September 2017

September 2017

Find what’s in this issue or learn the 3 ways to get your Vintage Guitar fix!

Table of Contents

September 2017 VOL. 31 NO. 11
We sit with Ritchie Blackmore, who helps us mark 45 years since the release of Machine Head by revealing the final lost secrets behind his work on the monumental Deep Purple album. We also offer great conversations with Warren Haynes, Andy Summers, Steve Stevens, Rodney Crowell, and NYC jazz legend Vic Juris, as well as Train’s Luis Carlos Maldonado and Dutch grungers Bettie Serveert.
Plus, we study the life of Cliff Gallup as he elevated the Gretsch Duo-Jet and career of singer Gene Vincent! Then, we dig into Fender’s travails with the Stratocaster in the early ’70s, explain why the Watkins Joker is the funkiest amp you’ve (n)ever seen, and examine the origins of the Gibson Marauder. All this, along with our “VG Approved Gear” reviews, “Hit List” music reviews, and much more!


A Bill Lawrence Original
The Gibson Marauder
Les Paul purists often cast a cocked eye to some of Gibson’s creations from the ’70s. Many were interesting, others whimsical. But a few, like this one, turned out to be excellent instruments. | By Michael Wright

Beat-Gen Beaut
The Watkins Joker
In early-’60s Britain, any well-heeled young guitarist or singer would’ve loved an amp/PA with reverb, tremolo, mic stand, and tape echo all in one. Put your hands together for the Watkins Joker, funkiest rock machine you’ve ever seen. | By Dave Hunter

Leap Forward, Step Back
The Strat in Transition
Leo Fender knew the survival of his company hinged on besting the Telecaster. And from the moment it was introduced in ’54, his design hit the mark with its body carves, new pickups, and cutting-edge vibrato. | By George Gruhn and Staff

Cliff Gallup
Crazy Fingers
At Owen Bradley Film & Recording Studios, wannabe stars cut vocal tracks with professional help from the studio’s crack team of session players. But when Cliff Gallup rolled in to back Gene Vincent, it was the A-listers who stepped aside. | By Michael Dregni

Cliff Gallup wails on his ’54 Gretsch Duo-Jet with Gene Vincent and band in the studio. Read Full Article…

Ritchie Blackmore
Machine Head at 45: Tone Secrets of Deep Purple’s Masterwork
We revisit the amazing guitar tones of the global smash album that put Purp at the top of the hard-rock heap and introduced us to the accidental classic “Smoke on the Water,” with its monster riff created by the band’s notorious guitarist-in-chief. | By Pete Prown

Warren Haynes
Gov’t Revolution
Gov’t Mule has spent more than two decades mining Southern blues and rock while pushing boundaries and taking risks. Haynes is the band’s guiding light – his finesse and fluent fretboard vocabulary helping pack venues around the world. But the band’s latest album reminds us he’s also a crafty songsmith and passionate vocalist. | By Oscar Jordan

Andy Summers
Creating Light From Dark
Fans know to expect surprises when this hero offers new music, and that holds true with his latest solo effort, Triboluminescence. Its title is a metaphor for any creative act, and its contents shows how one of the most influential guitarists in modern pop is still trying new approaches. | By Greg Prato


News and Notes
Harp Guitarists Gather; Builders Meet in Woodstock; Team Josie ’17 Winners

Steve Stevens
Atomic Idol

Ask Zac

Rodney Crowell
Same Roots, Different Branches

Bettie Serveert
Go Dutch!

Luis Carlos Maldonado
Have SG, Will Travel

Vic Juris
The Core of Big Apple Jazz

Look for Bettie Seveert in First Fret


Vintage Guitar Price Guide
Order the 2017 VG Price Guide AND get the bonus digital edition FREE! The digital edition access code will be delivered with your print edition.

Upcoming Events

Vintage Guitar Classified Ads

Tom Teaches the Blues! Watch Video Lessons

Builder Showcase

Dealer Showcase

Readers Gallery


The (Way) Back Beat
Guitars to Dyer For | By Peter S. Kohman

Allan Holdsworth | By Wolf Marshall

Q&A With George Gruhn

Dan’s Guitar Rx
Rattle Trap | By Dan Erlewine

Shop of Hard Knocks
Pins and Polish | By Will Kelly


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Download our app from the iTunes App Store and purchase the current VG app edition! Use the app to stay up-to-date on the VG newswire, and it’s a great place to buy a single VG app edition and take advantage of the monthly subscription option.

The VG Hit List
Chuck Berry, Taj Mahal and Keb Mo, Brad Paisley, Jason Isbell, Thurston Moore, Them Vibes, Chris Stapleton, North Mississippi All-Stars, Steve Earle, ELP, Andy Summers, more!

VG Approved Gear
Fire-Eye Red-Eye Twin, MXR Dyna Comp Mini, Stomp Under Foot Ram’s Head, Swart Atomic Jr., BGF Chambered Electric, Jensen Tornado Stealth, Eastwood SD-40 Hound Dog/Classic AC, National Pioneer RP1, Teye Master Series Knights Templar, TWA Hot Sake/Dynamorph

Gearin’ Up!
The latest cool new stuff! To be included in Gearing’ Up, contact us at

Find Eastwood’s SD-40 Hound Dog in VG Approved Gear.


Read this issue’s Reader Mail letters on page 14. Illustration: Sean Thorenson

Reader Mail
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Readers Gallery
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