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Tuning Up: There's No "I" in "Team," But There's an "I" in "Meat Pie"...

Editor in chief Shawn Hammond waxes poetic about zombie journalism, murderous squirrels, Dorito-dust pizza, and the quirky/heroic efforts of the PG staff in launching the new PremierGuitar.com.

If you’re like me, you absolutely loathe letters from the editor that blather on about company dynamics or stuff that’s totally obvious if you just flip a few more pages. But sometimes hypocritical exceptions have to be made. Like right now.

Multitasking has always been a way of life at Premier Guitar. We bust our asses to crank out this monthly magazine, post daily articles on our website, and share cool stuff by the hour on social media platforms. But the past couple of weeks have been extra grueling for us—though we’re happy to say it’s been for a pretty awesome project: On July 24, we launched what we’re pretty sure is the world’s most powerful and user-friendly web experience for guitar and bass freaks.

Everything about the new premierguitar.com makes it simpler, more intuitive, and a lot more enjoyable to navigate our wealth of authoritative reviews, interviews, videos, and galleries. We’re especially excited about how easily it lets you drill down on a specific topic—for instance, to find everything we’ve ever written on pedal mods or guitar gods, or see all the products that have won our coveted Premier Gear Award. If you haven’t been there recently, check it out and see for yourself.

The prime movers behind this mammoth, months-long undertaking were company president Patti Sprague, web editor Rebecca Dirks, and marketing manager Nick Ireland, but everyone in this company helped out in critical ways—and at possibly the most inopportune times ever. To all of them, I offer a heartfelt “thank you.”

While I’m making this hypocritical exception to standard Tuning Up policy, I better get some other thank yous out of the way, too. I’d like to let my mind-bogglingly diverse editorial team know what a pleasure it is to work alongside them. From our old-country and down-n-dirty metal man Chris Kies to jazzbo Jason Shadrick, Nashville “twang mon” Andy Ellis, fuzz-box and Echoplex addict Charles Saufley, daredevil Van Halen fanboy bassist Rich Osweiler, unflappable train engineer Tessa “TJ Hookah” Jeffers, and fellow fan of the weird and macabre Meghan “Mumbly” Molumby, these guys are probably the hardest working people I’ve ever associated with.


… the anagram of “meat” is “team”…. PG deadlines make me feel like Shawn (sic) of the Dead. Thank god for a team that kicks ass even when its brains are half-eaten

Each of them has their lovable quirks that make work a lot more interesting, too. Charles, our chief purveyor of poetic tone metaphors, is particularly fond of making empty threats about throwing a flaming spear through your spleen via Skype. Andy, ever the wise diplomat and guitar historian, can always be counted on to brighten the mood in a morning meeting where everyone else is propping their eyelids open with toothpicks, Tom and Jerry-style. And Rich could deadpan you into believing he just had lunch with Nikki Sixx.

And you should see the types of things that get Skyped back and forth between Mumbly, Hookah, and me on a way-too-late night when we’re cranking out the mag on deadline. We keep each other sane with bizarre asides about murderous squirrels, starting a Heaven’s Gate II cult (with T-shirts designed by Mumbles, natch), Braille emails, drinking our own urine so we don’t have to leave our desks, and Dorito-dust pizza. Yeah, you could say we get a little macabre under pressure. I’ll remember this wacky stuff with fondness for years to come, even when people variously go down life’s strange, unexpected paths.

Speaking of new horizons, I’d like to give a shout-out to Rebecca Dirks. Though she continues to assist us as our social-media guru, she’s also building up her own business. Rebecca dedicated countless hours to helping PG get established during her 6+ years here, and we wish her the best of luck.

I’d also like to give props to our new senior editor, Joe Gore. Besides being a stellar guitarist and recording expert (check out his feature on Apple’s new Logic Pro X software on p.97), Joe’s a fantastic writer and editor who started the gig just in time to be a lifesaver during our web-launch zombie apocalypse. Thanks, Joe—and welcome!

Okay, I think that’s the last of the sappiness.

Oh what the hell—one more can’t hurt. Thanks to you, too, fellow lovers of these righteously demonic noise machines. We’d be nowhere without you.

  Until next month. 

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