Great Rock Bloopers And Spontaneous Moments

Mistakes. We’ve all made ’em. Some of us more than others. Rock stars are not immune to the embarrassment of a glorious clanger, and sometimes these little whoopsies, wonky notes and unwanted warbles can even make their way onto vinyl/tape/mp3/stream for all the world to hear.

Sometimes they make it through to the listener intentionally, and sometimes they sneak by purely by accident. Sometimes they might not even be actual bloopers so much as ‘in the moment’ things that get picked up and folded into the song. However they get to us, these little gems of humanity are part of what makes rock and roll so much fun, and what keeps kids wedged between a set of headphones when they probably should be studying.

The Beatles – “Helter Skelter” (The Beatles, 1968)

“Helter Skelter” is one of The Beatles’ most frenzied songs – in fact, a case could very well be made that it has a lot in common with the prototypical heavy metal that would soon follow. One of the most fiery aspects of the tune is the intense drum performance by Ringo Starr. According to The Beatles: The Biography, Ringo recorded 18 takes of the drum part on September 9, 1968. The very last take was the one used for the master recording, and it’s also the one in which Ringo performed one of the greatest tantrums in rock and roll, screaming out “I’ve got blisters on my fingers!” at the end of the take. You can hear Ringo’s outburst at 4:24.

Joe Satriani – “Surfing with the Alien” (Surfing with the Alien, 1987)

Joe Satriani’s sci-fi tones and out-of-this-world phrasing aren’t just the result of inspiration and perspiration – sometimes a little bit of serendipity and a whole lot of electronic malfunction play a role, too. For the lead guitar tone on Surfing with the Alien’s title track, Satriani used a wah-wah pedal and a harmonizer. The former worked perfectly, while the latter was in its death throes. Satriani told Guitar World, “The sound that came out of the speakers blew us away so much that we recorded the melody and the solo in about a half-hour and sat back and went, ‘Whoa! This is a song, man!’” Then the harmonizer broke down and couldn’t be fixed. “We couldn’t do anything,” he said. “We lost our tone. When we finally got it working again, we weren’t able to recreate the original effect. It just sounded different. So rather than screw up a wonderful-sounding performance that may have had a couple of glitches, we decided to just leave it, because it was just swinging.”

Frank Zappa – “Muffin Man” (Bongo Fury, 1975)

Frank Zappa often said he saw lyrics as a necessity that he didn’t quite enjoy. In his autobiography The Real Frank Zappa Book he said he felt that if he had to write lyrics, he might as well make them something that appealed to his particular skewed worldview. Nowhere is this more evident than the monologue at the start of “Muffin Man,” where the text and the voice he reads it in so appeal to Frank’s worldview that he breaks character to laugh at himself (0:48), before saying “Let’s try that again” and giving the line another shot.

Megadeth – “Paranoid” (Nativity In Black, 1994)

Megadeth’s take on this Black Sabbath classic was recorded for an all-star tribute which also featured Type O Negative, Sepultura, Biohazard, White Zombie, Corrosion of Conformity, Ugly Kid Joe, Faith No More and others. Megadeth’s version of “Paranoid” was a little faster and a lot angrier than Sabbath’s 1970 original, and the anger was ratcheted up tenfold when drummer Nick Menza continued playing by himself after the song was supposed to have ended (2:23-2:30). Menza is cut off by Dave Mustaine shouting “Nick… Nick …NICK!” – and when he realizes his mistake Menza berates himself with some choice words of his own.

Metallica – “The Four Horsemen” (Kill ’Em All, 1983)

One of the most unique features of Metallica’s classic track “The Four Horsemen” is its distinctive simultaneous two-headed guitar solo, heard from 4:10 to 4:30. You can hear two Kirk Hammetts, one in each speaker, playing roughly similar but still quite different solos. In 1991 Hammett told Guitar World this cool effect was entirely a fluke. After recording two takes of the solo, Hammett and Co. were trying to decide which one to use. “I listened to both tracks at once, to see if one would stand out,” Hammett said. “But playing both tracks simultaneously sounded great, and we decided to keep it like that on the record. Some of the notes harmonized with each other, and I remember Cliff [Burton, bassist] going, ‘Wow, that’s stylin’ – it sounds like Tony Iommi!’”

