A short story about Ritchie Blackmore and his long forgotten 1961 Gibson ES-335


Ritchie Blackmore is known as a leading master of the stratocaster, but during the early days of Deep Purple Blackmore’s main guitar was this 1961 Gibson ES-335 semihollowbody (serial number 26547). When Blackmore bought the guitar used in 1962 , its stock stop tailpiece had already been replaced by a Bigsby B5 tremolo, which is actually designed for solidbody guitars.  It also still had a short pickguard typical of early Sixties Dot neck ES-335 guitars, although Blackmore remove it a later date, as well as its original black metal-top control knobs, which were swapped for gold knobs sometime after he stopped playing the guitar.

Blackmore used this 335 tpo record every solo he cut during the period beginning with Screaming Lord Sutch’s 1965 cover of “Train Kept A-Rollin” and ending with “Child In Time” from Deep Purple’s 1970 album IN ROCK. He gave the 335 an especially thorough workout on shredding solos for the appropriately titled cuts “Hard Road (Wring That Neck)” and “Speed King”. It’s semihollow design even helped him create the feedback intro to Deep Purple’s first hit “HUSH”. “The feedback wasn’t supposed to be there,” Blackmore says. “I was playing my ES-335. and it just started feeding back”.Luckily, the feedback was in tune. It sounds like this foghorn in the background.”

According to Barbel Blackmore, Ritchie Blackmore played this guitar with Deep Purple between 1968-1971. Film footage of Blackmore playing it at the Royal Albert Hall with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on September 24th, 1969 was included in the Deep Purple episode of the 1990s t.v. series Rock Family Trees.

1961 Gibson ES-335 image source by Christie's auction site

After witnessing a Jimi Hendrix concert in 1970, Blackmore decided to track down a stratocaster. When he finally acquired one from a former roadie for Eric Clapton, there was no looking back. “I always felt that a Gibson sounded muted on record, even though it was a great guitar and had lots of sustain,” he says. “I really liked the clarity of a Strat through a Marshall. It just cut more. It took me a while to become used to the transition, but I’m glad I did . I haven’t played a Gibson since then.”

Blackmore’s ex-wife Barbel Hardie sold this guitar at Christie’s auction in 2004, where vintage guitar dealer Laurence Wexer purchased it for $28,000. Its current owner, Connecticut resident Ilhan Akbil , paid considerably more when he bought it from Wexer a few years ago. But as a devoted Blackmore fan, he appreciates the guitar’s historical significance. “I’ve been a Blackmore fan since 1972,” Akbil says. “I saw the Gibson at the Christie’s Auction but decided not to bid because I was worried that my wife would be very upset. I later tracked down the buyer and paid much more money for the guitar. But this time i had my wife’s support.”

Guitar Description:

1961 Gibson ES-335 thinline electric guitar, Serial No. 26457, in cherry red finish, double cutaway body, mahogany neck, Kluson machineheads, 22 fret bound rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays, two Humbucker pickups, four rotary controls, selector switch, tune-o-matic bridge, Bigsby tremolo tailpiece; and black hardshell case, stencilled on the front and back in white lettering DEEP PURPLE; accompanied by a colour snap-shot of Blackmore playing the guitar on stage with The Three Muskateers circa 1965 — 3½x5in. (9×12.7cm.); and two black and white photographs of him playing it on stage with Deep Purple, circa 1968, largest — 8½x6½in. (20.2×16.5cm.) (5)

(Source by: guitarworld magazine & Christie’s auction site)

RECENSIE: Joe Bonamassa – Different Shades Of Blue


Aan tussenjaren doet Joe Bonamassa nauwelijks, maar een solo studioalbum bracht hij vorig jaar niet uit. De bekende drift was er sinds Driving Towards The Daylight uit 2012 echter niet minder om; er verschenen veel live albums. Daarnaast volgde een nieuwe episode van Bonamassa’s samenwerking met Beth Hart. Op het album Different Shades Of Blue is Bonamassa, in de meeste nummers althans, de enige blikvanger. Wederom levert zijn brede invulling van het genre blues een gevarieerd kunststukje op.

‘Slow Train’ van het in 2011 verschenen Dust Bowl is ongetwijfeld Bonamassa’s beste albumopener tot nu toe, maar ‘Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)’ mag er ook zijn. Het is een instrumentaal pareltje. Bonamassa laat zijn vingers over zijn gitaar kronkelen, creëert originele gitaarlijnen en vermijdt daarbij hoge noten. Vervolgens laat hij zijn gouden keeltje voor het eerst horen. ‘Oh Beautiful!’ begint a capella. Een typische, vette Bonamassa-riff volgt. De percussie met conga’s speelt daarbij een verfrissende rol.

