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Author Archives: Willie G. Moseley

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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Humble Pie At the Fillmore

Frampton Reflects
 
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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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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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The Vox Saturn IV

 
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In the mid 1960s, England’s Vox company was in the right place at the right time. Buoyed by frontline British Invasion endorsers such as the Beatles and American bands such as Paul Revere & the Raiders, the instrument/amplifier maker signed deals with almost every popular band. Even one-hit-wonders such as Music Machine (“Talk Talk”) brandished […]

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Greg Lake

Recalling the Music
 
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Bassist/vocalist/songwriter Greg Lake came to notice in 1969 as member of King Crimson and his membership in Emerson, Lake and Palmer cemented his place in the pantheon of progressive-rock icons. He also recorded numerous solo albums; his most recent, Songs of a Lifetime, is a career retrospective. “The idea came during the writing of my […]

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Nick Moss

Musical Horizons Beyond Chicago
 
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Since 2007, guitarist/vocalist Nick Moss has released five albums on his Blue Bella label, including two live discs. And while Moss still loves his Chicago-style blues, his most recent effort, Here I Am, is an adventurous album. Though it begins with a raucous Windy City-type rave-up called “Why You So Mean,” by the third/title track, […]

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Gibson EB-2

Kalamazoo’s Biggest Bass Innovation?
 
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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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Kramer Aluminum-Neck Basses

 
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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

 
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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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