THE REVIEWS ARE COMING IN—FOR RIP ‘N TIME’S DEBUT CD, PLAYING HER GUITAR SUITE!!!

(For complete review, click anywhere in any particular review.)

Playing Her Guitar Suite is a three song EP that takes the listener on a ‘jingle-jangle journey’ …Playing Her Guitar (The first track), is…a mixture of shimmery guitar and pretty choral voices… The novella (included) is beautifully written and the illustrations are as unique as the songs they play.”–Alex Helm—The Marquee – Flower Mound, TX

“The guitar is awesome…and the vocals are enchanting, and beautifully layered… Everything about (the CD) is very impressive. I would highly recommend checking the band out! “–Layne Garrett–Panther Paw – Pell City, AL   

“This album needs no genre or label to identify itself…Playing Her Guitar Suite is Exceptionally Beautiful…” –Monique Dobson– -Brashier Middle College News– Simpsonville,SC 

“They are a smooth, charismatic sound that incorporates the airy guitar riffs and steady rock beat distinctive of the 70s and 80s”. Dan Sardaro –The Knight Crier– Lansdale, PA

“…surprisingly trippy and surreal…they’ve got the songs and talent to really go places with this one. Truly impressive.” –LMNOP aka dONW7babysue– Chattanooga, TN

“…the music is sure to delight guitar enthusiasts.”–Berenis Reyes—iTiger– Goodyear, AZ

“…to get that once in a lifetime experience that is almost unexplainable, you have to listen to the trilogy known as Playing her Guitar Suite”– Jemel Fleming—The Tribe– Lantana, FL

“…a timelessness is captured in the music…a fully realized artistic endeavor.”—Storm Taylor—–Patriot Pages– Madison, AL

Playing Her Guitar strikes me as a combination of Spiritualized’s beautifully layered Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space and Pink Floyd’s guitar-heavy yet unruffled Any Colour You Like…(Rip ‘N Time) stands out in crowd of mediocrity”—Jessica Roberson—-McIntosh Trail— –Peachtree- City, GA

“The lore they’ve built surrounding their band shrouds them in mystery…(the music) is incredibly unique…”– Anthony Airdo– Horizon Sun– Phoenix, AZ

“ The catchy guitar riff and the upbeat drums had me mesmerized.” —Philip Cortez—Lion Tales—- San Jose, CA

“Jangly guitars with grooving bass riffs will set your mind free…”– Nick Antone–The Purple Quill — Cincinnati, OH

Playing Her Guitar Suite is a collection of 3 pretty rad jams starting with the title track Playing Her Guitar which opens with some jangly guitar drenched with chorus …giving way to some soft … vocals and eventually some gnarly 80s shred guitar and drum solos. –Brett Botting–KAMP –Tucson, AZ

“…the sound becomes very distinctive, as their talent shows through in every track.”– Sereena Gee– The Panther– Miami, FL

 

Www-wait a minute. How can there be reviews of a CD that doesn’t even exist?

Trust me, I’m just as perplexed as you are!!!

It only makes sense if you believe in the power of magic and time travel—please see the  my post, “Time Traveling Guitar Players”, October 30, 2013.

 

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Classical Guitarists

classic guitar courtyard
CLASSICAL HAMLET
In the sun filled courtyard, bright purple bougainvillea covered the arched, latticed entranceway to the small villa. As Rip ‘N Time and Mr.Snugglewhumps got closer, the unmistakable majesty of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde gradually replaced the rustling sounds of the arid breeze whispering through the omnipresent vines.
“That’s . . . amazing!” said Vincent.
“What?” Langston asked.
“I’m hearing the Prelude to Tristan and Isolde being played . . . on guitar!—that’s an orchestral piece—written for a very big orchestra. Whoever is playing that, is playing the guitar like a miniature orchestra,” said Vincent.
“Check out the big brain musicologist—you’ve been holdin’ out on us, Vincent,” said Langston.
“Yeah and you mentioned the word ‘orchestra’ three times – we get it,” said Akemi.
“For sure, this guitarist is great,” said Riley.
“Well guys, I do know a little something about music,” said Vincent.

