General Interest

Jazz Guitar Christmas

Guitar Lifestyle - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 05:22

By: Russ

Aloha! Years ago, I was on the search for an easy jazz standard to learn. I had tried and failed at so many before and it was always a frustrating experience. But then I found a transcription of “It’s Only A Paper Moon” (which is my wife’s favorite song, so I was familiar with the tune) and it was broken down two different ways: There was a single-note transcription for beginners and then there was the chord melody version.

I learned the single-note version first (obviously) and then, as I became more comfortable with the song, started to incorporate the chords into the song. Sometimes it was difficult and I backed off, but after a while I had it nailed (but kept the single-note run for the bridge to give it more of a guitar solo feel). Because I knew the single-note version, I never became too frustrated when I was learning the chords because I could always revert to the single notes. The song would stay the same and it didn’t have the catastrophic crumbling that a song would normally have when you don’t know the next chord and that turned out to be a huge inspiration.

I wish all instruction was like this.

And then I found Jazz Guitar Christmas by George Ports from Hal Leonard. It breaks down thirteen Christmas songs (a favorite genre of mine) into two versions: easy and harder. It’s not single-note transcriptions, but it also isn’t very difficult. Even the graduated version doesn’t veer too far into the impossible and the harder one is built on top of the easy transcription meaning that you’re still going to hit those same notes as before, but they’re incorporated into bigger chords or there are some more notes between them.

Honestly, I could see how some people would think that there is some wasted potential here because two version of thirteen songs could easily be twenty-six songs, but I think this is a solid way to learn new material. You make it as easy as you can to get the student into the tune and practicing it for fun, and then you build on top of that with more difficult material, but now they have a safety net when they play.

In the education world, it’s called known-to-unknown and it basically means that if you saw the end goal (the more difficult version of the song) and there wasn’t a clear path to that end, the student would be intimidated and psych themselves out or lock up. But if you took what they knew (basic guitar skills) and taught them the easy version of the song, they would know the melody, tempo, and feel and the end wouldn’t be nearly as daunting.

The book costs only $9.95 and it’s worth it not only because it’s a great collection of Christmas songs that, once learned, you’ll be able to impress friends and family alike on a quiet night by the fire as snow slowly falls outside the window, but because it serves as an excellent example of an instruction technique that is just getting a toe-hold in education systems. That alone makes it worth it to me, but yeah, learning Christmas songs and sounding good is also pretty cool. And come on! It’s ten bucks! Just buy it and see what I mean.

Categories: General Interest

Andrew Molina GHS Strings

Guitar Lifestyle - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 13:09

By: Russ

Aloha! Before I moved to Hawaii, I knew I was going to be buying an ukulele for me at least, but was trying to get the kids interested in it as well. I found a video of an amazing player tackling Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off,” and my daughter, a huge Swift fan, was intrigued.

I was more interested in the player, though. Andrew Molina is amazing. He’s got that infuriating combination of making music that sounds very difficult to play while looking like it’s the easiest thing in the world for him. That combination makes you feel a mix of inspiration and hopelessness.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve seen more of Molina’s videos and my favorite to date is “Surfing Jaws.”

It’s got that same combination of skill and an easy look, but melody is so solid and unrelenting that you could hum the whole thing. While there’s a ton of virtuosity on display, the song never takes a back seat to the melody and that’s why it’s so strong. In short, it’s the perfect instrumental. I love it.

So, as a fan of Molina’s, I was pleased to see a string set from GFS curated by Molina. I asked for a review set and, when they arrived, strung up one of my tenors and had some impressions.

The first was that they don’t magically make you better. That being said, there are some attributes to them that, over time, will make it easier to get better.

The first is that they’re made slightly thinner than average strings, but with greater tension. The result is a strong, punchy tone that doesn’t sound muffled or boomy like some ukulele strings do.

The second is that, with that added tension, there’s a little more force involved with fretting them (and a slightly better chance of making notes go sharp) but that’s okay because added tension reduces the amount of distance a string will travel when plucked/strummed/picked. The result of this is a lower likelihood of the string hitting the frets above your fretted note and creating a buzz. Because of this, you can lower the action on your uke and use less force to press down on the strings.

So, basically, you would only have to exert slightly more effort if you kept the action on your ukulele high, which is no longer a necessity.

Additionally, with the greater tension and less string travel, the strings snap back to where they should be faster and it doesn’t take long at all to appreciate that fact as your fingers know exactly where to go to pick the next note. This is hugely beneficial when tremolo-picking in particular.

With strings that go back to where they should faster, and the lower travel space/time giving you the opportunity to lower your ukulele action and make playing easier, it’s easy to see that, while they won’t magically make you a better player, they’ll give you some added features that will make playing a little easier, which will only benefit you in the long run.

I think this string set is a good investment in experimentation. I say buy a set, throw them on your ukulele and see what I mean. You don’t need to adjust your action or anything to get a feel and appreciate them for their tone and playing potential.

Categories: General Interest

Rock Opera: Klaatu - Hope

Guitar Vibe - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 13:05
If you know one thing about the obscure prog rock band Klaatu, it's that in the late 1970s they were rumored to be the Beatles. Of course, that wasn't the case, as legions of Beatles fans later realized when they,... Zack Urlocker
Categories: General Interest

Kiesel Carvin SH550 Electric Guitar Review

The Gear Vault - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 11:35

Carvin SH550 AAAA flamed maple is the standard top, yes, we said “AAAA“ maple top, and unlike most “archtop” style guitars, the SH550 features an actual carved top. In addition, you can also choose an optional AAAA quilted maple top or a flamed koa top

The post Kiesel Carvin SH550 Electric Guitar Review appeared first on Gear Vault.

Categories: General Interest

Nashville’s Must-Stop Music City Guitar Stores!

The Gear Vault - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 09:48

Mom & Pop guitar shops are a treasured rarity in the fast-paced world we find ourselves living in today. Screw Guitar Center! Check out Gear-Vault’s Must-Stop Music City Mom & Pop Guitar Shops in the Nashville area that ooze that Southern hospitality we all crave! Gruhn Guitars Come on by Gruhn Guitars aka guitar heaven! […]

The post Nashville’s Must-Stop Music City Guitar Stores! appeared first on Gear Vault.

Categories: General Interest

Fender American Precision Bass Guitar Review

The Gear Vault - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 08:03

Fender’s Precision Bass has long been the industry standard in electric bass guitars. If you’re reading this article, this isn’t anything you haven’t heard before. However, it seems nowadays the simplicity, durability, and thunderous time-tested growl of this instrument has fallen slightly out of favor, and we see more and more bassists relying on the active EQs, hyper thin necks, and high output pickups of the type that the Ibanez Soundgear series originally made popular.

The post Fender American Precision Bass Guitar Review appeared first on Gear Vault.

Categories: General Interest

The Beach Boys and Their Guitars - Surf Music Part Two

The Unique Guitar Blog - Sun, 11/26/2017 - 09:08

The Original Beach Boys
Jan and Dean


The instrumental surf bands were great, however the other part of surf music were the vocal bands. Most of these groups yielded only one hit wonders. Jan and Dean stand out as an exception and had sixteen hit records from 1959 to 1966. Both were singers, and did not play instruments in their concerts.