Vanaf ‘Love Ain’t A Love Song’ is het duidelijk dat we bijna alle kanten van Bonamassa te horen krijgen. Alleen de hardrock van Black Country Communion blijft ons, gelukkig, bespaard. Funky gitaarriffs, aangekleed met blazers zetten de toon voor één van de mooiste nummers van het album; ‘Living On The Moon’. Het trekt de muzikale lijn van ‘Love Ain’t A Love Song’ door, maar Bonamassa zingt hier voor zijn doen ingetogen. In combinatie met de tekst – “Hanging around with you, is like living on the moon”– past dit prachtig.

Ondanks enkele minder sterke momenten – ‘Heartache Follows Wherever I Go’ en de zoetsappige refreinen van het titelnummer zijn voorbeelden– zakt Different Shades Of Blue nooit door de ondergrens. Bonamassa kan namelijk altijd terugvallen op zijn geheime wapen; de gitaarsolo. Bij de Amerikaan zijn dit verhalen, inclusief spanningsbogen, op zich. Ondanks dat een meer experimentele insteek zoals bij ‘Get Back My Tomorrow’ resultaat oplevert, weet hij ook met een lekker zompige blueskraker te overtuigen. Bonamassa duldt de toetsenist naast zich in de schijnwerpers, terwijl hij “I gave up everything for you” zingt, om na een korte pauze de titel van het nummer te vervolledigen: “except the blues”.


(Bron: http://www.festivalinfo.nl/recensie/7645/Different_Shades_Of_Blue/Joe_Bonamassa/)

EM7V SBL (Sparkle Blue)


The Ibanez JEM7V,also known as the JEM7V SBL (Sparkle Blue), is a JEM guitar guitar model and signature model of American guitarist Steve Vai.

Features include DiMarzio pickups, a double locking tremolo, a special Sparkle Blue finish and matched blue vine fingerboard inlays. It was introduced in 2002 as a finish variant of the white JEM7V. Other differences with the JEM7V WH were the hardware color and the rosewood fingerboard. It was discontinued, after three years, in 2004.

In 2003, the Lo Pro Edge tremolo was replaced with the new Edge Pro.

Specifications for JEM7V (Sparkle Blue)
Name: JEM7V
Years: 2002-2004
Areas: Worldwide
Made in: Japan
Finishes: SBL (Sparkle Blue)
Body material:
Alder with Basswood veneers
Neck joint:
2002: Lo Pro Edge
2003-2004: Edge Pro
Hardware color:
Vintage Silver
Neck type:
JEM Prestige
Neck material:
1-Piece Maple
Scalloped frets 21 to 24
Blue Vine
24 / W/6105
PU Config:
Neck PU:
DiMarzio Evolution
Mid PU:
DiMarzio Evolution
Bridge PU:
DiMarzio Evolution
1 Volume / 1 Tone / 5-Way Lever

John Mayall’s 80th Birthday in Haarlem (Netherlands)


At the evening of  26 march we finaly could see the eyes of “Godfather of British Blues”; John Mayall. Mr. Mayall celebrated his 80th birthday with a dynamic and flawless onstage blues performance.

JOHN MAYALL the legendary British Blues trailblazer began his setlist around 9:00 pm sharp. Mayall is a perfect exemplification on how to live and act when you hit 80. One word : REMARKABLE. His performance and intenseness made the audience astonished. It couldn’t be better. Mayall opened with “Checkin’ Up on My Baby”. After that, the real party began with John Mayall, surrounded by his incredible band of virtuoso musicians with Greg Rzab on bass, Rocky Althas on Guitar and Jay Davenport on drums.


With songs on his Golden setlist like “Oh, Pretty Woman”, “Dirty Water”, “Parchman Farm”, “Gimme One More Day”, “Conga Square” and “Natures’ Disapearing” he headed for his “Grande Finale”.

Mayall concluded his set with a rousing rendition of “Room to Move”.

John Mayall not only showed himself as a natural born musician. He transformed “Het Patronaat” in Haarlem into a true blue base. He showed so much unfeigned enthusiasm and fun that we do not end up too soon see him. His top level blues concert took an hour and three quarters. Mayall underlined with a flourish that he is alive and blues legend: afterwards he even had any energy left to be with his fans and sign some CDs chat.

