Don’t Shoot! I’m the Guitar Man, Stones in Exile, Classic Albums: Paranoid
Don’t Shoot! I’m the Guitar Man
By Buzzy Martin
Buzzy Martin has some cojones. Martin wasn’t the first to enter San Quentin State Prison’s walls with a guitar— Johnny Cash cut his classic album there on February 24, 1969—but he literally transformed lives on a weekly basis, offering a few moments of true joy and healing comfort in a world where those things are at a premium, if they exist at all. Music hath charms, they say, to soothe the savage beast, and Martin’s tale is a witness to that. Don’t Shoot! I’m the Guitar Man is a story you’d never want to live, but you can’t stop reading it, either.
Pulling no punches about the painful realities of rage, violence, rape, and prison commerce, he describes the extreme regimentation, the stink, and the overwhelming sense of Groundhog Day futility with clear and vivid language. You truly get a sense of the place and of the struggle Martin has within himself, knowing this is probably the most dangerous thing he will ever do, yet knowing it’s also one of the most rewarding and important.
Throughout, we track the progression of the classes, from the rather peaceful and cooled-out “lifers” who’ve accepted their fate to those in what’s called the “H-Unit,” housing one of the most troubled prison populations that teeters on insanity and hell daily. We go with his band to a concert at “The Q” and get his take on the prison bands, some of which are terrifically talented. It’s a genuine roller coaster, and through it all Martin sees over and over the transformative power of guitar and song. It’s soon to be a major motion picture, so watch for that, but in the meantime, reading Don’t Shoot! I’m the Guitar Man will serve as inspiration to treasure each day that we’re free, and to be grateful for the small miracle of regular string changes. —GDP
Stones in Exile
From the supposed censorship of Elvis’ vivacious hips to the heated PRMC Senate hearing in 1985, rock ’n’ roll and the government have often butted heads. However, that feud has helped create some of the world’s most soulful music. A perfect example is the Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main Street, which Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, and Mick Taylor recorded in France, as tax-evading British expats.
Stones in Exile picks you up and makes you an honorary member of the 1971 Rolling Stones, who were living in Richards’ Villefranche-sur-Mer mansion. Whether it’s how Watts, Richards, and saxophonist Bobby Keys built song parts during all-night jams at Villa Nellcote or how Jagger’s lyrics for “Tumbling Dice” were ignited after a conversation he had with an African-American housekeeper, director Stephen Kijak opens the vaults to tell the story of how this classic album unfolded.
Piecing together rare and unseen footage from these 1971 sessions, photos from resident photographer Dominique Tarlé, clips from the notorious Cocksucker Blues, and sound bites of all the Stones and their entourage from the ’70s to the present, Kijak presents a documentary that is as raw and powerful as the album it’s spotlighting. He gives a no-holds-barred depiction of a band that was in overdrive in all facets of their lives. In addition to the 60-minute feature, it has over 90 minutes of bonus footage, interviews, and commentary from the likes of Sheryl Crow, record producer Don Was, Jack White, and Martin Scorsese.
For veteran Stones fans or someone looking to dip their toes into some brown sugar, Stones in Exile is a great option to explore how this classic album made it to the presses. —CK
Classic Albums: Paranoid
One wonders what more can be said about Black Sabbath’s monumental 1970 album, Paranoid. As possibly the most influential heavy metal album of all time, the record has been poked, prodded, and dissected for decades by critics and musicians hoping to discover the secret of its lasting impact. Eagle Vision’s successful Classic Albums series, which has profiled such great albums as Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell and Queen’s A Night at the Opera, attempts to close the gap of understanding by getting the perspective of the band members themselves.
Offering 90 minutes of intimate conversation and vintage footage, the DVD creates a moving portrait of each band member. Rather than gather the band together to comment on and relay recording stories, the director profiles each member separately in a unique setting. Guitarist Tony Iommi is given free rein to explain how he plays many of the albums immortal riffs, with close shots of his battled fingers expertly flying up and down the fretboard. The segments with Geezer Butler are some of the most entertaining, with vintage footage of him rocking out on stage in the early ’70s, segued with him interviewed in present day. Viewers will most certainly enjoy the moments with Tom Allom, the album’s engineer, as he plays back individual tracks from the original master tapes to reveal just how intricate and brilliant the songwriting really was. These interviews, plus couch-side discussions with Ozzy and commentary from Black Flag vocalist Henry Rollins, make the DVD a requirement for Sabbath fans and metal lovers alike. —JW
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Looking for a compact, “noiseless” way to plug in and play guitar? Check out the brand-new Gibson Digital Amp, available only in the Gibson App.