The Rip Chords



Another surf band of this era was The Rip Chords. They had a hit with "Hey Little Cobra". Ironically Bruce Johnson, who would go on to become one of the Beach Boys, was a member of this group.



The Hondells
The Hondells were a surf group with great vocals and harmonies. They had a big hit with the Brian Wilson/Mike Love penned song; "Little Honda". This band was put together by Beach Boy lyricists Roger Christian and Gary Usher. Usher and Christian penned lyrics for many of the Beach Boys Hot Rod songs.

The Hondells started out in the studio, as a fictitious band. They were later assembled with real perfomers after their version of Little Honda became a national hit. Studio musician Chuck Girard sang the vocals on the recording, and members of the Wrecking Crew provided the instrumental support. Girard later to become a well-known Christian singer-songwriter, and member of the Christian band, Love Song. The Hondells appeared in several of the surf based teen movies of the day.

The Beach Boys 

But by far the most famous vocal surf group was The Beach Boys.  After five decades, their music still has a strong following with concert goers of all ages.

The Wilson brothers grew up in a Hawthorne California bungalow in the 1950’s.

Audree and Murray Wilson

The father of the three Wilson brothers, Murray Wilson
, was injured in an industrial accident and lost an eye. During his long recuperation he began writing music, and came out with a couple of popular songs. This launched his career in the music business.

The Wilson brothers at their home
His oldest son Brian grew up listening to his father playing piano and organ, By the time Brian was 16, he had taught himself to play piano, and taken some music training in high school. It also helped that his middle class family found joy in singing accapella songs together along with their mother, Audree.

Brian also enjoyed listening to the popular music of the day, which included recordings by The Four Freshman, and the hit records by the Ronettes, the Crystals, and Darlene Love.

Brian had this amazing inherent ability to hear the different parts of each vocal, and each instrumental segment. This gave him the skill to dissect each musical line in his head. Some study at a music conservatory for years to develop this craft. Brian was blessed with this gift.

Brian shared a bedroom with his brothers Dennis, and Carl, and for fun he recruited them, neighbor David Marks, and the Wilson's cousin, Mike Love, as well as friend Alan Jardine, to sing harmonies on the songs that he loved. The Wilson boys would even sing in harmony for their family gatherings.

Later on Brian received a reel-to-reel tape recorder and learned how to overdub vocals.  This lead to further recording adventures.

Beach Boys - Torrence High School 1962
Once when the parents left the boys alone, to take a brief get-away to Mexico, Brian and his brothers used the money that their father left them to buy food and went to Hogan’s Music store and rented two guitars, a bass guitar, a drum kit, an amplifier, and a microphone. They then came home and recorded a song that Brian had written called “Surfin".

Another version states that Al Jardine's mother financed the equipment rental. This may be more plausible, since an adult would have to sign a rental agreement.

As Dennis was the only surfer in the group, and we can thank him for prodding Brian to write this song. If not for him, the Beach Boys may have been a long forgotten Folk music group.

By the time the parents arrived home from their trip, the father, Murray, was furious that the boys had used all the food money to rent instruments, until he listened to the recording and realized that his sons were very talented.

The Pendletones
Murray took the boys to a recording studio to make professional demos of two surfing songs that Brian and Mike had written, then he shopped them around to record promoters. At the time the band was known as The Pendletones. Eventually Candix Records picked up their songs and released the demos as promotional records.

The Beach Boys - Candix Records


The company had changed the name  to The Beach Boys by one of the companies promoters without telling the group. At first the members disliked the name, but it stuck and their fame grew.



The Beach Boys "Surfin' Safari 1962
From 1961 to 1966 The Beach Boys had a string of hits, with lyrics about surfing, cars, summer, and high school life, which pretty much summed up white youth culture in Southern California during this era; a culture that much of the rest of the United States envied.

Their first hit was Surfin', later followed up by Surfin' Safari.

The Beach Boys on the Ed Sullivan Show
In 1962, Al Jardine left the group to go to college and was replaced by original member David Marks. Marks was still a teen in school when the groups success lead to touring. Brian continued to write the music for hit songs, though all of the lyrics were done by co-writers, which at times included Mike Love.

Brian did not like to tour and was having some emotional and health issues.  In 1964  he had a traumatic panic attack during a chartered flight. After that experience, he told the group that he could no longer perform, and wanted to stay home and write music. Around this same time, Al Jardine was dissatisfied with undergraduate school, wanted back in the music business. He was invited back to play bass guitar and sing Brian's vocal parts.

David Marks
By late 1963, David Marks could take no more of the heavy handed approach of Murray Wilson, the father of the Wilson boys, and their self-appointed manager. Marks left the group, and Al Jardine, who by now had taken Brian's place as the Beach Boys bass player took over the rhythm guitar parts.

Glen Campbell as a Beach Boy



A new bass player was recruited. The job fell briefly to Glen Campbell, and later in 1965 Bruce Johnston, officially became a Beach Boy.



Murray looks on as the boys play music
Within a few years, Brian was feeling the pressure of writing music, producing and arranging music, recording the music, and fending off the critical directions from his father. In a difficult move, Brian became angry with his father's continual fault finding.

During a recording session at Capitol Records, while Murray was barking orders, Brian shoved his father against a wall, fired him as the groups manager and ordered him to leave.

Pet Sounds -
Their first album not about surf music or cars
Brian Wilson realized that Surf Music, and songs about Hot Rods, high school life, and endless summer were but a fad, and turned his attention to other themes for The Beach Boys music. Though the band members, especially Mike Love, were apprehensive about "killing off their magic formula".

This was actually turned out to be a great move and it accounted for the groups longevity.

The Beach Boys 50th Anniversary tour
At age 75, Brian Wilson, Mike Love, and Al Jardine have celebrated over 50 years as The Beach Boys. They have outlasted most of their peers, and survived the death of some of the group members; Dennis, and Carl. They have lived through divorce, illness, and lawsuits.

Mike Love's Beach Boys
Presently Mike Love is touring with a band known as The Beach Boys. Through the years the band  has reinvented themselves and hired younger musicians to perform in concert. Brian has overcome his personal demons and has been on the road for years, and is still writing new songs.

Al Jardine and Carl Wilson

Al Jardine, and Carl Wilson never claimed to be great guitarists, but they were certainly good enough to play in concert. Dennis Wilson life was all about having a good time. He was never a great drummer, but he could sure keep the beat, and kept the eyes of the ladies. Dennis also wrote some wonderful songs.



The Wrecking Crew
In my opinion, the original recordings were great. The band members played their own played instruments on all of those albums. When Brian made Pet Sounds and hired  professional studio players to play the instrumental parts on their recordings, the Beach Boys sound changed dramatically.

I believe Brian's desire to create huge orchestrated productions of his songs stemmed from a desire he had in the back of his mind for  many years. Brian always had a huge admiration for Phil Spector's production technique, and showed up at his recording sessions, just to watch Spector create his "Wall of Sound". Brian and his brothers also had a friendship with John Maus of the Walker Brothers. The Walker Brothers songs had backing arrangements similar to those Brian was about to develop.

The Pet Sounds album was a huge musical turning point in the Beach Boys career.

