Taylor Roadshow Hits Town

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Some cool news from my pals at World of Music in Brighton East here in Melbourne:

“Lock Saturday November 8th in your diaries Taylor fans as Andy from Taylor Guitars is heading into the store for the Taylor Roadshow. From 3:30pm Andy will be running everyone through the new redesigned 800 series guitars and T5Z, Taylor’s build philosophy and processes as well as there being rare and one off Taylor guitars available for sale. It’s free of charge but numbers are strictly limited so please call the store on 9557 8600 or email sales[at]worldofmusic.com.au to reserve a spot! You can check out some of our current range of Taylor Guitars here.”

REVIEW: Squier Vintage Modified Bass VI

I recently fulfilled a long, long-held dream of mine by finally acquiring a Bass VI – in this case, the Squier Vintage Modified version (which I bought from my friends at World of Music). Remember the instrument that Nigel Tufnel wouldn’t let Marty DeBergi even look at in This Is Spinal Tap? Bass VI. If you’ve never heard of the Bass VI, let me give you a brief run-down: it looks a bit like a Fender Jaguar but it has a 30” scale length and is tuned E-to-E like a guitar, except a full octave lower so that the lowest four strings are the same pitches as those of a regular four-string bass. The string spacing is closer than a regular bass, and I can’t think of too many basses with whammy bars, especially Jaguar-style units. So what is this? Is it a bass? Is it a guitar? The answer to both questions is ‘yes and no.’ Or more accurately, it’s simply a Bass VI. It’s lower than the lowest baritone guitars, and it goes higher than conventional four-string basses by a full two strings. Read More …

INTERVIEW: Steve Stevens

Photo: Hristo Shindow

Steve Stevens is about to hit Australia for a clinic tour (an earlier scheduled tour was cancelled when Allans Billy Hyde went under – don’t worry, they’ve been bought by new owners now, but that’s another story). Stevens will be showcasing the latest and greatest gear from Roland and BOSS, including the Roland G-5 VG Stratocaster and Roland GR-55 Guitar Synthesizer, as well as offering insights into guitar playing and generally sharing his decades of knowledge and experience. I Heart Guitar caught up with Stevens to talk clinics, gear and his new project with Sebastian Bach.

I Heart Guitar has two tickets to give away in Melbourne and two in Brisbane. Enter by emailing iheartguitarblog AT gmail dot com with STEVENS in the subject line and answer this question: which 80s rocker did Stevens work with in 1993?

Every clinic is different: what can we expect from yours?

Well Roland are bringing me to Australia, and I’ll be demoing the new GR-55 as well as their new G-5  which is made by Fender, and also their Virtual Guitar, the VG Guitar. Regardless of the whole electronics side of it, the guitars themselves are really great. You’re going to get a great Fender Stratocaster, to begin with, and all the other stuff is like an added bonus. I’ve found that touring with it I end up carrying a lot less guitars with me because one guitar can replicate a 12-string, a Dobro and all these other things. So it’s been really handy for me.

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That technology has really come of age recently. I remember trying some stuff about 20 years ago that was cool for the time, but you look back on it and it’s like “…Oh.”

Yeah. I was actually the first person to bring the GR-700 into the States. I was in Japan to do press for Rebel Yell and they brought me up to this very secretive room at Roland and they had the GR-700 there. I convinced them to let me bring it with me because we were getting ready to do the Flesh For Fantasy video. That was like the first guitar synthesiser I had from them. Read More …

Steve Stevens Oz Clinic Tour

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Aaah! Great to hear that Steve Stevens has salvaged his cancelled Australian clinic tour (which was mothballed when Allans Billy Hyde went under – don’t worry, they’ve been bought by new owners now, but that’s another story). Stevens will be showcasing the latest and greatest gear from Roland and BOSS, including the Roland G-5 VG Stratocaster and Roland GR-55 Guitar Synthesizer, as well as offering insights into guitar playing and cool-being.

2013 AUSSIE CLINIC & CONVERSATION TOUR 

Presented by Roland in association with Ellaways Music, Better Music, World of Music & Big Music 

Brisbane: Thursday 21 March (Buy)

Canberra: Friday 22 March (Buy)

Melbourne: Saturday 23 March (Buy)

Sydney: Monday 25 March (Buy)

Press Release:

Steve Stevens is one of the most gifted and original guitarists to emerge from the 80s music scene.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Stevens first picked up the guitar at age seven. Immersing himself in the great early 70s Brit guitar heroes like Beck, Page and Clapton, Steve would eventually became an avid prog-rock fan. Post his graduation from the highly prestigious LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, Stevens hooked up with Generation X singer Billy Idol. Idol and Stevens released the smash hit albums Billy Idol, Rebel Yell and Whiplash Smile. Stevens co-wrote the hits ‘Rebel Yell,’ ‘Eyes without a Face’ and ‘Flesh for Fantasy.’  Read More …

CUSTOM CORNER: Swirled Ibanez RG

Here’s my work-in-progress custom Ibanez RG. The body was an eBay find, and a Christmas present from Mrs Iheartguitar: it’s an Ibanez RG570 with a custom swirl paint job by Herc Fede. For a while, Herc was selling painted bodies on eBay, as well as doing custom work, but as of July 1, 2008 he stopped taking orders for custom finishes. He plans to still occasionally offer painted bodies for sale, so check his webside periodically to see if you can snag one. What I particularly like about this body is the abstract duck figure in the top left corner of the image.

The neck was another eBay discovery, and was hand made by Herc himself. The colours are based on the Ibanez Jem 77PMC purple multicolour model from the early 90s. The neck is in great condition and feels very smooth and comfortable.

The electronics will consist of a pair of Dimarzio EJ Custom humbuckers, which are designed to sound like old Gretsch FilterTrons, and a Dimarzio Vintage Solo single coil in the middle, which is voiced to sound like a P90. I already have so many shred-style guitars that I thought it would be cool to have something that sounds a little more traditional, yet looks completely over the top.

The hardware is all authentic Ibanez, in the Cosmo colour, a kind of matte grey. The clear pickguard is from Jeannie Pickguards.

All that remains to be done now is have the body clearcoated and the electronics cavities shielded, which will be done by ET Guitars.
Other parts were ordered from World of Music in Brighton East here in Melbourne (I used to teach there, and they have an especially awesome range of Fender guitars and amps), Rich Harris’s Ibanez Rules, Matt’s Music Center, and eBay seller Kenvai.