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Nuno Bettencourt "Bumblebee" 4N & Honoring Eddie Van Halen
Nuno Bettencourt "Bumblebee" 4N & Honoring Eddie Van Halen

The guitar legend pops in to talk about his brand-new "Bumblebee" 4N and explain that tone isn't in the gear.

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Extreme Rig Rundown with Nuno Bettencourt & Pat Badger
Rig Rundown: Extreme's Nuno Bettencourt & Pat Badger

Guitar legend Nuno Bettencourt crashes his own Rundown to showcase the “Bumblebee” guitar he cooked up to honor Eddie Van Halen, while bassist Pat Badger shares two killer stories about basses that once belonged to members of Van Halen and Aerosmith.

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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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