Brian coaches bassist Lyle Ritz.
 Drummer Jim Gordon in the back
Brian had all these sounds and arrangements in his mind and needed to get them on record. He could not get this sound with just two guitars, a bass and drums. So he hired a group of studio musicians that eventually came to be known as The Wrecking Crew.


At first the "Wrecking Crew" was a derogatory slur given to this group of players by the "suits" that usually did the background music for Capitol Records arrangements. They thought these musicians were going to wreck the industry by playing pop music, instead of contributing their talent to recordings like Montavani's 1000 strings. Years later members of the "Wrecking Crew" embraced the term. You hear them play on literally thousands of popular hit songs from the 1960's through the 1980's, that were made by thousands of artists.  None of the members ever got credit for their work.

These musicians loved working for Brian. His sessions were long, and the players were paid by the hour. Pet Sounds wound up costing over $70,000 to make and it was not at all financially successful.

At the time the fan base may not have understood the direction that The Beach Boys had taken. But it yielded four of The Beach Boys best songs; Wouldn't It Be Nice,  Sloop John B, God Only Knows, and the mournful Caroline No (which lyricist Tony Asher originally wrote as "Carol, I Know", but Brian misunderstood). In an effort to recoup their money, Capitol Records did not wait long after the release of Pet Sounds, to release a compilation album called The Beach Boys Greatest Hits.

Bruce, Brian, Al, and Dennis
 record vocals
During the early days, between tour dates Al, Carl, Mike, and the new guy, Bruce Johnston, would go to the studio with Brian and lay down the vocal tracks over the already recorded music tracks. Carl was the only Beach Boy to play guitar on any of the recordings.


Brian working with Hal Blaine
Most of the parts were played by the pro's, who penciled in the parts during those sessions, where Brian would hum or sing each part to them. Some parts were made up on the spot. such as Carol Kaye''s great bass line on Good Vibrations.

The Beach Boys (The Pendletones)
Carl Wilson, Al Jardine, and David Marks played guitar for the Beach Boys in concert and even on the first recordings. It is difficult to track down many of the guitars seen in the early black and white videos, because, as Al Jardine explains, “..we kept losing them because we toured so much. They’d get stolen right off the back of the truck. We could never keep them in stock. 

We’d just have to get new ones, so I don’t have a clue where they are.. So through the Sixties we’d just keep recycling them.” 

However we do know about some of the guitars that The Beach Boys used.

Carl took guitar lessons at an accordion studio near Hawthorne, and from a musician that lived in the area named John Maus. John was in a group called The Walker Brothers, and taught guitar out of his home which was a couple of blocks around the corner from the Wilson family home.

Carl with Rickenbacker model 360
One of the guitars that the Wilsons' rented from Hogan's Music to do the original home recordings was a six string Rickenbacker. There are no existing photos of those rental instruments. But we do know that early on, Carl played a Rickenbacker in concert

1959 Carvin Electric guitar



David Marks parents bought him a Sears Silvertone acoustic guitar in 1958. A year later he purchased a Carvin electric guitar from John Maus.




1959 Kay model K899OJC



Carl acknowledged his first guitar was a Kay hollow body electric guitar that he received as a  Christmas present. He played this guitar unplugged on the recording of Surfin’.




Carl '62 Stratocaster

Once the record was released, the Beach Boys needed better equipment. Carl purchased a 1962 sunburst Fender Stratocaster, which he used briefly. Al Jardine was originally the bass player, and for a while played a stand-up string bass. This would figure, as Al was a fan of folk music. He is responsible for introducing the song, Sloop John B, which is properly titled, The John B. Sails. to Brian. If it was up to Al, the Beach Boys would have been a folk group.

We do not know what type of guitar Al used on early recordings, but due to the sound, we are fairly certain it was not a Fender.

Brian with his
'62 Fender Precision Bass



Brian’s first bass was a sunburst ‘62 Fender Precision Bass.







David Marks
 '62 Stratocaster



When Al Jardine left the group to go to school and David Marks came back he was playing a Rickenbacker, before switching to a ‘62 Sunburst Fender Stratocaster.







The Beach Boys amplifiers
Carl and David were playing through Fender amplifiers from the start. Marks used a white tolex Dual Showman, and  Carl Wilson had a 1955-60 tweed Fender Bassman, along with a 1962 Fender Reverb unit. Brian played bass through a tweed Fender Bassman amplifier.


Carl's '62 Jaguar and Al's '62 Stratocaster


Later in 1962, Carl got his Olympic white Fender Jaguar. In 1963 Marks purchased a similar
instrument.



Carl with Rickenbacker 360/12


In 1964 Carl added a Fire Glow (red sunburst) Rickenbacker 360/12, that he used on some songs.





Beach Boys '63 Al with Gibson SG
By 1964 Al Jardine was in the group again, replacing David Marks. Al originally used a white Gibson SG, but eventually got an Olympic White Fender Stratocaster.  At this time Brian was playing a 1962 Olympic White Fender Precision bass.

The Beach Boys 1964 Concert

In 1964 both Carl and Al usually played through 1960-63 white tolex Fender Dual Showman amplifiers, and 1962 Fender stand-alone reverb units. They also used an Ampeg B-15 Portaflex bass amp.

At some concerts they used a Fender 1961-62 Bassman amp with a 1964 white Tolex cabinet.

Carl with Epiphone 12



Besides the 1963 white Jaguar and the fire glow Rickenbacker 360/12, Carl Wilson used some other guitars in concert. These include a sunburst Epiphone Rivera 12-string, that he used on Help Me Rhonda, and Sloop John B.




Carl Gibson ES-335



Carl also owned a Blonde Gibson ES-335, with a Bigsby that he purchased in 1970 from a friend for $300,






Carl - Gibson ES-335 12 string


In addition to the Epiphone 12 string, Carl also owned a red-burst Gibson 12 string Es-335, both a black Les Paul, a sunburst Gibson ES-345, and a red Les Paul, and an Olympic white Fender Stratocaster.





Carl with yellow Stratocaster



He also owned the a tobacco-burst Epiphone 12 string pictured above and, a yellow Fender Stratocaster, that he named Old Yeller, and a yellow Fender Telecaster.





Carl's red Baldwin 12 string



He also owned a blonde Fender Stratocaster, a red Baldwin 12 string, and a Les Paul Jr.





Carl with Yamaha APX700



As for acoustic guitars, Carl owned a Martin D-41, a Gibson J-200, and a Yamaha APX700 acoustic-electric.





Carl with Fender XII
and Dual Showman amp



Over the years a few guitars were stolen that include a Fender XII 12 string, and a Martin D-76 Bicentennial model.






Carl with a white Fender Telecaster

There are a few unusual guitar that he also played which included a white Fender Telecaster with a Bigsby unit. Fender did not offer those until 1967.


Carl and Al Jardine may of received that gratis from Fender, since the Beach Boys did start endorsing Fender products in 1962.

A music dealer once offered Carl a Mosrite, like the ones The Ventures played, in exchanged for endorsements, but he turned that down.

Carl with custom Fender Lucite guitar


Fender also built Carl a special one-of-a-kind Lucite guitar. This guitar  was a prototype model that never went on the market. It was hand built by Roger Rossmeisl. The body was somewhat similar in shape to a Stratocaster.



