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The Inaugural Guitar Player Hall of Fame Awards

December 19, 2012
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THROUGH ITS READERS’ POLL AND VARIOUS OTHER initiatives, Guitar Player has bestowed a bounty of awards on inspirational artists, pioneering manufacturers, and groundbreaking products for many years. For the magazine’s 45th anniversary in 2012, we are unifying all of our various honors under the Guitar Player Hall of Fame banner. In every November issue, the GP staff will announce the annual inductees for:

Gallery of the Greats. An exclusive club of amazing players who have blown our minds, enriched our souls, and kicked our asses. Decades ago, the honor was given to artists who won their GP Readers’ Poll musical category five times. The title was always meant to honor contemporary players, and it has now been revised to celebrate the guitarist (or guitarists) who most captured the ears of the GP staff within the past year.

Lifetime Achievement Award. Since 1983, this award has recognized and thanked the pioneers of guitarcraft. Dormant since 1996, we are reestablishing the accolade to ensure that no guitar legend is left behind!

Maximum Gear. We honor the men and women whose passion, ingenuity, and ears have consistently triggered seismic evolutions to the guitar gear we all love.

Manufacturing Legends. We salute the seminal designers, thinkers, innovators, and business people whose products forged the modern guitar revolution.

Innovative Product. To spotlight inventiveness, this award recognizes gear that has significantly upped the technological, conceptual, and/or practical ante the past year.

The annual November “Hall of Fame” issue will also update readers on the winners of our Guitar Player Certified Legend Award (which is traditionally presented at Muriel Anderson’s All-Star Guitar Night at the summer and/or winter NAMM shows), and GP’s Jason Becker Award for Creativity, Courage, and Inspiration. These two honors are not always given each year.

All Hall of Fame inductees are chosen by the Guitar Player staff. The community is encouraged to nominate potential GP Hall of Famers through the annual Readers’ Poll, or by simply posting a nomination at any time via email to guitplyr@musicplayer.com with the subject line, “Hall of Fame.”

And now, we’re pleased and honored to announce the GP Hall of Fame’s Class of 2012 …

GALLERY OF THE GREATS

Guthrie Govan

Few guitarists have excited GP readers—and guitarists worldwide—as much as Goven and his prog rock power trio the Aristocrats. As Joe Satriani remarked: “What sets Guthrie apart is that no matter what he’s doing—picking, tapping, slapping, playing legato, whatever—he mixes every- thing up gracefully and absolutely nails each approach.”

 
 
 

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT

Lenny Breau

A player whose grasp of melody and harmony—and his ability to play them simultaneously—was so rich and deep it amazed gui- tarists as diverse as Chet Atkins, Andy Summers, and Steve Vai. Lenny’s harp harmonics alone would get him on this list.

 

 
MAXIMUM GEAR

GUITARS
PAUL REED SMITH

As a teenager he began building guitars that would eventually raise the standards across the entire indus- try for fit, finish, build quality, playability, and tone.

 

AMPS
HARTLEY PEAVEY

A passionate innovator in so many music-gear fields that it approaches Zeus-like omnipotence.
RANDALL SMITH
Mesa/Boogie’s Smith pioneered the concept of small, high- powered tube combos that featured limitless sustain and could switch from clean to scream at the touch of a button.

PEDALS
JIM AND JIMMY DUNLOP

The father and son team gave us Crybaby wahs, restored the Fuzz Face to it place of glory, revived the MXR line, and made it possible to get Way Huge pedals without visiting Ebay.
MIKE MATTHEWS
Beginning with the simple LPB-1 booster, Matthews’ Electro-Har- monix company launched iconic stompboxes such as the Elec- tric Mistress, Big Muff Pi, Memory Man, and Small Stone.

PICKUPS
SEYMOUR DUNCAN

The most knowledgeable pickup designer in history, he has wound them for Hendrix, Beck, Page, and almost everyone else.

TECHNOLOGY
MARCUS RYLE

He deserves to be here for the Alesis ADAT alone, but his onslaught of modeling devices changed our approach to crafting guitar tones.

STRINGS
ERNIE AND STERLING BALL

Ernie developed the first light-gauge strings for rockers, and Ster- ling and sons recently released the innovative Slinky Cobalt strings.
JAMES AND JOHN JR. D’ADDARIO
The D’Addario family traces its string business to Salle, Italy in the 1600s, and has pioneered scores of manufac- turing and marketing advancements ever since.

MANUFACTURING LEGEND

PAUL BIGSBY
The ex-motorcycle racer is best known for the highly popular vibrato system that bears his name.

 
 
 
 
DICK DENNY
Vox engineer Dick Denny designed Vox’s famed AC series tube amps.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
LEO FENDER
Nuff’ said!
 
 
 
 
 
 
GRETSCH FAMILY
Founded by Friedrich Gretsch in 1883, his son Fred and grandson Fred Jr. steered the company into becom- ing one of America’s preeminent guitar brands.
 
 
 
 
 
  
C.F. MARTIN AND FAMILY
Founded by Christian Frederick Martin in 1833, Martin has been at the forefront of acoustic guitar technology ever since.
 
 
 
 
  
JIM MARSHALL
The Father of Loud.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
TED MCCARTY
McCarty became president of Gibson in 1950, and was responsible for some of the company’s greatest hits.
LES PAUL
Les’ spirit of invention knew no bounds, and we all benefit today from his develop - ments in the field of amplified guitar.

 

 
INNOVATIVE PRODUCT

BAD CAT UNLEASH
Works as an amp attenuator, yet it can also dra- matically increase the volume of an amp via an internal class D power amp.

 
 
 
 
DIGITECH ISTOMP
A synergy with mobile iOS devices ensures these pedals can instantly morph into what- ever you need them to be at any given moment.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ERNIE BALL GAMECHANGER
Gamechanger’s technology provides every imaginable wiring possibility in a guitar’s complement of pickups.
 
