Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hey, when I'm wrong, I'm wrong

For years, I have had the following line on Guitar World magazine: I don't dress all in black and I don't play high-gain thud-rock, so there isn't much for me in Guitar World. But I went to the local library the other day. I'm sorry to say they've gone from having Guitar Player on the periodicals wall to Guitar World, but I picked up a back issue.

  • Ritchie Blackmore talking about the difficulty of finding a decent hurdy-gurdy and integrating it into modern synth-driven recording environments
  • Alex Skolnick of Testament talking about playing "Detroit Rock City" and "Rock You Like A Hurricane" in a jazz context
  • Tele-bender maestro Jerry Donahue with a column where he name-checks Clarence White
  • Eddie Van Halen on the cover

Thud-rock is in there. You can't get away from the thud-rock in Guitar World. Premier Guitar and Guitar Player remain my fave guitar rags. And Mattias IA Ecklundh got to "Detroit" via the Hot Club of France well before Alex. But there's something in Guitar World for me now. And it behooves me to admit when I'm wrong as strongly as I crow when I'm right.

Speaking of Alex...


Anonymous said...

I agree that GW is aimed at a younger rock audience. Lately with the addition of Vic Juris and Richard Lloyd as columnists, I hope they are trying to appeal to a wider audience.

Sammy said...

I always preferred Guitar One, even when they became cousins with GW. But with G1's demise I was happy that GW incorporated some of G1's articles.

GW is oriented to younger guitarists, but there is still plenty of non "thud-rock" in there to like. But then again, even though I'm not "young", I've always been a metalhead, so I don't mind the younger-oriented features.

My main issue with all guitar magazines, including Premier, is that I've never seen any piece of equipment given an outright bad review. They all like everything. The conflict of interest between reviews and wanting to keep advertisers (don't wanna piss off Manufacturer X over a bad review) makes all reviews suspect. You really have to read between the lines to find the truth.

Dave Jacoby said...

Sammy, there's one fundamental thing. Your note's going to start with your hands, and if it isn't in you, it won't come out of you, and if it is in you, it can come out through bad gear, too. I read guitar mags for inspiration and musical/techinical knowledge.

But nice gear is nice.

A piece of gear will either fit into your style or it won't, and the reviewer's style is not your style. "There's only one review that means anything. "I took this to a gig, relied on it when it was all on the line, and it did not let me down." If a piece of hardware, by design, is so weak and bad as to not have a place anywhere in anyone's rig, then it fails at the design stage or the QC stage, not the review stage. It kinda sucks how reviews tend to be ads with in the editorial content of the issue, but I see why that is.

Glad to see you around here, though.

Sammy said...

So what you're saying, Dave, is that they should have crappy guitarists like me review their products for a more fair review? ;)

Seriously, I do get what you're saying. My point was more that guitar magazine reviews are too "nice". Too optimistic. I'd like them to tell me outright if a guitar or pedal or amp is crap or not.