Classic Guitars

Classic Guitars

The courtyard was surrounded by a number of small stand-alone villas which all contained studios. On any other day, classic guitar music of every era, style and level of technical virtuosity would be coming from these studios. Today they were silent. Everyone in Classical Hamlet was aware of the importance of Rip ‘N Time’s mission and they did not wish to disturb the Classic Legend. In any case, it was easy to find The Classic Legend, Maestro Federico Torroba-Albeniz—just follow the sound of the solitary guitar located in the one large villa at the end of the courtyard.
By the time they had reached the large villa, Maestro Albeniz was just completing the prelude. When he finished, the band complimented him profusely. Maestro Albeniz nodded and smiled approvingly and said, “Riley, the guitar is like a little orchestra,” said Maestro Albeniz. He then looked at his fretboard and said, “There is a violin section, a woodwind section—even brass—Everyone is there.”
Before anyone could say anything, Vincent got up eyeball close to the Legend’s fretboard and said, “Hi, all you little people.” Not to be outdone, Mr. Snugglewhumps then asked in perfect Spanish, “With all due respect Maestro, I must assume that you do not use cat gut strings.”
“Senor Tarrega, because your name holds a high place of esteem in guitar history, I will forgive you that bit of impertinence,” Maestro Albeniz said. “Mr. Snugglewhumps, though I am offended by your insinuation, I do respect your concern. No, I most certainly do not use cat gut strings– only the finest wire wound nylon. By the way, I must compliment you on your Spanish—it is excellent.” With that, everyone left the studio except Riley and Mr. Snuggglewhumps.
Suddenly, Riley found herself sitting in the formal classic guitar position– her left foot on a small footstool and her right arm properly supporting a nylon string guitar. It was as if this was her regular, weekly, private guitar lesson and that she had been doing this for some time. Maestro Albeniz was her private teacher and they both seemed comfortable in this student/ teacher relationship.
“I would love to learn that prelude that you just played!” she said.
“You’re not ready, you’re not ready!” Maestro Albeniz said. “Play the Villa Lobos prelude that I gave you last week.”
When Riley starts to play, he stops her immediately and says, “Even if you could play it that fast, it’s the wrong tempo—play it slowly! Andante!”
Maestro Albeniz then played the short prelude and his interpretation was just as majestic as his performance of the Wagner prelude. Riley began to realize now what the maestro was talking about –tone. He played every note with such warmth and beauty.
He then instructed Riley to play the prelude again—slowly. As she started playing, he interrupted her, saying, “It’s not Right, it’s not right!” He then grabbed her right hand and began filing her right hand thumb nail with a small piece of super, fine-grade sandpaper. Afterwards she felt her nail and it was as smooth as a polished abalone shell. She played the piece once more and already her tone had a much more appealing sound.
“Don’t be in a race to finish the piece –every note is a pearl,” Maestro Albeniz said. He then gave Riley a right hand free stroke plucking exercise. “Try to get a full and round sound from your open string notes, and then when you play fretted notes, they will naturally have a more pleasing tone. Most of your tone quality is determined by how you initially strike the strings.

Maestro Federico Torroba-Albeniz, Classic Guitar Legend

Maestro Federico Torroba-Albeniz, Classic Guitar Legend

“Mastering the guitar means having a beautiful tone. Marching machines playing a thousand notes a second, will be conquered by a single, passionate tone.”

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Futuristic Guitars (Part 2)

fturistic guitar


DOCTOR TARBORG’S EVIL PLAN
Recalling Etana’s defeat at Uruk and thinking of the Curse of the Guitar and the Seven Legends of Guitar, Dr. Tarborg made a vow, “This time will be different. I will avenge my ancestors and Rip ‘N Time will go down to defeat.”
Doctor Tarborg gathered his thoughts and looked over at the table with the large metal head. No, not a heavy metal fan, not a headbanger, not a mosh pit refugee– an actual silvery, shiny metal head —with no body attached to it. “Ah, my pretty Tarborg head –are you ready to do battle?” asked Dr. Tarborg.
The Tarborg’s eyes blinked as if to say, “Yes, Master.”
“Oh, how sweet– I do appreciate your positive mental attitude, but there is still much work to be done,” said Dr. Tarborg. “You need arms, legs, hands, feet— a torso and they need to be attached to your head . . . silly head,” he continued.

Doctor Tarborg Dancing with Tarborg Head

Doctor Tarborg Dancing with Tarborg Head

The Tarborg’s eyes blinked rapidly, as if responding to each individual body part mentioned by Dr. Tarborg. Then in a moment of pure spontaneity, Dr.Tarborg grabbed the head, swooped it off the table, started spinning around the lab and did an impromptu mazurka—all the while singing the Swedish national anthem in Latin. After a while Dr. Tarborg tossed the head back on the table, giving it one final spin on its axis.
When it finally came to rest, the head’s eyes had a look of sadness and . . . dizziness.
“Oh, I am so sorry, my dear Tarborg. Did I hurt you? Did I hurt your feelings?” said Dr. Tarborg. “I certainly didn’t mean to. I’m just so happy with how you turned out. You are perfect in every way –you are just like me!! But the time for celebration is over. It’s back to the task at hand. We need to put you completely together. The rest of the body parts must be gathered and attached to your lovely head.”

Over the years, Dr. Tarborg had spent much time with artificial intelligence, biotechnology, computer science with regard to robotics, as well as android development. A great deal of effort, study and experimentation was devoted to artificial finger, hand and arm development—all ultimately disappointing. He needed biological material/specimens.
So, like all mad scientists, he had to go through the typical sequence of events. First, there was Dr. Tarborg’s Frankenstein stage–he simply had to have human material with which to experiment. There were the cadavers obtained from the morgue, and then paying grave digging scavengers for their product. Of course that didn’t satisfy—not fresh enough. So he paid professional hit men for specific guitar types. This ultimately proved disappointing—seems their crude methods would invariably destroy an important body part that Dr.Tarborg needed. What to do? Well DIY. “If you want a job done right, you have to do it yourself.” Dr. Tarborg thought. This led to an even more frightening and horrifying development.
Dr. Tarborgs’s next stage might charitably be referred to as the good Doctor’s John Wayne Gacy period. Not satisfied with the previous specimens, Dr. Tarborg now resorted to –actually embraced enthusiastically—kidnapping. But not in the usual sense of just grabbing someone off the street. Oh no, his victims were carefully cultivated, courted, groomed and wooed, if you will. Every night–without fail– around dusk, Dr. Tarborg would lurk in the shadows of the various neighborhoods of The Magical Land of Guitar. Waiting for the right victim and the right time, Dr. Tarborg would approach an unsuspecting young guitarist and chat them up. Dr. Tarborg had an uncanny knack for saying just the right words– the particular jargon or idiosyncrasies of each guitar style. He knew all the right buttons to push.
When he had designs on a particular Heavy Metal Junction guitarist for example, Dr.Tarborg could quote chapter and verse the specs of any and all effects—the very latest version of any particular or currently favored brand. Digital, analog –it didn’t matter. Tarborg knew it all, but not in that obnoxious ‘Know it all’ way. He just had this nice easy-going manner. He built trust –like he understood you. He was there for you—a real professional predator.
The elders (including the Legends themselves) would issue warnings periodically, but the “It couldn’t happen to me” attitude prevailed among the younger and more susceptible guitarists. Eventually they would succumb to the Doctor’s exhortations and temptations. The toys he promised were just too irresistible: Guitars