Fender custom Lucite guitar
This guitar had twin Seth Lover designed Fender Wide-Range Telecaster pickups. The unusually shaped neck was straight off of a Fender Starcaster, which was another Rossmeisll creation. The neck was capped with a rosewood fretboard, that had block pearloid markers.


The guitar also had a vibrato unit, similar to the Fender Mustang vibrato.

Al Jardine with '62 Fender Stratocaster



Al Jardine is usually seen playing his stock Olympic White Stratocaster.




Al Jardine with a black Stratocaster


Though at some venues, he used a black Fender Stratocaster.




Al Jardine -
white Fender Jaguar


However Al also played a Fender Jaguar on some songs.

The 1967 white Telecaster with the Bigsby unit, that Carl is playing in a few videos may have actually belonged to Al. Al has a relationship with Fender Musical Instruments and Senior VP Richard McDonald. They still ship him equipment if he needs it.


Al Jardine with Martin D-45

During the 1980's and 1990's,  Al usually plays a white or red 1962 replica Stratocaster, with a rosewood neck, through a Fender Twin Reverb amplifier. He also owns some Martin acoustic guitars.

Fender Twin Reverb amplifier

The Fender Twin Reverb was designed to be a combo version of the Dual Showman, although it has two 12” speakers with  85 watts of RMS power.

Through the later years the Beach Boys generally relied on Fender Twin Reverb amps in concert, I’ve also read that at one point they used Dumble amplifiers.

Mitchell Pro-100 amplifier


Carl owned a Mitchell amplifier the he really liked.






Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Tour
During their 50th Anniversary concert, the Beach Boys played through Fender Hot Rod Deville amps.

Carl was the  usually the only Beach Boy to play guitar or bass on their recordings, although some of their first albums featured the members of the band doing the instrumentals.These were the albums done before the Wrecking Crew stepped in to do the instrumental parts.

Carl playing bass in the studio

In an interview Carl stated that most of the guitar parts were recorded using a direct box to the mixing console unless Brian wanted an over driven sound and then they cranked up the amplifier.



David Marks at a guitar clinic
David Marks, he said the group originally used Fender flat-wound strings on their guitars. Carl stated that he switched to Ernie Ball medium gauge strings in the mid-1960’s. As the years progressed he continued to use Ernie Ball strings, but went to lighter, slinky strings.

David Marks and the Marksmen


As for David Marks, he left the Beach Boys after the first five albums, but he maintained a career in music; first with his band, David Marks and the Marksmen, and later as a studio player. He is seen in this picture with a 1960's era Epiphone Crestwood guitar.


David Marks with Dennis Wilson


Marks studied classical and modern music with Warren Zevon, and Robert Kraft. Marks also worked and recorded with composer Mike Curb, who wrote a lot of television theme music, and in the 1960’s put together a group called The MIke Curb Congregation.



Marks came back to The Beach Boys in the 1990’s when Carl became ill. It was only supposed to be a temporary gig. Sadly Carl passed away, and Marks stayed on and was prominently featured in the 50th Anniversary concert.

Early concert with
Al on bass and David Marks


As the years have passed, there have been a lot of legal feuds between the band members. Money talks.





Beach Boys 50th Anniversary

After the 50th Anniversary tour ended Mike Love, through legal maneuvering took possession of the legal name; The Beach Boys, from Brother Record Incorporated. That keeps the money flow going.

Mike Love


Prior to that, Mike Love was touring as America’s Band along with Bruce Johnson and David Marks.




Al Jardine and
the Endless Summer Band
Al Jardine began touring as The Beach Boys; Family and Friends; a band that included several children of Beach Boy members including Brian's daughters, Wendy and Carnie.  A court order was issued to halt using Jardine from using that name. He also toured as the Endless Summer Band, with his son Matthew.

Lawsuits and counter suits resulted. The 50th Anniversary Concert was a truce, and the band rallied to record one more Brian Wilson song called That’s Why God Made The Radio.

Due to discontent and legal bickering between the members, and the deaths of the two Wilson brothers, it is unlikely we will ever see the original Beach Boys perform together again. But it was such a good run while it lasted. And we still have all those great recordings.
The Beach Boys in the U.K.
The Beach Boys music lives on despite the fact that the remaining members are in their mid-70's. Their music is upbeat, fun,  great to dance to, and the lyrics speak to many generations.

Click on the links under the photos for sources. Click on the links in the text for further information.
©UniqueGuitar Publications (text only)








Categories: General Interest

Herald Sun, How Dare You

I Heart Guitar - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 16:53

I can’t let this slide. Australian newspaper The Herald Sun has just published a tribute to Malcolm Young, and look at the title of this front-page pointer. 

Bass? BASS? BASS!?!

This is inarguably one of the greatest, most solid rhythm guitarists of all time, from one of the most popular bands of all time. I don’t know who the f**k goofed up to make this abomination of a headline a reality but holy crap, is it really that hard to go to Wikipedia and double-check this stuff? Absolutely ridiculous and a massive insult to Malcolm and all AC/DC fans. I mean, if you needed to write a cheesy headline, how about ‘Back In Black’ or ‘We Salute You’ or maybe just ‘Malcolm Young – 1954 – 2017′? This is like saying Ringo was The Beatles’ guitarist, or Adam West played TV’s Robin, or that the Herald Sun is a respectable newspaper. Every day this Facebook page seems more and more justified. 

The post Herald Sun, How Dare You appeared first on I Heart Guitar.

Categories: General Interest

The Church share new video for ‘I Don’t Know How I Don’t Know Why’ ahead of tour

I Heart Guitar - Tue, 11/14/2017 - 15:37

One of my favourite albums this year is The Church’s Man Woman Life Death Infinity. It’s a beautiful, deep, swirling, emotive record that represents everything great about the band’s psychedelic, atmospheric melodicism. They’ve just released a live video for the track ‘I Don’t Know How I Don’t Know Why,’ which the press release describes as…

‘…A psychedelic dip into the complex consciousness of lead singer Steve Kilbey, the video highlights the latest single’s shimmery tones and experiential ambivalence on life’s purpose. With a video that transports the viewer to a rainbow coloured utopia, ‘I Don’t Know How I Don’t Know Why’ stands true to the church’s signature exploration of existence.

‘Flowing through with the inherent theme of water, their latest single exemplifies Kilbey’s explanation of the mind’s uncontrollable influence. “I’ve always marveled at the sea and rivers and rain…The way I write lyrics is very stream-of-consciousness. I never question them until we perform live” Steve says. Producing ten songs spanning 45 minutes of pure sonic bliss, their latest record Man Woman Life Death Infinity came in strong at #1 on the 100% Australian Independent Record Labels Association independent albums chart.

Filmed on their recent USA tour and edited by Eden Mullholland, the music video offers fans a taste of what to expect on tour. No strangers to the live stage, following a sold out run of Australian shows in 2015 and having previously pulled a 20,000 strong crowd at Primavera Sound, the church embark on a killer eight date national tour, tomorrow – barely touched down from 29 cities across the USA. Joined onstage by special guest, former Remy Zero (UK) guitarist Jeffrey Cain on keys, additional guitars and vocals, the tour will blend almost 50 years of classics with a burst of new songs off their latest record. The band’s Newcastle shows are nearly sold out with the church’s Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne shows set to sell out in the next week. With under 50 tickets left for each show, fans are encouraged to move quick if they want to see this seminal Australian outfit for their first local dates in two years.

