Category Archives: Guitarists

Steve Vai’s Bo is back

SteveGreat news everyone: Bo, Steve’s mirrored JEM that went missing this past weekend, has been found left in the bushes at the gate on Steve’s property. We do not have any more details on how it got there and will perhaps forever remain a mystery. The entire Vai camp is grateful for all the amazing outpouring of support we have seen regarding this issue over the last week. Bo is now ready for 2016 and all the notes she will once again be singing from Steve’s fingers and soul.

Steve Vai’s Guitar Stolen Outside L.A. Benefit Concert

Mark Davis, Getty Images Mark Davis, Getty Images

Steve Vai‘s “Bo” guitar was stolen outside a benefit concert today (Dec. 12) for Tony MacAlpine. Guitar tech James Shotwell is now offering a reward.

The instrument, a mirror Ibanex JEM with blue LEDs pictured above, vanished from the loading area of the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles. Vai is appearing there with Zakk Wylde, Billy Sheehan, Derek Sherinian, Mike Portnoy and John 5.

Vai’s Facebook page includes detailed information on “Bo,” including distinctive wear marks. “This is a one-off, irreplaceable guitar,” says Shotwell, who has worked for Dio Disciples’ Craig Goldy and the Lucky Strike Live venue in Los Angeles. “Anyone sees this guitar, contact me immediately! This isn’t hard to spot and is very unique.”

This wouldn’t be the first guitar Vai has lost. In fact, his web site lists a number of missing axes that have been “stolen, misplaced or loaned and never returned” – including a guitar used in the “Yankee Rose” video during Vai’s tenure in David Lee Roth‘s band, a black Ibanez loaned to a second studio engineer, and others.

MacAlpine, who is fighting colon cancer, has previously worked in bands with Vai (The Breed) and Sherinian (Planet X) as well as Portnoy and Sheehan (PSMS). Sheehan and John 5 are also Roth band alumni. Tragically, MacAlpine’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in June.

Read More: Steve Vai’s Guitar Stolen Outside L.A. Benefit Concert |

Spanish flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia dies at 66

World-renowned Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucia has died aged 66 in Mexico, reportedly of a heart attack while playing with his children on a beach.

The death of one of the most celebrated flamenco guitarists was announced by the mayor’s office in Algeciras, southern Spain, where he was born. He is said to have died in the Mexican resort of Cancun.

Francisco Gustavo Sánchez Gomes (21 December 1947 – 26 February 2014), known as Paco de Lucía, was a Spanish flamenco composer, guitarist and producer. A leading proponent of the New Flamenco style, he helped legitimize flamenco among the establishment in Spain, and was one of the first flamenco guitarists who has also successfully crossed over into other genres of music such as classical and jazz.

Richard Chapman and Eric Clapton, authors of Guitar: Music, History, Players, describe de Lucía as a “titanic figure in the world of flamenco guitar”, and Dennis Koster, author of Guitar Atlas, Flamenco, has referred to de Lucía as “one of history’s greatest guitarists.”

De Lucía was noted for his fast and fluent picados. A master of contrast, he often juxtaposes picados with rasgueados and other techniques and often adds abstract chords and scale tones to his compositions with jazz influences. These innovations saw him play a key role in the development of traditional Flamenco and the evolution of New Flamenco and Latin jazz fusion from the 1970s. He received acclaim for his recordings with flamenco singer Camarón de la Isla in the 1970s, recording 10 albums together

Some of his best known recordings include Río Ancho (later fused with Al Di Meola’s Mediterranean Sundance), Entre dos aguas, La Barrosa, Ímpetu, Cepa Andaluza and Gloria al Niño Ricardo. His collaborations with guitarists John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola and Larry Coryell in the late 1970s saw him gain wider popularity outside his native Spain. De Lucía formed the Paco de Lucía Sextet in 1981 with his brothers, singer Pepe de Lucía and guitarist Ramón de Algeciras, and collaborated with jazz pianist Chick Corea on their 1990 album, Zyryab.