Every manner of guitar

Every manner of guitar

—every manner of solid body electric, arch top hollow body, steel string dreadnought, even handmade Ramirez classical from Spain; amplifiers

–vintage, tube, the latest stacks, and of course thirty one flavors of effects

—all available just for the asking.
“Why of course you can take them home –anything you like,” Dr.Tarborg would say. Then later on; “Well, why don’t you just practice here?”
And that was really hard to resist because Dr. Tarborg has this incredible state of the art recording studio/rehearsal space available, which contains everything any guitarist could ever want.
Finally, and this was the coup de grace, Dr. Tarborg would say just at the precise moment of vulnerability, “Say, wouldn’t you like to play on the main stage at the Twisty Road Café?”
The young guitarist could not resist at this point. Cultivation complete.
Dr. Tarborg would indeed follow through. The young, unsuspecting guitarist would actually play the main stage at the Twisty Road Café and to much acclaim and enthusiasm. So far so good. After the show however, the final, tragic horror is about to unfold. The young guitarist—exhausted, exhilarated and damn hungry–is ripe for reward in the form of food. As he wanders backstage, he sees a table decked out with all of the Twisty Road’s most delicious five star goodies. But before the guitarist can begin to choose, Dr. Tarborg interrupts;
“Why not start with our world famous apple pie with our award winning vanilla ice cream?” Dr.Tarborg would say.
“With the hot apple syrup drizzled on the ice cream, why it’s just the perfect food after a successful show at the Twisty Road Café!” Dr. Tarborg continued.
With that, the young guitarist devoured the apple pie and ice cream and scooped up every last bit of the hot syrup. Of course it was poisoned with a paralyzing drug, and the guitarist was never seen nor heard from again. Now Dr. Tarborg would cart the limp body down into the depths beneath the Café and into his laboratory—a diabolical dungeon. A fresh young guitarist cut down in the prime of his or her life to further Dr.Tarborg’s abominable experiments.
Now with these new specifically selected specimens, Dr. Tarborg was able to apply his vast experience in Biocentric Methodology. It was laborious and meticulous work but by scraping layer by layer each desired body part, Dr. Tarborg was able to determine its DNA and thus reproduce the qualities in the guitarists he had kidnapped. By mixing and matching, Dr. Tarborg now had all the source material for creating the perfect guitar entity /being; THE TARBORG. Finally, through the new science of molecular growth, Dr. Tarborg was now able to grow his own, so to speak. He actually had crops of arms, hands, legs etc. and now it was harvest time. He would finally be able to construct his headless, perfectly grotesque Tarborg bodies.
There were a few glitches in Dr. Tarborg’s little plan—loose threads if you will. Like, what about all these missing guitarists? People were bound to ask. And what did Dr.Tarborg do with those body parts that didn’t take –didn’t work in his experiments?
Well, Dr.Tarborg was always ready with a pat story to explain the missing guitarists. He’d make up some cockamamie tale, “Oh so and so was such a success at the Twisty Road Café that he/she was immediately booked on a ([fill in the blank]-European, Asian, South American) tour.” He would even go so far as to set up various, bogus websites to further contribute to the ruse. It seemed to work. There were never any notable investigations. Sheesh.
As for the unusable body parts, Dr. Tarborg planted them –in the acres of flat land behind the Twisty Road Café. The mad Doctor actually made great sport out of it– kind of let off steam (hey its hard work being insane).Dr.Tarborg would dance through the fields laughing maniacally, shaking a bodiless fretboard haphazardly and teasingly, while the discarded ‘Carrie-like’ arms reached out of the ground for their beloved fretboards.
Moment of Truth
The time had finally arrived. The time of the Tarborg. Would the metal head conjoin with the new body parts? The answer; a resounding “Yes!” After the assembly was complete, the gigantic guitar-being rose off the lab table and immediately started playing Tarborg Music: Mesmerizing modulations; insanely rapid key changes– catatonic chromaticism. It’s as if Wagner, Webern and Slayer met in an dingy alley, beat the living daylights out of each other and the resultant blood splatter on the dank brick walls was transcribed into a symphony of horror—complete madness—insanity –—stark raving lunacy —but also very powerful, as only pure evil can be.

Tarborg Playing Triple Necked Guitar

Tarborg Playing Triple Necked Guitar

The Tarborg “Look”
The Tarborgs’ appearance is every bit as frightening as their music. First of all, these things are fifteen feet tall! Along with their insect-like, shiny, steel heads, they have six arms, and their torsos–grafted from the hard shell of cockroach DNA–contain multiple drum machines. Both feet hold and control a vast array of special effects that can change the tone of their gargantuan proportioned triple necked guitars.
Dr. Tarborg was beside himself –giggling in uncontrollable elation—euphoria really. He recalled all the horror films he had seen, all the comic books he had read, and thought, “I’m the star of my very own horror story. I’m the mad scientist I’ve always wanted to be!” He then put on his best villainous /genius accent and shouted, “I vill create a master race of guitarists zat vill rule ze vorld! Bewahahahaha!”