Steve Vai – “Sex & Religion” (Sex & Religion, 1993)

These days Devin Townsend is known as a heavy metal auteur, solo and with Strapping Young Lad. But when he was 20, Townsend found fame as the singer in Steve Vai’s band, alongside T.M. Stevens on bass and Vai’s fellow Zappa alumni Terry Bozzio on drums. A vocal follow-up to Passion & Warfare was always going to be a bold move for Vai, but nobody was prepared for the hyperactive Townsend, who soared into gorgeous melodies before plummeting down to the lowest pits of hell with piercing screams, often in the space of a single bar. At the end of the album’s title track, Townsend really goes for it with a perfectly pitched but very intense melodic scream which lasts for a whole 18 seconds (from 4:05 to 4:23) – and he doesn’t quite make it back. Townsend passed out after the take, and Vai kept some of what he said after he came to. “Oh I hurt your brain? Oh. My fingers are numb… right now, they’re numb… can I deprive my brain of oxygen?”

The Police – “Roxanne” (Outlandos d’Amour, 1978)

“Roxanne” is a classic for its melody, its vocal performance, its orchestration and the instrumental timbres, but it’s also unique for a different reason. The mysterious piano chord heard at 0:04 is an unusual, atonal cluster that has nothing to do with the rest of the song. So what gives? Well it turns out Sting slinked back to relax on a nearby piano but didn’t realize the lid was up, so he unwittingly played that gloriously dissonant chord with his butt. This also explains his laugh at 0:06.

Led Zeppelin – “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” (Led Zeppelin, 1969)

“Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” is an eerie, moody track to begin with, but if you listen very closely you’ll hear a ghostly voice at 1:43. What is it? A backwards-masked magic spell? Some kind of ghostly incantation? Nope. That’s actually the sound of Robert Plant singing along with drummer John Bonham during tracking, and there was no way to delete Plant’s singing from the drum tracks. Whether that’s his actual naked voice leaking through the drum mics, or perhaps being blasted through Bonzo’s headphones, perhaps we’ll never quite know, but it sure sounds cool, and adds yet another interesting layer to discover among Led Zep’s tapestry of orchestration.

Radiohead – “Creep” (Pablo Honey, 1993)

One of the most unique parts of Radiohead’s hit “Creep” was the salvo of chunky, deadened notes played by Jonny Greenwood right before the chorus at 0:58, and again at 2:00. Bandmate Ed O’Brien told Select magazine that Greenwood’s ear-catching decision was actually born of frustration. “That’s the sound of Jonny trying to [expletive] the song up,” O’Brien said. “He really didn’t like it the first time we played it, so he tried spoiling it. And it made the song.”

Van Halen – “Everybody Wants Some” (Women and Children First, 1980)

This Van Halen classic features oodles of the loose party vibe the band were known for in the early days – you can almost hear the clinking of beer bottles and the boogying of bikini babes. Almost. One thing you can most definitely hear though is the sound of David Lee Roth totally flubbing a lyric. According to his autobiography, Crazy From the Heat, the line was supposed to be something along the lines of “I’ve seen a lot of people just looking for a moonbeam.” But that’s not what came out. Instead, at 1:58, Dave sang something resembling “Ya take a moople-ah, wookie pah-a moopie.” The band decided that the vibe of the new line worked just as well, and the messed-up take was left in the song, an enduring legacy to just how hard Van Halen rocked it.

Van Halen – “Eruption”

“Eruption,” with its blistering licks and innovative techniques, launched a million shredders, but the technique-redefining tapping section includes – by Eddie Van Halen’s own admission – a little mistake. Van Halen told Guitar Player, “…I took one pass at it and they put it on the record. I didn’t even play it right. There’s a mistake at the top end of it. To this day whenever I hear it I always think,’Man, I could’ve played it better’.” But wher is it? It sounds like a mistake can be heard at about 1.01 – listen for a tiny stutter which breaks up the flow of the tapping pattern. However, there are those of us who believe EVH’s playing to be utterly infallible and will not accept that he can make mistakes, even by his own admission.

Led Zeppelin – “Heartbreaker”

As anyone who has ever tried to jam along to “Heartbreaker” will attest, the song’s iconic unaccompanied solo section is pitched slightly higher than the rest of the song. As Jimmy Page explained to Guitar World in 1998: “The interesting thing about the solo is that it was recorded after we had already finished “Heartbreaker” – it was an afterthought. That whole section was recorded in a different studio and it was sort of slotted in the middle.” Even with the studio technology of the time it would have been possible to match the tuning of the two sections via some deft tape speed manipulation, so why does it sound higher than the rest of the song? Is it possible it was slightly sped up on purpose to appear even more impressive? Maybe we’ll never know.

