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Author Archives: Willie G. Moseley

Tommy Smith

Leogun’s Led Zep Connection
 
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Some of the loudest buzz – literally and figuratively – in music surrounds the London-base power trio Leogun, fronted by guitarist/vocalist Tommy Smith. The band’s neo-retro sound has drawn comparison to Led Zeppelin, but Smith is influenced by a long list of names. “I’m lucky I was brought (more…)

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Kurt Hendrick

History of the Mystery
 
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One of the most enigmatic brands in the recent history of American guitars was Hendrick, the funky solidbody electrics created by designer Kurt Hendrick. • The son of an aerospace engineer, Hendrick grew up in the 1960s near the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Space Center Houston (when it was called the Manned Spacecraft Center) […]

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Robin’s ’80s Import Basses

 
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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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Paul Gabriel

Rollin’ With Robillard
 
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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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Mosrite Basses

The Golden Decade: Ventures and Beyond
 
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Mention the Ventures to a pop-music aficionado and the conversation will likely focus on the surf-music phenomenon of the early 1960s or – if that person also happens to be instrument-savvy – the band’s affiliation with Mosrite guitars and basses. Though the partnership lasted only a half-decade, the Ventures have been perpetually associated with Mosrite, […]

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’68 Truetone by Kay/Valco

 
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The year 1968 was not a good one for American manu­facturers of stringed instruments. M.C.A. closed the original Danelectro, and what was left of Kay and Valco was locked in a tailspin. Valco bought the remnants of Kay in ’67, and attempted to combine the brand with their own products, but to no (more…)

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Ian Hunter

New Music and a Mott Reunion
 
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Ian Hunter is upbeat when he discusses his newest album, Man Overboard, and the upcoming reunion with old friends in England for a series of 40th anniversary reunion concerts planned for this fall by Mott the Hoople, the legendary British hard-rock band Hunter fronted from 1969 to the mid ’70s. The album hints the veteran […]

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Eric Clapton’s “Blackie”

 
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This may well be the most desirable Fender Stratocaster on the face of the planet. And it happens to be a beat-up mongrel assembled from parts taken from three 1950s guitars. Nevertheless, Eric Clapton’s “Blackie” is one of the most recognized celebrity-associated instruments in the history of the electric guitar, and it served Slowhand’s needs […]

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Ed Sanner

Fuzz Redux
 
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While not well-known in California guitar lore, Ed Sanner’s electronics designs have been heard by millions of guitar fans, and he has recently returned to building unique stomp boxes. Sanner didn’t take up guitar until the age of 18, but his interest in electronics began earlier. “I used (more…)

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Peavey RJ-IV

 
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Peavey RJ-IV bass, serial number 04938996. Photo: Bill Ingalls Jr. Instrument courtesy of Naffaz Skota. Americans by the millions “know” Randy Jackson. But not many realize that his gig as one of three judges on TV’s “American Idol” is just the tip of (more…)

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