Guitar Player Bandstand: Bill Worrell

Image placeholder title

In my Noize From the Editor in the June 2017 issue, I said I had stumbled over an old Guitar Player Bandstand column from 1968, while pouring through the magazine's archives to find material for our 50th anniversary celebration this year (1967-2017).

An idea was born...

What if I revived the Bandstand feature online, and deployed it as a venue for our readers — well, and ALL guitar players throughout the greater guitar community — to post DIY videos of their original guitar instrumentals?

The GP community would benefit from hearing all the cool guitar out there, and, hopefully, the players themselves would reach a targeted, guitar-loving audience through those who follow the magazine online. All I needed were videos from readers, so I asked for them.

And —wow — did guitarists respond. I'm now sorting through hundreds of submissions for the return of Guitar Player Bandstand — powered by YOU!

Here's our first Bandstand "release" from Bill Worrell with his track, “Hey, California, from his self-recorded/self-released album.

"I was experimenting with the Mesa/Boogie TriAxis preamp at the time of recording, so it’s that through a Mesa/Boogie Simul 295 power amp into a 1x12 cab," says Worrell, who has spent the last three years playing lead guitar for the classic-rock band America (and was previously their guitar tech). Two years prior to that I was their Guitar Tech and they were kind enough to promote me when the former player retired.. "I used an Electro-Voice RE20 and a Shure SM57 to mic it, and I ran it through a Chandler TG2 preamp into a UA Apollo Twin. Although the guitar in the video is an Ernie Ball Music Man JP13, I recorded the song with a Carvin DC127 with DiMarzio pickups. 

"The song was originally a simple loop I created. I was jamming on it one day and came up with the melody. The B section came quickly from there, as did the solo. It was a very quick writing process once the initial idea sparked, and I tracked it very quickly thereafter. The drums were done by Kelly Clarkson’s drummer Lester Estelle, the keys were done by Tim McGraw’s keyboardist Billy Nobel, and the bass was done by Jayme Lewis, a local but prominent L.A. guy. Although I’m a purist and tend to prefer tracking all at once, in this case, each one of the players did their parts in their own home studios — a testament to their production abilities, as well as playing abilities."

Cool "Father's Day" Factoid: Worrell got into the music business by touring alongside his dad, who played guitar for Natalie Cole, and also did sound and tour managing for Pat Benatar, Fleetwood Mac, Edgar Winter, and others. It was during his sound-engineering gig for America the past 12 years that his son was introduced to the band. 

"Hey California" 

If YOU want to contribute to Guitar PlayerBandstand, send a YouTube link to your ORIGINAL guitar instrumental to Please include a photo, the recording details, all the guitar gear you used to record the track, and any other data you wish to share.