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Punk Rock Guitarists

Kanna Guitarist

punk guitarist with strat
REBEL TREBLE CITY
Benny Bedoya is clad in the traditional Punk tribe attire– black leather jacket, tee shirt and jeans, his no nonsense Mohawk and scowl complete the pose. But the Punk Legend is anything but a poseur. Benny comes by his look with uncompromising integrity; he has earned his status as the premier punk provocateur. Benny Bedoya is holding court . . . in his . . . garage. No castle here. No frills here. No “Rock Star” trappings. This is stripped down Rock ’n’ Roll –back to basics.

A sunburst, solid body, electric guitar is propped up against an orange crate amplifier. The black, narrow, manufacturer-issue strap dangles haphazardly from the top of the guitar’s body and is unattached to the side button. Benny picks up the guitar by its neck and in one seamless movement puts his left leg on the amp, flips the strap over his shoulder, fastens the strap, flicks on the amp and plays.
It’s just an A major bar chord played with the left hand first finger placed across all six strings on the fifth fret. But it’s the most amazing A major chord Riley has ever heard. It’s so clean, crisp and confident. The way Benny strikes the strings it sounds like he picked all six strings at once—but that’s impossible—right? He must have EQ’d every last frequency of bass from his amp and the single-coil pickups don’t hurt either (no humbuckers allowed!). A very narrow bandwidth–you got treble my friend– treble right here in rebel city.

Benny Bedoya Playing an "A' Chord

Benny Bedoya Playing an “A’ Chord

When the Punk Legend stopped for a moment, Riley stepped forward and said, “Wow, that’s an incredible sound Benny! How do you do it? Man, you must practice a lot!”
“Practice?…Practice!? We don’t need no stinkin’ practice…it’s all attitude,” said Benny.
Riley was stunned by his response…after all, hadn’t Buzz Bigliandi emphasized the importance of practice? And now here’s another legend saying no practice. Riley started thinking; “Practice: Good; practice: bad– um which is it?”
Akemi unintentionally entered the fray when she whispered under her breath, “Uh oh.”
Benny shot a glance at her and said, “What’s that? What did you say?”
Akemi, thinking she could smooth things over, said, “Oh, Benny your chord playing is so amazing –your guitar solos must be fantastic!”
“Solos? . . . solos!?– we don’t need no . . . .”
Langston couldn’t help himself and said, “Oh no, hell no. Benny, with all due respect ‘n all, we need more Punk Padre – less Sierra Madre.”
“We love your music, man, and we have all the respect in the world for you, but we‘ve got to get that one word of wisdom from you so we can beat the Tarborgs in the Battle of the Bands,” Vincent said.
“I told you the word. I gave it to you already . . . it’s ATTITUDE,” said Benny.
“Ok, I get it, said Riley. “It’s really not about practice or no practice. It’s really about being totally ready . . . confident don’t hold back . . . kick butt– ATTITUDE!”

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Heavy Metal Guitarists (Part 3)

Passing through the gates to the castle, Rip ‘N Time know that they are in the Legend’s lair—in the midst of the metal master. The entire band is about to implode with anticipation—they are finally meeting Boone Laird Cregar!
When they do meet Boone, however, he’s just loosey-goosey– totally relaxed, unpretentious, and he immediately puts the band at ease. He extends his right hand and says, “Boone.”

Dreamy Metal

Dreamy Metal

A sigh of relief envelops the whole band –so much so, that they feel comfortable enough to play for Boone. They play a well-known metal cover but in their own style.
“That was great!” Boone said. “I think you’ve got your own style of metal. It’s different than any metal I’ve heard before but it is metal and I like it . . . in fact, it’s so different, I think you’ve created a new genre—it’s like dreamy . . . yeah, that’s it! Let’s call it ‘Dreamy Metal.’”
Smiles all around and Mr. Snugglewhumps rubbed against Boone’s leather pants. The band was so relaxed and happy that everyone felt that they had known Boone all their lives. Each member felt that he or she could talk to Boone about anything.
Vincent asked, “Boone, what advice can you give me?”
“Like I said, your band is great and you’re great, Vincent—my advice is KISS.” Boone said.

KISS not K.I.S.S.

KISS not K.I.S.S.

“KISS?” They’re a great band, but I’m not sure I understand,” Vincent said.
No, no I’m not talkin’ about the band; I’m talkin’ about K.I.S.S. –Keep It Simple Son. Vincent, just divide everything by five; cut back on everything and you’ll be fine–like just play the snare on the first chorus– stuff like that,” Said Boone. “Same thing with you Akemi, you’ve got plenty of technique—just Keep It Simple Sister.”
“But Boone, how can I put feeling in my playing?” asked Akemi.
“I can’t tell you that,” said Boone “But I promise you this; if you beat the Tarborgs at the Twisty Road Café, you will have attained feeling in your playing—I guarantee that.”
“Boone, I felt really good singing in front of you, but when I’m in front of a crowd, I get scared.” Langston said. “How do I get the courage to sing in front of a crowd?”
“I can’t tell you that,” said Boone, “But I promise you this; if you beat the Tarborgs at the Twisty Road Café, you will have attained courage—I guarantee that.”
“Boone, you’re beautiful-you’re the personification of metal, but I gotta say you’re goin’ a little cryptic with your last couple of answers,” Riley said.
“Yeah, well, it seems like we’re all sort of slippin’ into another story, so let’s get back to our story. Here’s the thing guys; heavy metal or metal is hard to define. Heavy metal is screaming jazz—distorted Rock ‘n’ Roll. It’s Blues gone crazy . . . It’s . . . It’s . . . well I’m not for sure exactly what it is, but I do know the metal is still here . . . PERSEVERE. That’s the one word of wisdom I can give you, combined with the other six words from the other legends, that will help you defeat the Tarborgs.”