Snatch up last minute tickets for the Man Woman Life Death Infinity tour NOW.

Man Woman Life Death Infinity vinyl is available here.

SELECT TOURING PRESENTS

MAN WOMAN LIFE DEATH INFINITY TOUR
 
THU 16 NOV | THE GOV, ADELAIDE SA (18+)
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets
 
FRI 17 NOV | ROSEMOUNT HOTEL,  NORTH PERTH WA (18+)
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets
 
SAT 18 NOV | DUNSBOROUGH TAVERN, DUNSBOROUGH WA (18+)
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets
 
THU 30 NOV | THE TRIFFID, BRISBANE QLD (18+)
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets
 
FRI 01 DEC | 170 RUSSELL, MELBOURNE VIC (18+)
Tickets available from www.moshtix.com.au | 1300 GET TIX | All Moshtix Outlets

MON 05 DEC | LIZOTTES,  NEWCASTLE NSW SOLD OUT
Tickets available from www.lizottes.com.au | 02 4956 2066

TUE 06 DEC | LIZOTTES,  NEWCASTLE NSW SOLD OUT
Tickets available from www.lizottes.com.au | 02 4956 2066
 
SAT 09 DEC | THE FACTORY THEATRE, SYDNEY NSW
Tickets available from www.factorytheatre.com.au

The post The Church share new video for ‘I Don’t Know How I Don’t Know Why’ ahead of tour appeared first on I Heart Guitar.

Categories: General Interest

Martin Model America Double Back Guitar from 1906

Guitarz - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 10:32
guitarz.blogspot.com:









This 1906 Martin Model America is somewhat of a mystery to me. I've done some quick searches and have found mostly links to pinterest posts. That, and the page I got these pictures from.

What I cannot find is the "why'.

I have no idea what the advantage would be to having a double bod in such a way.

Does anyone know?

R.W. Haller



© 2016, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - the blog that goes all the way to 11!
Please read our photo and content policy.
Categories: General Interest

J. Geils Guitars From His Estate Are Being Auctioned

The Unique Guitar Blog - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 12:41
J Geils

On Sunday, November 19th, 2017, the Fine Musical Insturments department of Skinner Auctions, will be offering the remaining guitars and musical instruments from the estate of J. Geils.



J Geils
John Warren Geils, better known as J. Geils passed away on April 11th of this year. He had sold off much of his collection of vintage guitars and amplifiers prior to his death. His collection of vintage Italian sports cars was auctioned off earlier this year.

The New Guitar Summit

Though he is best known for his guitar work in the J. Geils Band, Geils went on to play Jazz guitar in the Boston area. He was part of the New Guitar Summit with Duke Robillard, and Gerry Beaudoin.



J Geil's Italian sports cars at KTX

In addition to his musical career, Geils also owned and operated KTR Motorsports, a business that serviced Italian sports cars. He also had a degree from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in mechanical engineering.


D'Angelico Excel



The upcoming auction at Skinners features some of J’s favourite guitars; including a beautiful 1940 D’Angelico Excel Archtop model, that is expected to fetch between $6,000 to $8,000.




Stromberg Master 400



Also featured is a rare 1940 Stromberg Master 400 archtop guitar, that has a price tag of $8,000 to $12,000.





1954 Fender Stratocaster



An original sunburst 1954 Fender Stratocaster (the first year this guitar was offered) is being offered at a price of between $25,000 to $35,000. This guitar is in pristine condition.





1952 Les Paul



A 1952 Gibson Les Paul gold top guitar that has the original P-90 pickups and trapeze tailpiece is among the items being sold. This guitar is expected to fetch between $8,000 and $12,000.





Gibson Nick Lucas



Geil’s 1929 sunburst Gibson Nick Lucas Special acoustic guitar is being offered for $5,500 to $6,500.





Ignacio Fleta guitar




His rare handmade 1976 Ignacio Fleta classical guitar is being offered for $20,000 to $30,000.





Lloyd Loar Mandola



J. Geils also owned an original 1924 Gibson Lloyd Loar H-5 Mandola. This is the larger version of the F-5 mandolin. It is being offered at between $35,000 to $55,000.






Fagnola Violin



While they are not guitars, the upcoming auction also features a fine Italian violin ascribed to maker Annibale Fagnola that has an estimated worth of between $10,000 and $15,000.





Pedrazzini cello
His cello built by Italian maker Giuseppe Pedrazzini that is expected to sell for between $25,000 and $35,00 along with a gorgeous silver-tipped cello bow made by Christian Welhelm Knopf that will sell for between $1,800 and $2,400.

For those of us that would like to own a guitar that belonged to a music legend, but can’t ante up a lot of money, do not despair. Some of J’s less valuable instruments are on the block, and the bidding for these instruments starts at just $20 USD.

Vega Duo-Tron


This 1950 Vega Duo-Tron electric archtop guitar is being offer for a bid starting at $20. The volume and tone controls are mounted on the guitars trapeze tailpiece.






1940 Vega Electric guitar




Also offered is a 1940 Vega electric archtop with a unique slanted pickup. This is reminiscent of a similar Gibson model of the same era. 




Harmony Monterey




A 1955 Harmony Monterey archtop guitar, with an added DeArmond pickup is offered as well.



Stella Guitar




A 1965 Harmony Stella guitar is also offered, that will certainly sell in a low price range.






Gibson EH-150 Lap Steel



J’s 1937 Gibson EH-150 lap steel, along with its original case is being offered. It is in pristine condition.






Broken 1977 Les Paul Double


I’d love to know the story behind this next guitar being offered. It is a 1977 Les Paul Special. The neck is broken in half, and all the parts are gone.






Two vintage guitar amplifiers are also on the block.

Epiphone Electar Amp


One is a gorgeous 1939 Epiphone Electar Zephyr that has a stylized wooden cabinet, with a large wooden E design over the grill.






Supro Amplifier



The other amplifier up for bid is a 1949 Supro model 1600U amplifier.





J Geils Estate Auction


There are many other items offered at this auction, that include Senhheiser and Beyerdynamic microphones, a group of speaker cabinets and amplifiers, guitar cases, speakers, awards, photographs, gold and platinum records, road cases, recording equipment, tour jackets, and tee shirts.

And trumpets; J played the trumpet and collected them.

Check out the online catalog.

Click on the links below the pictures for sources. Click on the links in the text for further information.
©UniqueGuitar Publications (text only)




Categories: General Interest

Meet The Moniker Guitars Rival Series

I Heart Guitar - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 17:05

Moniker Guitars has just unveiled the new Rival Series, a really unique chambered guitar that is made in the USA and features Seymour Duncan pickups for a mere $879USD. I think this is a great way to offer a certain degree of customisation while keeping costs down: essentially it’s the same basic guitar but with different faceplate and pickup options, and Moniker appears to have put a great deal of thought and care into designing and instrument that will effectively ‘become’ whatever pickup configuration you order. Go for some Duo-Sonics and you’ll have a great indie instrument. Select the Hot Rodded Humbucker option and you’ve got a powerful rock or metal machine. Other options include Strat, Tele, Lipstock or Phat Cat (P90 in humbucker housing) style pickups. I’ll be reviewing one soon, but in the meantime here’s a video and the press release.