The new Gibson App simplifies the learning process and brings guitar playing to life for the current and next generation of guitarists in a modern, comprehensive, and intuitive way. The Gibson App is the place to take your guitar playing to the next level. New to the Gibson App is the Gibson Digital Amp, the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediate players and pros to get their sound anywhere. The Gibson Digital Amp is an accessible amplifier for both acoustic and electric guitars, and is currently available for Apple/iOS users--an Android version will debut next year.
Use the Gibson Digital Amp’s jamming guide to get started and transform your sound with built-in effects and pedals, jam to backing tracks, or use it in lessons and songs. The Gibson Digital Amp only requires your phone, and wired headphones for the best playing experience, no cables are needed. The amp features 3 acoustic mic presets, 4 electric amp presets, and 6 effects pedals.
The Gibson Digital Amp is the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediates and pros.
The Gibson App uses a unique two-way, interactive platform to teach guitar students how to do everything from playing their first note to shredding loads of songs. The Gibson App features interactive lessons with thousands of lessons and songs. Learn the songs step-by-step with video tutorials from superstar artists and pro guitarists in the “Gibson App Guide.” The Gibson App also includes the new Digital Amp, a built-in tuner, a metronome, Gibson TV, and new songs are added every week. New Gibson App Guides are added regularly and include Tommy “Spaceman” Thayer’s favorite iconic KISS guitar solos, Richie Faulkner’s (Judas Priest) “Guide to Metal,” Jared James Nichols’ “Guide to Blues,” CELISSE’s “Guide to Songwriting,” and more.
The Gibson App uses “audio augmented reality” to provide dynamic feedback to students as they learn and play. As you pluck a note or strum a chord, the Gibson App listens to your guitar and gives you real-time feedback on your playing. It also gives students a more contextual learning experience: Instead of learning chords and scales in a vacuum, you’re able to practice on a scrolling tablature that lets you hear how you sound with the backing of a virtual band. That means you can load up “Hurt” by Johnny Cash, “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “American Girl" by Tom Petty, “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica, “Where is My Mind" by Pixies, “Country Roads” by John Denver, “I Hate Myself For Loving You" by Joan Jett, “Heaven” by Kane Brown, “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran, “Killer Queen” by Queen,“ Sweet Child O’ Mine,” by Guns ‘N Roses, “Run to the Hills” by Iron Maiden, “Roxanne” by The Police, and “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “The Man Who Sold the World” by Nirvana, “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz, and “Don't Look Back In Anger” by Oasis and hundreds more songs in a wide range of genres, to see how your play matches up with such seminal tracks.
As you’re playing, the Gibson App gives you feedback on timing and tone, ensuring that students are getting active input on how their play is developing. The Gibson App appeals to players of all levels, it’s not just for beginners looking to learn a few chords; the app can assist seasoned guitarists who are working their way through difficult riffs, want to learn their favorite songs, or polish their advanced techniques.
Players can also challenge themselves by speeding up or slowing the tabs. Like having a full-time guitar teacher, the Gibson App keeps track of all your progress and adjusts lesson plans accordingly. The Gibson App released a “backing track mode” which supports both lesson and song playback without headphones, so users can self-select what works best for their current environment. And that’s not all: the Gibson App also packs in a fully-featured digital tuner for guitar first-timers, there’s even a detailed lesson on how to tune your instrument, a multi-function metronome, players can connect to free one-on-one consultations with Gibson’s Virtual Guitar Tech team, and to direct links to the Gibson, Epiphone, and Kramer online stores for easy shopping for guitars, gear, apparel, and accessories.
