Hey! What? Vinnie Vincent stole my photo!

Exhibit A: Above – My photo from NAMM this year (See the post here).

Exhibit B: Rotating images at the website for Vinnie’s guitar, from http://www.vinnievincentmodelguitar.com/

Exact same pic! All the reflections and shadows are identical. Vinnie, dude, if you wanted to use the pic I coulda given you the hi rez version! How about at least a credit or a link, huh? Professional journalist here with family to feed!

COOL GEAR ALERT: Charvel Desolation series

Charvel is really putting a lot of muscle behind its new Desolation series. Check out the range here: nice range of price points, active pickups (including EMGs on many models), compound radius fretboard on most models, some cool colour options and great choice of body shapes: single cutaway, double cutaway and… holy crap, is that the Surfcaster? It is!!! The criminally overlooked Charvel Surfcaster shape has been resurrected in the form of the Desolation Skatecaster. Check it out!

Really gotta hand it to Charvel for bringing back this shape. It’s way too cool! Charvel, if you’re reading this, how about a model similar to the old black/pearl/binding/lipstick-pickups version, but with a Floyd Rose and covered humbuckers?

Here are the other shapes. Really digging the double cutaway model too.

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Charvel Desolation Skatecaster 1 Electric Guitar Trans Black

Charvel Desolation Double Cutaway 1 Electric Guitar Trans Blue Smear
Charvel Desolation Single Cutaway 1 with Floyd Rose Electric Guitar Trans Black[/geo-out]

REVIEW: DigiTech Whammy DT

The DigiTech Whammy is one of the most important new effects of the last few decades. It practically redefined lead guitar just over 20 years ago, playing a crucial role in songs like Steve Vai’s “Touching Tongues,” Joe Satriani’s “Cool #9,” Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name Of,” Pink Floyd’s “Marooned,” Coverdale-Page’s “Over Now” and dozens more. There have been various iterations of the effect, with some being more successful than others, but the original red version is considered the most desirable (although the Whammy II is pretty cool too, featuring the same chip as the original but with the ability to toggle between presets with your foot. I miss mine – never should have traded it!). The fourth edition, the Whammy IV, adds a few handy features to the mix, but the fifth, the Whammy DT, aims to be the ultimate Whammy.

The DT includes a full suite of Harmony and Whammy options. The Harmony settings involve both ‘heel’ and ‘toe’ pitches which allow you to manually play the harmony with your foot for cool counterpoint effects. Although these are parallel harmonies rather than diatonic ones, the two pitches on the pedal are sometimes necessary for playing in-tune harmonies. The modes (with heel and toe settings respectively) are: octave down/octave up, 5th down/4th down, 4th down/3rd down, 5th up/7th up, 5th up/6th up, 4th up/5th up (very Steve Vai, think “Ultra Zone”), 3rd up/4th up, flat 3rd up/3rd up, 2nd up/3rd up. Then there are the Detune modes (Shallow and Deep) which are variable via the foot pedal and which are capable of cool fixed-pitch chorus sounds.

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CLICK HERE to buy the DigiTech Whammy DT Drop Tune from Musician’s Friend.


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SUPER-COOL GEAR ALERT: Mesa Mini Rectifier

Various internet forums have been buzzing with news of this amp for a few days – it seems someone very naughty leaked information ahead of schedule, and it I’m sure Mesa isn’t too happy about it. But here it is for all to see now: the Mini Rectifier!!!

From Mesaboogie.com:


The Mini Rectifier Twenty Five rides atop a 20-year legacy of world-class high gain performance and hit-making sounds that have been at the core of – and even a catalyst for – some of the very best of Modern Rock. You will quickly find that its Mini moniker and physical size bear no resemblance to its stature, power and command over blistering, tight overdrive in the realm of big gain Tone.
Don’t think for a moment this is a trendy down-line toy or marketing-derived imitation of our mighty Recto. This is the real deal… in every way a high-end instrument. Lurking within this expensive metal chassis, lies one of our most expressive and nuance-enhancing circuits to date and it creates an exciting, adrenaline-producing Tone machine… one of the most fun to play in the entire MESA collection.
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My interview with Uriah Heep’s Mick Box

Check out my interview with the mighty Mick Box from Uriah Heep over at Gibson.com. Mick is a true legend and a hell of a guitar player.

Here’s the link and here’s a snippet.

“I’ve always had the attitude that a working band is a happy band. I think that stands true, and there’s nobody who works harder than Uriah Heep, to be honest, because we’re out there constantly. We do 150 shows every year, more like 200 this year. I think that’s your first love, even before you go into the studio. You cut your teeth on live work. And you’re absolutely correct: there’s no more money now to be made with the dissolving of record companies and that side of the industry. And now you’ve got the download thing happening – it’s depleted any income in that regard. Luckily for Uriah Heep we had that strong fanbase around the globe, so it didn’t really affect us. The downside though is that now everybody’s doing it!”