January 2006


He can dazzle with his Aikido moves or whip out the meanest, grittiest blues licks this side of Chicago. And he can similarly astonish when he hands you instrument after instrument from one of the finest axe arsenals in the world – his. By Wolf Marshall

The idea of Gibson providing parts to another major guitar manufacturer is laughable today. But relationships were once cozier between instrument companies. For proof, check out this 1960 National Bel-Air. By George Gruhn and Walter Carter

Gibson’s 1958-’59 Flying V
The Les Paul put Gibson in the solidbody game. But, eager to break its stodgy image, the company strived to produce a line of stylish guitars – novel in as many ways as it was practical to produce. By R.J. Klimpert

Jazz Guitar Royalty
By age 27, he had been playing professionally for 15 years and was touring the world with legendary violinist Stephane Grappelli. If he ever quits playing guitar, he could launch a career as a stand-up comic. By Dan Forte

James Ormston Burns was England’s version of Leo Fender. A seminal influence on electric guitar design in the U.K., like Fender, his instruments found an audience across the pond. This 1973 Hayman 3030H is one prime example. By Michael Wright

The 1966 Fender Jazz
Not content to have just one electric bass in its product line, in 1960 Fender launched the Jazz Bass. This one, with bound neck and dot markers, is one of the most interesting pre-CBS versions. By Willie G. Moseley

Alternative Godfathers
In the late ’80s, their unique brand of guitar rock served as the blueprint for the alternative movement, and was cited as a major influence on more established artists. By Tom Guerra

Guitars Made in Italy, Part 2
The first serious challenge to American guitar manufacturers came not from the Far East, but from Italy. Large parts of the globe didn’t get Gibsons or Fenders, but many got “sparkle and glitter.” By Michael Wright


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Reader Mail

News and Notes
National Music Museum, Different Strummer lectures, Stephen Marchione, Lava Cable benefit raffle, In Memoriam, more!

Elvin Bishop
Gettin’ His Groove Back
By John Heidt

Ode to Rory Gallagher
New Two-Disc Set a Good Springboard
By Norm Dewitt

Baker, Bruce, and Clapton
Cream’s Triumphant Reunion
By Dan Forte

Robert Conti
By Ann Wickstrom

Ask Zac
By Zac Childs

Vivian Campbell
Blues Beyond Belfast
By Willie G. Moseley

Stephen Bruton
By John Heidt

John 5
New Tunes, More Teles
By Ken Johnson


Q&A With George Gruhn

The Only Dudenbostel I Can Afford
By Steven Stone

Randy Rhoads
By Wolf Marshall

The Martin XLM
By Riley Wilson

Guitars With Guts
1938 Antonio Emilio Pascual Viudes
By R.E. Bruné


Dan’s Guitar Rx
Glue + Paper = Fixed!
By Dan Erlewine

Guitar Shop
Simplicity in a Complex World
By Tony Nobles

From Dull to Full
By Gerald Weber

Ask Gerald
By Gerald Weber


The VG Hit List
Music, Book and Video Reviews: Johnny Cash, Hendrix at Woodstock, John Fogerty, Jim Weider, Jerry Douglas, The Peavey Revolution, more!

Check This Action
Smokin’ In Cub’s Room
Dan Forte

Vintage Guitar Gear Reviews
Reverend Rick Vito models, Eastwood Ichiban, Tech21 XXL, Alien speakers, Xaviere XV 700.

Gearin’ Up!
The latest cool new stuff!