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History of Guitar Faces

By James H.




Yngwie Malmsteen, Robby Krieger At some point in the not too distant past a phenomenon peculiar to the guitar sprang in to existence; guitar faces. While early pioneers of the electric guitar maintained a stoic countenance or perhaps a playful Les Paul smile, the wild dramatic ever-changing facial expressions seemed to hit their stride in the late 1960's and continue to persist to this day.

In any circumstance minus a guitar, say on an airplane or at a restaurant, if you saw a person making Robin Trower ecstasy faces or Jimmy Page motor-boat spitting, you'd call for immediate medical assistance . But place an electric guitar in that person's hands and the scene makes sense.

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Bing Crosby: The Ozzy of the early 20th Century

By James H.




Yngwie Malmsteen, Robby Krieger Modern music fans are very familiar with Ozzy's king-maker status for breaking hot new guitarists. When you look back to the first generation of recorded guitar legends, all roads lead to Bing.

Crosby, like Ozzy had a great ear for guitar and appreciation of skilled and unique players and provided a platform for them to not only make the boss sound good but to step into the spotlight themselves. 

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My Afternoon with Les Paul and to My Surprise…

By Sammy Ash




Les Paul Les and my Family have gone way back, for decades. He has always been a friend of the family and we were luck to say that. In fact one of his favorite quotes was “If I can’t find what I need at a Sam Ash store I try to build it” (Newsday). I was very fortunate to call him and Rusty friends.

Several years back we decided to do a giveaway of a Les Paul 1957 customer shop reissue for our monthly flyer. Since this was a promotion with Gibson I asked if there was anything in particular they wanted. They said that a pic showing Les signing the guitar would make it that much cooler and they were right on the money. I called Rusty and he set the whole thing up. Not to make this anymore of deal than he needed to go for we decided to have it on his regular Monday at the Iridium just several hours earlier.

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What Do Yngwie Malmsteen and Robby Krieger
Have In Common?

By James H.




Yngwie Malmsteen, Robby KriegerAre you sick and tired of reading about which pseudo-stars wore the same dress? Let's look at something more substantive and fun. What licks have guitarists used from other sources? Everybody copies from everyone else, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones early albums helped finance the rest of Chuck Berry's life . The trick is to make it your own.

The deeper musicologists out there may already know the bridge that connects 60's psychedelic icon Robby Krieger of The Doors to the undisputed heavy weight king of neo-classical shred Yngwie Malmsteen. The answer is...

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Les Paul at 72
Birthday Bash & The Tale of "Old Pink"

By Sammy Ash




Jeff Beck, Les Paul, Jimmy Page I was working at the White Plains store one day and I got a call from one of my friends at Gibson. He said “Henry” wants you to come to Les’s (Paul) 72nd at the Hard Rock. I said, “cool.” I haven’t seen Les in a few months so I thought it would a lot of fun. I asked, who is else is going? 
He said…”everyone”… OK who is everyone?? …EVERYONE and I can’t tell you who, I could lose my job! Interesting. 

So, I of course said yes and started looking through the Village Voice (no internet yet) to see who was in town, nothing special. Being that Les was kind of old (72) and I didn’t think he had that many years left in him (boy was I wrong!) I decided to bring something that he could sign that I would have forever.

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Dragon Strat

By Sammy Ash




Dragon StratocasterI was working at the White Plains store one day and I got a call from one of my friends at Gibson. He said “Henry” wants you to come to Les’s (Paul) 72nd at the Hard Rock. I said, “cool.” I haven’t seen Les in a few months so I thought it would a lot of fun. I asked, who is else is going? 
He said…”everyone”… OK who is everyone?? …EVERYONE and I can’t tell you who, I could lose my job! Interesting. 

So, I of course said yes and started looking through the Village Voice (no internet yet) to see who was in town, nothing special. Being that Les was kind of old (72) and I didn’t think he had that many years left in him (boy was I wrong!) I decided to bring something that he could sign that I would have forever.

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