Table of Contents
When assigned a session with Roy Orbison in the summer of ’64, a young studio guitarist brought his favorite instrument. Read about Jerry Kennedy and the famous lick played on his one-of-a-kind Gibson ES-335.
We also offer the final interview with legendary Louisianan Tony Joe White and dig into the ’57 Stratocaster given to him by Waylon Jennings. Enjoy our look at 50 years of prog wizardry by Yes, then explore the stories behind early Gretsch “unsolidbody” electric guitars and the Mosrite M-88, dig into the Marshall Model 1987, and learn why Martin’s “Renaissance” guitars rank as a rare failure in the company’s storied history.
We catch up with Steve Lukather, Doyle Bramhall, II, Elvin Bishop, Ana Popovic, Erik Schenkman, Dan Donegan, Steve Tibbetts, and Abe Ovadia. Wolf Marshall schools us on the history and licks of Hound Dog Taylor, “Pop ’N Hiss” dishes on Def Leppard’s Pyromania, and Dan Forte’s “Check This Action” features root-rock acts worth hearing. Our “Hit List” reviewers guide you to the best new music, while VG Approved Gear highlights toys for your jam room (or gig rig). You’ll love in the February issue, available now!
36 Rock of Ages
The Marshall JMP50 Model 1987 “Metal-Panel”
Marshall designs evolved constantly through the company’s early years, and while fanatics go ga-ga over a “plexi,” a lot of great music has been made with the generation of heads that followed (including this one), which retained everything that made that hallowed circuit sound so great. | By Dave Hunter
4O Fluid Thinking
C.F. Martin’s “Renaissance” Guitars
There’s no overstating the early contributions of C.F. Martin, Sr. in defining the American steel-string flat-top. His ideas of shape, size, construction, and decoration have become standards. But there were “failures” along the way. This is one. | By George Gruhn and Joe Spann
44 Timeless Tribute
The Mosrite M-88
Though Mosrite had a powerful effect on guitar design, frightfully little is known of its history. One of the brand’s most-popular players was the Ventures’ Nokie Edwards, whose input helped “shape” this model. | By Michael Wright
82 Yes Men
A Half-Century of Prog Wizardry
Formed in 1968, Yes teetered between psychedelia and heavy pop before a young Londoner named Steve Howe joined to deliver a jolt of guitar virtuosity. The band evolved, aided by extraordinary fretwork from Howe and Trevor Rabin along with bass legend Chris Squire. Here, we explore a half century of rock-and-roll grandeur. | By Pete Prown
88 Oh, Pretty Gibson
Jerry Kennedy’s ’61 ES-335
When assigned a session backing Roy Orbison in the summer of ’64, a young ace studio guitarist brought his favorite instrument, which had one very odd mod. Together, they did landmark work. | By Willie G. Moseley and Ward Meeker
92 Tony Joe White
Back to The Blues
Blues was always in the heart of the gutbucket Louisiana swamp-rocker and songwriter best known for “Polk Salad Annie.” He was 75 when he passed away October 24, and we spoke with him right after he finished recording his final album, Bad Mouthin’, in an old barn on his property near Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee. | By Rich Kienzle
16 Reader Mail
20 News and Notes
Perlak Named Chair at Berklee
20 Steve Lukather
The Gospel According To…
22 In Memoriam
24 Dan Donegan
26 Doyle Bramhall, II
28 Ana Popovic
Top of Her Game
30 Eric Schenkman
31 Elvin Bishop
32 Steve Tibbetts
Return of the Acoustic Explorer
33 Abe Ovadia
Rising East-Coast Jazzer
50 Vintage Guitar Price Guide
80 Bass Buyer’s Guide
96 Upcoming Events
128 Readers Gallery
54 Pop ’N Hiss
’80s Ignition: Pyromania
56 The (Way) Back Beat
Tales From The Jet Stream: The Gretsch Unsolidbody, 1953-’61 | By Peter S. Kohman
Hound Dog Taylor | By Wolf Marshall
We Be Jammin’ | By Steven Stone
72 Shop of Hard Knocks
Back To Life: Preserving a Special Memento, Part 2 | By Will Kelly
76 Dan’s Guitar Rx
Labor of Love | By Dan Erlewine
102 The VG Hit List
The Beatles, Hendrix, Asleep at the Wheel, John Blair, Steve Lukather, Ana Popovic, Jason Isbell, Hadden Sayers, more!
103 Check This Action
Deep Roots | By Dan Forte
114 VG Approved Gear
Earthquaker Aqueduct, J. Rockett Audio Designs Archer, Pigtronix Bob Weir Real Deal, D’Angelico Tammany, Goldfinch Noir, ZVex Vibrophase, Khan Pak Amp, Rivolta Mondata II
115 Gearin’ Up!
The latest cool new stuff!
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