Unplugged

Legends

Steve Gaines

On the cover of the only studio album that he was given time to record with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Steve Gaines, like the rest of the band, appears in the center surrounded by fire. And there may not be a more graphic definition of what he did for this band, by re-igniting the fire that seemed extinct and putting them back in their place as one of...

Alex Lifeson

Canadian guitar shredder Alex Lifeson (born Alexandar Zivojinovich) was part of the rock trio Rush along with Neil Peart/drums and Geddy Lee/vocals/bass, who carved a groove into progressive blues/metal/rock that still resonates and is recognised as some of the cleanest, yet rawest sounds ever put to vinyl. They were a heavy influence on acts like...

John Lee Hooker

He was known as “The King of Boogie”, a pillar in not only blues music, but a figure who transcended time and space, a true artistic legend, from his meager beginnings with his slow, bluesy approach on a simple guitar, to the heights of stardom even into his 70s, always listened to, heard, and everybody wanted a piece of him. John Lee Hooker...

Jerry Garcia

In 1959 Cortázar wrote a story called The Pursuer in memory of the great Charlie Parker, where a saxophonist tries to penetrate reality through the notes of his sax, it seems to me a good analogy to Jerry Garcia, an insatiable pursuer of notes, (possibly the rock guitarist with the most hours recorded) not always inspired but in search of nirvana...

Joe Satriani

Joe Satriani is the most commercially successful instrumental guitar soloist the world has ever seen. He has 6 gold and platinum records, has sold over 10 million copies to date, and has been nominated for 15 Grammy Awards so far. Impressive street creds indeed! So how did this all begin? On September 18, 1970, the legendary Jimi Hendrix...

Roger McGuinn

Roger McGuinn is one of the most influential guitarists in history. Few have made more people buy a guitar looking to unravel his sound. McGuinn is to Rickenbacker what Chet Atkins is to Gretsch, the man who comes to mind when you think of one of these guitars. Perhaps there were others before him who played one, but it seems evident who Tom Petty,...

Syd Barrett

Of all the rock stories full of myths, legends, and tortured souls, perhaps none is more tragic than that of Syd Barrett, the crazy diamond who created Pink Floyd, and shone a brilliant light for a short time until completely vanishing into the darkness. It’s impossible to separate Barrett from his legend, unlike others, Barrett didn’t die...

Mick Jones

How can one explain the tremendous importance of the Clash? The Londoners were not, by any means, virtuosos on their instruments, but they had what makes rock & roll big, raw energy, rage, fury, heart, and most importantly, the songs. In a way, they were the face of the rebirth of rock & roll through punk. They were also the band who best...

Matt 'Guitar' Murphy

Matt ‘Guitar’ Murphy (December 29, 1929 – June 15, 2018) was such an elite guitarist, he was invited to play with a ton of greats who eagerly sought his nimble talents. It’s a long list starting off with Howlin’ Wolf as early as the late 40s to his appearance in The Blues Brothers 1980 hit movie with John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. In this...

Derek Trucks

Normally there are two different points of view about life: one says that it is unjust and terrible, while the other says that itis beautiful; but it could be that neither are right and that life is unjust and terrible, as well as beautiful. Life took Duane Allman away from us at 24 years of age, a tremendous injustice and cruelty, but life gave us...

Steve Vai

You just turned 20, you’ve spent the last 7 or 8 years of your life in your bedroom studying up to 15 hours a day, the last 2 you even dare to try transcribing the most complex pieces from a mind as twisted as Frank Zappa’s and now you are before him auditioning for a spot in his band as guitarist. You greet him, strap on the guitar, and nice...

Paul Weller

Paul Weller is a restless fellow, always willing to take one step forward rather than settle down and live on his money. And believe me, if anyone can do it, it is the ‘Modfather’, one of the most respected and admired personality in British music, someone who has managed to create work as big as the greatest, the iconic figures from the 60s...

Mike Oldfield

Michael Gordon Oldfield, born May 15, 1953, English multi-instrumentalist musician and composer, became a giant force on the music scene behind his symphonic masterpiece Tubular Bells release in 1973, where he played over 20 instruments on the multi-layered opus. But we’ll get to that later. Let’s start where he started, at age 14, after...

Dick Dale

If someone is called, deservedly, the king of surf music and the father of heavy metal it is because that someone is very important when we ‘talk guitars’. Dick Dale got his iconic sound, creating surf music on the way, by making his guitar sound like two of his passions - Gene Krupa's drums and the roar of the waves when he surfed them on...

Wayne Kramer

Detroit was known in the early 1960s for two things, being the motor city, where most American cars were made, and for being the headquarters of Motown (the name of the famous record company, which was nothing other than the acronym of Motor Town) - but it is also known for being one of the toughest. One with a future as grey as the...

Steve Marriott

Steve Marriott had a giant voice locked in the body of a boy, everybody was amazed when they heard him, and he was the main point of reference for all British singers that came after him, from Rod Stewart to Paul Rodgers, then on to Robert Plant and Joe Cocker. But what sets him apart from the rest is that he was also a remarkable guitarist and an...

Lowell George

Lowell George was born in the very mecca of cinema, Hollywood, on April 13, 1945; the son of a furrier who worked for the studios and decorated his house with photos of the great stars. But, from childhood, it could be seen that George was not called to follow in his father's footsteps in the film industry but to become a great...

Steve Howe

Londoner Steve Howe was born in the spring of 1947. He picked up the guitar at 12, after listening to one Chet Atkins, who had a contagious style of guitar playing that afflicted young enthusiasts the world over. He was also a keen follower of jazz masters Django Reinhardt and duo Les Paul & Mary Ford, so, how in hell did he wind up as one of...

Mick Ralphs

They once asked Mick Ralphs what mark between 1-10  he would give himself as a guitarist, his answer shows his modesty but also his intelligence: “Minus 20. I never think about things like that. I like to be an all-round guitar player who can play rhythm and lead breaks. That’s because I’m a songwriter and songwriting is all about doing...