October 20, 2005

Eric Johnson

Thanks for the great article on Eric Johnson. But I learned even more from his tech, Jeff Van Zandt. I tried his tuning method, tuning the E strings first, then D, B, A, then the G strings, and it worked much better than the way I was taught. How about different guitar tech articles? Thanks, and keep it up. I always learn something from Guitar Player.

John Kricki
Windsor, PA

The Great Kat

Thanks for the inspiring interview of Kat [Sept. ’05]. For years, I have enjoyed lots of her stuff. You included some info that not many of us knew—things that are surprising and enlightening. I love her guitar and violin playing, and, if they are combined in the same tune, it’s sometimes hard to tell which instrument she’s playing. She’s that good.

Tom Parenteau, Jr.
Beaverton, OR

I just finished reading your interview with The Great Kat, and I must say: Wow! It was the most inspired bit of satire I’ve seen since This is Spinal Tap. It was satire, right?

Mike Argento
York, PA

I was completely appalled by The Great Kat. As a female guitarist myself, I found a lot of things she said to be—let me put this in her words—“moronic.” Yes, some females are afraid to play with men, but in all the bands I’ve been in, I was the only female. I certainly want to be better than men, but I know I’ll be better than some, and not as good as others. She’s not even writing her own music, she’s just coming up with variations of someone else’s! I’m not saying she’s not good, but she needs to get down off her high horse and give other guitarists—especially females—a little respect.

Erin Franklin
Tahlequah, OK

Noize From The Editor

Nothing Guitar Player prints will cause someone to engage in pornographic activity or try illegal drugs, but the casual references to pornography and drug use in your magazine tend to make these activities seem more legitimate. If it’s no longer shocking to say, or write, then it becomes more acceptable, and it’s not just parents of small children who are concerned with such comments. A lot of professional musicians have kicked drug use after years of struggling, and they don’t see drug references as “edgy.” My advice to the editors is to not try to be current, relevant, or edgy. It comes across as silly and forced, and just a little condescending.

Warren Zulawski
Center Moriches, NY

As a professional guitarist and long-time GP reader, I definitely have an opinion on the debate between “edgy and credible” vs. corrupting young minds. First of all, credible is what GP ought to shoot for, because a mainstream publication’s attempts at being hip or edgy are likely to fall short. No need to embarrass yourself trying—that’s not what folks read GP for. As far as corrupting youth goes, that’s ideally the job of rock and roll. At one time, jazz and blues held this honor, and when they lost their power to corrupt youth, they also lost much of their cultural relevance. I’d hate to see rock become the taxidermy that so much jazz and blues is today. Anyone who considers themselves a fan of rock music, yet gets up in arms over references to the wonderful moral decay it promotes is a hypocrite.

JP Bowersock
New York, NY

In response to Mr. Molenda’s editorial on maintaining a creative edge, I would like to share my own 16-year-old view. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the truth is that children already know everything about sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Reading the word “porn” or “stoned” is not a new experience to most children over ten, because their peers have already introduced such themes into their daily lives. Trust me, the things you hear on a school bus full of jocks could make George Carlin look positively straight-laced! I think the best way to protect children from the negative influences of culture is to actually discuss it with them. If you see the headline “Get Stoned!” on a magazine, use it as a conversation starter by asking, “What do you think of that?” The goal is to teach children to be media literate. If we do that, the children will protect themselves.

Brendan Hobin
Sarnia, Ontario


I am a loyal reader of Guitar Player, and, besides the wonderful articles and columns, I have tremendously admired your policy of running only music-related ads. You can only imagine my chagrin when I saw the Crown Royal and Mike Nason boots ads in the September ’05 issue. What is Guitar Player thinking? I am outraged, and will be canceling my subscription if you continue to run non-music related ads. Please reconsider this extremely disturbing trend.

Bob Steingraber
San Jose, CA

I’d like to get a head start on all the crybabies who are going to complain about the Crown Royal ad in the September issue by saying the following: Get a life! It’s not important! Go find/join a crusade that actually is important—like the war on terrorism, finding fossil fuel alternatives, or, better yet, finding the source of The Great Kat’s deep-rooted insecurity.

Steve O.
Via Internet

To all—The editorial staff discovered those ads the same time you did—when we read our issues! Please note that many gear manufacturers have reduced their marketing budgets of late, making it more difficult to deliver reasonable profits to our parent company and shareholders by mining the same pool of advertisers. I, too, was taken aback by these ads at first. But as my primary job is to deliver our loyal readers the absolute best guitar magazine possible, I am thankful for any support that increases our resources to buy better photos and content. The newly launched “Lick Library,” for example, typically costs upwards of $3,500 for music licensing and transcription costs, and the money for new features such as this has to come from somewhere. How would you address the issue of commerce vs. content? —MM


In “Fairport Convention’s Folk-Rock Fortitude” [Riffs, Sept. ’05] we inadvertently deleted text stating that Simon Nicol is the group’s lead vocalist in addition to being the guitarist.

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