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Heavy Metal Guitarists (Part 2)


Mama Calavito, the Godmother of Thrash
The ‘venue’ they found themselves in next was decidedly smaller—much smaller- an arena this was not. Strips of discolored, stained and yellowed foam were tacked haphazardly to the exposed wood plank walls and the cracked and oil splattered cement floor was partially covered with ratty, discarded old rugs. A beat up microphone dangled precariously from a two by four of the ceiling, and small plastic crates were propping up old amplifiers. Four young, long-haired guys were lounging lazily on an equally old, purple cloth upholstered couch, and a couple of other guys were sitting on wooden crates.
The four guys on the couch were the thrash metal band, Walled Off Hysteria—Ron Montoya, Bass /Vocals; Rex Ringer, lead Guitar; Seth Hamilton, Lead Guitar; Guy Messina, Drums. The two guys on the crates were roadies named Carlos and Jeremy.
“Hey, you guys are pretty good,” Ron Montoya said. “Maybe you can open for us at Mama Calavito’s.” Everybody on the couch and crates laughed but not a mean laugh– more of an ‘in the know laugh’.
“We’re just messing with you; no one opens for anybody at Mama’s– everyone just plays. You should play there,” Ron said.
“Who is Mama?” Riley asked.

Mama Calavito’s Music Store–Guitar Shop

“Who is Mama? Everybody knows Mama. She owns the music store on Tweedy Blvd in Southgate,” Rex Ringer said.
“Yeah, she plays, teaches and sells guitars,” Seth Hamilton said.
“And she can really cook!” said Guy Messina.
“You mean she really plays great guitar?” asked Riley.
“No, I mean ‘yeah’ I mean yeah but ‘No ‘I mean she really cooks up some great lasagna ,spaghetti, fried chicken –you name it—she really cooks, but here’s the thing; she’s really a great guitarist too,” said Guy.

Mama Calavito cooking at her table

Mama Calavito cooking at her table

“It’s true. It seems like there’s always a gigantic pot of spaghetti boilin’ in the back kitchen at Calavito’s, or some fried chicken simmerin’ in the skillet,” said Rex.

Mama Calavito cooking on her guitar

Mama Calavito cooking on her guitar

“And yet, she always makes time to play her reverse-headstock, Explorer guitar. Well, actually she was more partial to her old flying V, but it became tiring for Mama to play while standing. And when she tried playing while sitting, the V just kept on slipping off her lap—so…she just switched to playing the Explorer,” Seth said.
“Every Friday night, after she closes the store, she moves all the guitars from the show window and turns it into a stage. Then she clears out a space in the middle of the store and sets up some folding chairs. Three or four bands each play a set and after they’re done, everybody chows down. The only requirement is you gotta play thrash –Mama just loves thrash –she is totally supportive of this new metal. She just wants us to succeed,” Ron said.
“Yeah, and she knows music too. I mean, like I heard that she studied music theory and composition in Europe or somethin’. She played me one of her compositions once, and I’ll bet she’s one of those musicians who become rich and famous after they die,” Rex said. “I’m serious– she‘s helped me with my solos too. Like I had these really doom-like chord progressions– you know, kind of based on F, E and A power chords—well Mama showed me Harmonic minor and Phrygian scales– and man, they fit perfectly.
“Mama knows ‘tapping’ too; I once saw her play a two-handed tapping arrangement of a Bach Fugue!!” Seth said.
“Here’s the thing; Mama’s with you when you’re doing well but she’s also there when you’re down. I mean, it seems like most everybody’s into new wave in L.A. Sure, we’ve got our fans– a small following– but in San Francisco and the Bay area we’re huge. So when we are back in L.A., she will always say ‘Don’a worry. People come ‘round. You just keepa doin’ what you’re doin’– don’t change. You’ll see– just hang in there. Stick to it.’ That’s the way she is.”Ron said.
“But you guys already knew all this,” said Carlos.
“Wha –huh,” Langston said.
“You guys are from the future, right?” said Jeremy to Riley.
“Well, yeah, we are from the future and, yeah, we knew that three of the big four thrash metal bands came from Southeast L.A. in the early ‘80’s, but we didn’t know about all these extra inside details,” said Riley.
“Well, when you do go back to the future, just let everybody know how it really happened,” said Rex.
“For sure,” said Riley.

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Heavy Metal Guitarists


HEAVY METAL JUNCTION
When Rip ‘n Time arrived in Heavy Metal Junction, there was no need for searching for the Legend. There were no questions to ask –no mystery. They knew who the Legend was—Boone Laird Cregar of the band, Cregar. So before meeting with him and receiving his all-important word of wisdom for the battle, they sought out the other greats of Heavy Metal Junction.
Riley clicked the toggle switch three times on her trusty Explorer and suddenly;
“What th’,” Langston said.
“Oh, yeah!” Akemi screamed.
“Whoa,” Vincent yelled.

