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‘Premier Guitar’ Vs. the Machines

‘Premier Guitar’ Vs. the Machines

Technology has not been our friend this week—and, yes, our Instagram was hacked. But fear not, our IG will soon be back to its former glory.

Apparently, everyone who likes animated family-friendly flicks thought last year’s The Mitchells Vs. the Machines was the shit. Critics such as The New York Times’ Ty Burr raved, “The movie is zippy, inventive, and appreciably silly—it tosses believability aside and asks us to just hop in and hold on … [it has a] breakneck gift for comic timing and a willingness to throw anything at the screen if it’ll get a laugh.” Sure, Mitchells had some cool animation, but I personally loathed it.


Almost as much as I’ve loathed this past week. We’ve been on deadline for our April issue, so it would’ve already been stressful under normal circumstances, but the way the last few days have been going, it seems our own machines have also “tossed believability aside” and seemingly thrown anything and everything at the collective Premier Guitar screen. It’s definitely gotten some laughs at our expense, too.

Bear with us—we’re close to a solution with Instagram’s support team … we’ll be back in the saddle with the usual smorgasbord of kick-ass guitar content before you know it.

I won’t bore you too much with the gory details—including cloud servers being a huge pain in the ass, videoconferencing software glitching and losing recorded footage in back-to-back interviews, or, “best” of all, having our Instagram hacked by some asshole from halfway around the world.

If IG is your means of following what PG does, you’ve no doubt noticed we haven’t posted any cool guitar stuff for the last few days, and that our account’s bio pic was cheekily changed to an image of the character Tokyo from the Spanish TV series Money Heist. The hacker didn’t change existing posts or add anything new. But they did try to bait us into buying back our content via WhatsApp. Fuck that guy.

So bear with us—we’re close to a solution with Instagram’s support team. Meanwhile, the wannabe TMZ-ers of guitardom will continue to “make hay while the sun shines,” but soon this asshole will be kicked off our page (and hopefully have his IP address blocked), and we’ll be back in the saddle with the usual smorgasbord of kick-ass guitar content before you know it.

Steve Carr’s first amp build was a Fender Champ clone. It didn’t work on the first try. Luckily, that didn’t stop him.

Photo by Charles Odell

The North Carolina amp builder is famous for his circuit-blending soundboxes, like the Rambler, Sportsman, and Telstar. Here, he tells us how he got started and what keeps him pushing forward.

Steve Carr started building amps because he loved playing guitar. He and his friends cobbled together a band in Michigan City, Indiana, in high school in the mid-’70s, and the gear they played with seemed like a black box. In the pre-internet days, getting information on amp voicings and pickup magnets was difficult. Carr was fascinated, and always wanted to know what made things tick.

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John Mayall in the late ’80s, in a promo shot for his Island Records years. During his carreer, he also recorded for the Decca (with the early Bluesbreakers lineups), Polydor, ABC, DJM, Silvertone, Eagle, and Forty Below labels.

He was dubbed “the father of British blues,” but Mayall’s influence was worldwide, and he nurtured some of the finest guitarists in the genre, including Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Harvey Mandel, Coco Montoya, and Walter Trout. Mayall died at his California home on Monday, at age 90.

John Mayall’s career spanned nearly 70 years, but it only took his first four albums to cement his legendary status. With his initial releases with his band the Bluesbreakers—1966’s Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton; ’67’s A Hard Road, with Peter Green on guitar; plus the same year’s Crusade, which showcased Mick Taylor—and his solo debut The Blues Alone, also from 1967, Mayall introduced an international audience of young white fans to the decidedly Black and decidedly American genre called blues. In the subsequent decades, he maintained an active touring and recording schedule until March 26, 2022, when he played his last gig at age 87. It was reported that he died peacefully, on Monday, in his California home, at 90.

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