Led Zeppelin – “Since I’ve Been Loving You”

Led Zeppelin chalk up another little studio mishap in the form of a squeaky kick drum pedal on “Since I’ve Been Loving You.” In 1993 Jimmy Page recounted his discovery of the artefact while putting together the first Led Zeppelin boxed set. “It sounds louder and louder every time I hear it,” he said. “That was something that was obviously sadly overlooked at the time.” Still, it’s one of those great little Easter Eggs that make Led Zeppelin albums such wonderful headphone fodder.

U2 – “Ultraviolet (Light My Way)”

At around 3:10 to 3:14, drummer Larry Mullen Jr can be heard dropping a drum stick. He valiantly continues on for a few bars before obtaining another drum stick (I’d like to think that he summoned it to his hand using the Force). The mistake was left in the song – and it lends a particularly cool dynamic shift to the song – although legend has it that Larry Mullen Jr wasn’t exactly pleased with the decision to leave it in.

Frank Zappa – “We’re Turning Again”

On the version of this track from You Can’t Do That On Stage Any More Vol. 6, Mike Keneally loses control of his guitar after the Hendrix section (“You can regulate my fuzztone with your wah wah,” etc). Keneally quickly gets his axe under control but vocalist Ike Willis can be heard chuckling about the incident for a few more bars.

Black Sabbath – “Sweet Leaf”

Black Sabbath’s “Sweet Leaf” is a heavy, lumbering ode to a particular extracurricular activity the band often engaged in at the time of recording 1971’s Master Of Reality. The track opens with a tape loop of somebody coughing. Ozzy Osbourne told Rolling Stone in 2004 that the source of the cough was guitarist Tony Iommi. Iommi confirmed, “I was outside recording an acoustic thing, and Ozzy brought me a [not suitable for publication]. I had a puff and nearly choked myself, and they were taping it!”

Pantera – “Good Friends And A Bottle Of Pills”

The staccato feedback chops which punctuate portions of this Far Beyond Driven track were created when Dimebag Darrell stood a little too close to brother Vinnie Paul’s drums. Dime was running his guitar through a vintage flanger pedal and a noise gate. As he told Guitar World in 1994, his plan was to “just make a little bit of racket in the beginning of the song,” but by chance his guitar’s pickup sensed the sound of Vinnie Paul’s snare, and its output was enough to release the noise gate, creating a choppy, flanged roar perfectly synced to the snare.

Mr. Big – “Alive And Kicking”

This song instead – from Mr.Big’s breakthrough album Lean Into It – doesn’t include an actual mistake per se, but its main riff was created when guitarist Paul Gilbert was tuning his guitar. Gilbert told Guitar World (March 1991) that he hit two strings while twisting the tuning peg of one string, and the riff’s distinctively sassy first note was created. Gilbert figured out how to achieve the same effect by bending one string instead of messing with the tuning keys, but the riff wouldn’t have happened if not for a creative spin on a mis-hit note. Gilbert also plays off this effect during the song’s intro, both in the studio and live.

David Bowie – “Little Wonder”

While not quite a blooper so much as a clever rearranging of off-the-cuff moments, Reeves Gabrels told Guitar World in 1997 that the skittering riff on this 1997 hit was born after he recorded about 40 minutes worth of random guitar noises, loaded the results onto a sampling keybaord and messed around with the riffage until he found something he liked. Gabrels said that when Bowie and go started playing “Little Wonder” live, he had to figure out how to physically play what he had sampled. “It was really educational,” he said. “To a small degree it changed how I look at my actual real-time playing, which is a cool thing.”

The Mamas & The Papas – “I Saw Her Again”

This 1966 single includes an iconic and much-imitated blooper around the 2:40 mark. Singer Denny Doherty sings the first line of the third chorus a little too early, cuts himself off, and comes in again at the right moment with the rest of the group. Producer (who also produced Carole King’s Tapestry) intentionally left the flub in. The Lovin’ Spoonful’s John Sebastian mimicked the mistake on “Darling Be Home Soon” in 1967 and Kenny Loggins did the same on “I’m Alright” in 1980. A similar mistake can be heard before the start of the first verse of “Discipline” from Nine Inch Nails’ 2008 album The Slip.