Moniker Guitars launches the Rival Series, a unique chambered body guitar, designed to “rival” any other on tone, feel and price.

Austin, TX – October 23, 2017 – Moniker Guitars has launched the Rival Series, a bold electric guitar design intended to “rival” any other on tone, feel and price. In striving to build a guitar focused on those elements, Moniker has reimagined the instrument and how it can be built in the United States at a retail price that is under a thousand dollars.

Rival Series guitars feature an offset body shape made of maple with a matching maple neck and fretboard. The inside of the body utilizes a unique chambering pattern known as “Rival Ribs” to add resonance and warmth to the guitar. The Moniker website allows you to choose one of six styles of Seymour Duncan pickups to dial in the exact tone you’re looking for. On the outside of the body, the maple frames your choice of a colored Reso-acrylic faceplate. This creates a striking visual contrast between the faceplate and the natural wood. The hardness and reflectiveness of the Reso-acrylic top helps to bounce sound throughout the chambered body.

When it comes to feel, the first thing players notice is that the Rival chambering reduces the weight of the guitar to a mere 6.8 pounds. The acrylic top cuts away to allow for a contoured wood arm rest and a contoured neck heel allows easy access to the upper frets. Both body and neck are coated in a thin satin top coat to preserve the natural feel of the wood.

Customized Rival Series can be ordered through the MonikerGuitars.com at a retail price of just $879. The guitars are built in the same shop where Moniker has been building its Customer Series guitars in Austin Texas.  

“Our experience with our Custom Series line is what led us to develop the Rival Series.” says owner Kevin Tully. “We’re fortunate in that we’ve had the opportunity to speak to every single one of our customers and learn what they’re looking for. Beautiful finishes are important to many customers and on our Custom Series line, we spend a lot of time working on finish. But most people are just looking for great tone and great playability and they’re on a budget that doesn’t allow us to spend hours and hours on finish work. The Rival Series is the result of of prioritizing the fundamentals of the instrument and marrying them together in a clean and simple modern design. We’re extremely proud of how it has come out looking, playing and sounding.”

The post Meet The Moniker Guitars Rival Series appeared first on I Heart Guitar.

Categories: General Interest

I Heart Guitar Podcast Episode 5: Gilby Clarke, Derek Sherinian, Lindi Ortega

I Heart Guitar - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 16:48

It’s the ‘Sorry About My Cold!’ Episode, featuring Gilby Clarke, Derek Sherinian and Lindi Ortega! The episode should be hitting your podcast catcher of choice right about now, or you can listen in the widget at the bottom of this post. Please leave a review if you’re listening on iTunes, and if you’d like to support the podcast and blog with a couple o’bucks, patreon.com/iheartguitar

Gilby Clarke is heading to Australia for some intimate shows in November and December, hitting Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra! He’ll be at:

Thursday 30th November – Crowbar – Brisbane
Friday 1st Dec – Cherry Bar – Melbourne
Saturday 2nd Dec – The Basement – Canberra
Sunday 3rd Dec – Frankie’s – Sydney

Tickets are on sale now from hardlinemedia.net

Derek Sherinian was one of the very first people interviewed for I Heart Guitar when it started (read that original interview here). As a keyboard player he’s one of the greatest guitarists you’ll ever hear. He has a real understanding of how a guitarist plays, and that’s part of what has made him such a great fit in bands like Dream Theater, Alice Cooper, Black Country Communion and his own Planet X. And now he’s in the supergroup Sons of Apollo with Mike Portnoy, Billy Sheehan, Bumblefoot and Jeff Scott Soto. Their debut record Psychotic Symphony is out now. Visit their site at sonsofapollo.com.

This is the second time I’ve interviewed Lindi Ortega. The first was for Australian Guitar magazine about two years ago to promote her album Faded Gloryville. Earlier this year Lindi released an EP called Til The Goin’ Gets Gone, and she’s heading down here to Australia for a run of shows including the Queenscliffe Music Festival. Visit LindiOrtega.com/tour for full dates and ticket info.  

The post I Heart Guitar Podcast Episode 5: Gilby Clarke, Derek Sherinian, Lindi Ortega appeared first on I Heart Guitar.

Categories: General Interest

Timi Temple’s Top 5 Pieces Of Gear

I Heart Guitar - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 20:11

You might have seen him playing alongside Kilter as his live guitarist, but now it’s time for Australia’s own Timi Temple – aka Timothy Lockwood – to unleash his own intoxicating music with the release of his psychedelic new single ‘Sands of Time.’ Timi’s a big gear nerd like the rest of us and when the idea of doing a post about his top five favourite pieces of gear came up, he came back with the completed list in, oh, like 20 seconds. So here it is! Take it away, Timi.

1981 IBANEZ ARTIST 2630

This guitar is just brilliant ~ I remember being a super poor uni student just getting into jazz and I needed a ‘jazz box’ style guitar ~ unfortunately after trying a Gibson 175 for a while my shoulders and neck started to cramp up (being 5’6) so I settled to find a 335 type. I couldn’t afford a Gibson so started looking for alternatives and found this gem… and I couldn’t afford this one either haha ~ I begged the guy who owned it, but he didn’t budge, deflated I left but this is where persistence pays… I made offers to the seller for months (probably about 6 months) and finally he obliged, on the promise that I send him a picture of my first gig with the guitar and that I continue to love it… well that was easy peasy! I got the guitar for a steal and to this day it remains one of my most prized possessions! 

1981 ROLAND BOLT 60

A different story, this amp was a hand me down from Dad, it’s the amp I learnt to play guitar on. It never sounded good for some reason, and neither of us could suss it out, so, to storage it went and I started my love affair with different amps… I went through a Mesa Lonestar, a Fender Twin, a MI AUDIO Revelation, and finally a Jackson Ampworks Britain 3. None of the amps were giving me that satisfied feeling, I was still searching and it wasn’t till I had to repair the Britain that I decided to take the Bolt60 in for a service as well… I got both back and out of curiosity tried the Bolt60… it was perfect! I think it’s got to do with the peculiar half tube half solid state make up of the amp… it takes pedals so well, but also has 0 breakup as loud as you push it. Not sterile though… I just love it!!

PAUL COCHRANE TIM PEDAL

This pedal has my name on it. It’s automatically going to be favoured haha, but in all seriousness, if all the amps I owned morphed into a pedal (with my name on it) this would be it! It is absolutely organic and it’s my Swiss army knife of drives and lead sounds. I even leave this pedal on all the time at some gigs and just roll back on the volume knob to clean up. This is my desert island pedal. Did I mention it’s my favourite colour blue too?!?

1971 IBANEZ LAWSUIT 4001

Alright, in truth, I’ve totally got the love bug for the early Ibanez lawsuit model stuff, after buying the 2630 mentioned above, I spiraled into a frenzy, and for good reason too! These guitars and basses are just the holy grail for playing feel ~ and damnit I just realised I forgot to mention, I actually replace the pickups in all these Ibanez guitars with a local Sydney guy called Rob from Sliders Pickups. 

