September 2007 Letters

Letter of the Month!I just wanted to thank the staff of Guitar Player for being psychic. I hear this band XTC for the first time, and you guys interview Andy Partridge in the next issue. I see this weird purple Marshall at the music store, and you promptly review it. I wonder about the solo on “Reelin’ in the Years,” and there’s Elliot Randall to explain it. Can’t wait to see what wishes are granted next month.-Tyler Nelson Via Internet

Every month, GP Managing Editor Kevin Owens will pick the most interesting, inspiring, humorous, snotty, honest, and/or confounding piece of feedback, cheese it as “Letter of the Month,” and send the lucky winner a snazzy GP t-shirt. In addition, this month’s winner will receive a box (12 sets) of Dunlop strings (acoustic or electric, winner’s choice of gauge and type)!

Thank you so very much for the update on Andy Partridge [July ’07]. Though I still love guitar as a sport, and catch the G3 tour when I can, years ago I realized that not every guitarist could realistically be top dog in the realm of lead playing. So I decided to focus on my strength—originality in songwriting—and Mr. Partridge became one of my primary influences. Imagine my thrill to see the man himself sporting the very same ax I favor—an early Ibanez Artist!
-Johnny Thompson Scottsville, KY

Great job on the B.B. King piece—and on the gear reviews, too. Usually, the gear reviews are interesting, but feature products that are either off my radar, or out of my price range. The July issue featured at least four things I’ve been waiting to see reviewed (the Marshall Vintage Modern, the Mesa/Boogie 5:25, and the Boss/ Fender pedals. And then there was the Stompbox roundup. Keep it up!
-Joseph Duke Via Internet

I recently picked up the July issue, and was so impressed with your magazine that I filled out a subscription card and dropped it in the mail that same day. Your reviews of the Boss/Fender Deluxe and Bassman pedals were very helpful. Most guitar mags write glowing reviews of any product without being objective. It was refreshing to read a review that pointed out some negatives—as well as positives—for the items being reviewed.
-Douglas Phillips Via Internet

The whole July issue—like so many others—is fantastic, but I wanted to thank you for the article on Tinsley Ellis. I was in Atlanta for a while in the late ’90s, and frequented the Northside Tavern on weekends. One night during a break, in walked Tinsley Ellis. He whipped his Les Paul out of his case, got up on stage, and proceeded to blow number after mind-blowing number. The next hour and a half was a thrill that I can’t begin to describe. Thanks for keeping tabs on him. And Tinsley—thanks. I’ll never forget it.
-Tobias Venar Via Internet

What a trip it was reading the GP Archives interview with Fanny’s June Millington in the July issue. It’s mind-blowing to think how much the vernacular has changed in the 34 years since this article made the scene. As a Pisces, I can really relate to a spaced out Aries like Millington. I, too, get into musical directions—especially while getting off on some non-musical diversion. Can you dig it? Groovy!
-Richard Bandanza Via Internet

I’m sure I’m no different from many of your subscribers in that I’m unwilling to recycle a back issue. As a result, an enormous stack of past GPs has accumulated on my bookshelf. Long forgotten artist profiles and unmastered lessons beckon me daily. Recently, I picked out an issue from May 2000. A short synopsis of the career of Randy Rhoads begins with “The Southern California native burst on the scene in 1981,” and ends with “On March 20, 1982, Rhodes was killed in a plane crash.” Famous for one year. On the same page, another item about “Josh Clayton-Felt, 32, former guitarist for School of Fish, passed away January 19, only one month after being diagnosed with cancer.” Never heard of the guy, but I plan on checking him out. As for me, I had my time in the local spotlight during the Reagan administration, but I’m still alive, still learning, and still grateful for everything—including the help I receive every month from your magazine.
-David Bolger Williamstown, NJ

In June’s “Coltrane-Style II-V-Is” Lesson, Corey Christiansen states that Coltrane’s “descending in major thirds” tonal cycle “could have taken inspiration from the bridge changes to the Rodgers and Hart classic ‘Have You Met Miss Jones.’” However, Coltrane’s famous dividing-the-octave-in-thirds approach was probably a result of his studies with guitarist and instructor Dennis Sandole. Sandole passed away in 2000, but from 1946 to 1949, Sandole was Coltrane’s music instructor in Philadelphia. And one of the things they worked on was dividing the octave. You can get some information on this by Googling “dividing the octave + Dennis Sandole,” but a better source would be Lewis Porter’s John Coltrane: His Life and Works [University of Michigan Press, 1998]. Coltrane was without question an innovator, but let’s also give credit to his teacher and mentor.
-Paul Niemiec Via Internet