Milwaukee Arena

Milwaukee Arena

Surrounded by a sea of paisley, bellbottoms, hip huggers and purple Beatle boots, RIP ’N Time was awash in the ‘60’s.There were golden haired sisters and gigantic afros everywhere and the crowd seemed to have a mind of its own, carrying the band along with it. Thankfully, the great lake offered a slight breeze to temper the hot, moist night-time air. As the crowd slowed briefly, Riley started to notice posters everywhere—they were on walls, telephone poles, lamp posts– you name it. Upon closer inspection, she could see clearly what the poster read:

Milwaukee Arena

Magical Time Travel Tour

RIP ‘N TIME opening for

The SLINKBYRDS

August 28, 1965

8:00 P.M.

 

“Oh my God,” said Riley. “The British band that created the first heavy metal riff —the very first power chords. This is their first tour of America and we’re opening up for them in an hour. Yikes! We haven’t rehearsed-we haven’t had a sound check –we . . . ”
“Relax, Riley” said Langston. “We’ll get there.”
Get there they did—past the gates through security, down dimly lit hallways to the backstage area and finally reaching the stage. And there he was –god. Well that’s what every graffiti artist in London was writing on walls everywhere–‘Geoff Breck is god.’ And based on the sounds Geoff was getting from his guitar, you’d have to say Geoff Breck certainly is a guitar god. The sound of his guitar filled the entire arena. Soaring, modal, blues inflected and sustain forever leads sounded like Indian ragas on an amplified violin. When the band got closer, Geoff stopped playing and said, “Everybody thinks I

The First Stomp Box

The First Stomp Box

get my sound from this.” Everyone looked to where Geoff was pointing and Mr. Snugglewhumps rubbed against it. It appeared to be an anvil.
Looking closer, you could see it was a polished cast iron steel box that appeared to be an anvil but it had one rubber button in the middle. There was also a guitar cable connected to it and another cable connecting to Geoff’s amplifier. “Holy distortion! Is this the first stomp box?” Riley said to herself. Then Riley asked, “Hey Geoff, play some power chords.”
“Play some power what?” he said.
“Power chords,”she said and then Riley started to play Geoff Breck’s now famous riff with power chords (the two lowest strings on the guitar, root and fifth).
“That’s not it,” Geoff said. Geoff then played the same riff but with full six string bar chords while palm muting to control the distortion. It was an amazing sound. Then Geoff said, “See, it’s all in the fingers.”
Riley’s mind began racing. “So actually power chords evolved from playing full six string bar chords heavily distorted with all down strokes. So you never really heard all six strings –just the lower ones– although sometimes you’d hear some of the higher ones squeak through. Eventually future metal guitarists must have started playing just the lowest two strings only and discarding the upper strings entirely! Wow, this is how metal began—metal’s signature sound!”
“Your sound is beautiful Geoff, where did you get the idea for it?” Riley said.
“I had this idea for a sound in my head—I kept tryin’ this, tryin’ that. I just kept workin’ on it until I got it –I never gave up. Oh, by the way, you’re up,” said Geoff.
“Up?-What do mean?” Riley said.
“You’re opening for us–you and your band need to get on stage – it’s almost 8:00,” said Geoff.
The band bounded on the stage just in time. Riley adjusted her guitar strap, turned on her amp and fiddled a bit with her volume nob. She then looked at the rest of the band for a moment and said, “Playing this concert would be great but we’ve got other things to do—hang on!” and with that, she clicked her explorer’s toggle switch three times.

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Jazz Guitar Players


JAZZ LAND VILLAGE
On the shores of Lake Pontchartrain, the billowing clouds of smoke from the Friday night fish fry mixed and mingled with the hot and humid air of the delta. Entering Jazz Land Village near the shore, Rip ‘n Time was greeted by a nattily dressed man wearing a royal blue blazer adorned with gigantic brass buttons. His two-toned shoes were tapping a steady beat while he strummed a loud, jagged and syncopated chord progression on his well-worn acoustic guitar. A mandolin player and a bass player completed this unusual sounding trio.
Then, Looking at Riley, the guitarist asked,” Am I crazy?”
Riley wasn’t sure if the man was speaking rhetorically or not and thought it best not to reply one way or another. Besides, the mandolin player and bass player’s laughter seemed to indicate that no answer was necessary. Still, Riley had to find the Jazz legend and she got up the courage to ask the guitarist, “Are you the Jazz Legend of Guitar?”
“What?” the guitarist said as he put down his guitar.
“Are you the…” Riley said. But before she could finish repeating her question, the guitarist interrupted her.
“Oh, I heard what you said. Are you trying to mock me?” the guitarist said.
“Why, no sir, I just . . . ” Riley then started to tell the story of the Sumerian girl, the Goddess and so on.
But before she could finish, the guitarist became more and more impatient and agitated and said, “I know all about Sumeria, the Goddess, the Curse and the Seven Legends–the Jazz Legend ain’t here.”
Riley grew momentarily despondent for she couldn’t understand why the guitarist became so angry. Presently the mandolin player, an older, kindly gentleman, gently nudged her aside. “Don’t you fret none,” the mandolin player said. “He don’t mean nuthin’ by it. It’s just that he always thought that he should be the Legend.”
“Look, let me help you,” said the mandolin player. “Just follow me.” He led Riley and her band of cohorts as well as Mr. Snugglewhumps to the great Mississippi River. He guided them all to a river boat ferry, directed them to their quarters and said, “I’m not sayin’ you’ll find the Legend when you get off the river but I guarantee that you will be closer.”
Riley turned away to put down her guitar and then turned back to thank the old man, but he had already disappeared.
Riley and her band were exhausted and soon fell asleep. When they awakened, they were no longer on the boat however. “Hey, we’re back at Crosstown High,” said Langston.
“No, It’s Palms High,” said Vincent.
“You’re both wrong,” said Akemi. “It’s Unity High.”
“That’s right Akemi . . . hey . . . wait a minute . . . somethin’s not quite right here,” said Riley. “I mean look– are we at some Classic Car convention? All the cars look brand new and they look like they are from the 1920’s. And look how all the kids are dressed. Hey, I know this high school is a magnet for movie shoots, but this is sick.”

