I had the profoundly positive experience of meeting Steve Vai at an EVO Premium Experience in Chicago. He was extremely gregarious and mesmerizing as he discussed interesting subjects such as spirituality, bee-keeping, vegetarianism, and the musicians who have influenced him. Three hours later, I witnessed this compassionate man vehemently perform a blistering, spellbinding concert, replete with dynamic riffs that were tantamount to musical knockout punches. Steve Vai’s incredible guitar virtuosity has reached paramount heights—he and the incomparable Jeff Beck are in a league of their own.Brien ComerfordGlenview, IL
Thanks for the insights and points of view from the boys of Garbage [July ’05] regarding the new album, Bleed Like Me. I know this is going to sound like a cliché letter, but why in the world did you overlook bandmate/vocalist/guitarist Shirley Manson—except for a couple of photos of her looking pretty? Ms. Manson is just as much a guitarist as the three male members are, and she deserves to have her gear listed under the “Garbage Gear” sidebar, as well. She may not play electric guitar live—focusing instead on giving the audience her all with that ferocious voice—but she is certainly listed on the albums as a player. I, for one, am left wondering: What’s Shirley’s gear? Mic? Guitar? Apparently I can’t rely on you guys for the answer.Mary LansingSolvang, CA
Mary—I’m really sorry that GP didn’t deliver the goods on Shirley. It was unfortunate, because, as readers well know, GP is extremely proactive about covering female guitarists. We did ask for an interview with her—and we even offered to send questions via e-mail if her schedule was too crazy to accommodate talking in person or on the phone—but, for whatever reason, the request was not granted. However, the complete interview transcription has some “Shirley tidbits” that did not make the published feature. Her main guitar, for example, is a Fender Custom Shop Telecaster built by Fender’s Alex Perez. In addition, Butch Vig said: “We swap instruments a lot, but I think all of us would rather play guitar than anything—including Shirley.” Finally, Duke Erikson added: “Shirley is more than just a singer. She has a lot of production and arranging ideas.” —MM
I was happy to learn that the apparently well-endowed Lana Darke won a snazzy GP t-shirt for submitting your July Letter of the Month. In the meantime, I hope the editorial staff of GP will fulfill its neglected obligation created when it failed to report that Pete Townshend has been acquitted of the charges brought in response to his using a credit card to access a child pornography site. [Note: Darke’s letter took offense to Townshend’s Peterson StroboStomp ad] It is very old news indeed that Pete was researching a book on child molestation and child pornography, and GP should have been either quick to print this in close proximity to Darke’s letter, or edit out the misleading phrase altogether. I look forward to reading GP’s correction.G. Patrick BryantMadison, AL
G.—As someone who reveres “fair and honest reporting,” I am truly shamed and embarrassed that I allowed an erroneous and unjust remark to be published in GP. The fault is all mine—I simply glossed over the reference during my final-edit read. I have already apologized to the fine people at Peterson, and I offer a very sincere apology to Pete, who has been one of my heroes since 1966. I also apologize to GP’s readers, who certainly deserve evenhanded and credible content. —MM
In our July 2005 issue we neglected to include a credit for the photo of Steve Vai’s Ibanez “EVO” on the cover. That great photo was taken by Neil Zlozower.
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