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April 2012 Letters

Straight to the Top It is not too often that I am so happy with a product that I write the owner/chairman/president to exclaim just that. I am sure that

Straight to the Top
It is not too often that I am so happy with a product that I write the owner/chairman/president to exclaim just that. I am sure that I am just like many of your readers— work hard and long hours when needed, attend to matters as needed, and at the end of day, look forward to some down time (or, in many cases, sneaking some PG moments in during the day). When I am not engaged in actually playing the guitar, I can be found with my latest PG.

I cannot tell you how happy I am when I open the mailbox and see my latest edition. I eagerly start at the front and read through, always finding great content that is relevant and informative. It is hard to do, but I honestly try and make my edition last. In the times that I do run out of material, I either log online and review the latest online content (Rebecca [Dirks, web editor] does an awesome job!) or I pull a past edition and scan through in search of articles forgotten. (My better half knows not to throw any of my older PG mags out.)

There are many guitar magazines available, and some do contain some good articles, however, I have not found one that— month after month, edition after edition—compares front to back and online to PG. This, to me, provides great value.

So just a note to say “job well done.” You and your team have certainly earned it.
— James Ross
Candler, North Carolina

Thank you, James. That means a lot to us!

Smokin' Squier
We received this photo from Brian Devlin via Facebook, with the message: “Inspired by the recent feature [‘Giving a Squier Tele the Cigar-Box Treatment,’ February 2012] in Premier Guitar.” Smokin’ axe, Brian!

Guitar Abusers Anonymous
Our editors’ musings on “What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done to a piece of gear?” [“Staff Picks,” March 2012] induced so many jaw-dropping stories from readers who’d loved and lost that we had to share a few (read more online at facebook/

Where to start? Smashing an early-’80s Ibanez Roadstar in the driveway of my parents’ house because the tremolo I’d installed wouldn’t stay in tune. Five years later, I tossed an Ibanez Roadstar II from the stage for the same reason. (I’ve been playing hard-tails ever since.) Then I dismantled a perfectly good Squier Strat and repainted the body with several cans of spray paint, gave the body to a bandmate who said a friend could strip my botched paint job and repaint it for cheap. Never saw it again. Twenty years later, I spray-painted the headstock of a brand-new Reverend, sanded the neck, refinished it with Tung oil, and sold it on eBay for half of what I’d paid for it.
— T-Bone Terrier

I shot my B.C. Rich Warlock with an M4 and a .44 magnum revolver to give it some “character.”
— Sean Kruse

Left a guitar on the roof of the car once. It fell, and the tuning machine hooked on the bumper. Dragged it about a quarter mile before realizing it.
— Jeff Williams

Which Side Are You On?
I have been playing guitar for 12 years now and am a singer-songwriter. Ani DiFranco [“History on Her Side,” January 2012 web-exclusive] has been such a strong influence on me and my evolving music. She is an amazing guitarist/songwriter/ producer and all-around talented person. She definitely deserves to be highlighted as one of the most talented female musicians around. Some of her music is harsh, but so are the issues she is writing about. Not for everyone, but I thank you for this interview and write-up. She is very deserving!!
— Georgie

[DiFranco’s] “Your Next Bold Move” is one of my favorite songs. It is one of the only modern protest songs that captures the mood without being difficult to listen to (as in rappers or cookie-monster speed-metal singers) or corny (Toby Keith, Charlie Daniels). But it is certainly not Premier Guitar.
— Tom

It’s funny to me how people can be prejudiced in their thinking without even realizing it sometimes. Would some of these commenters have been so defensive and begrudging if Ani had been a man, or at least not outspoken and feminist? It’s almost as if they want to take away from her abilities and accomplishments, which are far more than most of the commenters here, I am sure. Some people just can’t stand to see someone that doesn’t fit their idea of “what is” be successful. Oh and so what if she uses the “F” word? Who cares? So do 99 percent of most performers. Go back and listen to your adult contemporary if you don’t like it ... she is quite technical, but also a very inventive songwriter. Better than Vai and Gilbert? Not technically, no—certainly not according to the guitar nerds’ standards—but I would come away remembering one of her songs long before I would one of them. Vai puts me to sleep. His pretentiousness leaps out of the speakers. Clapton’s not technical, either, really, unless you consider pentatonics technical.
— Coley

In our March 2012 Vintage Vault column [“1957 Gretsch 6022 Rancher,” p. 60-61], we mistakenly printed an error. The beginning of the article should have read “The Fred Gretsch Company introduced its most famous flattop, the Rancher, in 1954.”