Learn Guitar With The Gibson App
The Gibson App is more than a pocket-sized guitar teacher, it’s loaded with an archive of exclusive content and original programming from its premium and accessible award-winning online network, Gibson TV, featuring music icons telling their best guitar stories, with more episodes and installments added regularly. Users can watch Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi share insights and tales from his decades-long career on the series “Icons,” dive into Joe Bonamassa’s assortment of legendary Les Paul guitars on “The Collection,” or see how Gibson’s iconic instruments are made in their Nashville factory from body to binding on “The Process.” There’s even a series called “The Scene” that focuses on backstage stories from hallowed music venues from coast to coast like The Troubadour and Grand Ole Opry.
The Gibson App free version features a few lessons a day; the premium version of the Gibson App offers full access and a 14-day free trial, then costs $19.99/£16.49 monthly or $119.99/£98.99 yearly.
For more information, please visit gibson.com.
This pickup captures the clear, bell-like single-coil chime of a classic P-90 when played clean and retains the tight mids and articulate low-end vintage growl and smooth sustain saturation when pushed into overdrive.
Belltone Guitars, as part of their Custom-Select System curated offering of pickups, has partnered McNelly pickups to create a one-of-a-kind retro-vibe P-90 pickup in the standard Filtertron size format. This pickup captures the clear, bell-like single-coil chime of a classic P-90 when played clean and retains the tight mids and articulate low-end vintage growl, and smooth sustain saturation when pushed into overdrive.
The McNelly P-90 Foil-Coil comes housed in a ‘raw’ nickel outer casing with a dull nickel foil face with metal mount screw gromets to complete the ‘new-vintage’ aesthetic, making it a perfect choice for your signature Belltone custom build. Available exclusively through Belltone Guitars.
Check out the Custom-Select System belltoneguitars.com to preview the McNelly P-90 Foil-Trons and all our standard and selectable components available to create your own signature Belltone. Then visit the Dream Lab on our website and select either model B-Classic ONE with its top binding or B-Classic TWO with its arm and body contours select your body color from our wide range of offerings, select your neck profile of either standard ‘C’ or thicker ’59 Round Back and either Maple or Rosewood fingerboard followed by your tuners, pickguard, and strings. Finally, review our curated custom-designed, and unique pickup selection to locate the McNelly P-90 Foil-Trons to complete your signature build.
Builds start at just over $2,300.00 with a custom case and shipping included.
For more information, please visit belltoneguitars.com.
McNelly P 90 Foil Tron video Sep27
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the release of the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses. The new Relentless P and Relentless J series pickups feature the Relentless cover designed in collaboration with Billy Sheehan.
As with the Relentless pickups, we removed all the hard edges from the standard P Bass and standard J Basspickups, and added an arch to the top of the pickups to bring the sensing coils and pole pieces closer to the strings. These improvements increase the dynamic range and make active circuitry unnecessary.
The Relentless P and Relentless J pickups incorporate Neodymium magnets and produce 70 percent more output than traditional passive pickups, and they’re dead quiet due to the incorporation of metal covers and foil-shielded cables. To dial in (or fine-tune) the individual string output, the Relentless P and Relentless J include eight adjustable pole pieces. These pickups also have a broad magnetic field so you can even bend notes without volume dropout.
DiMarzio’s extra shielding makes the Relentless P and Relentless J better for both recording and stage performances. We’ve mounted them onto robust .09375” thick circuit board base plates to eliminate the annoying protruding mounting screws — ultimately creating a more comfortable and consistent foundation to rest your fingers on.
The new Relentless P steps beyond the traditional P-Bass sound and can only be described as massive. It has more of everything: more volume, beefier lows, a growling midrange, and crispy highs with better individual string definition.
The Relentless J incorporates a new invention, (patent pending) parallelogram-shaped coils, offering an expanded mid-range punch, snappy highs, precise lows, and a new dimension to the sound of the Relentless series pickups.
Relentless P and Relentless J pickups will breathe new life into any bass, increase playability, and work well for any style of music from Motown to metal.
DiMarzio’s Relentless P, Relentless J Bridge, Relentless J Neck, and Relentless J pair are made in the U.S.A. and may now be ordered for immediate delivery.
Suggested List Price for the Relentless P is $169.00 (MAP $119.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Bridge and Relentless J neck is $155.00 (MAP $109.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Pair is $296.00 (MAP 209.99).
For more information, please visit our website at dimarzio.com.