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I do Les Paul’s ‘How


High the Moon’” — Danny Gatton

Master of Puppets

Unfinished Business


Cowboys From Hell

Passion and Warfare


Danny Gatton

Lita Ford


Steve Vai

Metallica’s major-label

GP’s March 1989 cover

Ford’s duet with Ozzy

Ah Via Musicom

Dimebag Darrell’s tre-

Vai has focused more

debut was the first so-

proclaimed Gatton as

Surfing with the Alien

Osbourne (“Close

Eric Johnson

mendous chops and

on his compositional

called thrash-metal

an “unknown great,”

Joe Satriani

My Eyes Forever”),

Ah Via Musicom gave

aggro groove—as well

chops the past few

album to go platinum.

and he was one of

Surfing’s impact on

the rousing “Kiss Me

us the superlative

as an equally ferocious

albums, and this is

In 2016, it was pre-

those supremely tal-

guitar culture was

Deadly,” and her fre-

“Cliffs of Dover,” which

band—made this one

the one that may have

served in the Library

ented shooting stars

meteoric. The album

quent MTV appear-

won a 1992 Grammy

of the most inspira-

paved the way. His vir-

of Congress’ National

who never enjoyed the

was virtually all over

ances cemented

for Best Instrumental

tional and defining

tuosity is still burn-

Recording Registry.

success they deserved

1987’s music scene—

her ’80s icon status.

Rock Performance.

albums of the ’90s

ing, of course, but it

Released March 3,

during their lifetimes.

going platinum and

Released February

Released February

metal scene. Released

shines within works

1986. Produced by

But, to those in the

getting nominated for

2, 1988. Produced by

28, 1990. Produced

July 24, 1990. Produced

that are cinematic,

Flemming Rasmussen

know, Gatton was a

Grammys—and it was

Mike Chapman.

by Eric Johnson.

by Terry Date.

sensitive, powerful,

and Metallica.

thrilling mix of tech-

an instrumental guitar

“I’m not one for

“I want my solos

“ I ’ m n o t go i n g

and, at times, whim-

“Metallica is an

nique and stylistic

album. Wow. Released

flashy performances. I

to have a kind of

for soft sounds, and

sical and humorous.

ensemble. There isn’t

diversity. Released

October 15, 1987. Pro-

go for the feel—not for


I ain’t looking for no

Released Septem-

a lot of room for out-

1987. Produced by

duced by Joe Satriani

speed or effects. A solo

t h e - wate r s o u n d.

warm sound. For what

ber 1990. Produced

rageous spotlight-

Danny Gatton.

and John Cuniberti.

should come from the

They should also have

I do, I can’t get enough

by Steve Vai.

ing. Someone might

“Part of the abil-

“I don’t discour-

heart—a mini journey,

some lyricism and say

f**kin’ chunk. No one

“Where do mel-

come in with a part

ity to play various

age myself from going

a story, a piece of your

something that moves

had grabbed ahold of

odies come from?

they think is brilliant,

styles correctly is atti-

in one direction or the

life.” —Lita Ford

me when I hear them

that tone, so I built

They can’t just come

and someone else will

tude. There should be

other. I’m more afraid

back.” —Eric Johnson

my sound around it.”

from grids and scales.

say, ‘That won’t cut it—

nothing condescend-

of what would happen

—Dimebag Darrell

They have to come

you’re overplaying.’” —

ing when you play

if I wasn’t excited about

from your mind’s ear.”

Kirk Hammett

something simple. I

what I was playing.” —

—Steve Vai

appreciate Link Wray’s

Joe Satriani

‘Rumble’ as much as


Boss DD-2

nix 16 Second Dig-

Bruce Egnater

Digital Delay

ital Delay pedal

introduces the

Ernie Ball pur-

IE4 preamp

chases Music Man



1984 MIDI

1985 Paul Reed Smith Guitars

According to Craig Anderton’s “Brief History of MIDI,” Dave Smith of Sequen-

The founding of PRS is notable for its introduction

tial Circuits formally debuted his Musical Instrument Digital Interface at

of fresh and wildly successful new US-made guitar

the 1983 NAMM show in L.A.—demoing a Prophet -600 synth “talking” to a

design to a market that was otherwise largely dom-

Roland keyboard over a small 5-pin cable. Smith envisioned a “simple, inex-

inated by just a few major names, and off-shore

pensive, and foolproof interface that no manufacturer could refuse,” and

copies thereof. Using an “in-between” scale length

MIDI accomplished that goal, becoming the standard in computers, key-

and a cleverly conceived vibrato unit, and just built

boards, switching systems, and many other musical products ever since.

darn well, PRS’s early models quickly became one of the guitar brands to reckon with the world over.


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