December 2009



Jay Geils
Blues & Archtops
His name is most associated with ’70s party rock. But for the last 15 years, Jay Geils has immersed himself in the jazz and swing of the 1940s and ’50s – and the guitars required to purvey the form. By Tom Guerra

The Fender Tremolux
Most amp nuts are utterly fascinated by Fender’s evolution through the ’50s. The final version of the tweed Tremolux, fascinating in and of itself, is also worthy of study for the many transitional elements of Fender circuitry that it displays. By Dave Hunter

1937 Martin 0-21
Martin is known for its orderly model-naming system, but anyone who assumes changes in size were uniform sometimes finds a surprise. This guitar illustrates that many 0 and 00 models did not change in step with the larger models. By George Gruhn and Walter Carter

Neil Levang
Six Strings Behind – and Beyond – Champagne Music
His greatest mark was as a studio guitarist in Hollywood from the late 1950s through the late ’80s, where his work spanned all genres, TV, and film. But you might be more familiar with his work following the cue, “Uh one and uh two…”By Rich Kienzle

The Penco A-15-JD
The ’70s are often called “the copy era,” when Japanese manufacturers honed their chops. But look closer and you’ll see that many guitars of the time were whimsical, even innovative. This is one of the former. By Michael Wright

Bruce and Butter
Part of REO Speedwagon bassist Bruce Hall’s arsenal for decades, this ’65 Fender Jazz Bass is the instrument heard on the band’s classic early albums, including You Can Tune a Piano, But You Can’t Tuna Fish. By Willie G. Moseley


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News and Notes
James Burton Guitar Fest, Lawrence Teams with Lace, Harp Guitar Foundation, String Dog Sells, In Memoriam, more!

Laughing, Crying…
With the Reverend Horton Heat
By Michael Dregni

Kirk Fletcher
Flying Solo
By Oscar Jordan

Gary Loizzo
The Breed, And Baldwins
By Willie G. Moseley

Ask Zac
By Zac Childs

Dean Armstrong
No End in Sight
By Rick Allen

Rocky Athas
Mayall’s New Slinger
By Ward Meeker

Producing The List
By John Heidt


The (Way) Back Beat
Beat Portaits: Burns Oddities and Ends
By Peter S. Kohman

Q&A With George Gruhn

Robin Trower
By Wolf Marshall

“401K” Guitars
Pre-War Martins
By Gil Hembree

Dinner With Les
By Steven Stone


Talkin’ Amps With…
Randy Jamz: Tube-Tester Truths
By David Jung

Dan’s Guitar Rx
Gas Attack!
By Dan Erlewine

Shop of Hard Knocks
Home Shop Must-Haves
By Will Kelly


The VG Hit List
CD, DVD, and Book Reviews: George Harrison, Robben Ford, Jefferson Airplane, Albert King/Stevie RayVaughan, Motley Crue: A Visual History, more!

Check This Action
The Wrecking Crew
By Dan Forte

Vintage Guitar Gear Reviews
Gibson J-45 TV, Gruhn Electric, Seymour Duncan Effects, Grosh Electrajet Standard, DiMarzio True Velvet/Area pickups, Empress Superdelay, Xotic XJ-1T, JangleBox JB2

Gearin’ Up!
The latest cool new stuff!

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