In 1992, he performed live at Expo ’92 in Seville and a year later on the Plaza Mayor in Madrid. Starting in 2004 he greatly reduced his public performances, retiring from full touring, and typically gave several concerts a year, usually in Spain and Germany and at European festivals during the summer months.

News of his death became the top trend among Spanish users of Twitter. “Rest in peace,” wrote one tweeter. “You’ll teach the angels to play guitar!”

“One of my heroes died today,” wrote another. “One of the best musicians ever.”

“The Crank Master” Neil Zaza (Interview)

Neil Zaza, AKA “The Crank Master”, is an independent guitar player from Ohio, who is carving out a career in music using some very creative methods. A blistering guitarist who shames most other guitar-wielding human containers, Zaza balances his technical mastery with a keen melodic sense as well as a challenging compositional style. Zaza has consistently aimed for control over his musical career, and has definitely hit the bullseye.

Dan McAvinchey asked Zaza about his influences and musical goals, the advantages of digital home studio recording, and his ideas for others wishing to follow in his footsteps.

Dan McAvinchey: Neil, how did you get interested in music, and who were some guitarists that influenced your musical tastes?

Neil Zaza: I just always loved music and when I found that I could play it if I wanted to, I thought it was the greatest thing ever. To try to list some of the bands and/or players that influenced my own playing…that would be a very long list. I have to say that my number one influence from the beginning was Van Halen. I don’t think I sound like him at all, but I really was influenced by him in a fanatical way early on. I still listen to the first four records (the REAL Van Halen) and it still give me chills how great he was.

Another player that I feel has had a lasting impact would have to be Neal Schon. His phrasing and sense of melody are just outstanding and that is the stuff I try to emulate these days. Guitar playing is not about technique, but about melody and the translation of emotion.

Dan McAvinchey: Tell us about the guitars and other gear you are using to get the Zaza sound.

Neil Zaza: I have been changing gear around a lot lately. I have just fell in love with an amp that I just purchased from Dr. Z. Amplification here in Cleveland. It is a handmade, class A, hand soldered amp that just KILLS! It has the best tone I have ever heard in an amp and it is all over anything I am doing in the studio as well as live.

Other amps and stuff include a 5150 combo/half stack with a STRAIGHT cab, Rocktron PatchMate, Replifex, Rack Interface, Power Station, tube screamer, mxr phase 90, mxr flanger and a Lexicon Jam Man all controlled with an All Access pedal.

That is the live stuff. In the studio I have been using the Z as well as a Peavey Classic 30 with a 112 e cab. Guitar wise, I have been using my EVH Music Man, some Zion Ninety Telecasters, a G&L ASAT classic custom, and a G&L George Fullerton model. I love ’em all!

Dan McAvinchey: What are you hoping to achieve musically?

Neil Zaza: I am hoping to bridge the personal gap of what I feel inside, translating that to the instrument and finally to the audience. I really have come a long way from the “shredder” that I used to be. I have spent some time finding what it is that I want to say on guitar and how I want to say it. I really focus on melody as opposed to just riffs now which I feel really helps my playing as well as my compositions. I really am just trying to be myself.

Dan McAvinchey: What is your most recently completed project and what’s up for the future?

Neil Zaza: My just completed Christmas CD would have to be the most current one. I also am going to LA to record a project with drummer Robin DiMaggio (Steve Vai, Toni Braxton, Boyz 2 Men, Mariah Carey, etc.) that will be some heavy funk stuff.

headline Dan McAvinchey: How do you compose your music?

Neil Zaza: I really compose all the stuff I write with a guitar and a little hand held tape recorder to capture the idea. I really just play the guitar and hum the melody and go from there. I find that if it sounds good in that state, it is a good song.

Dan McAvinchey: Do you record at home or rent time at a commercial facility?

