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Woke up

NEWS this mornin’...

this mornin’...

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Comic hero Pioneering guitar god Joe Satriani is following Kiss’s example by appearing as a character in a comic book. Eternal Descent – ‘a dark fantasy world where angels and demons battle for supremacy alongside some of the biggest names in metal’ – the creation of British guitarist Llexi Leons. The new volume uses four of Satriani’s LPs as inspiration for the cover artwork. Volume 2 will be available in February.

WE’VEBEENAD...

Les Paul is a name that resonates throughout the world of guitars possibly more than any other. He was a trailblazer and a legend, who inspired a sea-change in the landscape of guitars; widely respected, even revered… so when Gibson decided to unleash a signature guitar to celebrate their spiritual figurehead in 1974, why on earth did they choose to showcase said axe in the hands of a bearded lunatic who resembled some kind of disco-loving Charles Manson lookalike? We’ll never know. The strap line of ‘Les Paul Designed It. Gibson Makes it’, should perhaps have been followed by ‘and hirsute madmen play it’. Even so, the guitar was a fine thing. The familiar goldtop finish tied it to the LP while the semi-solid construction nodded to the 335, and it came fitted with Les Paul’s hobbyhorse of low-impedance pickups, plus two inputs, ‘one for you and one for your engineer’. There was a bass model, too, as played by Jefferson Airplane’s Jack Cassady.

16 Guitar & Bass FEBRUARY 2012

Victory V’s Tales from the road

Adi Vines shakes those touring blues with a little help from

TGibson’s answer to rock empowerment - the Flying V

he older and grumpier we all get (and some may say that grumpiness is a prerequisite for roadcrew work), it’s rather sad that fewer and fewer things bring a smile to our wizened features. So here’s a little bit of advice that I know from personal experience will always work – something that never fails to raise my flagging spirits, even when I’m stuck in an identikit corporate-sponsored venue in the USA with no proper teabags left and only something called ‘vitamin D milk’ available to fill out a sub-standard cuppa (situations don’t get any more depressing than that, surely). And what is the thing that turns this glum situation around? Simple: strapping on a Gibson Flying V.

of which are black (a very slimming colour, according to Trinny and Suzannah). The weapon of choice from the pair is a Gibson Custom Shop special with body, neck and headstock binding and a titanium Floyd Rose. Slinging it on puts you firmly in metal god territory. You can feel your whole body posture changing; straight away, you’re standing differently (sitting down to play it is not just awkward and ungainly but totally beside the point). You’re suddenly and quite obviously much more of a man than you have ever been before, and if you aren’t instantly surrounded by anvils, furnaces, fire and subject to amorous advances from warrior princesses who suddenly arrive on horseback after riding through the mists of time from before the world began, then your active imagination is seriously amiss.

The Gibson Flying V has the power to turn a person into an invincible marauding Viking

The power that this instrument has to instantly turn a person from a miserable wretch into an invincible marauding Viking should not be underestimated. Of course, BC Rich and their ilk can sell you something overly pointy and evil-looking but, in my opinion, all those guitars seem to be trying too hard. Only a Flying V will turn you into a malicious overlord with any kind of style.

Mind you, the Flying V’s aggressive aura is a fairly recent development. The guitar was rejected by consumers on its introduction in 1958 and it was only in the hands of Lonnie Mack and Albert King that it gained a degree of acceptance in the 1960s. Dave Davies of the Kinks, Jimi Hendrix and the bloke from X-Ray Spex were noted later users before the instrument was adopted by the heavy metal set in the mid-’70s and its image was sealed.

I have been particularly lucky recently as I have had two Flying Vs in my care, both

All this malarkey aside, you do have to have a certain amount of selfbelief to appear onstage with a Flying V. It makes a strong statement. Having never wielded one in anger,

I have been denied the exquisite pleasure of machine-gunning an audience with one foot up on the monitor or grabbing hold of one of the points and hoisting it overhead in salute. I have, though, derived a great deal of fun out of simply mucking around on a couple of very nice guitars over the past few months. Once you get over the imposing size and angular shape, Flying Vs are a refreshing change from Les Pauls without being entirely dissimilar. They even sound great played clean – but why anyone would want to do that is beyond me.

Adi Vines has worked with Radiohead, the Sex Pistols, the Darkness, Razorlight and others. See www.xselectronics.co.uk