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Monthly Archives: May 2001

Travis Bean Interview

Metal Machine Music - The Next Phase
 

“Bean is Back!” proclaimed the signs at a recent California guitar show. Indeed, Travis Bean, builder of the short-lived-but-legendary ’70s instruments that bear his name, has reentered the guitar-manufacturing arena with an even more innovative approach to instrument construction. His guitars and basses of yore were primarily known for their unique aluminum necks and figured […]

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Carvin Factory Tour

Carvin Does It Different
 

Imagine a company that builds 600 high-quality guitars and basses per month, with a normal backorder count of 700. “Well, that’s okay…” some guitar enthusiasts might observe, “but some guitar factories are putting out that many guitars per day.” But what if those 600 instruments per month are almost all custom-made? And what if the […]

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Travis Bean Interview

Metal Machine Music - The Next Phase
 

“Bean is Back!” proclaimed the signs at a recent California guitar show. Indeed, Travis Bean, builder of the short-lived-but-legendary ’70s instruments that bear his name, has reentered the guitar-manufacturing arena with an even more innovative approach to instrument construction. His guitars and basses of yore were primarily known for their unique aluminum necks and figured […]

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Bay State Parlor Guitar

The Parlor Guitar
 

The parlor guitar. Designed by Mr. Parlor? No. First manufactured by the Parlor, Inc? No. Endorsed by the well-known recording artist, Parlor? Now don’t be silly, of course not! Then why call it a parlor guitar? The answer is more complex than it sounds, but a parlor guitar was played in the parlor. What? Let’s […]

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Carol Kaye

Think "Extensive"
 

Contrary to what some aspiring bass players might think, the world’s most recorded electric bassist isn’t some modern-day L.A. dude purveying “NAMM chops” (to quote John Pattitucci) aplenty with the thumb and fingers of both hands flying all over his instrument. And they don’t have a custom neck-through bass (with five or six strings) and […]

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Paul Kossoff

The Story of the Back Street Crawler
 

For a scant few years beginning in the mid 1960s, Great Britain was responsible for producing arguably the finest crop of rock guitarists ever. It began with Eric Clapton, who made rock-and-roll musicianship hip with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, then with Cream. The well-chronicled “Clapton is God” years must have truly motivated his peers, because shortly […]

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Albert Lee

English Country Gentleman
 

Photo courtesy of Ernie Ball. Admittedly, Albert Lee doesn’t play a Gretsch Country Gent, but a more appropriate description of the veteran guitarist might be hard to formulate. Lee has been a respected musician for decades, and is considered more of a player’s player than a star, but his participation in bands fronted by Emmylou […]

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Joe Maphis

Rose Lee Talks About Joe Maphis
 

Virginia-born Otis Wilson Maphis was truly a one-of-a-kind individual. From his earliest days in the 1930s as a guitarist and piano player for The Railsplitters, to his experience with Blackie Skiles and The Lazy K Ranch Boys, his nomadic work in hillbilly troupes on barn dance and radio shows, his extended tenure on the West […]

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Gerry McGee

Venture of the Month
 

Lead guitarist Gerry McGee has been in that position for the Ventures on more than one occasion. He’s had plenty of other diversions to keep him busy during “interim” times (including an acting career), but he’s been firmly ensconced in the “melody section” of the legendary instrumental quartet for over a decade (and McGee’s guitar […]

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Scotty Moore

One of the King's Men
 

It was our annual Christmas party, closing out 1996. I work for Nashville recording artist Ronnie McDowell. Because we often work with Scotty Moore, D.J. Fontana and The Jordonaires, they always show up. This year something happened that I’ll never forget. A friend of Scotty’s said, “Kevin, can you come outside with me a minute?” […]

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