Neil Zaza: I do record in both my home studio as well as a commercial facility. I feel that I can get the best of both worlds like this. When I record at home, I can take the time to do the recording the way I want and take time on things that I feel are important to concentrate on. I don’t have to look at the clock and think about the bill that is running at the time. Then, I go to a bigger studio to do some of the tracking that I can’t do at home (drums) as well as mixing some of the material. In terms of digital editing and recording, I really have it great at home. I never knew that the command “undo” could cause so much creativity in me. I can’t screw anything up and I can take chances with crazy punches and riffs because all I have to do is press “undo” and I am out of it.

Dan McAvinchey: What went into the decision to form your own record label and release an independent record?

Neil Zaza: The real basic premise is that no one else is going to put records out the way I want them done. I don’t want be one of the millions looking for that elusive deal that never comes or when it does, it is not right. I can record anytime I want, set my own budget, and release things when I have something musically to say. That is a great freedom that I really could not live without. I know it is not Geffen or Warner, but at least my music is getting out right now.

Dan McAvinchey: What are the advantages and disadvantages of being an independent musician?

Neil Zaza: The only real thing with it is that you have to do it all. That is the good as well as the bad. You get it done just like you want, but you have to do it yourself. I would love to have a great company do it for me, but for now this is how it is.

Dan McAvinchey: Care to share any marketing or promotion tips for musicians about to release their first independent record?

Neil Zaza: There are a few thing to be very cognizant of. One is that you have to have a good promotion budget and not to skimp corners when it comes to this. You can have the greatest album and if no one knows that you have one out and available, it really is no good. Utilize all that you can with local publications and national ones as well. Always think of the nation as your market and not just your town. You can be the biggest thing in your hometown and unless they know you around, it really is not going to help you. Be a big fish in a big pond.

Always stick to your vision of the music that you want to play. Do not be swayed by trends. Be true to yourself and your art. If you are not, you and your music will suffer. Great music will survive if it comes from the heart.



The 60th Anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster

2014: The Fender Stratocaster guitar turns 60 , and it wears it well. You see the instrument everywhere, and hardly a day goes by when you don’t hear its signature sound.

It was so essentially and remarkably right from the very start in 1954 that it has shaped popular music for 60 years virtually unchanged. A great deal of the music you love-the very soundtrack of your life-was and is made with a Stratocaster.

Jimi Hendrix performing on stage in 1967

It is the guitar behind the sound of That’ll Be the Day (the Crickets, 1957), Purple Haze (the Jimi Hendrix Experience, 1967), Smoke on the Water (Deep Purple, 1972), Pride and Joy (Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, 1983), Even Flow (Pearl Jam, 1992), Dani California (Red Hot Chili Peppers, 2006), Get Lucky (Daft Punk, 2013) and countless other hits.

After 60 years, the Stratocaster remains a fantastic tool at heart. It delivers unmistakable sound and timeless design that have made it the first choice among players everywhere.

“I’ve moved around with many guitars and tried many different things, and I’ve always come back to the Stratocaster,” said Eric Clapton, whose long devotion to the Stratocaster began in earnest in 1970 when he used his 1956 model, ‘Brownie,’ to record his eponymous debut solo album in January of that year, and Derek and the Dominos magnum opus Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs that fall.

blackmore stratocaster

Jeff Beck attributed the ‘ultimate sounds known in the 20th century’ to the Stratocaster, and George Harrison once asserted, “You can’t beat the Strat . I don’t care what you say.”

After the introduction of the Telecaster® and Precision Bass® guitars in 1951, company founder Leo Fender turned his attention to a bold new guitar design. The instrument, designed by Leo Fender himself and named the ‘Stratocaster’ by Fender sales chief Don Randall, debuted in 1954. An extraordinary new guitar with several ingenious design innovations, the Stratocaster proceeded to revolutionize popular music as an indispensable tool of phenomenal creativity, and even transcend that role to become a cultural symbol.

After six incredibly colorful and wonderfully musical decades, the Stratocaster is beautiful, as always. It is timeless, as always. It sounds phenomenal, as always. The Stratocaster is poised for a brilliant future, as always.

Tommy Bolin – A Short Biography

Tommy Bolin

One of the most underrated guitarists (in my human opnion) is Tomy Bolin. A talented guitarist who died at the age of 25, just when his carreer appeared to be taking off.

