Author Archives: Willie G. Moseley

Ted Nugent’s 1962 Gibson Byrdland

Ted Nugent 1962 Gibson Byrdland

Anyone who’s ever caught Ted Nugent on tour has seen this instrument, and during the Summer of 2003 it was intended to be the only guitar used by the Motor City Madman during his one-hour slot. “That was pretty much due to time restraints,” said Dean Mitchell, who has been Nugent’s guitar tech for a […]

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Paul Gabriel

Rollin’ With Robillard

For Paul Gabriel, the opportunity to work with fellow guitarist Duke Robillard happened decades after they’d met and first played together, but Gabriel finally garnered Robillard’s production and playing services for his latest album, What’s the Chance. Gabriel has recorded with Harry Chapin and Rory Block, and toured with Michael Bolton, but it was get-togethers […]

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Elliot Easton

Shifting Gears Again
Elliot Easton

Not long after he released an instrumental album with an aggregation known as the Tiki Gods, veteran southpaw guitarist Elliot Easton abruptly put the project into stasis when an opportunity arose to make music with fellow veteran musicians. The new band is known as the Empty Hearts, and includes Wally Palmar (Romantics) on guitar and […]

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Gibson EB-2

Kalamazoo’s Biggest Bass Innovation?

In the mid 1950s, Gibson president Ted McCarty was paying close attention to two new instruments impacting the musical-instruments market – the solidbody electric guitar and the electric bass. Both had been developed by an upstart company called Fender, and Gibson’s original solidbodies, the Les Paul guitar and Electric Bass (VG, February ’06) were introduced […]

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Peavey T-20

The Next Step
1983 Peavey T-20 and T-20FL Vintage guitar magazine

Introduced in 1982, Peavey’s T-20 was different from other basses in the Peavey lineup, the two-pickup T-40, and the single-pickup T-45. The T-40 (“Bass Space” October ’06) and its six-string sibling, the T-60, debuted as the first instruments to be made with parts carved using CNC machines, and their necks were bilaminated and pre-stressed. Their […]

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Kramer Aluminum-Neck Basses


When it entered the music-instrument market in 1976, Kramer Guitars made a big splash with an aggressive marketing campaign, big-name endorsers, and – most importantly – an improved approach to the then-fresh concept of aluminum necks. In terms of stability, the aluminum neck was seen as an improvement over wood. And while Kramer Guitars followed […]

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The G&L El Toro


At the beginning of 1983, Leo Fender was just more than three years into his last guitar-manufacturing venture when he decided to diversify the company’s bass lineup. Until that point, G&L had marketed the one-pickup L-1000, the two-pickup L-2000, and the no-frills SB-1 and SB-2 models – all with fairly traditional, straightforward designs. The brand’s […]

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The Rickenbacker 4000


The model 4000 was not only Rickenbacker’s first foray into the electric-bass market, it was decidedly different from Fender’s Precision – the original electric bass. Beyond frets, four strings, and their role in a musical combo, they have little in common. In the 1950s, F.C. Hall forged Rickenbacker into a modern guitar manufacturer. Striving to […]

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Humble Pie At the Fillmore

Frampton Reflects

By the time Humble Pie reached “breakthrough” status in the U.S. thanks to its live album, Performance – Rockin’ the Fillmore, Peter Frampton had departed and begun to beat the odds by forging a successful solo career. “When the album started selling like hotcakes, I wondered if I’d (more…)

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Gibson Basses in The ’70s

Plucky Trio from the “Downer Decade”
Gibson Basses in The ’70s

Guitar enthusiasts have long heard that the 1970s were the “downer decade” for Fender and Gibson, both of which introduced a few duds and struggled with quality control. Their travails continued until both were sold to new owners – Fender in ’85, Gibson in ’86. Exemplary of those unsuccessful instruments was a trio of solidbody […]

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