Anyway, this guitar I actually got from an old collector out west in Mt Druitt, he had carpal tunnel or something so couldn’t play anymore but loved the stuff ~ I messaged him querying the 4001 and he told me to come around and play for him… That same weekend I was supporting ICEHOUSE who happened to be one of his favourite bands, so I got him free tickets and he sold me the bass, AGAIN on the premise I use the bass at the Icehouse gig hahaha, another easy win! 

CUSTOM TONES LLC ETHOS OVERDRIVE

Okay so this little guy is kind of a two in one whammy ~ This pedal has a speaker out emulator and such a sweet preamp section, it’s saved me on at least a dozen gigs where backline amps have failed… I just go DI to desk and the tone and feel is sick! A trick to going direct like this is to have a single foldback dedicated to just being your ‘amp’ you stick it behind you and crank it and boom, it feels normal again… no one likes having their guitar amp shoot them in the face (sorry audience haha) having it behind you just feels natural. I think this pedal is based off the elusive Dumble amps, I haven’t tried a steel string singer, but I watched Robben Ford play in Sydney one night and I got to talk to him afterwards and this is the pedal he used into two fender twins… Good enough for Robben good enough for TIMI haha

SUPER SPECIAL MENTION

Goes to my persian rug that I took all these photos on… $10 from Bunnings and I got a sausage sizzle while I was there too… massive win.

And my two guitar straps which were hand craved by my uncle in Thailand for me!

Timi Temple social links:
FACEBOOK 
SOUNDCLOUD  
TWITTER

INSTAGRAM
YOUTUBE

 

The post Timi Temple’s Top 5 Pieces Of Gear appeared first on I Heart Guitar.

Categories: General Interest

New Gibson Neon Les Pauls Are The First Good Thing To Come Out Of 2017

I Heart Guitar - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 01:55

If you know me, you probably know that I love both vintage and modern guitar designs pretty much equally. Some days I love nothing more than playing my 50s-style Les Paul Traditional or my ’62 Reissue Strat. Other days I’m all about my headless Kiesel Vader or my Roadflare Red Ibanez RG550. Well Gibson have gone and combined two of my loves in the one guitar: a Les Paul Axcess with Floyd Rose and – gasp! – neon finishes! It’s available in Neon Green, Neon Yellow, Neon Blue, Neon Orange and Neon Pink. Personally my pick of the bunch is the Neon Green. Look at that thing. 

The bodies are Mahogany with a 2-piece Maple top, with a Mahogany neck and Richlite fingerboard. The neck is a Slim C-Shape, and the pickups are a 496R neck humbucker and a 498T in the bridge position, with push-pull pots for coil splitting. 

Pics below, more info here.

The post New Gibson Neon Les Pauls Are The First Good Thing To Come Out Of 2017 appeared first on I Heart Guitar.

Categories: General Interest

Epiphone Richie Faulkner Flying V

I Heart Guitar - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 15:57

It’s about time! Judas Priest’s Richie Faulkner has been flying the flag for the mighty Flying V for years now, and his customs with the oversized pickguard are some of the coolest Gibsons ever. Now there’s an Epiphone version with Floyd Rose, EMG 66 and 57 pickups and that distinctive pickguard. 

More info here.

The post Epiphone Richie Faulkner Flying V appeared first on I Heart Guitar.

Categories: General Interest

Things I Like: October 2017

Guitar Lifestyle - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 10:09

This is a roundup of a few things I’ve been enjoying this month:

1. Doom Side of the Moon – This is a side project from Sword guitarist Kyle Schutt. As its name suggests, this is a tribute to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. It’s a fairly faithful interpretation, while adding in some of the “Doom” elements that Sword is known for. I’m enjoying this one more than I thought I would.

2.  Elixir OPTIWEB Electric Guitar Strings – I’ve tried several versions of Elixir strings in the past, and none of them have stuck. I’ve been playing Ernie Ball Slinkys for over 20 years, so I’m very familiar with those, and the Elixir coated strings have felt too different to change. However, I recently had a chance to try out some of their new OPTIWEB coated strings, and I’ve actually been enjoying playing these. These feel much more like the Slinkys and had a brighter tone than other coated strings when first used. Additionally, they’ve so far remained a bit brighter than the Slinkys I put on my other guitar at the same time. It remains to be seen how much longer they’ll last than the Slinkys, which will be the real test of whether these are worth the price premium.

3. Milligan Vaughan Project – This is a collaboration between Austin veterans Malford Milligan and Tyrone Vaughan. They recently released their debut album, MVP, and I’ve been enjoying it. There’s nothing particularly new about the album, but it combines some really nice guitar work with Milligan’s distinctive vocals making for an enjoyable album.

4. Analogman Beano Boost – A friend of mine picked up a Beano Boost about a year ago and he’s been encouraging me to pick one up ever since. I finally picked one up not too long ago, and it’s really added an extra dimension to my amp. It’s based on the Dallas Rangemaster Treble Booster with a few added tonal options. It can get quite fuzzy with the boost rolled up, but it doesn’t get muddy like every fuzz pedal I’ve tried. It works best into an amp that’s already breaking up at least a little.

5. That Pedal Show – This has been one of my favorite YouTube channels lately. Dan and Mick play off each other really well and have different enough styles that you can get a pretty good feel for the pedals that they test. New episodes come out every Friday, and there’s a nice backlog to keep you entertained while waiting for new episodes.

Categories: General Interest

Acoustic Rock (Ukulele Chord Songbook)

Guitar Lifestyle - Fri, 10/27/2017 - 07:34

By: Russ

Aloha! To close off this series of uke books for music from the 1990s, I’ll admit that not ALL great music comes from the 90s and we should never limit ourselves to just one decade. Even if it IS the greatest decade of music, it in no way discounts great music that came before or after it.

So, with this being said, we can expand our view a bit to something the 1990s had a lot of and incorporate music from other decades to fit the theme.

I’m speaking of acoustic rock.

Acoustic Rock (an Ukulele Chord Songbook) comes with 60 songs, written in my favorite fake-book style with chord boxes at the beginning of the song and then just chord names on top of the words where changes happen. To me, this is the least distracting way to learn music, even if you’re just focusing solely on strumming along (all the other books in this review series also feature musical notation so you can transcribe the melodies if you wanted). I LIKE strumming along to music. I like singing along as I strum. Because of this, I really like books like this.

It’s also not a giant book. 60 songs is a lot, but because it’s not the size as a standard music book (not to mention the saved space by not including musical notation), the book is more than manageable, able to be thrown in a gig bag and brought along with you wherever you go to play.

Those 60 songs cover way more than just the 1990s, too. In addition to 90s offerings (“3 AM,” “Iris,” “Wonderwall,” “Torn,” “Tears in Heaven,” etc) there are songs from before (“American Pie,” “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” and more) and after (“21 Guns”). The real meat of the book is from 1999 and before, though, with all sorts of classics at your fingertips.

The reason I find this book so compelling is that acoustic rock is usually anthemic in some regard. When most people think anthemic songs, they think about the songs that are loud and electric – the ones that have tons of oomph behind the choruses. But I think there’s a very strong case for quieter songs because these are the ones that we sing along with in the car and feel more of a connection to (which makes singing it all the more meaningful).

Overall, this is a super valuable addition to your collection of music books because you can keep pulling from it for different moods, eras, and purposes. It’s got a lot to offer an ukulele player, so check it out and see what you think!