It’s hard to listen to the music of Tommy Bolin and not wonder what could’ve been he would live today. Unfortunately on December 4 1976 died from an overdose of heroin and other substances, including alcohol, cocaine and barbbiturates. In a recording career that lasted only several years, Bolin not only touched upon several styles (blues-rock, ballads, fusion, funk, reggae, and heavy metal), but showed that he could master each one – as evidenced by his two solo albums and various recordings with the likes of Zephyr, Billy Cobham, Alphonse Mouzon, the James Gang, Deep Purple, and Moxy.

Born in Sioux City, IA, on August 1, 1951, Bolin tried the drums and piano as a youngster, but by the age of 13 began playing the guitar. It wasn’t long before he was jamming with local rock outfits, and three years later he was expelled from school for refusing to cut his long hair. Undeterred, Bolin relocated to Denver, CO, where he formed his first real band, American Standard. By the end of the ’60s, Bolin found himself in the blues-rock outfit Zephyr, led by Janis Joplin sound-alike Candy Givens.

Despite high hopes, the group was never able to translate their local success from coast to coast (despite Bolin’s talents supposedly grabbing the attention of guitarists whom Zephyr opened up for — including Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page). After a pair of albums that failed to attract a large audience, 1969’s self-titled debut and 1971’s Goin’ Back to Colorado, Bolin left Zephyr. Interested in the burgeoning jazz fusion scene (Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report, Miles Davis, etc.), Bolin formed a similarly styled outfit, Energy.

But apart from live shows and demos, Energy failed to secure a recording contract. Word on Bolin’s guitar ability was beginning to spread amongst musicians, however, and Mahavishnu drummer Billy Cobham invited the young guitarist to play on his solo debut, Spectrum. Issued in 1973, the album became an instant fusion classic, as Bolin’s fiery guitar work lit up such tracks as the over-the-top “Quadrant Four,” “Stratus,” and “Red Baron.” Spectrum also proved to be an important stepping stone for other guitarists (allegedly, it inspired Jeff Beck to issue such similarly styled albums as Blow by Blow and Wired), and for Bolin’s career as well, as he would land gigs with such renowned hard rock acts as the James Gang and Deep Purple solely on the strength of his playing on the album.

Bolin was hired by the James Gang to get their career back on track; after founding guitarist Joe Walsh had left the group in 1971, the remaining members had seen their fortunes slowly fade. And while Bolin’s arrival didn’t return the group back to the top of the charts, a pair of quite underrated albums were issued, 1973’s Bang and 1974’s Miami, as the guitarist also sang lead for the first time on record. It was also around this time that Bolin adopted a flashy image on-stage – complete with feather outfits, nail polish, and multi-colored hair. Shortly after the release of his second album with the James Gang, Bolin left the band, as he’d grown discontent with their musical direction. Relocating to Los Angeles, CA, Bolin supplied guitar to another fine fusion release, Mind Transplant by ex-Weather Report drummer Alphonse Mouzon. It was also around this time that Bolin secured a solo recording contract, but a phone call from Deep Purple was just around the corner.

With the departure of Ritchie Blackmore in 1974, Deep Purple suddenly found themselves without a guitarist. When the group’s singer, David Coverdale, remembered hearing impressive guitar work on the Spectrum album, Bolin was tracked down, offered a tryout, and landed the gig with Purple immediately. As a result, Bolin was often doing double-duty in recording studios – working on both his solo debut (Teaser) in Los Angeles and his Purple debut (Come Taste the Band) in Germany. Both recordings were issued in 1975, but like the James Gang gig beforehand, Bolin’s tenure with Purple was short-lived, as they split up a year later.

It was no secret amongst his friends and fellow musicians that Bolin had developed a dangerous addiction to hard drugs throughout the early to mid-’70s, which only worsened by 1976 (so much so that some wondered if he had a death wish). Bolin continued working at a breakneck pace, however, issuing his second solo outing, Private Eyes, and also guesting on the self-titled debut by Canadian Led Zeppelin clones Moxy. Sadly, Bolin was found dead from a heroin overdose on December 4, 1976, in Miami, FL (the day after opening a show for Jeff Beck), at the age of 25.

