishes!

Tuesday 27 July 2004

Squier by Fender have a couple of cool new models out for 2004 too! Check out the re-designed Jagmaster and the Squier '51 which appears to be a retro-styled Tele/Strat hybrid.
Fender's new products for 2004: Gold 50th Anniverasry Strat, Baritone Jaguar, John 5 Telecaster, Tie-dye Strats, and more...

Thursday 22 July 2004

Guitar distortion has come a long way over the years: the art of noise!
Star Amps by Mark Sampson Now Shipping: Star Amplifiers, a new line of all-tube, class A, hand-wired amps from Marc Sampson have been released, consisting of three different models in 15 and 30 Watt versions.

Wednesday 21 July 2004

Hagstrom Guitars to Make Return at Summer NAMM Show
Stewart-MacDonald Offers Acoustic Guitar Kits
Gibson Offers Summer NAMM Sneak Peak: Initial production offering of Gibson Digital Guitar and new designs from Ned Steinberger to be displayed.
Weller's covers album: Paul Weller's first studio album on Richard Branson's V2 record label will be a collection of cover versions.
Kerrang! TV is looking for an Air Guitar champ! Oh dear.
Van Halen bassist AWOL on new tracks
Morrissey Pays Tribute to New York Dolls Bassist
Jazz Legend Wes Montgomery's Guitar to be Displayed at Indiana State Museum
Judge axes PRS guitar sales: A federal judge in Nashville has barred sales of a popular electric guitar model by Paul Reed Smith Guitars, although at least two stores in Nashville still offer them for sale.
Not all music fans think Eric Clapton's a 'guitar god'
Who's got the best 'guitar face'? and win a Les Paul Black Beauty!
Guide lights make this guitar an easy instrument to play: The Yamaha EZ-AG

Tuesday 13 July 2004

Whatever happened to Slade?

Monday 12 July 2004

Keith Richards Leads Tribute to Old Pal Parsons
Legendary guitarist lives in obscurity: Hank "Sugarfoot" Garland.
Steve Vai waxes lyrical about King Crimson's Robert Fripp
Paul Stanley guitar lesson pulls big money: KISS vocalist/guitarist Paul Stanley recently auctioned off a guitar lesson for charity. The lucky bidder ended paying US $7,100. for the lesson.
Cobain's festival guitar on show: A guitar used by Kurt Cobain during Nirvana's famed performance at the 1992 Reading Festival will be displayed at a show marking the event's history.
Birdsong Guitars Debuts the Short Scale Cortobass - see also www.birdsongguitars.com
L.R. Baggs Introduces iMix System for Acoustic Guitar

Thursday 8 July 2004

Auction of Eric Clapton's Guitars Rakes in Over $7M: "Guitar Center buys several of the top lots which will go on public display around the country" (or, so it say here. I think when they say "the country" they are talking about the United States. I think the writer of this piece forgot that it's the WORLD wide web and not the American wide web. Sorry, rant over, but it does piss me off).

Tuesday 6 July 2004

Damage Control Announces Demonizer Tube Preamp with Distortion
Limited Edition Hotshot Junior Guitar from Reverend
Bass desires: John Entwistle's guitar collection catalogued in new book.
Clapton Guitars Fetch Large Coin: the Top 10!
Judge trades robe for guitar: The retired jurist finds a new career playing with a rock band.
Native Instruments Guitar Rig Updated
Elvis fans mark rock n' roll debut
Roxy Music all but reunite... on guitarist Phil Manzanera's solo album - but without Bryan Ferry.

Sunday 4 July 2004

Mystery Silvertone acoustic

Mystery "Silvertone" acoustic guitar

Here's another eBay find. It's an old - possibly 1950s - archtop guitar, and is supposedly a Silvertone. However, at some point in its life someone has refinished the guitar in dark green, and removed all logos, serial numbers, etc, in the process. The Silvertone logo on the headstock has been painted on by hand so possibly it isn't a Silvertone. But then again, why fake a Silvertone?

To complicate matters even further, the name Silvertone was a brandname used for guitars sold by Sears and Roebuck, and were often re-badged guitars from other brands. So, who knows what this guitar really is?

The back of the guitar suffered a split at one point, and this has been repaired. The splints can be seen quite clearly through the upper f-hole.

Soundwise, it's very sweet. It has quite a pleasing tone, and playability isn't bad as the action is quite reasonable given the age of the instrument. The string spacing leaves a lot to be desired due to some pretty random slots cut into the bridge. Possibly this is something I could repair. The machine heads are old but work perfectly well, and the guitar impressively stays in tune very nicely.
Mystery Silvertone acoustic

The red "scratchplate" is actually a glued on piece of felt; I assume this was done by the person who painted the guitar green - possibly someone called "John B" because the intials "JB" have been added to the top of the guitar on the lower bout, and also the incredibly sturdy case also sports the name "John B".

I would love to know the history of this guitar, but chances are it'll remain the mystery Silvertone acoustic.

Friday 2 July 2004

Brian Jones: Like a Rollin' Stone: today is the anniversary of the Rolling Stones' guitarist and founder's death in 1969.
Lost Frank Zappa Unearthed: "Joe's Corsage" begins a deluge of previously unreleased recordings.
Relatives of Jimi Hendrix resume court battle over guitarist's estate: Bloody disgraceful I call it. They all want a bigger slice of Jimi's legacy, but why don't they get off their arses and actually DO something themselves?
24 hour party people: Is the rock documentary making a comeback?
Gibson Guitar Announces 'Gibson A Go Go: L.A. Rock Show' on Tuesday August 24th at The Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles Featuring Atlantic Records Artists, Shinedown
Nelson won't play guitar at picnic due to hand pain: Country star Willie Nelson said Thursday that he will still sing but won't be able to play guitar during his annual Fourth of July picnic, scheduled to be held in Fort Worth for the first time.

Tuesday 29 June 2004

The Knutsen Archives: an online repository of the unique and fascinating stringed instruments of Chris J Knutsen.

Monday 28 June 2004

New Limited Edition Music Man Instruments Offered in Envy Green
Gibson Creates Jimmy Page Signature Models: Gibson has created several new lines of signature models for Jimmy Page, starting with 25 signed replicas of the guitar great's "Number One", a 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard. One model has already sold for the record price of $55,000!
New Metro Series Instruments from Sadowsky: New York luthier creates Sadowsky Tokyo Facility and new hand-crafted basses.

Saturday 26 June 2004

Chris IsaakMick Jones

Happy Birthday to guitar-slingers Chris Issak, who is 48 today, and to Mick Jones, formerly of The Clash and Big Audio Dynamite, who is 49.