Unplugged

Legends

Guido Lembo

Dear Guido,   You opened the door of your house to me on the night of December 31, 1999. And you did it without knowing me: I was a friend of Maurizio's, "another son" for you, and that was enough to consider me, too, as one of the family. So did your wife Anna and your two good children, Marianna and Gianluigi. It was an important...

The Black Keys - Dropout Boogie (2022)

Bohemian Blues  The Black Keys - “America’s most trusted band,” according to The Late Show’s Stephen Colbert – are celebrating the twentieth anniversary of their first-ever album, The Big Come Up, by returning to their outsider blues-soaked roots. Dropout Boogie, (13 May 2022; Nonesuch records), their 11th studio album,...

Roy Orbison

When you have a voice like Roy Orbison's, little else matters. Elvis himself said of him that he was "the greatest singer in the world" and Bruce Springsteen has always said that when he recorded Born To Run he wanted an album "with lyrics like Dylan's, that sounded like it was produced by Phil Spector but, above all, that his voice sounded like...

Jerry Reed

Many people know Jerry Reed as Burt Reynolds’ side-kick in Smokey and the Bandit, but guitar players know him as one of the best finger-pickers who ever lived.   One proof of that came in 1967 when Reed, who was fishing at the time, got a call from Felton Jarvis (then Elvis Presley's producer at RCA Victor) asking him if he could...

Harvey Mandel

The name of our protagonist may not ring a bell at first, but we're going to give you a few clues about the enormous guitarist we're talking about: he came out of the Chicago blues scene where he got to play with all the greats, from Howlin' Wolf to Buddy Guy, he recorded one of the foundational blues rock albums with Charlie Musselwhite, he took...

John Frusciante

John Frusciante's dreams came true very quickly but also, in a very short time, turned into nightmares. He became the guitarist in his favourite band as a teenager and at just 21 was the key to making them superstars, but the fame was not what he was looking for and he blew it all, band included, when they hit the big time. Six years later,...

Neal Schon

Still Believin’ As the 1980s began, Journey –at that time comprising guitarist Neal Schon, singer Steve Perry, drummer Steve Smith and the band's newest member, keyboardist Jonathan Cain - rented a warehouse in Oakland, California, to work on new songs for their latest album, Escape (1981). Previously Cain had considered abandoning music...

J. Geils

My blood runs coldMy memory has just been soldMy angel is the centrefoldAngel is the centrefold   With these evocative words the J. Geils Band – incorporating, in one of their most famous incarnations, guitarist J. Geils, drummer Stephen Bladd, trumpeter Magic Dick, keyboardist Seth Justman, bassist Danny Klein and vocalist Peter...

Slash Feat Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators - 4 (2022)

Hard Rock Swagger While 4 - Slash’s latest solo album with Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators (11 February 2022; Gibson Records) - serves up all the quality hard rock that fans have come to expect, it also represents a number of innovations.    First, the band travelled to Nashville and chose Dave Cobb to produce....

Peter Gabriel

For Peter Gabriel, genres are totally reductive and meaningless. He believes there is only good or bad music, whether you call it progressive or punk, country or soul, rock or world music, the important thing for him will always be how a song is arrived at and the processes it goes through. Whether the song is by Randy Newman or Youssou N'Dour, one...

Bob Marley

"One good thing about music, when it hits, you feel no pain.... / Hit me with music now, oh now, hit me with music now / One good thing about music, when it hits, you feel no pain, so hit me with music now."  By the time Western ears began to be delightfully hit by Bob Marley's music, he had been recording in Jamaica for more than ten...

Nick Valensi

When one of the few rock stars of the 21st century, Alex Turner, opens his band's latest album by exclaiming "I just wanted to be one of The Strokes", one can understand the enormous weight of the band that was leading the last time that rock & roll and playing guitar was considered cool and was a massive hit with the public. That band's lead...

Zakk Wylde

 A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing? Zakk Wylde looks like Thor - with his ripped muscles, a long blond beard and swathed in black leather - but he sings as sweetly as an angel. He plays piano beautifully, but has named his kids Hendrix, Rhoads and Page. He looks ferocious to many, but writes such touching songs that countless fans write to him...

Albert Lee

“I’m Albert Lee and I’ve been around for quite a few years,” says the Grammy-award winning guitarist, with a wry smile on his face.   It is a typically self-effacing introduction to a man who has played alongside the Everley Brothers, Eric Clapton and Jerry Lee Lewis, as well as taking the place of stars like Jimmy Page and...

Rick Nielsen

Kurt Cobain, one of Cheap Trick's biggest fans, once said that Nirvana sounded like them, albeit with louder guitars. Almost anyone receiving such praise from one of the greatest icons in rock history would be proud, but Rick Nielsen is not just anyone, so he did not hesitate to say that he found it offensive, saying: "my guitars sound fucking...

Nigel Tufnel

What can we at Guitars Exchange say about Nigel Tufnel and Spinal Tap that hasn't already been said? We're talking about a unique guitarist, as well as one of the greatest collectors out there, someone who has a '59 Les Paul, a Black Beauty, a Fender Bass VI with the label still on that you can't play (or even look at), an L5, a '50s Flying V and...

Dick Wagner

When your name is Richard Wagner, it is understandable that you are good at music - and also that you should choose another name if you don't want to be confused with the creator of Ride of the Valkyries. But, even so, there are not many people to whom the name of Dick Wagner says something, even though he has been heard by millions of people...

Jim Morrison

It has been 50 years since the death of Jim Morrison, one of the greatest myths in the history of rock music. He is a character that continues to fascinate and repel almost in equal measure; one of those controversial figures that generates absolute love or total contempt. That is something that wouldn't matter much to him either way, the leader of...

Tommy Bolin

In Tommy Bolin's final live appearance opening for Jeff Beck on 3 December, 1976, he encored with his song Post Toastee, on which he sang: “Well my mind’s been overflowin’, ‘bout some things that don’t seem right […] Seems I got to beware.”   Bolin then posed with Beck backstage for his final photo, which appeared in...