lucero

Chicago’s three-day, punk-rock carnival was host to Slayer, Jawbreaker, Raconteurs, Patti Smith, Rise Against, Bob Mould, Rancid, Bikini Kill, Lucero, the Struts, and more. Here are our favorite guitar-related moments from the 15th annual gathering.

Ween’s Dean Ween

One half of the offbeat alt-rock group Ween, Dean (aka Mickey Melchiondo) pays constant tribute to his Hendrix influences by primarily rocking a Strat onstage. His Frankenstein Strat’s cavity has a ’57 route with a dowel cut in half-lengthwise and glued to the outside wall to receive the extra screw hole for a ’62 or later pickguard. It was refinished Dakota red in the early ’90s, and its neck plate dates to 1962. The guitar has a Seymour Duncan Hot Rails pickup in the bridge and Fender Lace Sensors in the middle and neck positions. The band played The Mollusk in its entirety.

"'If I fall and somehow my career ends on that particular day, then so be it," Joe Bonamassa says of his new hobby, bicycling. "If it's over, it's over. You've got to enjoy your life."

Photo by Steve Trager

For his stylistically diverse new album, the fiery guitar hero steps back from his gear obsession and focuses on a deep pool of influences and styles.

Twenty years ago, Joe Bonamassa was a struggling musician living in New York City. He survived on a diet of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and ramen noodles that he procured from the corner bodega at Columbus Avenue and 83rd Street. Like many dreamers waiting for their day in the sun, Joe also played "Win for Life" every week. It was, in his words, "literally my ticket out of this hideous business." While the lottery tickets never brought in the millions, Joe's smokin' guitar playing on a quartet of albums from 2002 to 2006—So, It's Like That, Blues Deluxe, Had to Cry Today, and You & Me—did get the win, transforming Joe into a guitar megastar.

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Bogner's beastliest amp is made miniature—and still slays.

Excellent sounds in a portable and very affordably priced package.

A footswitchable clean channel and onboard reverb would make it perfect.

$329

Bogner Ecstasy Mini
bogneramplification.com

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The original Bogner Ecstasy, released in 1992, is iconic in heavy rock circles. Though it was popularized and preferred by rock and metal artists (Steve Vai and Brad Whitford were among famous users), its ability to move from heavy Brit distortion to Fender-like near-clean tones made it appealing beyond hard-edged circles. Even notorious tone scientist Eric Johnson was enamored with its capabilities.

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