Over the past few months we’ve had many Eastwood and Airline celebrity sightings, so I thought I’d share a few to bring you up to date.
Behind every guitar there’s some sort of story, but they usually aren’t as rich as the one behind the Kramer Gorky Park seen here! Not only was this guitar associated with one of the big flash-in-the-pan pop metal bands of the late 1980s, it symbolically and almost literally marked the end of Kramer, as the largest guitar company in the world was crumbling just like the Iron Curtain!
I completely do not understand this show. Really. Sorry. But when a bunch of customers alert me to this airing, I just have to step back and say, “WTF?!” Yes, I admit, I am a fan of Heart – and have many high school memories of their songs, including their mega-hit, ‘Barracuda’. But I never expected to see the opening riff cranked out by Heart frontman Craig Bartock on an Airline ’59 Custom Town & Country guitar.
There is nothing quite a great two-guitar rock and roll band. By this, I don’t mean just any band where one guitar strums rhythm, while another player does the lead, but a band where the two guitars work together so symbiotically, they become almost a single great instrument in the band. When two guitar players are truly locked in, the give and take creates a tension that just doesn’t, can’t, happen when there’s only one guitar player.
There’s been buzz on the Web and an actual broo-ha-ha this week in anticipation of the announcement of Gibson’s “Jimi Hendrix Guitar” package. As even the most casual Hendrix fans know, his main axe was a Fender Stratocaster. Especially devoted followers are likely aware that Jimi occasionally played a Gibson Flying V. Gibson’s Custom Shop already offered a high-end tribute model Flying V of just 300 copies with a list of $12,300 in 2007, so this new model would surely be some variation on that, right?
Last year at NAMM, Eastwood grand poobah Mike Robinson and I were talking about hot rods and custom jobs. He’d said one of the truly fun things he dug about motorcycle riding was tripping out your bike with custom touches that made it your own. This led into talk about custom guitars and some of his favorite custom shots people had sent in to him with their modified Eastwoods and Airlines. He sent me a couple of cool pictures at one point of wild things people had done to their guitars, and it got me thinking about a long-neglected project of mine with an old Silvertone/Danelectro. Most of the mods I do are on amps—and they tend to be unseen, unless you look under the hood—but here was a guitar job that would be obvious to anyone who saw it.
Although I’m very passionate about my music, my guitar playing and blues, I don’t in any way consider myself an expert on any of these topics. I’m always open to new artists and a lot of artists that have received high praise from other musicians I simply haven’t had the chance to listen to yet. This will explain to some why I had never listened to Roy Buchanan till recently.