Your letters

March 1, 2005

happy new year!
So my new issue [Jan. ’05] arrived and on the cover was a pretty Gen Y rocker. I had been thinking about canceling my subscription since there hadn’t been much in recent months that I could relate to. Then I got around to reading it—wow! You have been redeemed! An issue with a Tony Rice Master Class, a Wes Montgomery solo transcription, interviews with Mike Keneally, Gatemouth Brown, and Mark Knopfler, plus real meaty offerings from Mike Stern, Robben Ford, and Jimmy Herring. Looks can be deceiving. Now where’s my check book? Please keep it up.

Stew Guernsey
NORTH YARMOUTH, ME

Allison Robertson

I just wanted to pass along a big thanks for covering Allison Robertson in your most recent issue. I agree with every word she said regarding the current state of music. Music and bands are manufactured these days—more so than any other time in history—and, unfortunately, it shows. I think Allison should be respected for keeping the nuances of rock guitar alive, and revered for her ability to craft better songs than 95 percent of her male contemporaries. Not only is she a knockout, but her riffs have bigger balls than most guys I know. Thanks, Allison.

Jason Statts
Savannah, GA

Once again you have proven to be the classiest guitar magazine I have ever read. I just received my Jan. 2005 issue, and, let me tell you, when I glanced at the cover I first thought it was my Allure magazine. Then I quickly realized it was my Guitar Player! I couldn’t stop smiling all day. Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting Allison Robertson on your cover. I keep telling everyone about the Donnas, and they never know who I am talking about. The fact that she is a woman guitarist and from the Donnas and on your cover made my day—heck probably my year! I am seriously considering making this cover into wallpaper.

Judy Barrett
Via Internet

As a long time player and subscriber to your magazine, I was happy to see Allison Robertson on your cover. I had the pleasure of seeing the Donnas on their last tour after my 19 year old begged me to go. Their show was the best I had seen that year. As a 50-year-old guitar player I am expecting people of my generation to criticize you for putting her on the cover because she is young and a woman. To those people I say, get a life and start thinking and playing outside of the box! Allison and the Donnas deserve all the press and success they are getting. Allison, thank you for not being afraid to solo. Thanks also to you and the other women in the band, for a great show and making this old guy a fan for life!

Mike Bowling
Everett, WA

I saw the Donnas on TV last week and I thought they were fantastic. Now, today I get my Jan. ’05 Guitar Player and read the interview with Allison Robertson. What a smart, thoughtful, self-possessed young woman—and she plays like a monster. The future of rock is in good hands.

Chad Thorne
Via Internet

I am a fan of the Donna’s work, and I was happy to see Allison Robertson on the Jan. 2005 cover. But two things struck me as odd. First, you chose to put Robertson on the cover and run Johnny Ramone as a secondary story? That’s just not right. And second, while I agreed with Allison’s comments on how differently women are treated in rock (i.e. photographers trying to put the band in suggestive positions), I found this a little ironic due to the fact that nearly all of the Donna’s songs are about making out, drinking, and sex. Is that not unlike me writing a lot of songs about guitars, and then being offended when a photographer wants me to pose with Les Pauls and Fender Strats?

Steve Custer
Via Internet

Sonorous Sleuthing

Guitar Player never fails to inspire me or teach me something new! Professor Brown’s article, “A Hard Day’s Mystery” [Riffs, Jan. ’05], was simply brilliant! Every time I hear “A Hard Day’s Night,” I am fascinated by that sonorous opening chord. Oblivious that the instrumental origins were something of a mystery, I assumed it was John, Paul, and George’s customary instruments producing a magical transmutation of sound from a synchronous smiting of the strings. My ears told me I couldn’t reasonably duplicate it on my 6-string, but I was clueless as to how the Beatles got that sound. Some had already correctly surmised a piano was part of the mix. Dr. Brown’s detective work analyzing the music with math and computer tools was able to confirm that theory. There is something very cool about the intrigue of a musical mystery, but I think it’s even better when the reader can be a voyeur to a successful sleuth’s methods.

Glenn McNair
Orlando, FL

“Gatemouth” Brown

I was happy to see Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown get recognition in Guitar Player for the true pioneer that he is. I was first introduced to Brown when I saw him blow Clapton off the stage as Slowhand’s opening act at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 1995. I saw him again a couple of years ago at a nearby theater. After the show, Brown came into the lobby and signed autographs for all who wanted them. I asked the master what advice he had for playing live gigs and he replied, “Remember, there are no superstars. Everyone in the band is equal, you’re there for the audience not for yourself, and don’t play too loud.” I wish Gatemouth the best in his battle against cancer, and I urge all GP readers to go see him live if you get the chance!

Jim Grande
New Jersey

Pawnshop

I am the C. Taylor mentioned in the Pawnshop Prize Gibson GA-20 article by Art Thompson in the January 2005 issue. That amplifier was bought new by Gary Edmonds from Lohr’s Music in Centralia, Washington, in the late 1950s. He used it until the early 1960s when the power transformer melted down. Sometime in the early 1970s, he cleaned his garage out and gave me the Gibson, as well as a ’50s vintage RCA P.A. amplifier. I restored the GA-20 and used it until around 1982 when I gave it back to Mr. Edmonds. It was later sold, and the rest is history.

I still can’t believe my eyes each time I open the magazine to that page!

Cal Taylor
Centralia, WA

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