Seize The Day, Reach For The Legend

Half a century ago was born a guitar which would become a true icon of rock.

Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton – they all created legendary riffs on the 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard.

True, the ’59 might not be the oldest Les Paul. That honour goes to the ’52.

Nor was the ’59 the first to get the PAF humbuckers and glorious maple top with burst. They came in ’57 and ’58 respectively.

But the ’59 had the faster neck. Add all these aforementioned factors together and the result is what enthusiasts regard as the holy grail of guitars.

You will have heard classic Les Pauls a thousand times at gigs…on albums and DVDs, on the radio and TV.

However, there is little to compare with hearing one in its full glory at close quarters.

Go to your local guitar shop. Ask them plug a classic Les Paul into a Marshall valve amp and savour the awesome sound.

Trust me, they’ll love you for it – any excuse to demo a great Les Paul.

Then buy one. You will love your Les Paul long after this recession and the next one have been and gone.

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Filed under Classic Rock, Guitar

Keeping The Faith…Faithfully

Classic rock means much more to the fans than simply the music. It’s about the spirit behind the songs.

These rock anthems take you back to a special time, a sacred place, a moment of pure magic. 

Great bands know this. They handle their anthems with true reverence. Members who have joined along the way know they are being passed a very special torch.

Lynyrd Skynyrd bassist Ean Evans sums up this ethos in the latest video interview on the band’s official site.

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Filed under Classic Rock, Southern Rock

Merry Riff-mas!

Merry Christmas from Riffhappy – here’s hoping that you enjoy a peaceful and restful Yuletide with your loved ones.

As you reunite with friends and relatives over the Christmas period,  Riffhappy hopes that you celebrate nostalgic memories and make exciting plans for the New Year.

And enjoy this little viral from those splendid chaps at Planet Rock

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Cometh The Axe…When Cometh The Axeman?

At least a year has passed since Gibson launched the revolutionary Robot Guitar (December 7th 2007) – an axe capable of retuning itself in mid-song, thanks to motorised tuning pegs.

What has happened since that giant servo-assisted leap forward for the glorious Les Paul?

Well, there has been a  similar motorised makeover for the SG – but my  point is, what have guitarists done to exploit this Robot Guitar technology and really push the musical envelope?

Not enough, one could argue.

Imagine what Hendrix would have achieved with a Robot Guitar – what incredible sounds he could have conjured.

Where is the new Hendrix of the Robot Guitar age? Why has no-one stepped up to the plate and used the Robot Guitar to redefine the sound of rock as Jimi did with the guitars, amps and FX pedals available to him in the ’60s?

True innovators like Jeff Beck and Steve Vai have created unique sounds with non-robotised axes, so why has no-one gone truly  stratospheric with the servos on the Robot Guitar?

Buckethead is innovating with some comparitively simple modifications to a Les Paul, so just think what the next Hendrix could achieve with the Robot Guitar.

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Rock ‘n’ Roll Train…Calling At Wembley, Glasgow

Tickets for Wembley Stadium (Fri 26th June 2009)  and the National Stadium Hampden Park, Glasgow (Tue 30th June 2009) will go on sale at 10am GMT on Wednesday December 17th.

Past experience getting ‘DC tix suggests you’ll need fingers faster than Angus when it comes to keyboard skills.

Choose a ticket site that allows you to enter all your details ahead of the deadline then hit ‘Enter’ as the tix go live.

Be aware that ‘Verified By Visa’, a credit card security measure, can delay the process.

If you miss the new UK dates, the following European dates also go on sale on December 17th: Leipzig, Munich, Gelsenkirchen, Cologne, Hockenheimring, Vienna, Oslo (9am local time), Copenhagen and Gothenberg.

And if that fails, try on December 18th for Paris, Helsinki (Highway To Hel-sinki anyone?) or on December 19th for Amsterdam.

Here is the updated list of the new dates and when they go on sale: AC/DC Black Ice World Tour.

Good luck in securing your AC/DC tickets! Riffhappy and friends will see you at the O2.

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Yet Another Tequila Sunrise…

If it feels a tad nippy right now (and it does), maybe it’s because the Eagles are touring. Tickets go on sale tomorrow (Fri 12th December 2008).

Yep. Hell’s freezing over once again…although Messrs Frey, Henley, Walsh and Schmit have rather sensibly chosen  July 2009 to return to Britain:

Saturday 4th July – National Stadium Hampden Park, Glasgow

Tuesday 7th July – NIA, Birmingham

Saturday 11th July – MEN Arena, Manchester.

Pre-sale tickets are available via Live Nation.

Roll on July – right now it feels like there are  gritters on the long road out of Eden.

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Filed under Classic Rock, Country Rock

Bon To Be Wild!

New Bon Scott movie: speculation is focusing on precisely who will take the lead role.

Bon’s 35-year-old son Ben and Aussie actor Tom Budge are two names being thrown around by media reporting on director Eddie Martin’s new biopic.

Riffhappy’s humble recommendation would be Airbourne lead singer Joel O’Keeffe – not least after their magnificent sortie headlining London Astoria.

With SGs, Explorers and walls of Marshalls, Airbourne rank supreme among the new breed of raw-edged rock ‘n’ rollers.

Playing Whole Lotta Rosie for an encore doesn’t hurt either.

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