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August 2011 Letters

A Great Interview, Barre None I agree with Martin Barre’s comments on vintage guitars [July 2011 web-exclusive]. [They’re] a tool, and practically any piece of wood and wires can be

A Great Interview, Barre None
I agree with Martin Barre’s comments on vintage guitars [July 2011 web-exclusive]. [They’re] a tool, and practically any piece of wood and wires can be set up to play great. I do admire the vintage instruments. But after having three of mine stolen, I have mixed feelings about them. Martin, you are indeed a master guitarist. Cheers!
—John Arevalo

Always loved Martin’s tone and feel. Saw them five times as a kid. He’s right, 95 percent comes from the PLAYER. Better to leave the ’58 in the vault and take something else on tour. Martin’s got it down and has always been one of my favorites. Good luck with the tour.
—Ricky Rue

Thanks for the great interview. Martin’s ability to play all the different styles required in Tull, from rock to folk and everything in between, is amazing! In the days of inflated egos, it speaks volumes about a person of Martin’s talent to be able to let Ian run the show for over 40 years. Take a listen to his solo work on his album Stage Left to really appreciate his versatility.
—Greg Miller

Thanks, guys! It’s great to get such well-articulated feedback on the stories we plan and craft so carefully. Let us know what you’d like to see covered next at or at

Instructional Seasoning
[Deep Blues: Old Blues, New Chords, July 2011 web-exclusive] is the kind of knowledge you can expect from sitting with a seasoned player. Very powerful, very practical. Well done, Dennis [McCumber] . . . look forward to seeing you at the National Guitar Workshop in a couple of weeks.

You’re welcome, Gary. We know how important it is for you to have audio the way you want it, which is why we’re now offering lesson audio as both streaming and as a download, and streaming review audio examples. We’re going to be streaming a lot more audio and video online soon, too. So stay tuned!

After-School Amp to the 3rd Power
I had saved all my money from working after school and intended on buying my first car. A demo of the British Dream [reviewed July 2011] changed my plans. I tried it and was blown away! I bought the amp and scrapped the car [plans] and have no regrets. None whatsoever! I have to hitch rides to get to band practice, LOL! But hey, a lot of people have cars . . . [but] I have the BEST guitar tone of anyone!
—Tony V

I know the feeling, Tony! I decided to spend all my money on guitar gear as a high-school student, too, and I never regretted it a bit (though I was kind of bummed my parents never decided to spoil me with a free set of wheels). When I look back at the gear I ended up buying, however, I’m pretty sure none of it was as great as the amp you purchased. See, this was in the ’80s— not a decade particular famous for its juicy tones. Here’s to helping you wisely invest more of your money in the future! —Shawn Hammond

Fender 60th Anniversary Tele Web Review
It looks like a great guitar and I am keen to get my hands on one. I am SO glad this one has the six individual bridge pieces instead of the traditional three. Not being able to individually intonate each string is a non-starter for me—I can’t abide a guitar that is slightly out of tune due to intonation issues. This has been the one sticking point that has kept me from purchasing a Tele. Kudos to Fender for addressing this defect in an otherwise perfect guitar.

Although certain Tele aficionados would beg to differ, Sky, we’re just glad you dug this webexclusive review. It takes all kinds! Let us know if you take the plunge and buy one—we’d love to hear whether it meets your expectations!

Staff Picks Turn-Ons
For me, it’s Michael Bloomfield’s “Your Friends” [that epitomizes my tonal approach]. Like [PG senior editor Andy Ellis] said, when I heard that, there was no turning back. Staff Picks is a great idea . . . might turn us on to something we haven’t listened to before, and it gives context to the equipment reviews and other commentary from the staff at PG. Thanks!
—Tim G

Thanks, Tim! That’s exactly why we do Staff Picks. Further, the regular question about what we’re listening to gives us more opportunities to talk about cool new albums we get but just don’t have enough room to cover.

We misidentified some of the people in a photo in our July 2011 Steve Cropper feature [“The Royale Treatment”]. The caption on p. 172 should have read: “The MGs and friends hard at work in the studio in the mid to late ’60s. Left to right: Isaac Hayes sits at the piano while Sam Moore and Dave Prater lean on the piano, Duck Dunn plays his Fender bass in the background, Booker Jones plays the tuba, and Cropper plays through what appears to be a blackface Fender Deluxe Reverb.” We apologize for the confusion.

Keep those comments coming!
Please send your suggestions, gripes, comments, and good words directly to You can also send snail mail to Premier Guitar, Three Research Center, Marion, IA 52302. Please remember to include your full name. Selected letters may be edited for clarity.