Gage Park High School, Chicago ,Illinois

Gage Park High School, Chicago ,Illinois

As they moved in closer, they gradually began to realize that they were at Gage Park High School on Chicago’s South Side and it sure the heck wasn’t 2013. Across the street was a soda shop where all the kids would hangout and they were all gathered around a small group of high school musicians. The combo consisted of a cornet, saxophone, bass tuba, clarinet and guitar. The clarinet player, named Lester Goodsen, stood out from the others with his exceptional improvisational skills, but the guitar player, Harley Hinson, really stole the show.

Charlie Christian (A. K. A.. Harley Hinson)

Charlie Christian (A. K. A.. Harley Hinson)

Harley had attached a tiny microphone to his acoustic guitar’s bridge with a wire connecting it to a loudspeaker. Unlike the guitarists Riley had heard in New Orleans, Harley wasn’t strumming, he was playing single note leads as if he were a horn player and you could hear his single –string technique because the guitar was amplified. Harley took the guitar out of the rhythm section and put it in the forefront. He was soloing! Riley was a witness to the first electric lead guitarist! Surely, this must be the Jazz Legend of Guitar, Riley thought to herself.
After a little while, the combo stopped playing and much to Riley’s surprise, Harley came towards her. “No, I am not the Jazz Legend of Guitar,” he said. “I’m sorry to disappoint. You are getting closer however—you’re on the right path.”
The train ride out of Chicago began leisurely but quickly turned into a time traveling bullet train. Whizzing through Harlem, whirling through the big band era and stopping briefly in the bebop era, it finally came to an abrupt stop on the West Coast. It was there in a club on Cahuenga, that the band encountered the Jazz Guitarist Buzz Bigliandi. Riley didn’t have to wonder or ask –Buzz Bigliandi is The Legend of Jazz Guitar.

Buzz is the embodiment of all things Jazz guitar. Buzz knows Dixieland. He knows big band swing. He knows big combos, small combos and everything in between. And, oh yeah, he knows fusion and modal. Buzz does it all and way better than anybody else. Buzz plays horn lines, piano lines and his arpeggios and sweep picking technique are so smooth they are harp-like.
Buzz was also the type of person who not only did not suffer fools gladly; he didn’t suffer them at all. Buzz got right down to it, looked at the band and said, “Let’s just cut to the chase.”
“Chase cutting’s good,” Riley said.
“I’m all for it,”Langston said.
Akemi and Vincent nodded affirmatively while Mr. Snugglewhumps meowed in agreement.

Buzz Bigliandi--The Legend of jazz Guitar

Buzz Bigliandi–The Legend of jazz Guitar

Buzz continued, “I know why you’re here—I know all about the Playing Her Guitar Suite story. I’m on a first name basis with the Goddess of Guitar, so I’m well aware of the Curse and the Seven Legends. My job is to give you one piece of advice, which along with the other Legends of Guitar, will help you defeat the Tarborgs at the Twisty Road Café. So here it is;
“Practice! Yeah I know, slap your heads in mock astonishment. ‘Wow Buzz, you are so profound,’ you may be thinking sarcastically. Yeah, well let me just talk at you anecdotally for a second or two.
“I’ll go to a club, a bar, a concert even, and I’ll hear some cat wailin’ on the guitar. This cat’ll be flyin’ up and down the fret board– be playin’ some beautiful things. I mean these cats are really pushin’ it. They are really playing outside. But I have to ask, ‘can this cat play through changes?’
“Ok, listen.”Buzz then brought out his mahogany arch top, hollow body—the one with the gold humbuckers and gold Bixby vibrato—and proceeded to play the melody to ‘I Got Rhythm’. Then he played the chord progression—Buzz referred to it as the ‘I Got Rhythm’ changes. He then played this impossibly fast tempo lead solo that somehow wove a melody out of the chord progression. It was like he was doing two things at once.
Buzz was also playing way outside. That is to say, he was playing notes not typically heard with these chord changes and yet they fit. The solo seemed almost on the brink of breakdown, but then he always knew just when to pull back in.
Another remarkable aspect of his solo was his picking technique, for even at this break-neck speed it was impeccable. His technique was so smooth and clean, it was as if he were playing on one string.
When Buzz stopped playing, he paused for a moment and said, “So here’s the deal, you cats have got to practice playing through chord changes—you’ve got to play inside before you can play outside. Get totally comfortable playing inside the chord changes. Then, and only then, can you cats start to play outside of the changes—dig? So my advice, to you cats, is to PRACTICE!

