Gibson had its share of issues in the “Norlin era,” and one of its greatest curiosities was the Les Paul Spotlight Special, a limited run with fancy tops and top-shelf appointments. Today, it enjoys special appreciation among collectors. We talk with Steve Vai about how he modernized two key pieces of his work. Plus, we offer a posthumous chat with legendary studio bassist Max Bennett, and unearth the stories behind the Premier E-723 and Gallien-Krueger’s 200GT.
As always, we dig into great new guitar music and players who make it. This month, it’s Tom Keifer, Suzi Quatro, Greg Diamond, Nick Perri, Steuart Smith, Scott Henderson, John Lodge, Alberto Lombardi, and Joel Paterson. Wolf Marshall breaks down three key licks by Billy Rogers, “Pop ’N Hiss” re-examines Megadeth’s Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?.
Our gear reviewers tell you why they recommend the PureSalem Tom Cat, TWA’s MiniMorph, the Walrus Audio Kangra Filter Fuzz, Collings’ 290 Custom, Fat Jimmy Amps’ Fat Jimmy Jr., the Suhr Scott Henderson model, Boss’ SY-1 Synthesizer, and Yamaha’s FG5 Red Label.
You count on VG’s music reviewers to steer you to the best new stuff. This month, that includes the latest by Toronzo Cannon, Junior Watson, Joe Bonamassa, Black Star Riders, Mavis Staples, Pixies, Mike Stern/Jeff Lorber, Sturgill Simpson, and more!