September 2007....The End of Summer

Various points and observations from GuitarAttack World Headquarters:

1.  GuitarAttack receives and incredible array of email.  While we welcome questions, we really welcome odd and rare guitar photos and related items.  From our friend Wolfgang in Germany comes this killer article from 1974.  Wolfgang, a true guitar aficionado and frequent contributor, reports that he thought of this article when we posted our story on our Yngwie Strat clone.  Yngwie’s Strat mutilation – that is, scalloped fingerboards – appears to have come in part from Mr. Blackmore’s experiments in the early 1970’s.  By the way – Ritchie referred to it as “scooping” the frets.  Thanks, Wolfgang, and we hope you all enjoy the article.  Right click here to open the PDF file in a new window or save it to your hard drive.   

2.  HAIR METAL!  HAIR METAL!  Poison with RATT and Vains of Jenna, September 3, 2007, Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheater, Atlanta, Georgia.  When an old-time metal show rolls in to town, it has something in common with a NASCAR race; that is, there are those who go to see the racing, and those who go to see the crashes.  With bands like Poison and RATT, you may just see a good old “Ultimate Fighting Championship” throwdown on the stage to go with the guitar-driven rock!  Well, we actually went to see the music, and overall it was very enjoyable.  Here are some comments on each of the bands and some overall impressions:

             a.  Vains of Jenna.  A Swedish glam/trash rock band with a great sound and great look, they had all Carvin gear and a set of Rikki Rockett’s drums.  Looking like refugees from Hollywood’s Sunset Strip circa 1985, they have a great front man and sort of an Aerosmith swagger on stage.  The crowd was still milling around and not paying attention during their set, and they were still killer.  Gear alert:   They had their logo stenciled on their speaker cabinets, and it looked really metal. 

             b.  RATT.  Our favorite 80s metal act, two of the five original members were missing.  Robin Crosby (guitar) passed away a few years back, and Juan Croucier (bass) was MIA.  They were replaced with John Corabi (guitar) and Robbie Crane (bass).  Interestingly, click here to read a statement from Juan concerning the reunion.

The band played a number of songs from our favorite “Out of the Cellar” and “Invasion of Your Privacy” albums.  Some impressions:

-  Warren DeMartini is still one of the great, active rock guitarists.  His tone and phrasing is world class.  Warren was playing two of his killer Charvels – “Swords” and “Snakeskin”.

- Steven Pearcy is a great front man, but he was really struggling on the vocals.  It was a long tour, and it will take him a while to get it back in shape.

- Blotzer and the rest of the band played great.  A killer rhythm section for DeMartini to solo over. 

-  Listening to them play, you realize what a great string of songs they had between 1984 and 1990…right before Pearcy left the band.

-  “Lay It Down” and “Wanted Man” are probably their best two songs…let the debate begin!

- Corabi had a backdrop of eight Soldano 4-12 cabs, Crane had three or four Ampeg SVT cabs, and DeMartini had 12 vintage Marshall 4-12 cabs on his side of the stage.  The guitar tones were great….and very, very loud.

             c.  Poison.  Poison is much better now they have embraced sobriety, and it appears that the reality show realm has given their careers a huge boost. They really did sound great, and their playing was much better than anyone around here ever remembered.  The original band came out and did a great set.  Bret Michaels, reality TV star and great front man, did a pro job.  His voice sounded fantastic, and he really worked the stage.  CC Deville, the man we watched melt down on the 1991 MTV Awards, did a great job on guitar.  He was playing some killer GMP Flying Vs with Floyd Rose setups.  We still think his tone is a little “fuzzy”, but his playing was great, and it appears that sobriety is agreeing with him.  Rikki Rockett did a super job on drums, and Bobby Dall held down the bottom.

 While it is easy to dismiss shows like this one as “nostalgia”, I believe it points to something completely different.  I believe people like to experience live music, and there is not that many great live bands touring right now, hence the attraction of the 80’s “hair metal bands.”  It may not be art, but it certainly was fun!

3.  There are so many politically related things we would like to comment on it makes our collective heads spin, but we’ve decided to refrain.  Why?  Easy -- politics have become like a religion in that “it’s my way or the highway”.  Since this is the case, in our collective opinions, honest, open debate is about over in this country.  Our news media constantly talks about politicians and issues being “divisive” and “polarizing”, and we believe that is putting it mildly.  If you want politics, go to one of the millions of sites dedicated to that subject.  We’ll just wind up making somebody mad, so we’ve decided to stick to guitars and music!

4.  Rant Alert.  One last comment – please put down that cell phone and drive.  The morning commute makes us shake our heads.  Nothing like seeing somebody pass you doing 85 mph while texting on their Blackberry….or have a near miss while the attacking driver is talking on their cell.  What communication is that important?  Solving world hunger?  World peace?  Probably not!  The Germans have already outlawed talking on the cell phone while driving, and we should or cue from them concerning cells and texting.  Based on our experiences in Europe, they understand the seriousness of driving, and we would do well to instill some of that into drivers in the United our collective opinion. 

Enough said...Have a great rest of the year.  Lets see your comments on the Forum!


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