A Tribute to Les Paul

Les Paul with a Les Paul. Les Paul, the man who lent his name to what has become the definitive rock’ n ‘roll guitar, would have turned 100 this year.  Nicknamed the Wizard of Waukesha, the musician and inventor changed music forever when he introduced the solid-body electric guitar. Over the last few weeks, we’ve read countless tributes to his legacy.  This one from NPR’s All Things Considered is one of our favorites.  It covers everything from his love of the jazz guitar to the car accident that could have ended his career.  It even features his former bandmate Lou Pallo! If you love Les Paul as much as we do, make sure to give this story a listen.  Read More →

Long Lost Lennon Guitar to Hit Auction Block

Come November John Lennon’s 1962 jumbo J-160E Gibson acoustic guitar could have a new owner. Julien’s Auctions announced the famous guitar will be auctioned off this November in California. Experts predict that the guitar will break the $965,000 auction record set in 2013 for an electric guitar owned by Bob Dylan.  Darren Julien, owner of the auction house, says the guitar was supposed to have been one of Lennon’s favorites. Lennon used the Gibson to record the Beatles hit single Love Me Do and played it during live shows and writing sessions.  The guitar went missing in 1963 during a Christmas gig in London.  It resurfaced 50 years later in a U.S. thrift shop. The guitar’s authenticity was verified by Andy Babiuk, a vintage guitar dealer who has written extensively... [Read more]

Tony Iommi Searching for Next Guitar Star

Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, 1984 during Black Sabbath File Photos in Long Beach, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chris Walter/WireImage) Tony Iommi, Black Sabbath’s legendary axeman, is joining the cast of Guitar Star, a new U.K. talent competition.  The guitarist will act as a mentor to the show’s contestants along with Lee Ritenour and Rodrigo y Gabriela.  The winner of the nine-week competition, which premieres June 9th on the Sky Arts Channel, will play on the main stage at the Latitude Festival in Henham Park, Suffolk from July 16 – 19. Iommi says he’s looking for a guitarist “who plays from the soul” as opposed “to somebody learning every single note and getting everything perfect.”  Check out this clip to hear more of what Iommi thinks... [Read more]

Portraits of the World’s Most Storied Rock Guitars

Portraits of the World’s Most Storied Rock Guitars

*This post was originally published by www.boingboing.net Most of the guitarists, bassists, and mandolin players in photographer Jay Blakesberg’s just released gem of a new book, Guitars That Jam: Portraits of the World’s Most Storied Rock Guitars, are members of bands that use rock, bluegrass, the blues, and R&B as launch pads for improvisational jams. But one artist stands apart from this group – Willie Nelson – who posed for Blakesberg in 2014 at the Lockin’ Music Festival in Arrington, Virginia with his famously beat-up classical guitar. Nelson calls his 1969 Martin N-20 “Trigger,” after the horse ridden by matinee idol Roy Rogers, but with all due respect to the red-headed stranger, Willie doesn’t quite get the metaphor right. Comparing his guitar, as well as... [Read more]

How Eddie Van Halen Hacks a Guitar

How Eddie Van Halen Hacks a Guitar

*This story was originally published in Popular Mechanics I’ve always been a tinkerer. It comes from my dad. Growing up, we lived in a house in Pasadena that had no driveway. You used an alley that ran through the middle of the block, behind all the houses, to get to your backyard or the garage. Well, the neighbor behind us had a U-Haul trailer up on car jacks and loaded with cinder block. One night my dad came home from a gig at three in the morning. He had a little heat going, he’d had a few drinks, so he says, “This thing is blocking me from getting in again.” So he got out of the car and tried to move it. As soon as he lifted the trailer, the jack fell over, and it chopped his finger off. This was a problem. Besides the obvious reasons, he played clarinet and... [Read more]

PRS Shows Mathematics of Rock Guitar Has Many Applications

PRS Shows Mathematics of Rock Guitar Has Many Applications

*This story was originally published by Forbes.com Paul Reed Smith was not content with just perfecting guitars used by rock & roll stars like Carlos Santana, Dave Navarro, John McLaughlin, and many others. After spending two decades building the instruments and improving on their design (through his Maryland-based PRS Guitars)—Smith is now focused on the waveforms, meaning the shapes of the signals, that guitars produce. He’s developing a mathematically-based way of extracting undetected data from those waveforms , as well as unseen data from digital images. Experts from the U.S. Navy and Johns Hopkins like what they see and have formed partnerships with him, to try and apply his algorithms in both the defense and medical industries. Those in the rock music tech sector need... [Read more]

George Harrison’s ’63 Maton Sells for $480K

George Harrison’s ’63 Maton Sells for $480K

*This post was originally published by Rolling Stone on May 17, 2015 (FILES): This May 11, 2015 file photo shows musician George Harrison’s Mastersound Electric Guitar on display during a press preview at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York City. The guitar played by Harrison in the Beatles’ early days, previously on display in a British museum, goes on auction in New York on May 15, 2015, valued at $400,000 to $600,000. The electric guitar is the two-day auction’s star item, amid hundreds of possessions once owned by rock ‘n’ roll’s biggest stars, which auctioneers hope will rake in millions. AFP PHOTO / Files / JEWEL SAMAD George Harrison‘s Maton Mastersound guitar, used during the Beatles’ live performances in the summer of 1963, sold for... [Read more]

Vigier Promotes Smoke-Free World

Vigier Promotes Smoke-Free World

VIGIER GUITARS’ VISION OF A SMOKE-FREE WORLD Vigier is proud to introduce its first foray into the world of “Tobacco Bursts” with the Anti-Tobacco Matte finish. A matte finish featuring an understated two tone burst, the name comes from our vision of a smoke-free world. Vigier says they couldn’t name any product of theirs after such a harmful and dangerous product. So they took the opposite approach. This new finish will be displayed at Winter NAMM 2015 on an Excess Original 5-String. Vigier is best known as the pioneer of carbon fiber technology in guitar design. For more info on Vigier Guitars: http://www.vigierguitars.com/    Read More →

Weapon Of Choice

Weapon Of Choice

Stratocaster (via npr) Quick: Name an American product that’s had a worldwide impact, is more popular than ever, yet still looks the same as it did when it was introduced more than a half-century ago? Here’s a hint: It might be the only musical instrument whose fame rivals that of the people who’ve played it. (read on at NPR)    Read More →

Meet Michael Rudes of Vintage Guitar Gallery

Meet Michael Rudes of Vintage Guitar Gallery

  Meet Michael Rudes, owner of Vintage Guitar Gallery of Long Island. Let’s find out more about Michael, his interests in music and gear, and his impressive New York-based shop. How and when did you get started in the guitar business? I started thinking about opening a business in 2012 and by 2013 opened my first store at 1016 Grand Boulevard in Deer Park. After having a successful first year in business I started talking with Chris Briggs from Briggs Music in Huntington about a possible partnership between our two shops. In July of 2014 I began moving my inventory over to a specially designed climate controlled space within Briggs Music located at 764B Park Avenue in Huntington, New York. Are you a guitar player or a collector yourself? I am both a player and a collector.... [Read more]