In the years following his death, musicians continued to name-check Bolin as an influence, while a career-spanning box set saw the light of day in 1989, The Ultimate, and seven years later, a collection of rarities/outtakes, From the Archives, Vol. 1. Bolin’s brother, Johnnie Bolin, began issuing a steady stream of archival releases, via the Tommy Bolin Archives Inc. label, and launched an extensive official website in his brother’s memory, The ’90s also saw the emergence of annual Tommy Bolin tribute concerts – featuring performances of musicians who played alongside the late guitarist 20 years earlier, as well as such classic rock acts as Black Oak Arkansas.



JAM with an Ibanez JEM 777DY

As the artist Farlake I’ve made a video of a jam with the Ibanez JEM 777DY.
To get some more visits I use the famous name of my grant grant grant (etc.) father; Johannes Vermeer. A famous Dutch painter (1632 – 1675)

I’m using the following parts:

  • Ibanez JEM 777DY (Desert Yellow)
  • Carvin Legacy 3 Amp
  • 2 x C212E Cabinets
  • Morley Bad Horsey Wah (2)
  • Ibanez Jemini
  • Digitech Harmonyman
  • Logic X Pro
  • Addictive Drums
  • Vintage Organs
  • Trilian Bass


Ibanez Goes To Seventh Heaven With New Vai JEM

Ibanez, “The First in Seven, The Leader in Eight” have introduced what some may consider to be a 7-string guitar of flagship stature. The new JEM 747 is the latest product of the guitar-builder’s long term collaboration with axe master Steve Vai.

The JEM 747 ($4,399.99 List) sports a 5-pc maple/wenge JEM-7 Prestige neck featuring Vai’s trademark “Tree-Of-Lif” inlay, made from Pearl Abalone Vine. And among its many other high-end appointments, 7-string fans are particularly fond of this guitar’s DiMarzio Blaze pickups, designed to leverage the 747’s low-end power without allowing the lower-mid to turn to “sludge,” instead providing a well-defined sonic shape.Specs:- White finish
– 5pc maple/wenge JEM-7 Prestige
– Alder body
– Jumbo frets
– Rosewood fretboard
– Pearl Abalone Vine inlay
– Lo-Pro Edge 7 bridge
– DiMarzio Blaze neck pu
– DiMarzio Blaze neck pu
– DiMarzio Blaze bridge pu
– Hard shell case includedList: $4,399.99

Fender Custom Shop Introduces Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster At The NAMM 2013

After waiting for years, Fender decided to honor the work of Ritchie Blackmore; The Fender Stratocaster 1968; a real beauty. The Fender Custom Shop is introducing a replica of Richtie Blackmore’s black Fender Stratocaster, the instrument on which he gave birth to Deep Purple’s legendary “Smoke on the Water” riff. This 2013 limited edition guitar is reportedly as close as it gets to the original used by Blackmore during the early 70s and specifically on Purple’s best selling album Machine Head.


Fender Custom Shop Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster

The Fender Custom Shop Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster features a lightly worn urethane finished two piece alder body, a 7.25” radius maple fingerboard on a ’69 U-shaped rounded neck and of course medium jumbo frets. Fender guru Abigail Ybarra took personally care of the ’69 custom make hand –wound pickups which are controlled via a three way switch. Other details of the Blackmore Tribune Strat include the typical ¼” tremolo arm (which I’m sure only Ritchie himself would manage to break), Schaller tuners and Micarta nut, rear headstock tribute decal and a certificate of authenticity.