David Bowie’s ‘Stay ‘97’ hits streaming services on Friday

DAVID BOWIE IS IT ANY WONDER? STREAMING EP OF UNRELEASED & RARE MATERIAL

’STAY ‘97’ (PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED) AVAILABLE FRIDAY 24TH JANUARY THE THIRD OF SIX TRACKS TO BE RELEASED OVER SIX WEEKS

Parlophone Records is proud to announce ’STAY ’97′ the third instalment of DAVID BOWIE’s IS IT ANY WONDER? EP of six unreleased and rare tracks being released once a week.

’STAY’ originally appeared on the ’Station To Station’ album in 1976 and was released as a single in North America and Japan in August of that year.

The previously unreleased 1997 re-recording of ‘STAY’ began at The Factory in the Dublin Docklands during the pre-Earthling tour rehearsals while David, Mark Plati and Reeves Gabrels were preparing the backing/sequencer tracks before the rest of the band arrived, and the rehearsals started in earnest.

David wanted to ‘update’ some of his live show staples so they would sit well sonically with the Outside/Earthling material. The recording was completed later, potentially for use as a ‘B-side’, and mixed at Right Track Recording studios, New York in May/June 1997.

’STAY ‘97’ is produced by David Bowie, co-produced by Reeves Gabrels and Mark Plati, and mixed by Mark Plati. The track features Gail Ann Dorsey on bass and vocals, Mike Garson on piano/keyboards, Mark Plati on programming/keyboards, Zachary Alford on drums and Reeves Gabrels on guitar/synths

DAVID BOWIE ’STAY ’97’ IS AVAILABLE TO STREAM FRIDAY 24TH JANUARY ON PARLOPHONE

Tony Visconti’s legendary Bowie ‘Heroes’ vocal sound can be yours

You know the legendary vocal sound on David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’? If you don’t know what I mean, listen to the album version (the single version cuts off half the good stuff). What you’ll hear at the beginning of the song is Bowie’s voice all close up to begin with but then as the song opens out to the ‘dolphins’ bit that kicks off the single edit, more reverb is introduced. Then as the song progresses, Bowie hits certain notes that seem to shake the whole room. What you’re hearing there is a very clever technique created by producer Tony Visconti; that’s three microphones at different locations in the room of Hansa Studios. The first mic – the one Bowie is singing right into – has a compressor on it to lift up his softest vocal inflections. The second is moved off a bit to collect a more ambient sound but only when Bowie’s voice hits a loud enough level to trip a gate on that mic. The third mic is set even further back and again is fed by a gate that is only opened up when Bowie really goes for it. And until now, you’ve had to have the right gear in the right room to achieve that sound.

But now Visconti has teamed up with Eventide to offer this effect in the form of Tverb, along with the ability to move the mics around the room in stereo. Imagine how it could sound with acoustic guitar or drums: your reverb can follow the dynamics of your entire track. And of course it’s going to bring vocals to life in the same way Visconti did on those legendary Bowie sessions in Berlin in the 70s.

Right now you can get Tverb for 75% off. Hit this link to learn more. And check out these videos.

Reverend Reeves Gabrels Dirtbike

Aah, how cool is this! Reverend Guitars has just unleashed the Reeves Gabrels Dirtbike, a stripped-back, ready-to-get-down-and-dirty guitar inspired by Reeves’ personal history. In his own words:

“What I think is cool about this guitar is the fact that I have a whole ongoing story/reason/explanation of always having a no frills simple, fast and blue thing to zip around on that threads thru my whole life. This guitar is a continuation of that sense of freedom in the form of speed and power stripped down to its essentials. And Reverend Guitars matched the light metallic blue color of both of its two wheeled predecessors. To me a single pickup guitar with a trem is just like my 1966 Schwinn Stingray with the extension spring on the front wheel or my 1971 Honda dirtbike with the raised front fender and slightly extended fork. It’s a guitar with enough agility that it will let you grab air and do wheelies and the power to leave some rubber on the asphalt in front of the neighbor’s house. And, really, that’s all you need. Did I mention it’s blue?” – Reeves Gabrels.

