Premier Guitar features affiliate links to help support our content. We may earn a commission on any affiliated purchases.

Michael Jackson: Share Your Memories

Michael Jackson''s death yesterday rocked the music world. Whether or not you were into his brand of pop, you can''t deny his musical influence. Within the guitar community, many people

Michael Jackson's death yesterday rocked the music world. Whether or not you were into his brand of pop, you can't deny his musical influence. Within the guitar community, many people are sharing how his music touched their lives. We'll be updating this article with links to guitar-relevant Jackson tributes and comments from notable guitarists. We encourage you to leave your thoughts in the comments section at the end of this article.

Eddie Van Halen, responsible for the epic "Beat It" solo, comments to TMZ, "I am really shocked; as I'm sure the world is, to hear the news. I had the pleasure of working with Michael on 'Beat It' back in '83 -- one of my fondest memories in my career. Michael will be missed and may he rest in peace."

Jennifer Batten, touring guitarist for Michael, profiled in a San Diego newspaper with a video detailing how she became involved with Jackson (shot prior to his death).

Jennifer Batten talks to a Portland news channel about Michael's death.

Paul McCartney, along with other music-industry figures, comment on Michael's life and death to MTV.

Blogger Guitar Noize posted videos of Jackson's best guitar moments, with Slash, EVH and Jennifer Batten appearances in "Beat It," "Dirty Diana," and "Black and White."

Jackson's guitar tech for the "Bad" world tour in 1987-89, Merle Saunders, Jr., shares his memories with a local newspaper.

Guitarists react on Twitter:
Slash: Really sad news about Michael, he was a talent from on high.
John Mayer: Dazed in the studio. A major strand of our cultural DNA has left us. RIP MJ.
Vernon Reid: Michael was Peter Pan, but also Our Frankenstein, the closest thing to The Joker we'll ever hear or see. Angel, & Demon haunting us forever.
Steve Lukather: EVH called me and almost everyone else who ever played with MJ has called. It is very surreal.
Neil Zaza: I still can't believe Michael Jackson is dead. Wow...
Very Sad to lose an incredible talent. Thank you Michael for your inspiration!
How did Michael's music affect your playing?

While Annie Clark was named the 26th greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone in 2023, she couldn’t care less about impressing an athletic stamp on either her sound or her image.

Photo by Alex Da Corte

On her eighth studio release, the electroacoustic art-rock guitarist and producer animates an extension of the strange and singular voice she’s been honing since her debut in 2007.

“Did you grow up Unitarian?” Annie Clark asks me. We’re sitting in a control room at Electric Lady Studios in New York’s West Village, and I’ve just explained my personal belief system to her, to see if Clark, aka St. Vincent, might relate and return the favor. After all, does she not possess a kind of sainthood worth inquiring about?

Read MoreShow less

Frank’s Guyatone LG-60 features an old Bigsby and alternate headstock shape, along with single-coil pickups that look sort of like humbuckers.

In the midst of his explorations of Japanese guitar culture, our columnist stumbled upon a vintage collector who also happens to be part of the Pokémon design team.

So, how many of you know about Pokémon, the popular video-game and card series? I missed out on the initial Pokémon craze of the ’90s, and its continuation while I later was toiling my way through college, but when my son was in kindergarten around 2016, we started to play Pokémon Go—another game in the Pokémon series—on my smartphone.

Read MoreShow less

As he approaches his 80th year, Chris Smither remains a potent songwriter and guitarist whose work is truly timeless—carved from experience and a deep perspective into the human condition.

Photo by Jo Chattman

The veteran fingerstylist and songwriter—who’s had his songs covered by Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, and others—ponders the existential while celebrating the earthly. He also talks about the trajectory of his six-decades-long career, and how he learned to stop doing what’s unnecessary.

Now well into his sixth decade as a performer, with more than 20 albums behind him, singer-songwriter Chris Smither is doing some of his finest work. His vivid lyrics and resonant baritone on his new recording, All About the Bones, are elevated by his inimitable guitar style.

Read MoreShow less

Name: Steve Bloom

Hometown: New York, NY

Guitar: The Pinecaster P-90

Reader and NYC musician Steve Bloom wanted a pine-bodied Tele with P-90s and 4-way switching, so he built the Pinecaster.

With a yen for a pine-bodied 6-string with a diverse array of tones, Steve Bloom built a parts guitar that‘s more than the sum of its parts.

Read MoreShow less