Letters: October 2008

Letter of the Month I have always been a person who appreciates evocative verbiage. Since becoming a subscriber to Guitar Player magazine, I have been thoroughly impressed with the expressive terminology that the staff uses in the articles and reviews. Some of my favorites have been: “cathartic conclusio

Letter of the Month

I have always been a person who appreciates evocative verbiage. Since becoming a subscriber to Guitar Player magazine, I have been thoroughly impressed with the expressive terminology that the staff uses in the articles and reviews. Some of my favorites have been: “cathartic conclusion,” “symphonic ambitiousness,” “inexhaustible prolificacy,” “kludge,” “incomprehensible intervallic leaps,” and “imbricate lead lines.” My compliments to you all, but I would have to give Vincent DeMasi a Reader’s Pick Award for his use of “triskaidekaphobia,” and Michael Molenda one for “whipped with bamboo rods until their bruised and shattered sonics rage with cascading yowls of anger and madness”—my heart began to fibrillate at that tirade! When the new Guitar Player arrives, I now grab my coffee—and the dictionary—and have a relaxing read.


Every month, GP Managing Editor Kevin Owens picks the most interesting, inspiring, humorous, snotty, honest, and/or confounding piece of Feedback, cheeses it as “Letter of the Month,” and sends the lucky winner a snazzy GP t-shirt. In addition, this month’s winner will receive a Line 6 Tonecore Dr. Distorto!

I am a young guitarist whose dad loves Luther Dickinson—not from his work with the Crowes, but from the North Mississippi Allstars. The second I saw the August cover, I called my dad, and we both went crazy. I hope this article will give Luther and the boys from the NMAS their big break. Not only does Luther emerge as the guitar god that he is on their record Hernando, earlier albums such as Electric Blue Watermelon and Phantom 51 are also great. I have always respected your publication, but now on a new level. Thanks for putting the spotlight on the god of the slide.

Will Richardson VIA INTERNET

After reading your notes about who should grace the cover of GP—a new musician/band or one of the old guard—I was gobsmacked. To me, GP is an icon. I would bet my last money that if you had a plain white cover with the Guitar Player logo and a headline that read, “We Don’t Need to Put a Face on this Cover to Sell this Magazine,” people would buy it. GP once ran an ad campaign for itself under the heading, “Narrow-Minded and Proud of it.” It promised GP would never ask where Clapton gets his clothes, or what kind of toothbrush made Hendrix famous. [Ed. Note: For more info on Hendrix’s toothbrush, see Sonny Landreth’s comments on p. 102.] I have been a subscriber for almost 35 years, and with all the changes to the magazine over the years one thing has remained constant: It’s still Guitar Player magazine. So who should you out on the cover? Whovever is worth reading about. Black Crowes’ new stuff? Good idea. New Return to Forever LP with the “elegant gypsy” himself? Great idea. My advice is to stay narrow-minded. Ultimately, that is what, in my humble opinion, guitarists want to read.


You recently asked about what types of acts you should feature on your covers, and how you could appeal to the “greener” (younger) members of your demographic. Fiddlesticks! I remember when I first started reading GP all the way back in 1975. There was always a letter to the editor from some ornery old-timer who decried the newfangled rock guitar players and your cover stories on people like Eddie Van Halen and Ted Nugent. I don’t read guitar mags as often as I used to, but one thing that I can count on is that Guitar Player has been—and still—is the benchmark by which other magazines are judged. And that is partly because Guitar Player has always held itself to a higher standard, with better writing and a more selective taste than others. I took my 16- year-old daughter to “the big rock show” recently, and saw the bands Hawthorne Heights and Fallout Boy. I expected to be bored and underwhelmed, but I ended up being really impressed with how tight they were, and how much actual guitar playing was going on. It sounded to my ears that true guitar playing has regained strength after the grunge years. It comes down to this: Put anyone you want on the cover, as long as they can play. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. (Translation: the more things change, the more they stay the same.)


I recently purchased a ’69 Super Reverb, and although I think it sounds great, I was looking into changing it to Blackface circuitry. The Internet turned up a hundred different opinions on how to do this, so I was more than thrilled when I picked up your July issue and saw the Shop Talk article. I now have a precise schematic for this mod. Thank you so much. It’s nice to see a magazine that is about tone, and not about how many records the cover artist is selling. You won me over.

Matt MawhirTAMPA,FL,

I just received my August ’08 issue and wanted to comment on the excellent “Noize from the Editor” page. Mr. Molenda has simultaneously honored all of our armed service personnel and veterans, while giving us readers some very inspiring things to think about throughout the year. It is because of the sacrifices of those men and women that we have the freedom to express ourselves in whatever ways we choose. So thank you. And congratulations on a very well written column, not to mention the balance of this month’s excellent issue.


Address editorial correspondence to Feedback, c/o Guitar Player, 1111 Bayhill Drive, Suite 125, San Bruno, CA 94066,

or e-mail us at guitplyr@musicplayer.com (please direct all subscription questions to guitarplayer@pcspublink.com). GP regrets that until the advent of the 40-hour workday we will not be able to answer every letter.