February 2009



Cool Rockin’ Daddy
From the Bushmen to the Bis-Quits, solo work to his gig as Rodney Crowell’s lead guitarist, the multi-talented player, producer, and songwriter can do everything. It all started at a Springsteen concert in ’76! By Rick Allen

The 1963 Gretsch 6156 Playboy
Gearheads do love an occasional epiphany like this amp, which stands out in the Valco crowd with its cathodyne inverter, 6973 output tubes, and Jensen C10R. By Dave Hunter

Gibson got a late start in the banjo market, but with a flurry of models in the ’20s, it caught up and carried design forward into the ’30s. This one stands out as a unique and unexplainable “retro” model. By George Gruhn and Walter Carter

Custom orders sometimes lure a potential endorser; a popular player seen with an instrument can be key to its commercial success. In 1936, an offhand remark prompted Gibson to woo an artist with two highly unusual instruments. By Lynn Wheelwright

Cultivating the Blues
The first album he ever played was a life-changer, and now, using his trademark Gibson ES-345, his new CD passes along the blues tradition the way legends of Chicago blues passed it down to him. By Dan Forte

Plexiglas… cool, dense, and resonant. You’d think it would be the perfect medium for a mean rock and roll guitar. But through the years, practically every attempt to make a guitar from it has ended in failure – or worse! Here’s a prime example. By Michael Wright

The Westone Genesis
The Matsumoku-made Westone brand came along at the start of the ’80s and evolved to become unique in their own right. This limited-edition commemorative was one of its more traditional models. By Willie G. Moseley


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News and Notes
Mitch Mitchell, 1946-2008, Laika’s Last Show, Victoria Sends Amp to Iraq, In Memoriam, more!

Jonathan Kellerman
Best-Selling Author, High-End Guitar Collector
By Eric Shoaf

Gary Moore
Just Play By John Heidt

Joe Louis Walker
Product of His Environment
By John Heidt

Ask Zac
By Zac Childs

Tony MacAlpine
By Oscar Jordan

Dean DeLeo
Stone Temple Pilots Take Flight
By Lisa Sharken

Arlington ’08
Closer Look at T his Year’s Show


The (Way) Back Beat
Beat Portraits: Burns, Jim Burns Beginnings, The Early 1960s
By Peter S. Kohman

Q&A With George Gruhn

Arlington Again
By Steven Stone

“401K” Guitars
The Value of Tonewood
By Gil Hembree

Joe Satriani
By Wolf Marshall


Dan’s Guitar Rx
Face Lift for a Good Ol’ Girl
By Dan Erlewine

Talkin’ Amps With…
John Paice: Today’s Celestion Speakers
By David Jung


The VG Hit List
CD, DVD, and Book Reviews
Howlin’ Wolf, Brad Paisley, The Who at Kilburn 1977, Tony Furtado, Steepwater Band, With Strings Attached, more!

Check This Action
DVD Blues
By Dan Forte

Vintage Guitar Gear Reviews
Breedlove Mark Series solidbodies, Eastwood Messenger, National ResoLectric Jr., Red Iron 5-Watter, Eventide Tonefactor/Modfactor, N.O. Guitar Company Voodoo Custom, Randall Isolation 12 speaker cab, BBE Two Timer, Budz Guitars Purebread pickups

Gearin’ Up!
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