Tag Archives: michael leonard

Inside Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti

To many fans, it’s the ultimate Led Zeppelin album. It’s certainly the most epic. Physical Graffiti was released on February 24 1975. Forty years on, it’s reissued on 23 February 2015, remastered by Jimmy Page, with out-takes and rare cuts. Here are some must-know and “who cares?” facts about Zeppelin’s ultimate throwdown of bombastic rocktastic recording.
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Doug Aldrich Talks New Band Revolution Saints and Les Paul Legends

If you like tough-punching ’80s-style melodic hard rock, Revolution Saints may be your new favorite band of 2015. It’s a supergroup trio of Deen Castronovo (Journey, on drums and lead vocals), Jack Blades (Night Ranger, on bass and vocals) and Doug Aldrich (Dio, Whitesnake and many others, on guitar.) Castronovo calls it “80s-vibe rock…
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The Guitar Genius of Jeff Beck

Of the prime “Surrey Delta” players of 1960s U.K. blues – Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck – it’s Beck who is the connoisseur’s choice. Although hardly a household name like EC and Page, Beck is rightly considered by those in-the-known as one of the most unique guitar stylists ever. Beck turns 70 on 24 June 2014 but, at his own pace, he is working on a new album that will undoubtedly again push the boundaries of electric guitar. Happy birthday, Geoffrey
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10 Great Session Guitarists

You may think playing in a band is sometimes tough, but it’s nothing compared with being a session guitarist. You’ll be playing other artists’ songs. You’ll be required to work very quickly. You often need to be able to interpret others’ ideas without your own ego coming into play. And you need to be super-versatile enough to change playing style and tone for whatever your paymasters demand. But also to have your own ideas to flesh-out the bones of…
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The Rolling Stones’ Best Album Is…?

Even though The Rolling Stones seem determined to continue to tour, it’s unlikely there will ever be another new Rolling Stones album. After 50-plus years, that’s understandable. So, what about their catalog? The Rolling Stones have rarely been album “conceptualists” – unlike peers The Beatles or various prog rock troupes that followed – and most of their albums are simply their most recent songs laid-down and smacked out into stores. There are good and not-so-good albums…
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Do Led Zeppelin Matter in 2014?

Led Zeppelin start a thorough reissue program of releases in June 2014 with remastered discs on multiple formats ofLed Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II and Led Zeppelin III. All other original Led Zeppelin albums will eventually get the same style of expanded releases. But does it matter? Do you care? For debate’s sake here’s some Yes and No arguments. Please join in. YES! 2014 Led Zeppelin matters! 1. A legendary rock band such as Led Zeppelin still…
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The Gibson Interview: Johnny A (Part 2)

Boston guitar maestro Johnny A is currently busy putting the finishing touches to his forthcoming March 2014 album,Driven. If you haven’t heard or seen Johnny A, do your ears a favor and listen. From slick jazz-motifs to rock licks to inventive cover versions, Johnny is one of modern guitar’s instrumental masters. In Part 2 of his extensive talk with Gibson.com, Johnny A talks more about his signature Gibson Custom Johnny A model, Bigsbys…
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The Gibson Interview: Johnny A (Part 1)

Sometimes, great players go too unnoticed — even in the Internet age. Johnny A is one. A supreme talent, Johnny is one of the best instrumental guitar players you’ll likely hear, but he’s still not a household name. 2014 could and should change that. He melds jazz, blues and rock with deftness, all with a delicately lyrical touch and great tone. Gibson.com asked Boston-born Johnny about his forthcoming new album, recording methods, guitars and how to cover…
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Mic Techniques for Guitar

Getting a great tone from your guitar an amp is just one part of your recording challenge. You also need to learn how to best capture that tone. As with all recording techniques, there is no 100% correct method – just a lot of differing opinions. But if you want to find out what’s best for you for recording an amp with a microphone, it’s good to know what experts think. Lessons from Jimmy Page. When I interviewed Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, I asked him: “what is your proudest guitar…
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Bernie Marsden Talks The Beast, The Blues, Bonamassa and David Coverdale Reunion

With the Collector’s Choice™ #8 Les Paul “The Beast” selling like hot cakes, Bernie Marsden has had a fine 2013 already. But there’s more to come from the veteran BritBlues-rocker. Gibson’s Collector’s Choice™ #8 Les Paul “The Beast” is the replica of the fabled ’59 LP Marsden used throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, from bands Wild Turkey to Cozy Powell’s Hammer to hit days with Whitesnake. Marsden still plays it now, of course. But he couldn’t be happier than having a Collector’s …
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10 Tips on Beating Stage Fright