It has a custom Railhammer pickup, solid Korina body, Wilkinson WVS50 IIK tremolo, passive bass contour knob and a 22 jumbo fret Rosewood fingerboard on a three-piece Korina neck. It comes in three colours: Reeves Blue, Violin Brown and Cream. More info here.
 

David Bowie’s Custom Steinberger

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I just spotted this on the Juliens Auctions website last night while cruising for cool old auctions to geek out about: David Bowie’s custom Steinberger, serial number 7712, which sold at auction for $12,500 in 2009. Bowie seemed to like his headless guitars – you can see him playing a red Hohner in the video for “Valentine’s Day” from The Next Day just a few years ago – and this one has a particularly interesting story which, like a lot of great Bowie-related guitar stuff, has a lot to do with Reeves Gabrels. Read More …

David Bowie

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The first time I saw David Bowie in person was very much like this performance of “Rebel Rebel” from the A Reality Tour DVD: happy as fuck and controlling a room with his smile. Maybe play this video while you read this.

Here’s the thing: we all saw in that guy what we wanted to see in ourselves. He spoke for all of us who couldn’t articulate what we wanted to say about ourselves, and what we saw reflected in him was the part of us that we didn’t have a name for and maybe weren’t brave enough to show. But when you met another Bowie fan – not just someone who knew the words to “Heroes” but someone with that same knowing smile every time they saw a drawing of a lightning bolt –  you knew you had something in common, and yet what you had in common wasn’t your similarities but your shared differences. I’m sure we all remember when this entry from Caitlin Moran’s 10 Things Every Girl Should Know was doing the rounds online – it captures it all so perfectly:

When in doubt, listen to David Bowie. In 1968, Bowie was a gay, ginger, bonk-eyed, snaggle-toothed freak walking around south London in a dress, being shouted at by thugs. Four years later, he was still exactly that – but everyone else wanted to be like him too. If David Bowie can make being David Bowie cool, you can make being you cool. PLUS, unlike David Bowie, you get to listen to David Bowie for inspiration. So you’re one up on him, really. YOU’RE ALREADY ONE AHEAD OF DAVID BOWIE. 

The first time David Bowie made an impact on me was not even through his music – my parents never listened to him and I’d only seen stuff like “Heroes” and “Ashes To Ashes” on Rage occasionally – but an interview with him in the paper back when Outside came out.

I was 15 and I felt really alone in the world, as most of us probably do then. Nobody seemed to get me, nobody seemed to relate to my artistic side or my budding interest in intellectualism – or maybe everyone else around me who felt this way just didn’t know how to articulate it yet either. And then I read an interview with David Bowie in the newspaper where he talked about the motivation behind playing characters again, about his and Brian Eno’s abstract ways of working, about the historical and cultural influences behind what he was doing… the same newspaper also had a giveaway of a few copies of the album. I entered and won a copy and my life was never the same.

I know of so many friends with their own Bowie stories. Here are just a few of mine, about the ways Bowie’s music intersected with my life in meaningful ways, or had been folded into the fabric of my little family. I’d love to hear your stories too, because that’s the whole point of me sharing mine: we all have ’em and there must be millions and millions of them out there. So here goes:

My partner painted a picture of Bowie to give me as a gift on our very first date, and to this day that painting looks over me as I work. Bowie was one of the first shared interests we connected on, and I remember clumsily trying to play “Ziggy Stardust” over the phone to impress her once.

Bowie Painting

Last month my neighbours threw a street party and I jammed on a few songs with them out there in the drive way. I had a friggin’ blast cranking up “Rebel Rebel,” and it was so much fun that I was still grinning about it for days after.

Tweet

I vaguely remember drunken “China Girl” karaoke at a bar in Santa Barbara.

I had a band named The Silent Age after the Heroes track “Sons Of The Silent Age.” That was fun.

An advance media listening party at the Sony Records HQ to hear The Next Day before it came out, catching up with Paul Cashmere and Ros O’Gorman from Noise11, and hanging out with Angela from Soot Magazine, messaging our mutual friend Kate in California who was hella jealous. Sorry Kate.

Listening Party

I remember jumping around my bedroom joyously thrashing out chords to ‘Modern Love’ on my Telecaster, then realising that it was so much fun that I had to do it again. And again. I must have played that one song five times in a row that day.

I remember the pronunciation of ‘glamorous’ by a presenter on the Best of Bowie DVD spawning a family in-joke about ‘the Glamrus.’ This fellow, who still makes me laugh.

