Arlan Ettinger of Guernsey’s, who’ll host an auction of over 250 celebrity-owed and historic guitars this weekend at Bohemian National Hall in New York (also available online).
“I don’t know if it’s strange” he says, of shelling out so much money for,say,a guitar played by Eddie Van Halen in 1982, which you can own for an estimated $60-80,000.
This is a cool and amazing opportunity so totally go check it out.
While some prog rock was great and was every bit as transcendent as a work by Mahler or Dvorak but at it’s worse it was just ridiculous.
Prog rock’s heydays lasted from the mid sixties to the early eighties and combined aspects of 20th Century avant-garde, classical, jazz, folk and rock.
While some people like Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis, and Kate Bush had a decidedly theatrical flair and incorporated multi media shows others did not.
Despite the butterfly capes and flower masks there were some great guitarists in prog so let’s take a look.
1. Edgar Froese. Froese was the Lemmy of prog rock becoming the one constant member of Tangerine Dream. Despite appearing on over 100 Tangerine Dream albums Froese recorded a staggering number of solo albums too. Froese is primarily known as a keyboardist Froese was no slouch on the guitar. His highly compressed, fuzzed out, delay and reverb drenched playing can be heard on many Tangerine Dream albums.
2. Allan Holdsworth. Even though Holdsworth is now more known as a jazz fusion guitarist he played with Soft Machine from 1973-1975. Throughout the years Holdsworth has sought to downplay his involvement with the band by stating he wasn’t happy with his playing then I will will counter and say I think this is where he was the most exciting. It should be noted that Police guitarist Andy Summers briefly played guitar with Soft Machine in 1968. Another Soft Machine guitarist of note is Gong founder Daevid Allen.
3. Steve Rothery. Rothery is Marillion’s longest continuous member. His playing is lush, sophiticated and melodic and well worth checking out.
4. Steve Wilson, Porcupine Tree. Prog is still alive but is unlikely to reclaim it’s once lofty perch. That doesn’t stop Neo prog bands like Porcupine Tree, Spock’s Beard, IQ and Dark Matter from waving the prog banner. Guitarist Steve Wilson has guided Porcupine Tree since the mid eighties even though the band has been on hold since 2010. Wilson has expressed a desire to record a new Porcupine Tree album but has said he was unsure what direction to go because he’s stated he’s tired of metal and dislikes jazz.
5. Devin Townsend. In a genre that’s difficult to classify Townsend has spent his career defying convention and expectation. For those with a long memory Townsend’s name may ring a bell because he was the vocalist on Steve Via’s “Sex and Religion” album. After stormy tenure with Via Townsend formed his highest profile band Strapping Young Lad. Strapping Young Lad took joyous pleasure in making abrasive music that was often sprinkled with comic elements. After disbanding SYL Townsend has since ventured into prog, electronic, cabaret and ambient.
Prog isn’t every one’s cup of tea because there’s only so many Mellotrons and crumhorns you can take.
Even though Opeth, Mastodon, and Tool all have prog leanings there’s more than enough crunchy guitars dedicated hesher happy.
First off, Antone’s, Austin’s “Home of the Blues” Is back! Can I get an AMEN!?!
With a host of amazing blues royalty making their way back to this hollowed mecca, there comes some of the most loved and new residencies every week. So almost every night you can get your blues prescription filled (Ahhhhh…)
Wednesday nights are incredibly special with the Tommy Shannon Blues Band, featuring Tommy on Bass (of course), David Holt/guitar (Storyville & more) and Tommy Taylor/drums (Eric Johnson & more).
On Wednesday 2/10/16 we were served up a special treat when Bill Carter (Austin Music Hall of Famer & Songwriter) brought his harp skills to the trio. Soon into the set the band was joined by Double Trouble drummer Chris Layton. Chris sat in and finished the set with the band (see the video below).
Having Antone’s back is the best thing that could happen to a Blues lover.
500 Words History of the Flying V
There are some guitars that are just cool and the Flying V is one of them. Just throw one over your neck and you become equal parts Albert King, Jimi Hendrix, Lonnie Mack and Michael Schenker.
Initially designed in 1957 as a way to attract customers away from the upstart Fender company the Flying V would not debut until 1958.
I can only imagine the shock when the Flying V had its official coming out party due to it’s Alexander Calder meets Chevrolet Bel Air styling.
Not only was the V’s styling a departure from some of Gibson’s better known guitars it was the first production guitar Gibson made using korina.
While the V was not an initial hit there was enough demand for Gibson do three production runs (40 guitars each) during the first year of production.
That early success was short-lived, however, and when only 17 Vs left the Gibson factory in 1959 Gibson and the V was on it’s way to obscurity.
Fortunately there were a fair number of “Vs” floating around during the late 1950s and they found their way into the hands of both Lonnie Mack and Albert King.
Another early V owner was the Kinks’ Dave Davies. Durning The Kinks’ 1965 American tour Davies’ lost his touring guitar and out of desperation Davies stopped in a local music shop was able to buy a NOS V for $60.
In a somewhat surprising turn of events there was enough pent up demand for these unusual guitars for Gibson to relaunch the V in 1966. Unlike the ’58 V the ’66 was made out of mahogany and had numerous cosmetic, hardware, changes and even changes to the body design.
Sadly, like the original ‘58s the ’66 relaunch was short lived and by 1970 the V was once again no more.
Oddly enough in ’71 Gibson made the extremely short lived Flying V Medallion (essentially a ’66 with a slightly shorter headstock) and in 1975 Gibson again brought the V back from the dead.
Another unusual V was the so called 1978 “V2”. Designer Tim Shaw’s radically reworked the V by giving it a multi ply hardwood body and ditched the PAF style pickups in favor of the “boomerang” pickup. Perhaps the biggest change with the V2 was the fundamental sound of the guitar. Shaw’s “boomerang” pickups were initially designed much more like a single coil rather than a fatter, more robust humbucker.
The V2 limped along but it was a costly and difficult guitar to make. Later versions sported a simplified body design, a single ply maple cap and “dirty finger” exposed coil humbuckers.
Despite some cost cutting measures Gibson discontinued the V2 in 1983.
In recent years Gibson has released many variations of the V both under the Gibson and Epiphone labels.
If history shows us anything the story of the Flying V is far from over.
Over the years there has been many companies making numerous variations of the V, most notably the Jackson “Randy Rhoads” Concorde.
Whether your taste runs to cool electric blues or to blistering hot metal there may be a V out there with your name on it.