Guitar Great Series

no Guitar Greats list would be complete…


without Les Paul… the father of the Electric Guitar as we know it.

he passed today at age 94, what a great and influential life.

Thank You

Les

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so back to guitar players…


so to stay current, since he WAS on American Idol this week.

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let’s talk Slash.  oh yes.  the lead guitar player from what i believe was the best rock band of the 80’s.  i know they played into the 90’s, but they were an 80’s metal band without all them makeup and glam.

Slash’s real name is Saul Hudson and he was actually born in England.  his mother African-American Ola Hudson was a costume designer for David Bowie (do you have only one really freaky sequined space suit or do you have ch-ch-ch-changes?) and his father Anthony was an musical artist who did arrangements for many famous musicians.

his family moved to LA when he was 11 and his parents seperated.  he started a band with Steven Adler and was going to play the bass, but was given a beat up one-stringed flamenco guitar instead.  good thing because the world would have missed out on one of the most glorious guitar tones ever.

Slash’s tone is often imitated, but it is undeniably his.  i can’t say anything other than, he makes the Les Paul SING!  i remember hearing “Welcome to the Jungle” and thinking wow, there is something different about this band.  from the first delay guitar riff with the primal scream underneath as it launched into that raunchy riff i knew this was something amazing.  i mean Axl was an amazing front man (notice i said WAS).  Slash has still got that signature sound that makes him Slash as much as his top hat.  my first visual of Slash was that same top hat with his hair around his face and the cigarette sticking out of the hair and i thought, my gosh, he’s going to set his hair on fire.

i think the thing i enjoy most about Slash is that his solos and riffs are all relatively simple.  he has an intense mastery of pinch and regular harmonics.  he can shred when needed, but i think his stuff is definitely more about tone.  his licks are instantly recognizable no matter what band he plays with not because they are the same licks, but because of the sound of his rig.

i was bummed that he only played with the idol group number last night, and didn’t even do GnR.  oh well.  i guess he didn’t want to pay Axl the mechanicals.

my first exposure to Guns N’ Roses

and probably the most viable example of Slash’s tone and prowess as a guitar player. and it contains one of my top 5 guitar solos of all time.  i’ll have to post my personal list of solos in future weeks.

part of the magic of DMB…


is Tim Reynolds.  an army brat, he got his start playing bass at church.  he delved into some jazz and progressive rock!  you can read his bio here & here

i must admit, i’m an admirer of DMB, but not a huge fan, so i don’t know all that much about Reynolds other than what i have read, seen and heard, but from those things, he deserves to be mentioned in the guitar greats series.  i’m sure that Patrick and Rob can add massive comments that would far outreach what i could ever post, but check him out.