Glamrus

My son went as Ziggy Stardust for a school dress up day a while back. So proud.

Ziggy

Hell, even today, hours before we found out he’d died, my partner and I were hugging while ‘Be My Wife’ was playing on the computer in the background, and I was pretending to play the piano part on her shoulder while we stood there.

But I think the thing that stands out to me the most right now is this: Just yesterday I was driving around listening to Blackstar with my son, and I shit you not we had a conversation about how lucky we both were to be alive while David Bowie was alive and making music, and able to share in it. (He’s a cool kid. Likes Bowie, Zappa, Van Halen, the Stones… I mean, look at him in that pic up there. Dude gets it). I gave him a little Bowie history lesson, the short version of how he went from Dylan-influenced folkie to a heavy metal singer in a dress to a preening glam god to the Thin White Duke to trying to piece his life back together in Berlin to suddenly deciding to become the ultimate 80s pop star to practically inventing the 90s with Tin Machine to embracing industrial and jungle textures. I explained to him how Bowie’s lyrics were often hard to penetrate which gave you the room to create your own interpretations, and that sometimes they included historical or pop-cultural references that sent you on a little research binge to figure out what it was he was trying to say. And that for a lot of people who felt different, Bowie helped to say what they couldn’t.

And then we talked about how on the very last song of Blackstar, “I Can’t Give Everything Away,” Bowie basically breaks character in the second verse – steps out from behind the screen he normally puts up, a screen made of obscure references, cut-up lyrics and impenetrable meanings – to directly explain to us this rare glimpe of his creative process:

Seeing more and feeling less
Saying no but meaning yes
This is all I ever meant
That’s the message that I sent

I can’t give everything
I can’t give everything
Away

According to producer Tony Visconti today, with whom Bowie collaborated numerous times, “He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life – a work of Art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift. I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn’t, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry.”

With that in mind, all of Blackstar takes on a sudden devastating weight. Were you looking for symbolism in the title track or current single “Lazarus?” Guess what? There was no symbolism. He was telling us, as clearly as he would allow himself to, that this was it. Hell, it’s right there in the video: he’s showing us himself on his deathbed, his body frail but his creative spirit still determined to go on, dancing, writing – until finally, shaking, he steps slowly backwards into the coffin-like closet and leaves us forever. The first verse of “I Can’t Give Everything Away” is especially grim now: it sounds like Bowie was telling us he was at last removing the veil, allowing himself to be clear and honest and direct, or at least as much as he could: “I know something is very wrong/The pulse returns for prodigal sons/The blackout’s hearts with flowered news/With skull designs upon my shoes.”

And yet the song as a whole sounds joyful, relaxed, happy, sentimental and comforting. Bowie spent his whole career speaking for his audience but here, in one last song on one last album, he spoke directly to us. And heartbreakingly, he did so in the past tense. “This is all I ever meant. That’s the message that I sent.”

 

NAMM: Reverend Reeves Gabrels Spacehawk

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Reeves Gabrels is one of my all-time favourite guitarists. I don’t think I can ever truly get along with a person unless they too get chills from Reeves’ solo in “A Small Plot Of Land” from David Bowie’s Outside album. Reeves is currently playing in The Cure, and his latest signature guitar looks perfect for the job. The semi-hollowbody Reverend Reeves Gabrels Spacehawk is Reeves’ latest signature guitar with the company and it features a Bigsby vibrato bridge, Railhammer pickups designed by Reverend founder Joe Naylor, Pin-lock tuners (a thumbwheel under the tuner pushes a steel pin up through the post, locking the string in place for exceptional tuning stability and super-fast string changes), a Korina body, a bass roll-off pot, sealed body for controlled feedback, on-off toggle switch, custom soft-touch tremolo spring, and push-pull phase switch (in the tone control). Read More …

RIP Trevor Bolder

trevorbolder2013Trevor Bolder – bass player for David Bowie’s Spiders From Mars and for Uriah Heep – has died of cancer aged 62. Man, glam just wouldn’t be the same without the image of Bolder, huge sideburns and Gibson EB-O bass, but more importantly, it wouldn’t sound the same. Just listen to his work on Hunky Dory, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from MarsAladdin Sane and Pin Ups. And Bolder remained active with Uriah Heep up until 2011’s awesome Into The Wild album. Here’s an official statement from Uriah Heep:  Read More …