Many top artists seem natural extroverts and supernatural performers, but severe stage fright is more common than you may think. Eddie Van Halen, David Bowie, John Lydon, Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson, Rod Stewart, Adele, Ozzy Osbourne and Rihanna are just a few platinum artists who have confessed to debilitating stage fright. What is it? And how do you conquer it? What is “Stage Fright?” “To say that I suffer from pre-show nerves is like saying that when…
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Pop’s Music? 20 Father / Son Guitarists

Here are 20 father/son guitarists that suggest music could be in your bones. Paul McCartney + James McCartney. Your dad being a Beatle must be weird enough. The upside for James McCartney? He’ll never need money. The downside? He’ll always be compared to his legendary father, Paul. Yet James McCartney is a talented singer/songwriter/guitarist in his own right. James McCartney released his first full-length album in 2013. Establishing his own identity, his album is aptly…
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A Salute to Alex Lifeson of Rush

Rush guitar god Alex Lifeson turns 60 on August 27. A founding member of Rush, he’s dazzled over numerous albums, adapted his guitar style, and has seen Rush go from one of the most “uncool” bands on the planet to… actually, quite a cool band really. Rush do their own thing, whether you love them or hate them. What’s never been in doubt is the trio’s musicianship. Geddy Lee (bass/vocals) and Neil Peart (drums/lyrics) are regularly voted “best ever” rock players in their field…
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Top Tips For Left-Handed Guitar Players

The world may not be “right” on a lot of days, but it’s certainly a right-handed world. Left-handers – estimated at 10-15% of all people – get a raw deal. Scissors, golf clubs, special non-smudging pens (think about writing on paper with your left, right-handers!), jar openers, gardening tools and more… All are specialized products you may need if you are left-handed. And then there are guitars. Many years ago, left-handers simply adapted as best they could. Albert King simply flipped his guitar and …
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The Wisdom of Slash

Saul Hudson – a.k.a. Slash – has just turned 48 yet he shows no signs of slowing down into a comfortable middle age. He has plans for a new album with Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators, and a new variation on his favorite Gibson Les Pauls is out now. With a career of success and excess spanning three decades, Slash is also full of insightful guitar anecdotes and advice on how he’s become the most-revered hard rock guitarist since, what, the 1970s? Get your top hats and leather pants…
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The Gibson Interview: Ellie Goulding

Some artists are easy to pigeonhole, but that cannot be said of Ellie Goulding. The 26-year-old is a star in her native U.K. and is making increasing strides in the U.S. – her impressively diverse hit albums Lights and Halcyon have fans of all music tastes. Goulding is clearly something of a chameleon. She can deliver dance hits – see current smash “Burn” – as well as haunting guitar folk-rock and artsy-pop, all framed by her remarkable voice. What is not often mentioned is Goulding’s abilities as…
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Left-Handed Guitarists: the Famous and the Facts

Around 10-15% of the world’s people are left-handed. Why so few? No-one knows. Yet studies show that mathematicians, musicians, architects, and artists are more commonly left-handers than would be expected. When it comes to guitarists, that certainly seems to be true. Let’s look at guitar’s left-handers… some obvious, but others you’d never even know. The obvious biggies first – Jimi Hendrix, Tony Iommi, Kurt Cobain, Paul McCartney and many more play left-handed. But it wasn’t always…
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Brian Ray Talks McCartney, Steven Tyler and Gibsons

It must be great fun being Brian Ray. As a lead guitarist and bassist, he’s been in Paul McCartney’s band for over a decade. Before that, he was Musical Director for Etta James. He’s written/arranged for Smokey Robinson. In any spare time Ray has, he makes his own fine solo recordings, which he has now stepped up a notch with his fine new band, The Bayonets. The Bayonets are essentially Brian Ray (guitar/vox) and drummer Oliver Leiber (son of songwriting legend Jerry Leiber of …
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The World According to Ronnie Wood

2013 is a good year for Ronnie Wood. He’s just turned 66 – “I’m really lucky to have survived everything I put myself through,” he admits. Plus, The Rolling Stones play the Glastonbury festival for the first time ever on June 29. Wood was key in persuading his fellow Stones that “we must do this.” When you’re in a band with Keith Richards, you’ll always be “the other guitarist.” It wasn’t long ago that the other Stones referred to Wood as “the new boy” (he joined in 1975!)…
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Stars of the Les Paul “Black Beauty”

Gibson debuted the Les Paul Custom in 1954 and dubbed it the “Fretless Wonder.” Originally, black-finish Les Paul Customs came with one P-90 (bridge position) and one Alnico V pickup (neck position). It morphed, and soon had Seth Lover’s PAF humbuckers, and was also known as the “Black Beauty.” Now, you can buy a 20th Anniversary 1957 Les Paul Custom Black Beauty which is true to its ’57 vintage spec. Epiphone has its own glorious Black Beauty for players on a budget. Sunburst …
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