Fender Custom Shop Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster features:
  • Body: two-piece Alder with a lightly worn Black urethane finish
  • Neck Shape: Custom “U”
  • Number of Frets: 21
  • Fret Size: Medium Jumbo
  • Position Inlays: Black Dot
  • Fingerboard Radius: 7.25″ (184.1 mm)
  • Neck Material: Plain-Grain Maple
  • Nut Width: 1.625″ (41.3 mm)
  • Scale Length: 25.5″ (648 mm)
  • Headstock: Large ’70s Style
  • Neck Plate: 4-Bolt “F” Stamped
  • Pickup Configuration: S/S/S
  • Bridge Pickup: Custom ’68 Hand-Wound Single-Coil Strat
  • Middle Pickup: Custom ’68 Hand-Wound Single-Coil Strat
  • Neck Pickup: Custom ’68 Hand-wound Single-Coil Strat
  • Pickup Switching: 3-Position Blade: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Middle Pickup, Position 3. Neck Pickup
  • Controls: Master Volume, Tone 1. (Neck Pickup), Tone 2. (Bridge/Middle Pickup)
  • Hardware Finish: Chrome
  • Bridge: Vintage Synchronized Tremolo
  • Tuning Machines: Vintage ’70s Fender “F” Stamped
  • Tremolo Arm Handle: 1/4″ Tremolo Arm
  • Colour: Black

For more information around the Fender Custom Shop Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster please visit the Fender website.

Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa Live in Concert – 29 + 30 juni 2013 Carre, Amsterdam

Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa

Beth Hart en Joe Bonamassa staan samen in Carré voor een tweetal unieke concerten. Tijdens deze concerten worden er DVD opnames gemaakt.
De kaartverkoop van dit concert start woensdag 19 december as. om 10.00 uur.

Ever since the release of the album “Don’t Explain” (September 2011), a collaboration between vocalist Beth Hart and guitarist Joe Bonamassa, fans have been talking about how great it would be if the two artists would go on tour together. Aside from a handful of joint appearances, they have never actually performed a full show together, but that is about to change…

In January 2013, the two talents are going back into the studio with producer Kevin Shirley to work on their second album. A release date has not been set, but we will inform you about this as soon as we know more.

Later that year, Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa will be performing 4 concerts together:

June 22, 2013: Bergenhus Fortress & Castle in Bergen, Norway
June 26, 2013: Lotto Arena in Antwerp, Belgium
June 29, 2013: Royal Carre Theater in Amsterdam, Netherlands
June 30, 2013: Royal Carre Theater in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Joe Bonamassa and Beth Hart

Beth Hart heeft successen gevierd met hoge noteringen in de hitlijsten, maar ook de keerzijde van het succes meegemaakt. Het zijn de hoge pieken en diepe dalen die Beth de meeste inspiratie geven voor haar muziek. Met invloeden uit de rock, blues en gospel weet ze telkens weer de meest persoonlijke nummers te schrijven en het publiek te grijpen. Ze staat bekend om haar overweldigende en energieke shows.
Afgelopen oktober kwam haar nieuwste album ‘Bang Bang Boom Boom’ uit. Haar vorige album ‘Don’t Explain’ (2011) schreef ze in samenwerking met Joe Bonamassa. Deze samenwerking beviel zo goed dat Hart en Bonamassa in januari 2013 samen de studio ingaan voor een nieuw album. Dit album komt uit vóór juni 2013.

Joe Bonamassa staat bekend als één van ‘s werelds grootste gitaarhelden. Hij was pas vier jaar oud toen hij gefascineerd raakte door het gitaargeluid van Stevie Ray Vaughan, en op zijn twaalfde verzorgde hij al het voorprogramma van B.B.King. Vanaf dat moment heeft de energieke muzikant de schijnwerpers nooit verlaten. De laatste jaren maakte Bonamassa onderdeel uit van de all star-rockband Black Country Communion, met onder meer Glenn Hughes. In mei van dit jaar verscheen Bonamassa’s dertiende studioalbum ‘Driving Towards The Daylight’.
Beth Hart en Joe Bonamassa staan samen in Carré voor een tweetal unieke concerten. Tijdens deze concerten worden er DVD opnames gemaakt.

Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa
Live in Concert
29 + 30 juni 2013
Carre, Amsterdam

Info + Tickets :