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The Number 12 Looks Like You: The Gibson Interview

Jonah Bayer
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11.22.2007

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These days, most music press seems to be so genre-specific that it borders on ridiculous. (“Spazzy, bass-driven post-mathcore,” anyone?) The Number 12 Looks Like You may not consciously be trying to confound critics, but with their latest full-length Mongrel they’ve done just that. “A lot of my favorite players are fusion guys,” explains guitarist Alex Pareja, a classically trained guitarist who loves his Les Pauls and Flying Vs, and cites players like John McLaughlin and Robert Fripp as some of his biggest influences. “We try to throw in stuff from every genre out there and not lock ourselves inside of anything. It’s easy to limit yourself by doing the same old scales and old types of riffs and ideas; you’ve got to break out of that shell.” This type of attitude is reinforced by listening to Mongrel, the band’s most diverse album to date. A testament to that diversity is also the fact that the band’s been able to tour with everyone from indie rock acts like Minus The Bear, to post-hardcore acts like Thursday, and metal bands like Goatwhore. They manage to gain fans wherever they go.
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Slash Gets Personal with his Memoir

Jonah Bayer
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11.21.2007

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We’re not sure when the trend started, but these days it seems like every rock ‘n’ roller from Anthony Kiedis to Mötley Crüe’s roadie is publishing a memoir celebrating the debauchery they experienced while being willing participants in the wild and decadent times of the ’80s. And admittedly, while some of the stars of that period were eventually killed by the excess that defined that era, there’s no arguing that first-person accounts of those experiences make for a pretty entertaining read. That said, Slash, by Slash with Anthony Bozza, is in a league all its own. While a large portion of the book does focus on the Guns N’ Roses guitarist’s hard-partying ways, and addictions to heroin and alcohol, it also gives a rare and compelling glimpse into the childhood and family life of this legendary Gibson artist. For example, how many people knew that before he played guitar Slash was tearing up the streets of California as a BMX enthusiast, and hanging out with his mother’s close personal friend David Bowie?
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You’ve Got Guitar Questions, We’ve Got Answers: Send ’Em Our Way!

Ellen Mallernee
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11.21.2007

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Questions pour into the Gibson editor email address every day, and the contents of those emails are pretty varied: a man from Germany inquires about the origin of a Les Paul discovered in his basement, for example, while a Louisiana woman writes to ask for Gibson’s recommendation about the best way to change the strings on her J-45. That got us to thinking: why not have a column on Gibson.com that addresses some of the most common, and most interesting, questions? After all, we’re fully stocked around here with lifelong luthiers, tech writers, and all-around guitar geeks.
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Sir Paul McCartney’s Signed 10-Foot Les Paul Replica Sells for a Record £60,000 at the Gibson Guitartown London Charity Auction

Jeremy Singer
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11.21.2007

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The Gibson Guitartown London Charity Auction sponsored by Hard Rock, Coutts & Co bank and Newbridge Silverware took place last night (20th November) at a special charity auction event held at the IndigO2. The charity auction was streamed online live around the world via The Auction Network website and by Ebay to a capacity audience. Auctioneer Daniel Kruse and MC Tony Moore entertained the captivated attendees for the auctions two hour duration which was followed by a lively set from The AllStars band. The Gibson Guitar European Bus also marked the occasion by rolling into London where it was positioned by the entrance of the O2 Arena. A 10ft tall hand-painted Gibson Les Paul replica guitar signed by Sir Paul McCartney became the star attraction of the night. After a competitive bidding war the giant guitar was eventually auctioned off for an amazing £60,000. Sir Paul McCartney said, "I'm really amazed and very happy that the guitar went for so much and for such a great cause."
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Player Profile: Matt Pond PA (Free MP3 Streams!)

