for GP. He
plugged a dark-blue, signature Les
Paul into a Fender Twin and got
Fender. I can’t forgive what he did to
my Oakland A’s over the years, but I
do love the way he plays—whether it’s
baseball or guitar.
product I saw at
NAMM: the amazing
Ring Thing ring
modulator from Electro-Harmonix.
This great-sounding box will change
the way you think about ring mod,
holds a guitar
with his Full
now distributed by Kaman. This guy
has gone from an unknown maker of
interesting-looking flat-tops to a
major innovator of acoustic and electric
guitars in just a few years.
with their Ty
Tabor signature model. It’s not easy
getting a new guitar company off the
ground, but with a great blend of
craftsmanship and artist endorsements,
they might just have a shot.
I was having dinner with
Abstract Logix label
head Souvik Dutta and
fusion guitarists Amit
Heri and Alex
Machacek, when legendary
Lenny White and Vince
Wilburn joined us—along with their
rather large entourages. Great musical
conversations and champagne were
enjoyed all around.
I had fun at the
catching up with
Bob Amstadt and guitarist
Bill Walker, who demonstrated the
new LP2 looping pedal. Bill is one of
the most advanced looping guitarists
on the planet.
One of the
ZBox—a passive device that mimics the
impedance of the input on an amplifier,
potentially eliminating the lack of
responsiveness sometimes experienced
when playing through amp and
I very much
Rivera Sr. of
a key figure in the history of
amp design, and the brains behind my
beloved Venus 6 1x12 combo.
I love spending
time in the “Mad
always has a bumper crop of
cool new pedals—including models by
Guyatone, Maxon, Hao, and his own
Totally Wicked Audio line.
Got to play a
version of the
Faces’ “Stay With
Me” at All-Star
Guitar Night with GP Guitar Superstars
Mike Orlando and Steve Senes,
bassist Stu Hamm, drummer Danny
Gottlieb, and my Ol’ Cheeky Bastards
mates Dave Dalton and Cheryl Doll.
I dig fashion
boots, but I
he’d put his haute-couture leatherwork
on an amp. Wow. Here are Nason
(left) and Hartley Peavey beside the
At the Blackstar
booth, I got to
played on one of my essential ’70s
thrill rides, the Kill City album with
What can I say? I
love lime green,
and I never
expected PRS to
toss such dayglo
mayhem on one of its fine guitars.
But there it was—a gorgeous green
Mira X, acting like some kind of Star
Trek tractor beam to pull me right
into its ghoulish embrace.
pm. Last day of
NAMM. I’m zombie
down an aisle,
and this catches my eye—the JMI
Mick Ronson Signature Tone Bender.
Ronson is one of my major heroes.
Heart pounding. Tears welling in my
eyes. I must have it! Nice way to end
15 watts from
two 6V6 power
tubes and features
tone controls that are
switchable for American, British, and
Vox response curves. Packed with
cool tones, and aimed at the boutique
crowd, this new amp is, well, a tweakers
The P-1800 PF
Pro ($479 retail)
they need to operate at maximum
efficiency, and deliver consistent
sound from venue to venue.
meaning to the
combo cabinets provide a birds-eye
view of the point-to-point circuitry
used in most Matchless amplifiers.
Paul Reed Smith
hosted two “Tone
and, at the
Martin Simpson played a PRS after
having a go with a variety of vintage
flat-tops. Randy Travis (right) and Tony
McManus also sat in the “hot” seat to
compare the sounds and playing qualities
of the various instruments.
easily won my
pick for the fanciest
combo at NAMM. The design
concept by Marc Minarik (Minarik Guitars)
consists of chocolate koa inlays,
and angels and cherubs made from a
variety of shell and wood pieces. For a
$6,500 upcharge, you too can have a
Rivera that looks like this one.