Today we look at May 1995
GT had already been going over a year at this time, and this issue was packed with great stuff. Here are some highlights…
Christopher Cross's eponymous first album was full of phenomenal guitar playing. Dave Kilminster (Dave was with us even then) tabbed out Jay Graydon's tap-tastic break in Say You'll Be Mine; Larry Carlton's brilliant solo in I Really Don't Know Anymore; and the little-known Eric Johnson's phenomenal outburst in Minstrel Gigolo. Dave said: "It came out at a time when people used to buy LPs, play the album more than once and each time they listened they would hear something different, something that wasn't apparent before, and the more they played it the more they liked it." Mr K was a philosopher even then…
Rock & A Hard Place
Interview with awesome twosome Brett Garsed and TJ Helmerich…
This outrageously good pair of rock instrumentalists discussed their critically acclaimed album Quid Pro Quo on which they demonstrated their amazing technique but innate musicality. Brett told us: "A lot of rock players with bad chops now call themselves 'blues men'. And I think that good blues players should be rightfully offended by that." Hmmm… you tell 'em Brett!
Guitar Man (Jerry Reed and Elvis Presley)
Hot Country guru Lee Hodgson tabbed out a brilliant country rocker
Jerry Reed was a fab picker who not only wrote the track but played on both his and Elvis's versions (he also wrote US Male with which Presley had another hit; and did The Claw for which Jerry Donahue became rightly famous).
Lee said in his article: "The Claw was an instrumental featuring Jerry's 'claw-like' grip on the strings; tight fisted and causing a more percussive sound as the strings are inevitably plucked away from the guitar's body." Jerry Reed sadly died in 2009.
Star Guitar: Cliff Richard's Custom Fylde
Back then on GT we liked to have a bit of gear coverage so, as well as Gear Gallery (which took the verdicts from Guitarist's most recent reviews) we also featured a Star Guitar. This month's was built for Gordon Giltrap and given by Gordon to Brit rock and roll hero Cliff Richard (Gordon had starred as the Minstrel in Cliff's stage version of Heathcliff). We said at the time: "As Gordon uses very fine gauge strings the instrument was built as lightly as possible with unique strutting. Cliff loves the guitar, apparently taking it everywhere he goes." We've even seen him playing it in more recent times too – so obviously a much-appreciated gift from GG.
Face The Rack
Robin Trower and David Williams's Bryan Ferry world tour gear
More kit found its way into the mag via this neat feature that looked at the stage rig (racks were in, hence the title) of a famous player (or two, in this case). Trower played on, produced and toured Ferry's Taxi LP, while Williams (best known for his amazing work with Michael Jackson), having worked on Ferry's Mamouna album was asked to join the gigging band on this tour. Trower said, "It's the first time I've played in another artist's band, but it's a challenge and a very interesting one too. I still keep my own sound but I suppose the original flavour of what Phil (Manzanera) did remains intact." Williams used Starfield guitars by Ibanez, with hand-wound Seymour Duncan pickups and Dean Markley strings; Trower is a confirmed Strat and Marshall man. David sadly died in 2009.