Unplugged

Legends

AC/DC - Highway To Hell (1979)

AC/DC have been called a rock/blues band, a hard rock band, a heavy metal band, but in their own words they are “a rock and roll band, nothing more, nothing less”. Their first breakthrough came in 1979 with the release of Highway To Hell, which sold over a million copies and launched them towards the stars in the biggest of ways, they went on...

Magic Sam

Samuel Gene Maghett is a name you will not likely  know until we unveil him as Magic Sam, then maybe you’ll have some idea as to who he was and the impact he had on the Chicago blues scene in the late 50s and 60s. So here’s the story...     Born into a sharecropper's family in February 1937 in Grenada County,...

Buddy Holly

The musical legacy of Buddy Holly is, together with Chuck Berry, the most important of the first generation of rock & roll. It's a legacy that is the most diverse from the fathers of rock, it is sufficient to listen to Words Of Love to discover that jangle sound of the Byrds and the Beatles; I'm Gonna Love You Too can be considered one of...

Mike Campbell

It is impossible to separate the life and work of Mike Campbell from Tom Petty, so we shall start in the moment that they met. It was 1970 and Petty was forming a new band together with his childhood friend Tom Leadon. They were going to try out a drummer in his home and when Petty arrived he told him that they also wanted to include another...

Elmore James

Elmore James is the ‘King of the Slide guitar’ and one of the most important guitarists in history; it could be that Duane Allman or Ry Cooder play better than him but let’s put it like this, without Elmore James there wouldn’t be Duane or Ry. Or if another example is preferred, Angus Young plays better than Chuck Berry, but certainly...

Mick Taylor

"It's just that demon life has got you in its sway"   Mick Taylor played with fire and got burnt. He was part of “the greatest rock n roll band in the world” in its best period and was the best guitarist, technically, that they have had, doing solos that Keith Richards, Brian Jones and Ron Wood could only dream about; but in...

Robby Krieger

Robby Krieger is a very special guitarist. No one has sounded, either before or since, quite like him. The sounds that his fingers got out of an SG seem to be produced by another instrument that is completely distinct to that also used by Angus Young, Pete Townshend and Tony Iommi. However it is clear that there are few rock guitarists who...

John McLaughlin

Who was that English guitarist seated beside Paco de Lucía and this other guitarist whom I didn’t know at that time and who was playing an acoustic Ovation at  such speed that you could hardly see which notes he was playing? His fingers traveled the fretboard of the neck with dizzying speed, but the sound seemed to come quicker than his...

Bo Diddley

There are guitarists that need hundreds of notes to make you notice them, Bo Diddley can do that with just one chord. For Diddley everything is in the rhythm and the guitar becomes a percussion tool that stays etched in memory. Few can do so much with so little, he is the only guitarist with a beat linked to his name, the ‘Bo Diddley beat’, as...

Scotty Moore

Before there was a Mick and a Keith, a Robert Plant and a Jimmy Page, there was Elvis and Scotty Moore. The first fellow needs no introduction, he’s still the King, but not so many people remember a Winfield Scott Moore III, born December 27, 1931 and died June 28 2016, . Something not at all fair if we remember that Scotty was the first guitar...

Dickey Betts

Dickey Betts is one of the best guitarists of all time. Period. Dickey Betts is not usually recognised  as one of the best guitarists of all time. Why not? Possibly because of the giant shadow cast by Duane Allman, a man with whom he invented a new way to play the guitar, where the roles of lead and rhythm guitar are forgotten, and as in jazz,...

Dimebag Darrell

On December 8, 2004 Dimebag Darrell took the stage with his recently formed band Damageplan, before getting started he followed his lifelong ritual, he addressed  his brother and drummer Vinnie Paul, and greeted him with their war cry, “Van Halen!”, all ready to begin their second last performance of the tour. It turned out to be their...

Frank Zappa

Trying to unlock the puzzle of one of the most restless minds that the world of 20th century music has given us, is an arduous task. In his barely 52 years among us Frank Zappa delivered a huge musical catalogue, with over 100 albums, dozens of collections, and various singles. His music is as unclassifiable as he is. He played dozens of...

Nick Drake

Guitarist and songwriter Nick Drake is a cult folk hero who is revered as both a guitarist and songwriter among people of all generations. Every year scores of people from all over the world gather in Warwickshire’s Tanworth-in-Arden, the town where he spent a large part of his life, to pay tribute. In 2000 a TV commerical made his track...

Albert Collins

They have called Albert Collins many things, The Master of the Telecaster, The Razor Blade, but perhaps he’s best remembered as The Iceman, after those sharp cutting solos like an ice pick that he used to get out of Telecaster. But despite all that, when Collins took the stage, the temperature rose, not only was he a brilliant guitarist, but also...

Malcolm Young

Malcolm Young has died and Guitars Exchange would like to pay tribute to him. The news has come to us while we plan the following articles, among which is a special about rhythm guitarists, in which his name was the first to come to our minds, along with Steve Cropper. Despite Malcolm ‘being in the shadow’ because he gave the spotlight to...

Kirk Hammett

In 1983 a Californian band called Metallica was preparing to record its first album in the city of New York. That band was formed by Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, a newcomer Cliff Burton and a guitarist named Dave Mustaine who increasingly mixed his taste for drugs with a tendency to violence that made it increasingly unbearable to live with him in...

Bonnie Raitt

American blues singer/songwriter Bonnie Raitt became a superstar after 10 albums and no commercial success until her 1989 blockbuster Grammy winning album Nick of Time. It vaulted her into the limelight and she hasn’t stopped since. She has amassed 10 Grammys, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2000), is listed at 50 on Rolling...

Bert Jansch

When Bert Jansch is spoken of, two points are usually highlighted: first, that one of his biggest fans, by his own admission, took his arrangement from the traditional folk song Blackwaterside and converted it into an instrumental on Led Zeppelin’s song, Black Mountain Side, and then put his own name to it: Jimmy Page. The second is that...