Nicole Keiper
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11.20.2007

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BAND: Matt Pond PA HOMETOWN: New York, New York PLAYERS: Matt Pond (vocals, guitar), Dan Crowell (drums), Steve Jewett (guitar), Chris Hansen (guitar, keyboards), Matthew Daniel Siskin (bass) WHAT TO BUY: Consistency has been one of Matt Pond PA’s trademarks—despite the fact that the band’s only real line-up constant has been Pond, the MPPA discography is stocked with wholly solid melodic pop. The band’s most recent LP, Last Light, might be the finest collection of it. It marks Pond’s first foray into producing, and his mix of classic and orchestral pop is astounding here, individually simple instrumental ideas delicately and intricately weaving into something that evokes the Beatles’ knack for deft pop layering, with modern indie-rock timbres. Standout track “People Have a Way” is as pensive as it is propulsive, and is a perfect encapsulation of Pond’s ability to take time-tested pop constructs and twist the corners enough to add a unique personality.
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Page Fuels Led Zeppelin Fan Hopes: New Album, Tour?

Jerry McCulley
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11.20.2007

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As the days count down to Led Zeppelin’s reunion at the December 10 Ahmet Ertegun Tribute concert in London, new details surrounding the event continue to emerge, along with evidence of how truly fevered fan interest in the show has become. Some tantalizing reports even suggest the reunion will be ongoing, not merely a one-off like previous Zep appearances at Live Aid and the subsequent Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary tribute of 1988.
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30 Years After Exodus: Remembering Bob Marley’s 1977 Masterpiece

Russell Hall
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11.20.2007

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“Bob’s method was to write about reality, or about what was happening at the time,” says Rita Marley, wife of reggae great Bob Marley. “It was like, ‘What’s in the news?’ ‘What's in the headlines?’ There was always something to write about.” That observation was never truer than on Exodus, Bob Marley and the Wailers’ 1977 masterpiece. Released at the height of the British punk movement, the album mixed righteous indignation with romantic intensity, and framed those themes in soulful reggae grooves later adopted by bands like the Clash, the English Beat, and the Police. Previous Marley albums such as Natty Dread and Positive Vibration had assumed similar stances, but on Exodus the urgency of the message was ratcheted up as never before.
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Daniel Lanois Talks about Producing U2’s The Joshua Tree 20 Years Ago

Russell Hall
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11.20.2007

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It’s been 20 years since U2 released their masterpiece. Joshua Tree was the band’s stunning fifth studio album, and it catapulted them out of Ireland and into the public conscious. To mark the 20th anniversary of The Joshua Tree, Universal Music will re-release the album this week in four formats. Fans can choose between a standard CD (remastered from the original analog tapes), a double vinyl set, a deluxe edition that includes a second CD packed with b-sides and demos, and a limited edition box set featuring the deluxe edition CDs plus a DVD with a 40-minute documentary, two music videos, and footage of a Paris concert from the Joshua Tree Tour in 1987.
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The Winners of the Gibson Gear Humbucker Contest Are…

11.19.2007

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Fifty years ago Gibson introduced the mighty humbucker, setting the standards for pickup design forever after. To celebrate that milestone in guitar history, Gibson Gear hosted the Gibson Gear Humbucker Contest. More than 54,000 people entered to win two pairs of Patent Applied For Gibson humbuckers—the sparkling ’57 Classics and the gritty Burstbuckers. Three lucky winners took home a Gibson Gear prize pack.
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Gibson Talks to Chris Adams: The Inventor of the Robot Guitar’s Self-Tuning System

Ellen Mallernee
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11.19.2007

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The idea for Gibson’s revolutionary Robot Guitar auto-tuning system came to Chris Adams in a fit of frustration. Aggravated that he couldn’t keep his guitar in tune and that he was spending so much time trying to, the twenty-something turned to the Internet to see if there were any automatic tuning systems on the market. Dissatisfied with what he found, he imagined a system that would automatically tune a guitar in no-time-flat. That got him thinking about other possibilities too: a system that could switch effortlessly between multiple tunings, keep a guitar perfectly intonated, and even change strings for you.
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