Rolling Stones at Pinkpop 2014


The Rolling Stones will perform at Pinkpop 2014 (The Netherlands). Festival director Jan Smeets confirmed this announcement during the official presentation of the program .

The British rock group revealed the news on march 12 itself through its their own smartphone app. The band is also on TW Classic Werchter in Belgium.

The American John Mayer will come also to Landgraaf. Mayer is planned, like the Rolling Stones on the first day of the festival, Saturday, June 7.

Pinkpop will celebrate this year its 45th anniversary. Veterans are the “most expensive act ever” according to the festival director. It’s yet clear the Rolling Stones will deposited, but for comparison: Coldplay was in 2011 the most expensive act at Pinkpop ever known. Reportedly, the band took 1.3 million.

The line-up of the 3 days are:

Saturday june 7
Rolling Stones 
Les Djinns
John Mayer
Flogging Molly
Ed Kowalczyk
Joe Bonamassa
White Lies

Sunday june 8
Limp Bizkit
Arctic Monkeys
The Boxer Rebellion
Ed Sheeran
Robert Plant And The Sensational Space Shifters
Paolo Nutini
Twenty One Pilots
Portugal. The Man
North Mississippi Allstars
John Newman

Monday june 9
Avenged Sevenfold
Biffy Clyro
Rob Zombie
Arcade Fire
Jake Bugg
Jett Rebel
Gogol Bordello
Clean Bandit
Bombay Bicycle Club

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.”

Boston, ‘Life, Love & Hope’ – Album Review

Boston, 'Life Love & Hope'

After 11 years Boston released december 2013 his sixth album “Life, Love & Hope”. The sound of this classic rock/arena rock band pretty identifiable with a lot of power chords, solos, and catchy riffs. This album too. Boston does a great job of everything.

You’ll here the voice of legendary vocalist Brad Delp. But Delp committed suïcide on March 9, 2007, at age 55. Aftrer his death the band sticks with its tried-and-true sound, one that has come to nearly define the classic rock genre. But Boston succeeded to save their DNA in a great classic rock album:  layer upon layer of angry guitars, harmonic solos and angelic vocals backing Delp, who could hit notes only dogs could hear.

There’s an unreleased Delp track here, “Sail Away,” about the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, and it’s the only one of the three Delp tracks on this album that’s new. Two others — “Someone” and “Didn’t Mean to Fall in Love” appeared on the band’s “Corporate America” album, but Scholz was never really happy with them and has rebuilt them from top to bottom while keeping the original Delp vocals.

Other songs don’t fare as well, including “If You Were in Love” with Kimberley Dahme’s nothing-special vocals.

David Victor took the vocal on the opening “Heaven on Earth”, a song that could into a hit single. The only complaint is that this album could get bored after awhile. The songs are alike in structure, and even though it’s different lyrics, or a different riff, it still feels the same as the last song.

However, if you like classic rock, if you like massive guitars and if you like Boston, than you’ll have to hear Boston.

“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.

(Source: www.Guitar9.com)


Fender Telecaster: The longest-running production models ever

The fender Telecaster is the longest-running solid electric guitar still in production. And not only the longest-running guitar but also the longest-running production item ever. The Telecaster is a brilliantly simple piece of design which works as well today as it did when it was introduced in 1951.

The Telecaster was fender’s original Broadcaster electric.  the company was forced to change it when Gretsch claimed prior rights to the name.  But Leo fender and is small workforce in Fullerton, California must have been delighted with the new Telecaster name, is thoroughly modern reference to the emerging medium of television just right for an equally innovative device like the Telecaster, the first commercially marketed solid electric guitar.


The Telecaster usually referred to as ‘Tele” is known for its bright, cutting tone, and straightforward, no-nonsense operation.  The guitar has been used by also sorts of players from all musical backgrounds.  The guitar is able to emulate steel guitar sounds and is used to a great extent in country music. 


The secret to the Tele’s sound centers on the bridge.  The strings pass through the body and are anchored at the back by six ferrules, giving solidity and sustain to the resulting sound.  A slanting-back pickup is incorporated into the bridge, enhancing the guitars treble tone.  The Telecaster should continue to survive due to its simplicity, effectiveness and versatility.

Some famous users of the Fender Telecaster are Keith Richard (Rolling Stones), Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) and Bruce Springsteen.


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.