RUSH TO JUDGMENT
I just received the March issue. Great job! Alex Lifeson is one of my favorite players. I must say that you guys have chutzpah, though. In the Oeuvre Easy section, I noticed that 2112 and A Farewell to Kings are missing from the Required section and the Inspired section. To diehard Rush fans, these are two of their best works, and you guys didn’t even mention them. Talk about moxie! Release the hounds! Damn the torpedoes! With all the rabid Rush fans out there, I have to ask one question: Has your e-mail server fried yet?
Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a Rush geek. But, more accurately, I’m an Alex Lifeson geek. (I even named one of my twin sons Alexander.) So it was with geek excitement that I received the latest issue with Alex on the cover. I had the pleasure of meeting Alex following a Rush performance at Radio City Music Hall in September 1983. I found it amazing how similar my feelings in meeting Alex were to his when he spoke of meeting Jimmy Page.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting Alex Lifeson on the cover of the March issue. Sadly, not many folks I know have heard of Rush—“Do you mean Rush Limbaugh?”—and those who have think they released two or three albums in the ’80s, and broke up years ago. Not only are they ace musicians who write intelligent songs that rock hard, they’re one of the few bands I can share with my teenage kids without having to apologize for their bad behavior. And, oh yeah, Alex is definitely the best looking guy to appear on your cover recently!
VAUGHAN (BUT NOT FORGOTTEN)
Thanks for the transcriptions of SRV’s music in the March issue. After all the years that have passed since his death, I still feel an intense mixture of joy and sadness when I encounter a picture of him—joy for his music and sadness about the brevity of his time with us. Your transcriptions were well done, and they will help me learn to play some things I had not figured out on my own.
A MASTER WITH CLASS
I was thrilled to see my very first electric guitar staring back at me from Will Ray’s eBay Strategies (March ’06). But you topped that by featuring a Master Class with Russell Malone. I have never been so touched by another musician’s words: “A love for music must come first, a love for your instrument second.” Yeah! But it was Russell’s account of playing in an ’80s rock band (bored but giving it his all) and unknowingly reaching a kid who was contemplating suicide that really slew me. Talk about the healing power of music! Russell made me remember why God gave us the gift of music, and what we’re all supposed to do with it.
In the March ’06 Artifacts piece on Jim Kelley Amplifiers, we incorrectly stated that Kelley produced 300 amps between 1978-1985. The correct number is 600.
Nothing smarts like being loud, proud, and dead wrong. In the text accompanying my transcription of “The Last Time” (Licks of Wealth and Taste, Aug. ’05), I alluded that Keith Richards played the song’s signature single-note riff. Shortly thereafter, Mark Bloom—an astute reader from Worcester, Massachusetts (hereby awarded GP street-team status)—pointed out that he thought it was Brian Jones who played the lick. Well, guess what? Mark was right. I just saw a classic film clip of the Stones, and it was painfully obvious that Jones was playing the riff while Richards held down open-position E, D, and A chords. To make matters worse, I transcribed it in the wrong position. The film reveals Jones’ incredibly clever and economical moves, so here they are in glorious self-rebuttal. Ah, now I can sleep again! —Jesse Gress g