NAMM: GJ2 Guitars Unveils New Models


Grover Jackson’s GJ2 Guitars was very quietly launched at Winter NAMM last year. The product line-up was limited to a handful of Arete models, a sleek and stylish take on the Superstrat idea. Over the past year it seems that interest in the brand has steadily ramped up, but as beautiful as the Arete is, one model isn’t really enough to sustain a whole guitar company – especially one with the legacy of a guy like Grover Jackson. And so this year GJ2 Guitars returned to NAMM with a bigger display space and three entirely new models in addition to the Arete: the Concorde (which shares some DNA with the guitars Grover made for Randy Rhaods), the Glendora (which is a modern update on the type of Superstrat coming out of Grover’s shop back in the day) and the Zora, a single-cutaway singature instrument for No Doubt guitarist Tom Dumont. Let’s check the new models out. Read More …

Cartoon Stars Who Also Rock

Even if you’ve dedicated your life to the rock, chances are that most of us still need a day job. For some that means guitar teaching. For others it’s working in a studio, or as a luthier, or in a guitar store. But while most of us clock on, sit at a computer and zone out for eight hours while we daydreaming of riffs and picks, a select few musos clock on in the wonderful world of animation. As a kid who obsessed over both guitars and cartoons, I can think of no cooler double life than that. And here are six fortunate folks who have lived that double life.

Some of us know Billy West as the voice of Phillip J Fry and Zap Brannigan on Futurama. Others know him as Ren (and occasionally Stimpy). Others still know him as the red M&M. And my four-year-old knows him as the voice of Ellyvan, the blue elephant with wheels on Jungle Junction. West is also an accomplished guitarist, leading a band called Billy West and The Grief Counselors, and if you listen to the commentary tracks on the Futurama DVDs, you might catch him sneaking in some guitar-related trivia (including complimenting the animators on the hand-sync of a scene involving psychedelic folk troubadour Donovan). Check out this video of West talking about his various voices – Fry, Hubert Farnsworth, Dr Zoidberg – and groove on one of my personal favourite Fry moments here.

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