September 2009



Mick Mars…
…Shows off a piece of his action
Fueled by his powerhouse riffage, Mötley Crue defined the heavy metal that emerged from L.A. in the early ’80s. An astute collector of vintage guitars, we take a look at an alluring dose of his eye candy. By Lisa Sharken

Creative Head
An inside look at jim elyea’s vox museum
Growing up in the late ‘50s, Jim Elyea finished his days drifting to sleep listening to a small Motorola radio. That innocent habit ultimately led to his becoming the curator of his own museum, which features some of the coolest vintage gear. By Ward Meeker

The Top Hat Club Deluxe
In the ’90s, players who preferred smaller tube amps for club gigs were aided by indie builders who shared in their wisdom and taste. TopHat was among the leaders of the charge, with designs that encapsulate the “crankable” ethos. By Dave Hunter

The Gibson J-200 Rosewood
Gibson’s “King of the Flat-tops,” has produced quite a lineage – and has quite a story to tell. But few know it started life as something other than a maple-bodied guitar. By George Gruhn and Walter Carter

The Electra MPC Standard X320
The brand used by St. Louis Music to sell Japanese-made guijtars in the ’70s, Electra was both innovative and successful. The MPC Standard X320 stands as evidence! By Michael Wright

The Alembic Distillate
Designed as a lower-priced model, it nonetheless has many of the unique elements that helped make a small California-based guitar builder a legend in high-end luthiery. By Willie G. Moseley


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News and Notes
Bob Bogle remembered, Saint Blues exhibit, Woodstock Luthiers Showcase, Krannert Center Festival, In Memoriam, more!

Steve Wariner
The C.G.P. Connection
By Willie G. Moseley

David Leisner
Rediscovering a Master
By Pete Prown

Ask Zac
By Zac Childs

Roland Nipp
By John Heidt

Shawn Starski
Of Churches and Harps
By John Heidt

Omar Kent Dykes
Still Howlin’
By John Heidt

Adam Stern
Late Bloomer
By John Heidt

Lyle Workman
All in Good Time
By John Heidt


The (Way) Back Beat
Burns, Late ’65: Transistors, Trouble,
and Takeover!
By Peter S. Kohman

Q&A With George Gruhn

Better Than Birdhouses
By Steven Stone

Pete Townshend
By Wolf Marshall

“401K” Guitars
The Les Paul/Strat “Bubble”
By Gil Hembree


Talkin’ Amps With…
Andy Brauer: Sleeper Amps, Part 1
By David Jung

Dan’s Guitar Rx
Goldtop Color-Match
By Dan Erlewine

Shop of Hard Knocks
Neck-and-Neck Finish
By Will Kelly


The VG Hit List
CD, DVD, and Book Reviews: Brad Paisley, Steve Wariner, Ronnie Earl, Fillmore: The Last Days, Martin Guitars, more!

Check This Action
Clapton Meets Winwood
By Dan Forte

Vintage Guitar Gear Reviews
Elliott Stroud Tonemaster, Mad Professor MP101, Swart STR, Aracom VRX18, ValveTrain Lexington Reverb, TV Jones Spectra Sonic, Radial Bones, Eastwood Airline ’59/Breadwinner

Gearin’ Up!
The latest cool new stuff!

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