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Featured Guitars

Metallica to Release Album with Legendary Artist Lou Reed

You read that right: Modern metal’s founding fathers Metallica have recorded an album with alt-rock mastermind Lou Reed.

Although it seems like a curious combination at first—Stephanie Says Kill ‘Em All? Master of Taking a Walk on the Wild Side? Romeo Had Juliette After Entering Sandman?—Reed was the first major rocker to release an album of uncompromising (and almost unlistenable) noise rock with 1975?s Metal Machine Music. So maybe this combination was inevitable. Plus, the Velvet Underground had an album called Loaded: Was it a spiritual precursor to Metallica’s ’90s albums Load and ReLoad? (Answer: no.) […]

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Featured Guitars

Gibson Byrdland Guitars – Confession of a Vintage Gear Whore

Gibson Byrdland Electric Guitar represented a handful of developments that were radical, even revolutionary, in its day. This model recreates the 1960 version that introduced the sharp Florentine cutaway, replacing the rounded Venetian cutaway of the original Byrdland.

Many working musicians of the fast-paced and musically adventurous ’50s required a new instrument—one that captured traditional Gibson archtop artistry and craftsmanship, but represented a redrawing of the blueprint for the needs of the day. Enter the Byrdland, released in 1955 after consultation with first-call Nashville session musicians Billy Byrd and Hank Garland. Outwardly every bit a Gibson, the Byrdland retained the traditional carved, solid-spruce arched top and wide dimensions (17″) of big-bodied jazzers like its predecessor the L-5CES, but was considerably thinner, at only 2-1/4″ deep. The electric guitar was here to stay, and Gibson’s designers quite rightly determined that a guitar that was intended primarily as an electric—rather than acoustic—instrument should be made in a way that would minimize feedback. Gibson created the Thinline series, which included the Byrdland partnered by the ES-350T, released the same year. Together they constituted the first of the new thin-bodied breed and launched a design trend for archtop electrics that would proliferate to this day. So successful was its design ethos, that it not only offered a popular alternative for jazz, pop, and country players, it also proved capable of cranking out heavy rock in the hands of guitarists such as Ted Nugent. […]