 
EVERTUNE BRIDGE
An ingenious collection of springs that maintain constant string tension, ensur- ing perfect tuning and intonation.
 
 
 
KEMPER PROFILING AMPLIFIER
Allows you to model or “profile” any amp, in real time, in about a minute.
 
 
 
TOUCHSCREEN CONTROLLERS:
ALESIS IO DOCK, BEHRINGER ISTUDIO, DIGITECH IPB-10, LINE 6 STAGESCAPE M20D, MACKIE DL1608, PRESONUS AUDIOBOX, YAMAHA M7CL STAGEMIX
Gotta love embracing iPad and touchscreen tech- nologies to empower musicians with near-ulti- mate control over live and studio mixing.

Complete Membership of the Guitar Player Hall of Fame

GALLERY OF THE GREATS

CHET ATKINS, 1 9 7 4
ADRIAN BELEW, 1 9 9 3
GEORGE BENSON, 1 9 8 3
MIKE BLOOMFIELD, 1 9 8 2
LIONA BOYD, 1 9 9 3
JULIAN BREAM, 1 9 7 9
ERIC CLAPTON, 1 9 7 4

ROY CLARK, 1 9 7 9
STANLEY CLARKE, 1 9 7 9
RY COODER, 1 9 8 8
AL DI MEOLA, 1 9 8 1
BUDDY EMMONS, 1 9 8 2
JOSE FELICIANO, 1 9 7 7
BUDDY GUY, 1 9 9 6
KIRK HAMMETT, 1 9 9 4
MICHAEL HEDGES, 1 9 9 2
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH, 1 9 9 1
STEVE HOWE, 1 9 8 1
ERIC JOHNSON, 1 9 9 3

B.B. KING, 1 9 7 4
LEO KOTTKE, 1 9 7 8
ALBERT LEE, 1 9 8 5
GEDDY LEE, 1 9 8 5
DAVID LINDLEY, 1 9 8 7
PACO DE LUCIA, 1 9 8 1
STEVE LUKATHER, 1 9 8 9
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, 1 9 9 1
PAT METHENY, 1 9 8 6
CARLOS MONTOYA, 1 9 7 6

STEVE MORSE, 1 9 8 6
CHRISTOPHER PARKEN- ING, 1 9 9 4
JACO PASTORIUS, 1 9 8 6
LES PAUL, 1 9 7 9
PACO PENA, 1 9 9 0
BONNIE RAITT, 1 9 9 4
JOE SATRIANI, 1 9 9 3
ANDRES SEGOVIA, 1 9 7 4
BILLY SHEEHAN, 1 9 9 5
ANDY SUMMERS, 1 9 8 8
TOMMY TEDESCO, 1 9 8 4

STEVE VAI, 1 9 9 0
EDDIE VAN HALEN, 1 9 8 3
STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN, 1 9 8 8
JOHN WILLIAMS, 1 9 8 4
RUSTY YOUNG, 1 9 7 7

 
 
 
 
 

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

DUANE ALLMAN, 1 9 9 1
AGUSTIN BARRIOS, 1 9 8 8
JEFF BECK, 1 9 9 4
CHUCK BERRY, 1 9 8 4
JIMMY BRYANT, 1 9 9 3
JAMES BURTON, 1 9 8 7
MAYBELLE CARTER, 1 9 8 6
CHARLIE CHRISTIAN, 1 9 8 4
STEVE CROPPER, 1 9 9 6
BO DIDDLEY, 1 9 8 9
DOCTEUR NICO, 1 9 9 4
TAL FARLOW, 1 9 9 2
CLIFF GALLUP, 1 9 9 6
DANNY GATTON, 1 9 9 5
LARRY GRAHAM, 1 9 8 8
FREDDY GREEN, 1 9 8 7
GRANT GREEN, 1 9 9 6
JIMI HENDRIX, 1 9 8 3
EARL HOOKER, 1 9 9 2
SOL HOOPII, 1 9 9 4
JAMES JAMERSON, 1 9 8 5
BLIND LEMON JEFFERSON, 1 9 8 6
LONNIE JOHNSON, 1 9 8 8
ROBERT JOHNSON, 1 9 8 7
ALBERT KING, 1 9 9 3
EDDIE LANG, 1 9 8 5
CURTIS MAYFIELD, 1 9 9 0
WES MONTGOMERY, 1 9 8 6
RAMON MONTOYA, 1 9 9 2
SCOTTY MOORE, 1 9 9 3
JIMMY NOLEN, 1 9 9 1
JIMMY PAGE, 1 9 9 0
JOE PASS, 1 9 9 5
LES PAUL, 1 9 8 4
DJANGO REINHARDT, 1 9 8 4
MERLE TRAVIS, 1 9 8 3
GEORGE VAN EPS, 1 9 8 9
THE VENTURES, 1 9 9 3
T-BONE WALKER, 1 9 8 5
MUDDY WATERS, 1 9 9 2
DOC WATSON, 1 9 8 9
FRANK ZAPPA, 1 9 9 1

THE GP CERTIFIED LEGEND AWARD

JAMES BURTON, 2 0 1 0
LARRY CARLTON, 2 0 0 8
DICK DALE, 2 0 0 7
DUANE EDDY, 2 0 0 4
NOKIE EDWARDS, 2 0 0 9
TOMMY EMMANUEL, 2 0 0 9
LES PAUL, 2 0 0 3
LEE RITENOUR, 2 0 1 1
MIKE STERN, 2 0 1 2

JASON BECKER AWARD FOR CREATIVITY, COURAGE, AND INSPIRATION

JASON BECKER, 2 0 0 9

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