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    James Patrick Regan Celebrates Mars Bonfire and Robert Smith!

    James Patrick Regan sends an aural birthday card to Mars Bonfire (74) and Robert Smith (58) by playing some of Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild” and the Cure’s “Friday I’m in Love.” He’s playing a Kauer Banshee through a Keeley Compressor, Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive, and an Dunlop MXR Stereo Tremolo (wired with George L’s cables) into a newer Fender Deluxe. Keep up with James at thedeadlies.com


    Rhapsody In Purple

    A year after his death, VG remembers Prince, a musical revolutionary, whose emergence was jarring, even for the most youthful and open-minded. Supremely talented on several instruments, guitar was an early and obvious love.

    While the Robin guitar brand’s reverse “imported then domestic” chronology has been documented in this space, the basses shown here are the first import models marketed by the company (and one of them is from the very first shipment). Robin guitars were marketed beginning in 1982, and basses (all manufactured by ESP in Japan) followed

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    SynapticGroove’s SlackJaw OD/Boost/Fuzz

    Fuzz for Grown-Ups

    SynapticGroove’s SlackJaw OD/Boost/Fuzz Price: $239 Info: www.synapticgroove.com Last year SynapticGroove entered the stompbox arena with the Snapperhead Overdrive/Distortion, attracting high-profile users like Peter Stroud of Sheryl Crow’s band and Richard Fortus of Guns N’ Roses. This year SynapticGroove introduced the SlackJaw OD/Boost/Fuzz, a new pedal that packs a wallop with plenty of tonal features and

    Scott Metzger

    Scott Metzger

    Spontaneous Composition

    “We started as three side men scheduled to back a singer who was a no-show at this bar in Brooklyn,” said Scott Metzger, recalling the origins of the trio Wolf!. “After 45 minutes waiting, the club manager said, ‘Just go out and play.’ We knew the song list wouldn’t work without vocals, so we made

    Brian Setzer

    Brian Setzer

    Rocking Back to the Future

    Brian Setzer wears several hats – rockabilly, swing, even hard-rocking Christmas music. But through it all, by and large he plays only one guitar – a Gretsch. And ideally, just a Model 6120 at that. With his new album, Setzer gets back to his roots, both in playing scorching rockabilly, but also in using his

    Epiphone’s ES-339 PRO

    Scale-Sized Kicks

    Epiphone’s ES-339 PRO Price: $400 street Info: www.epiphone.com. The Gibson ES-335 quickly revealed its versatility and tone following its introduction in 1958 – all warm ’n’ woody like a jazz archtop, or nasty and rude for blues and rock. The design got an added shot years later when Gibson scaled the 335 into a more

    Dan Fogelberg’s Gretsch White Penguin

    Dan Fogelberg’s success as a singer and songwriter far overshadows his reputation as a musician, but the man whose tenor voice and sentimental songs ruled the Adult Contemporary charts in the early 1980s was actually quite an accomplished guitarist. Evidence is on The Innocent Age and Windows and Walls – the albums that yielded his

    Status Quo’s Francis Rossi

    On Guitars, Music, and Elusive Success

    “I’m only as good now as I should have been when I was 25,” laughs Francis Rossi, the 64-year-old lead guitarist, singer, and co-composer in Status Quo. “That’s why I practice at least two hours every night. I’ll watch some guitarist in a band opening for us and think, ‘I can’t bloody watch this,’ because

    D’Angelico’s EX-DC and EX-SD

    D’Elegance and Power

    D’Angelico’s EX-DC and EX-SD Price: $1,769 list/$1,259 street (EX-DC); $1,659 list/$1,185 street (EX-SD) Info: www.dangelicoguitars.com John D’Angelico produced just 1,164 guitars during his career on Kenmare Street in New York City, but each was a remarkable instrument created at the height of the jazz era. Today, the brand is in revival, and while new D’Angelico

    Richie Kotzen

    Goin’ Supergroup

    Veteran guitar monster Richie Kotzen has done it all from opening for The Rolling Stones, recording with Stanley Clarke, to coming to the rescue for Poison and Mr. Big. Having recorded a stack of solo albums, he now joins former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy and Mr. Big bassist Billy Sheehan, to form The Winery

    ZT Amplifiers Club and Lunchbox Acoustic

    Big Things, Small Packages

    In two short years of existence, ZT Amplifiers has found a unique place for itself in the world of boutique amplification. ZT engineering guru Ken Kantor’s flagship amp is called The Lunchbox, so named because of its compact physical size. But the moniker utterly belies the fact the amp can pump out 200 watts of

    Railhammer Hyper Vintage Humbucker

    Poles Apart

    Railhammer Hyper Vintage Humbucker Price: $139 list / $89 direct Contact: railhammer.com Developed by Joe Naylor of Reverend Guitars, Railhammers are passive humbuckers that use a combination of pole pieces on the treble side and rails on the bass side. It’s an interesting motif with an effective purpose. The Railhammers’s six oversize poles under the

    Selmer Modele Jazz and Stimer M.10 Amp

    Electricfying Early Jazz

    In the 1930s, the quest for volume was the Holy Grail of guitar construction, as guitarists sought instruments to slice through the sound and fury of a jazz band. And when Django Reinhardt began playing his revolutionary jazz, he played it on a revolutionary new jazz guitar.

    California Guitar Trio


    The CGT has been making music for 25 years and is celebrating with this wonderful, back-to-basics recording. Guitarists Paul Richards, Bert Lams, and Hideyo Moriya cut the record au natural with no effects and minimal compression – just microphones and new acoustics made by Kraut, Somogyi, and Breedlove. The set kicks off with Moriya’s sweetly

    Nalle Colt

    Keeping Old-School Alive

    Vintage Trouble has emerged as one of the hardest working bands on the music scene. Laced with an ultra-cool visual style and a soulful vision, singer Ty Taylor and guitarist Nalle Colt bring together groove, sweat, and sex. Their debut album, The Bomb Shelter Sessions , mixes ’60s rock-and-roll with the spirit of Otis Redding,

    Walrus Audio Messner Stage-One Overdrive

    Into Thin Air

    First off, who the heck is this Messner guy? Well, in 1978, mountaineer Reinhold Messner became the first person to scale Mount Everest without the help of oxygen tanks. Cool, but why name a stompbox after him? In crafting this namesake pedal, Walrus Audio is striving to capture the pure, crystal-clear air atop the world’s

    1980 Renaissance T-200G Home thumb

    Renaissance T-200G

    What is it about Plexiglas? It’s so cool. You can see through it onstage. It’s dense, yet resonant. You’d think it would be the perfect medium for a mean rock and roll machine. And it’s not like people haven’t tried! But for some mysterious reason(s), practically every attempt to make a successful Plexiglas guitar has

    Dick Taylor

    From R&B Psychedelia With the Pretty Things

    When the Pretty Things’ 50th anniversary was marked with Bouquets From A Cloudy Sky – a huge boxed set containing 11 CDs and other goodies – the cover of the 100-page, 12×12 hardcover book pictured lead singer Phil May and lead guitarist Dick Taylor. Of course, there were other band members, and May and Taylor

    Majik Box Paul Gilbert Fuzz Universe Custom

    “Scarifying” OD

    Majik Box Paul Gilbert Fuzz Universe Custom Price: $329.99 retail Contact: www.majikboxusa.com Since Dave Simpson and Rob Nishida joined forces to form Majik Box, they’ve been the go-to stompbox company for guitarists like Doug Aldrich, Dave Navarro, James “Munky” Shaffer, and Victor Johnson. Their most popular offering is the Paul Gilbert Fuzz Universe. At Gilbert’s