The Play­ers

News and hap­pen­ings from the world of your favourite gui­tarists

Guitarist - - The Lineup -

Gui­tarist was sad­dened to hear that Ray Phiri – the South African gui­tarist who backed Paul Si­mon on the hugely suc­cess­ful Grace­land and The Rhythm Of The Saints al­bums – passed away from lung can­cer in Nel­spruit on 12 July, aged 70. As well as his in­flu­en­tial work along­side Si­mon, Phiri founded Stimela, an Afro-fu­sion band ac­tively in­volved in op­pos­ing apartheid through­out the 80s.

Joe Bona­massa and Glenn Hughes will re­unite on stage for two UK gigs with Black Coun­try Com­mu­nion in Jan­uary next year, fol­low­ing the re­lease of fourth al­bum, BCCIV, on 22 Septem­ber. They’ll play Hughes’ home turf of Wolver­hamp­ton’s Civic Hall on 2 Jan­uary and Lon­don’s Ham­mer­smith Apollo on 4 Jan­uary. This looks like your only chance to catch the band for a while.

Ahead of a ru­moured re­union of Smash­ing Pump­kins’ clas­sic line-up, main­man Billy Cor­gan’s first acous­tic sig­na­ture model was an­nounced at the re­cent sum­mer NAMM show. Cor­gan co-de­signed the lim­ited-edi­tion jumbo with Yamaha, based on its LJ16R model. Fea­tures in­clude his ‘zero’ logo on the head­stock, Go­toh vin­tagestyle tuners, pas­sive un­der-sad­dle pickup, brass bridge pins and ARE treat­ment to its spruce top. 100 of the lim­ited run of 400 will ship in a Brown Sun­burst fin­ish.

Yng­wie Malm­steen has told us that he be­lieves, with the ex­cep­tion of him­self and the late Al­lan Holdsworth, guitar heroes all have one thing in com­mon: “It’s a strange thing to say, be­cause I’ve been on the road with Steve Vai and all those guys a few times. We’ve spent a lot of time to­gether and I’ve got­ten to know how they think… and they all have that in com­mon – they love other guitar play­ers.” In con­trast, while Holdsworth drew from the sax­o­phone for in­spi­ra­tion, the Swedish shred­der looked to the clas­si­cal vi­o­lin of 19th cen­tury fire­brand Pa­ganini. “You may run the risk of hav­ing slightly less iden­tity,” he says of only look­ing to guitar for in­flu­ence, “but I wouldn’t want to knock any­one for that. I un­der­stand how it feels. When I was a kid I wanted to be like Black­more be­cause he was cool, but it’s im­por­tant for me to feel like I’m do­ing my own thing.”

Spe­cials bassist Ho­race Pan­ter was re­cently re­united with the Fender Pre­ci­sion bass he used on the band’s 1981 sin­gle, Ghost Town. Af­ter trad­ing it in later in 1989, he re­gret­ted his de­ci­sion, but as luck would have it, he stum­bled upon the bass again for sale at Coven­try mu­sic shop Noise Works. “I bought it back for con­sid­er­ably more than I paid for it!” notes Ho­race. “To say that I am pleased to have it back is some­thing of an un­der­state­ment.”

Yng­wie Malm­steen: “It’s im­por­tant for me to feel like I’m do­ing my own thing”

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