493

Author Archives: Michael Dregni

Alfred Wertheimer

Elvis and the Birth of Rock and Roll
The Man W ho Would Be King
 
Elvis-cover

In early 1956, soon after RCA Victor purchased the contract for a fledgling singer named Elvis Presley, a publicist hired photographer Alfred Wertheimer to follow the Mississippi boy on the road for (more…)

Posted in Music | Leave a comment

Retro Guitar MelodyBurner

Bite and Bark
 
Retro Guitar MelodyBurner

Retro Guitar MelodyBurner Price: $999 (options available) Info: www.melodyburner.com In the realm of hot-rodded cars, there’s a cool genre known as rat rods – old, relic’d automobiles that sport a lowdown vintage vibe. Meet the rat axe. Retro Guitar’s MelodyBurner is a similarly cool guitar (more…)

Posted in Gear | Tagged | Leave a comment

Gibson 1928 L-1 Blues Tribute

Blues Time Machine
 
L1BLUES_HOME_MAIN_THUMB

Gibson 1928 L-1 Blues Tribute Price: $4,255 retail; $3,299 street Info: www.gibson.com. The Gibson L-1 boasts the kind of intriguing history that makes it a legend. In the late 1920s, it was the company’s low-end model. But Mississippi Delta blues man Robert Johnson happened upon one: (more…)

Posted in Gear | Tagged | Leave a comment

Univox Uni–Fuzz & Super–Fuzz

Full, Fat Fuzzzy
 
Univox Uni–Fuzz & Super–Fuzz

Pete Townshend sent many a guitar and amp to an early grave. But there’s no known evidence of him doing the same with effects pedals. Never mind that spearing a Rickenbacker through the heart of a Hiwatt provided much more Shakespearean drama than stomping on a lowly stompbox. Perhaps, though, he simply didn’t need to […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

First Guitar of Rock and Roll

Scotty Moore’s Gibson ES-295
 
Scotty Moore’s Gibson ES-295

Like a hound dog hit by lightning, the first notes of rock and roll blasted out of radios across the country in July of 1954, courtesy of Elvis Presley’s supercharged-hillbilly singing on “That’s All Right” and “Blue Moon Of Kentucky,” backed by Scotty Moore’s guitar. It was the twang heard ’round the world. That guitar […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

Six-Strings, 60 Years Ago

A Likely First
 
Six-STrings, 60 Years Ago

Had he survived to this day, Elvis Presley – cultural icon extraordinaire – would be 80 years old. The man who would rise from very modest means to become arguably the greatest star of any generation was the first true rock and roll front man/heartthrob. Blending the gospel music he heard as a child in […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

Jerry Douglas

Slide Ruler - Jerry Douglas’ Love Affair with the Dobro
 
DOUGLAS_HOME_MAIN_THUMB

You know, it’s the coolest-looking instrument that ever was made!” It should come as no surprise that Jerry Douglas is speaking about the Dobro and the various other resonator-equipped guitars in orbit around the Dopyera brothers’ creation. As probably the world’s most famous dobroist – and certainly the most recorded – he knows a thing […]

Posted in Artists | Tagged | Leave a comment

Chordal Colorations

Iconic Axes of Different Hues
 
BRIAN_SETZER_HOME_MAIN_BIG

Though their colors are complementary, Brian May’s Red Special and Brian Setzer’s ’59 Gretsch 6120 couldn’t be more different in terms of their origin or their roles in helping to create legendary music. One is home-made, the other represents the innovation of its era. One appeared (more…)

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Bellfuries

Workingman’s Bellfuries
Blue-Collar Cool
 
The-Bellfuries

Just as rockabilly back in the ’50s was largely a regional phenomenon, many of the best bands today remain local heroes. Witness Austin’s Bellfuries, with guitar man Mike Molnar. The band’s debut was the stellar ’01 album Just Plain Lonesome, featuring “Your Love (All That (more…)

Posted in Music | Leave a comment

The Rolling Stones

Sticky Fingers Deluxe Edition and From the Vault: The Marquee Clube Live in 1971
Dead Flowers Bloom Again
 
Rolling-Stones-Sticky-fingers

If you ever forget how good the Rolling Stones really were back in their heyday, the new edition of Sticky Fingers with outtakes and live recordings and this live shot from the Marquee Club should set things right all over again. (more…)

Posted in Music | Leave a comment