Until next time!

Mahalo!

Categories: General Interest

Gibson Memphis Guitar Factory Is Up For Sale

The Unique Guitar Blog - Sun, 10/22/2017 - 09:35
Gibson Factory in Memphis
Gibson Guitars has put their downtown Memphis facility up for sale.

In a press release, the company implies that the Memphis factory is not closing, or leaving Memphis, but looking for a smaller space the the almost 128,000 building they currently occupy. Asking price is $17 million dollars, including a 330 space parking lot.

Gibson has been a Memphis fixture for the past 18 years. When it was built it had a large entertainment facility that has not been used in the past few years.

Unconfirmed source state the Gibson Brands Incorporated has accrued considerable debt.

Inside the Memphis Plant
The agents handling the sale stated, “They are definitely going to stay in Memphis, but when this venue was built it had a large entertainment venue (that) hasn’t been utilized in a couple of years,” he said. “And that’s approximately half of the building.”

They go on to say that the Memphis plant will not be closing anytime soon. It is estimated that it will take 18 to 24 months to find a new home.

Gibson Memphis Plant
Gibson has three factories that produce their instruments. The facility in Memphis builds the ES semi-hollow body electric guitars and all of their custom instruments. In Nashville, Tennessee, Gibson’s solid body guitars are produced, and in Bozeman, Montana, Gibson’s acoustic guitars are created.

Gibson Brands CEO Henry Juskiewicz
In a press release, Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz states: “We are extremely excited about the next phase of growth we believe will benefit both our employees, and the Memphis community. 


I remember when our property had abandoned buildings, and Beale Street was in decline. It is with great prid that I can see the development of this area with a basketball arena, hotel, and a resurgent pride in the musical heritage of the great city of Memphis. We continue to love the Memphis community and hope to be a key contributor to its future when we move nearby to a more appropriate location for our manufacturing based business allowing the world the benefit or our great American craftsmen.”

Epiphone Les Paul Standards.


In addition to the Gibson brand name, Gibson also owns the Epiphone, Kramer, Maestro, Kalamazoo, Dobro, and Valley Arts brand names for guitars.



Baldwin Piano


The company owns the Slingerland Drum Company, as well as the Baldwin, Wurlitzer, Chickering, and Hamilton piano brand names.



Slingerland drums are no longer being manufacutred.  Some of the other guitar brands are no longer being made, while others, that were once American brands, are now being outsourced to Asian manufacturers.

Gibson Innovations products
Surprisingly, Gibson Brands largest business in not in guitars, but in its electronics and audio businesses. Gibson Innovations is a licensee of Phillips brand audio, Gibson also owns the Onkyo Corporation, which produces Onkyo and Pioneer brands.

Teac Mixer
They own both the Tascam and Teac Corporation, including their Esoteric brands. Gibson owns Cerwin Vega, Stanton, KRK Systems and the software company; Cakewalk.

Click on the links under the pictures for sources. Click on links in the text for further information.
©UniqueGuitar Publications (text only)




Categories: General Interest

Carvin Audio Closes It's Doors After 71 Years Of Business

The Unique Guitar Blog - Sat, 10/21/2017 - 05:18
Carvin Audio


On October the 11th, the owners of Carvin Audio announced that after 71 years of being in business they are closing.




LC Kiesel demonstrates
a mandolin pickup and an amplifier
Carvin guitars and amplifiers is a company started by Lowell C. Kiesel in San Diego California back in 1946. At that time Mr. Kiesel had created a stringed instrument pickup. This was at a time when the steel guitar was very popular, especially for Country and Western bands that were spring up in Southern California.



LC Kiesel playing steel
 on a Martin guitar


Kiesel was an accomplished steel guitar player.

Within a year Kiesel moved his location and began manufacturing steel guitars. By 1949 he set up a larger facility in Baldwin Park, California  This same year Lowell changed the companies name from Kiesel Guitars, to Carvin Guitars. Carvin was an amalgamation of the names of Lowell’s sons; Carson and Gavin.

'56 Carvin #1-SGB


The companies earliest guitars, and basses were very basic, but functional. They utilized necks made by Höfner, and pickups manufactured by DeArmond. In addition to their own guitars, Carvin also offered Martin guitars, Fender guitars, and Sonola accordions. They also offered a complete line of steel and pedal steel guitars.




1976 Carvin guitars
By the mid 1970’s the quality of Carvin guitars had greatly improved, and in addition to  their own line of amplifiers, they were offering professional audio equipment.

Later in the decade they expanded into recording equipment, stage lighting, and other studio equipment.


1976 Parts and Kits



Carvin offered guitar kits as early as the 1960’s. Carvin continued to manufacture their own pickups.





'54 Carvin #3664 -
2 - 12" speakers 25 watt
s
The Carvin company began building guitar amplifiers as early as the 1950’s. The appearance of their early amplifiers were similar to Fender or Gibson amplifiers. The amplifiers were every bit as good as comparable Fender amplifiers, but were sold direct to the public at half the price as Fender amps.

1957 Model #3-SGB


Carvin’s sales were always direct to the public. This was a niche that other manufactures never pursued, but it was the key to Carvin's success. Their only stores were their own retail outlets, that were not opened until 1991. These three locations were in Southern California, and include their Escondido factory.



1956 Catalog cover



Their early catalogs were crudely done as mimeographed flyers, with descriptions of the guitars and amps. They had black and white photographs of the products.





1976 Carvin Catalog



By 1976 Carvin began offering color catalogs.








1976 Carvin CM96 guitar


This same year, Carvin guitars came with all the bells and whistles, that included pickup phasing switches, coil tap, and stereo controls. Bodies were made in the USA, the necks were made in Germany by Hòfner.





Kiesel Guitars
In 2015, Carvin split into two divisions. Their new guitars were re-branded under the brand name Kiesel. Audio equipment remained under the name Carvin Audio.


1979 Carvin Audio and Amplifiers
As best as I can tell, Carvin began offering first class audio mixing consoles, and power amplifiers in 1979. Their equipment was of professional quality. Initial offerings were from 4 channels to 16 channels with 8 outputs. Carvin also manufactured stage monitors, and professional speaker systems.

Recently they added digital mixing boards, microphones, wireless systems, in-ear monitors, and power conditioners.

Carvin Endorsements


Carvin guitar amplifiers were legendary. Steve Vai was an endorser. The late Alan Holdsworth played his Carvin signature model.


Carvin Vintage Series 16/5 watt amp



Carvin Vintage series tube guitar amplifiers were comparable to better known brands, at a much lower price.






Carvin BX 1600 bass amp


Carvin bass amplifiers, sold as the BX series and as well as their cabinets were great values. These were rated from 250 watts to 2000 watts RMS.

Carvin Audio

Unfortunately Carvin equipment will no longer be available. The website is offering remaining stock, but most stock has already been sold.


2017 Kiesel FG1
Kiesel still offers gorgeous guitars and basses, as well as guitar and bass pickups, bodies, kits, necks, and parts.

Carvin guitars and amplifiers have always been under the radar when compared to Fender, Gibson, and Vox.

Those who own Carvin products swear by them.

Click on the links below the pictures for sources. Click on the links in the text for further information.
©UniqueGuitar Publications





Categories: General Interest

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