September 2018

Table of Contents
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September 2018 VOL. 32 NO. 11

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Table of Contents

Their story, attitude, and music are classic rock; four kids from small-town America filling concert halls by making loud “Les Paul through a Marshall” rock and roll. Meet Greta Van Fleet. We also interview Eric Johnson, Adrian Belew, Greg Koch, Michael Landau, Vinny Roth, Brian Fallon, David Rawlings, and Dany Franchi. It’s been more than 50 years since John Mayall released Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton and introduced the world to ’Burst-driven Brit Blues; we look at its impact. Other in-depth examinations include the Gibson Melody Maker, Washburn Stage A-10V, and the Guild Thunderbird I Reverb amp. Plus, Peter Blecha tells the story of Sol Hoopii’s Rickenbacher B-6! Let our “Hit List” reviews help you choose the best new music, and VG Approved Gear guide your next big purchase. You’re sure to enjoy the September issue, available now!

36 Successful Starter
The Gibson Melody Maker
In terms of sales, Gibson solidbodies of the late ’50s and early ’60s mostly lagged behind Leo Fender’s wares. One exception came in the form of a budget-friendly model aimed at an underserved beginner market in the days before competition from Asian builders. | By George Gruhn and Joe Spann

40 Strung-Up Whodunit
The Washburn Stage A-10V
In the ’60s, it was easy to identify the builder of odd-label Japanese-made electrics – the answer was always “Teisco!” Riddles persist today, but practically any unidentified Japanese maker becomes “Matsumoku.” That’s certainly true of this guitar. | By Michael Wright

46 Wet/Dry Bag
The Guild Thunder 1 Reverb
As soon as guitarists began to use reverb-equipped amps in the ’60s, many bemoaned how the effect muted their sound. Then, Guild helped lead the way in adding reverb while keeping everything else that was good about a tube amp. | By Dave Hunter

82 Brits, ’Bursts, and Blues-Rock
Blues Breakers Turns 50
History was made when, in 1966, a producer positioned a mic near Eric Clapton’s Marshall, then watched bewilderedly as the young virtuoso moved the amp. The resulting “Bluesbreaker effect” underscored the contributions of a guitar triumvirate that invented British blues-rock. | By Wolf Marshall

88 Loud Launch
Greta Van Fleet’s Jake and Sam Kiszka
The band’s story, like its attitude and music, is classic rock; four kids (three of them brothers) from small-town Michigan drawing accolades from generations of music fans cheering the return of rock music that starts with a Les Paul plugged into a Marshall. | By Ward Meeker

94 Hawaii’N Steel
Sol Hoopii’s 1938 Rickenbacher Model B-6
As the most-famous musician from his home territory, the “King of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar” could play any instrument he chose. For the longest stretch of his life, he favored this one. | By Peter Blecha

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first fret

14 Reader Mail

18 Eric Johnson
New Music and a Signature-Strat Twist

20 In Memoriam

22 Ask Zac

22 Vinny Roth
Guitar Stew

24 Adrian Belew
New Home With Gizmodrome

26 Dany Franchi
Bitten by the Blues in Italy

28 David Rawlings
Gothic Folk

30 Brian Fallon
Return of Gaslight Anthem

32 Greg Koch
A Son’s Intuition

33 Michael Landau
Post-Punk Attitude

departments

“The Guide is the bottom line when comes to staying up to date with the ever-changing market. It’s the number one tool when researching an instrument’s realistic retail value.” Review by S.J. “Frog” Forgey, Elderly Instruments ›› Learn more

50 Vintage Guitar Price Guide

78 Spotlight on Guitars

98 Upcoming Events

112 Vintage Guitar Classifieds

128 Showcase

136 Readers Gallery

columns

54 The (Way) Back Beat
A Euphonic Legacy: The Larson Brothers, Finale and Postscript | By Peter S. Kohman

62 Fretprints
All the King’s Men | By Wolf Marshall

68 Q&A With George Gruhn

70 Dan’s Guitar Rx
A Bridge (Nearly) Too Far | By Dan Erlewine

74 Shop of Hard Knocks
Smoke ’Em If You Got ’Em | By Will Kelly

reviews

104 The VG Hit List
Ry Cooder, Blackmore’s Rainbow, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Marillion, Kid Ramos, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, Son Volt, Johnny Marr, Nick Moss, more!

105 Check This Action
Gone Fishin’ | By Dan Forte

118 VG Approved Gear
Dusky Mandorla Boost, TC Electronic Flashback II, British Pedal Dallas Rangemaster, Cling On Acoustic Pickup, Marchione OM, Mooer Micro Preamp/ Baby Bomb 30, Fender Eric Johnson Thinline Strat, Kauer Super Chief. PLUS, 8 accessories worth their weight!

123 Gearin’ Up!
The latest cool new stuff!

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