custom guitar

Both shredders first established themselves as top-level hired guns—Nita Strauss (left) with Alice Cooper and Jennifer Batten with Michael Jackson—before setting off on their long careers.

Photo by Ana Massard

These super-guitarists talk about originality, busting the patriarchy, supporting Jeff Beck, touring with Alice Cooper, Demi Lovato, and Michael Jackson, guitar education, their secret weapons, and … oh, how to be badass!

It’s a fact: Women and minority artists have often been marginalized, unacknowledged, and even ripped off—both musically and financially. And while the industry has slowly gotten better about amplifying their significant contributions, white male artists have historically been heralded as the heroes and innovators. Even with all of the progress made in recent years, one niche where bias still seems the norm is “hired gun.” The commonly used term “sideman” demonstrates the pervasiveness of male-dominated norms entrenched in our collective psyche. But there are exceptional sidewomen who have broken the glass ceiling with their primetime gigs. And among the most notable are Jennifer Batten and Nita Strauss.

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Name: Mel WaldorfHometown: Palm Springs, California
Guitar: Alameda Clam Shack

This month’s guitar comes equipped with its own Gretsch-inspired custom pickups, sure to deliver surfy sounds.

My name is Mel Waldorf, and I’ve been a guitar player since the mid 1980s. I’ve been tinkering with guitars for most of that time, because, hey, is it more important to play the guitar or to futz with them? I suspect the answer is playing guitar, as your magazine is Premier Guitar, not Premier Futz-with-Guitar.

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How our noise-crazy new pedal columnists developed a rad take on recycling with their Telepunk Fuzz.

Meet the Telepunk Fuzz. This is one of Sehat Effectors’ best-selling devices. Let that sink in, because it’s unconventional—to put it lightly—and very cool. Here’s how it happened.

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