Shredfest ’93, Or The Paul Gilbert Duet That Never Was

Mr Big

I’m a daydreamer. I always have been. One of my current favourite hobbies is going to zillow.com to check out super-expensive homes for sale or rent in Laurel Canyon, then kinda just blissing out over the idea of waking up there, making a coffee, strolling out to the deck with an acoustic guitar and tweedling out some licks while while taking in the aroma of the eucalyptus trees. I’ve met people who don’t daydream at all, or who mistake daydreaming with goal-setting. I’d bloody love to live in Laurel Canyon but I’m not actively working towards it and I’m not fussed if it never happens: it’s just nice to go there in my head for a bit. Anyway, while pondering the nature of daydream recently, I remembered one of my favourite daydreams.

It was in December 1991. My family used to go to the seaside town of Bermagui every year right after Christmas. The seven-hour drive was always pretty brutal, but by ’91 I had a kickass tape deck that fit right behind my seat in dad’s four-door Ford F-150. Jam some headphones in that sucker, crack open a MAD Magazine and zone out until the next pee/snack break (my favourite was the town of Adaminaby, with its giant Rainbow Trout sculpture. Seriously, you’ve gotta go see that thing). That year my brother Steve gave me Mr. Big’s Lean Into It album for Christmas, and I brought it along for the ride, along with a few of my other favourites at the time: Steve Vai’s Passion & Warfare, Metallica’s ‘Black’ album, Van Halen’s For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.

img_0161So here’s where the daydream comes in. I remember this as clear as if it happened yesterday. As I listened to Lean Into It‘s opening track “Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy” I started to think about how awesome it would be to record a song with Paul Gilbert. I could picture it all so clearly. It would be an instrumental shred duet. We’d both be playing Ibanez PGM models because Paul would totally have given me one because we’d be best mates of course. Our song would start with a driving riff then kick into an awesome call-and-response verse. Then badass harmony chorus. An even wilder call-and-response second verse. Badass harmony chorus again. Then we’d each take extended solos. Paul’s would be really cool. Mine would utterly wipe the floor with him. I mean it would slay that dude. Poor Paul. And he’d be cool about it, of course, because he’s such a nice guy. And we’d make a video for it. It would be Paul and I, walking along a highway (the highway we happened to be driving along while I was having the daydream), kickin’ dirt on the side of the road. The camera would focus on a nearby snake before re-focusing onto me and Paul shredding on the road in the distance. We’d do some takes of us shredding in the middle of grassy fields. Maybe put a foot up on a fallen tree for a killer rockstar pose.

And the name of the track would be “Shredfest ’93” because I was a realist and I figured I wouldn’t be good enough to wipe the floor with Paul Gilbert within one calendar year, but I’d probably be able to do it by ’93.

Of course part of the thing about daydreams is they’re allowed to be impossible.

Ibanez AT10 Premium Rosewood & PGM800 Premium

Wow, check this out: some pics posted by Takeshi Ishiguro, taken at the Musical Instruments Fair Japan 2014 featuring some new additions to Ibanez’s Indonesian-made Premium line: the AT10 Premium Rosewood Andy Timmons model and, in the background there, the PGM800 Premium Paul Gilbert model. Andy has been playing a version of this white axe onstage recently. And of course Paul is on tour with Mr. Big playing all sorts of beautiful Ibanii.

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Ibanez AT10RP-CLW

Paul Gilbert Demos The DiMarzio PAF Master Pickups

DiMarzio says:

“One variation that’s highly sought after by vintage PAF® players is a pickup that is quiet, bright, and very dynamic. The PAF® Master Bridge Model has all that combined with real rock and roll character. It reacts to playing, and sounds good when playing more than one note at the same time. Picked hard, it has a beautiful, snarly, thick, rockin’ tone. The PAF® Master Bridge Model: vintage just got better. Read More …

REVIEW: TC Electronic Ditto X2 Looper

TC Electronic Ditto X2 LooperJust over a year ago, TC Electronic released the Ditto Looper. It’s an incredibly handy little pedal which has single control knob and a single footswitch, yet allows you to create and control looped audio so you can build up beds of awesomeness to solo over, or to make your single guitar sound like an army. It offers record, undo/redo, stop and erase commands all via that single foot switch. And it’s heaps of fun. But TC is great at identifying where players would appreciate more control or less control – witness the Flashback Delay and Flashback X4 delay, both of which offer the same great delay sounds but with different approaches to controlling them in a live situation. And now there’s the Ditto X2 Looper, which takes the functions of the original Ditto and ups its game with more control.

Click Here to find the TC Electronic Ditto X2 Looper on eBay.

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The G4 Experience With Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert, Andy Timmons & Mike Keneally

Joe SatrianiI know what I want for my birthday.

PRESS RELEASE: From August 11-15, 2014, musicians of all ages and levels will converge in California’s scenic Central Coast for the G4 Experience with guitar virtuosos Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert, Andy Timmons, and Mike Keneally. This unique music camp that combines entertainment, education and a vacation experience will be held at the picturesque Cambria Pines Lodge in Cambria, California, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
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NAMM: ArtistWorks Goes Over-The-Counter

artistworksYou may be familiar with ArtistWorks, the leading interactive lifestyle social learning platform which features teachers such as Paul Gilbert, John Patitucci, and Nathan East. Well now ArtistWorks has launched a new retail program for credit card-sized cards which grant access to their 23 online interactive Video Exchange™ music schools. With these new tangible cards, musical instrument and supply resellers can now conveniently offer every advantage of a superior online subscription-based instruction with a physical card at the checkout counter. And you can buy a kickass gift for the guitarist in your life. Paul Gilbert, harmonica virtuoso Howard Levy and vocal coach to the stars Jeannie Deva joined forces for a great NAMM press conference to launch the new service and to talk about their experiences with the school.  Read More …