I don’t know who wrote the copy for these Yamaha ads from 1992-93 (which I recently tracked down in some old guitar magazine issues) but they were a marketing genius. These ads are informative and fun, and they lodged themselves in my brain immediately when I saw them as a kid, staying there for the almost 20 years since then.
Observe this brilliant piece for the RGZ (Guitar School, September 1992)
Aww, that’s so cute! This Ibanez GICM21 has 24 frets, PSND1 and 2 pickups, a fixed bridge and, most importantly, the always-awesome Iceman body shape. I hope my son decides he’s into pointy guitars so I have an excuse to buy this for him.
More info here.
ISP Technologies was founded by Buck Waller, who previously revolutionised the things we don’t hear about guitar when he created the HUSH system for Rocktron. Noise types and requirements have changed a lot over the last few decades, and the ISP Decimator broke new ground a few years ago with its unprecedented tracking and sound quality, and the new Decimator G String takes things even further.
The Decimator series works a little differently to most noise gates. A regular noise gate will simply close the signal path when the input dips below a certain level. This can result in notes being chopped off unnaturally when you’re trying to hold a chord. The Decimator is completely different from this method. Instead it’s a single-ended noise reduction system which operates over a 1000 to 1 ratio using the company’s patented Time Vector Processing circuit. In plain english, this means the Decimator knows when you’re playing; when you’re not; and what to do about it.
Time Vector Processing refers to how the Decimator actually tracks the envelope of the input signal (instead of just using the mere presence of a signal above a threshold to determine whether the gate is open or closed). The best way of describing it is to imagine having a sound engineer continually adjusting the volume of the noise in perfect synchronicity with your playing.
Th1rt3en is Chris Broderick’s second album in one of the most coveted guitar jobs in the world: Dave Mustaine’s sparring partner in Megadeth. Broderick has some pretty big shoes to fill (Marty Friedman, Chris Poland, Glen Drover), but that’s old news: he brings his own style, feel and technique to the band in a way that they hadn’t really had since the early days of Friedman’s reign in the 90s. Th1rt3en finds Broderick once again shredding with the best of them and weaving in and out of classically Megadeth riffage with confidence and ease. I caught up with Broderick to talk Th1rt3en and, of course, guitar.
Hi, is this Peter?
Yes it is. Nice to meet you again! I met you a couple of years ago NAMM.
Oh did you really? Where at? What booth?
The Ibanez booth.
Oh nice! Very cool.
And now you’re with Jackson. How’s your new signature guitar working out for you?
It’s awesome! Dare I say, it’s perfect, for me personally. Because you have to understand, when I approached Jackson they were the only ones that never said no. They said “Yeah, we can do that, and we can do that.” So I built that guitar from the ground up thinking about everything I could from the ergonomics to the weight distribution to the placement of the tone knob. Even the placement of the pickups, in addition to the fretboard radius, the stainless steel frets, extremely tall narrow frets. I built that guitar up to be exactly what I’d want, so for me it definitely is the perfect instrument.
Are you using the seven-string version with Megadeth, or is that more of a ‘just because you can’ thing?
No. Well, I’ve always been more of a seven-string player than a six-string player, ever since they were available in the late 80s, early 90s. So for me I’ll always be playing more seven-string stuff. But since Megadeth is more of a traditional thrash band we stick to six strings just to keep those traditional thrash roots more in focus. So whenever I’m onstage with Megadeth it’s always six string, and when I do my own stuff it’s definitely seven-string.
I was just cruising the Jackson Guitars website and saw this:
Isn’t that something? That’s the Jackson Soloist SLX, and that colour is called Kawasabi Green. I think I’m in love.
It has a basswood body, through-body maple neck (!), Duncan Designed alnico HB102N (neck) and high-output ceramic HB102B (bridge) humbuckers, a bound compound-radius rosewood fretboard, a Floyd Rose Special double-locking two-point tremolo, 24 jumbo frets and three-way pickup switching. It’s also available in Black, Natural and Snow White, but how could you possibly go past Kawasabi Green? You can’t. You just can’t.
Everyone knows Deep Purple’s ‘Mark III’ era with David Coverdale on vocals, Glenn Hughes on bass and vocals, Jon Lord on keys, Ian Paice on drums and Richie Blackmore on guitar. Burn is one of the undisputed classic albums of 70s rock, after all! But not enough attention is paid to the Mark IV era, when Blackmore left and Tommy Bolin stepped in on guitar. This line-up made only one album, 1975′s Come Taste The Band, before going their separate ways. Phoenix Rising is a DVD and CD which looks at this rarely-examined era, including Gettin’ Tighter, an 80-minute documentary featuring in-depth interviews with Lord and Hughes, behind-the-scenes footage from a chaotic Indonesian tour, and even the band’s appearance at the Sunbury music festival here in Melbourne. But the set’s centrepiece is Rises Over Japan, a five-song set featuring “Burn,” “Love Child,” “Smoke On The Water,” “You Keep On Moving” and “Highway Star.” It’s an incredible document of a little-seen era of the band.
The Phoenix Rising DVD is a really cool thing to have, especially the footage of the Mark IV line-up on stage in Japan.
Oh it is, Peter. That footage is warts and all. You can see in the interview that I’m kind of rattled a little bit. Jon Lord and I did separate interviews but when you look at the footage that was found by Drew Thompson of the Indonesian debacle and the very inebriated performance we did in Tokyo, and then you get Jon Lord into a room one day, and then you get Glenn Hughes – and we had no preconceived notions of what Jon would be talking about – but we were both talking about the same stuff, both pretty much with the same topic.
One thing I find really interesting about that era is that all of you guys were learning for the first time how to be rock stars. The really big concerts like California Jam didn’t exist before then.
No! And remember in that period, let’s just say the golden era of rock and roll… mate, I’m not being an old fuddy duddy here, I’m talking about the big-time era, the grandiosity of private jets and private this and that, penthouse suites, groupies and all of that. In the era between 1968 and 1975, the Stones and the Beatles and Led Zeppelin and The Who, it was a grand, grand scale. You’re talking to somebody that’s lived through many deaths, many gunshots, many escapades, and I’m here to tell the bloody tale!
I’m glad you are! Now, Tommy Bolin – what was it like to work with him?
Here’s the deal, Peter, with Tommy. When he got into the band, before he played a note with the band I said this to him, because he had the green and yellow and red hair. I said “I don’t care if you get the gig or not, you’re coming home with me.” Because he looked so cool. And also, unbeknownst to me, I wanted to have a relationship in the band with somebody I could drink with and get high with. Tommy was that guy. We were both born in the same month of the same year, both Leos, both with the same kind of composure and nature. Two very working-class boys. We hit it off, and he lived at my home for three months when he joined the band. In fact the night he got the gig he just moved right on in! When we lost Tommy 18 months later it was really beyond sad for me. To bury a 25-year-old friend from this hopeless addiction…