Riley and the rest of the band were speechless—no one said a word except . . . Mr.Snugglewhumps!
“Whew!” said Mr. Snugglewhumps. “For someone who’s a self- described ‘cut to the chase type of guy’ you sure can talk. But you know what? I like that you’re always talking about cats –that’s a good thing– and for that ,you are my favorite legend.”
With that, everyone couldn’t help but laugh—including Buzz Bigliandi, and it was now time to move on and find another Legend.

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Futuristic Guitars

fturistic guitar


Doctor Tarborg
Doctor Tarborg came about his evil DNA by way of evolution. Back in the day, in Sumeria that is, King Etana was just your generic paranoid power freak. His descendants, however, turned into megalomaniacs and then thousands of years of inbreeding and medical experiments gone awry spawned humans (the term human is used very loosely here) who had nary so much a spec of goodness in their tiniest of cells. Dr. Tarborg is the final result of this abominable lineage and, sad to say, his physical appearance is a manifestation of this evil inside.

Doctor Tarborg’s face looks like a rotten pumpkin with a misshapen zucchini squashed onto it. He has two matching protrusions on the top of his head that are either; (1.) the vestiges of latent horns or (2.) the result of nascent tumors- bone growth from his skull. Dr. Tarborg completes the neo retro-Satan look by wearing a medieval habit with a crimson lined cowl—he thinks this attire makes him look scarier –Yeah, like he really needs any help in that regard.

Doctor Tarborg

Doctor Tarborg

In spite of his looks, Doctor Tarborg does have a nice way about him and as owner and manager of the Twisty Road Café he does a pretty fair job. Most people assume that the title “Dr.” is just a harmless affectation and patrons feel comfortable enough to address him as Doc, Doctor T, or T-doc. He’s a decent impresario and he keeps the food fresh and handles details reasonably well. There’s always great entertainment due, of course, to the Twisty Road’s location, location, location so Dr. Tarborg can choose from a steady stream of excellent guitarists willing to play—duos, combos, bands etc.

Ok. So . . . owner; Twisty road Café, Legitimate business man—honest taxpayer– blahblahblah—that’s Dr.Tarborg’s night time job.

In fact, the Twisty Road Café is the perfect front for his much more nefarious and secretive daytime job.

Dr. Tarborg is hiding in plain sight, if you will. The ‘Good Doctor’ is a ‘Bad Doctor’—very bad. Oh and he’s not a bad doctor in the sense that he is incompetent –for he is very competent –highly skilled. Dr.Tarborg’s resume of education and related work experience attest to that. As an undergrad at Stanford, he earned three degrees simultaneously—Pre-med, Bioengineering, and Biotechnology. He then went on to graduate from the Harvard Medical School and at the same time, earned a Doctorate in Computational and Systems Biology at MIT. His post graduate work included the S.T.R.I.N.G. (System Trained Robots In Nuclear Guitar) project at University of Illinois. The title ‘Doctor’ was earned and is legitimate, in the usual sense of the word. Of course, nothing is in the usual sense when it comes to anything regarding Dr. Tarborg.

You see, Dr. Tarborg cannot hide his one flaw. He’s insane. Harboring a five thousand year grudge born out of an imagined slight, Dr.Tarborg has become more and more obsessed with the idea of building an organic biological guitar–a living, breathing guitar. A living guitar that would have human characteristics –a guitar with a human anatomy. A hybrid, guitar/human entity that can think for itself create its own guitar solos and rhythms– make its own improvisational decisions. He wanted it in his own image and he would call it Tarborg. Its purpose? To destroy all human guitarists.

To accomplish this goal he needs two things; a large lab with which to work and experiment and source material (human guitarists) to perform his experiments. The Twisty Road Café provides both.

A tunnel deep beneath the Café leads to an undisclosed location where Dr.Tarborg hatches his evil plan. This is Dr.Tarborg’s real work –his real job.

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Folk Guitarists


FOLK TOWN
Riley immediately sensed a strange, intimate and palpable familiarity when she entered folk town. She recognized everything–was she in a dream or was it a case of ‘been there done that’?
“What was L.P. thinking? This is Sumeria!”said Riley.

Camille Flowers playing her guitar

Camille Flowers

Then Riley thought, “Actually it makes sense– this would be where the very first folk music began.” The other band members seemed neither here nor there but Mr. Snugglewhumps felt right at home, “My people,” he said to himself. The band seemed to float invisibly through the market place, for the inhabitants made no comment on the band’s twenty first century attire and their modern musical instruments.
There was music everywhere, “These Sumerians are really into it… they have…”
“Sensitivity,” said Folk Legend, Camille Flowers.

 

“Where…how…did you get here?” asked Riley.
“Oh you know, ‘Three strums and a cloud of dust’,” said Camille.
“Oh yeah, that,” said Riley. “And what is it with you legends and goddesses mind reading abilities!? Oh and by the way L. P. says ‘hello’. But anyway, yeah, I think I’m pickin’ up on what you’re sayin’ –be sensitive to the song, the song is where the guitar playing starts…”
“That’s right, Riley, said Camille. “But if you look around, you’ll see that there are no guitars. Seems L.P.—bless his little country heart—sent you back just a tad too far– the guitar doesn’t exist yet. So let’s just finish our conversation back in FOLK TOWN 2013.” And it was three strums and out.
“So let me put it another way,” said Camille. “The guitar and the song must become as one. There must be sensitivity in your playing.”
“Hey, I get it—like a ‘chick flick’,” said Vincent.
“Yeah, right– make the young girls cry,” said Langston.
“Guys, guys– just let Camille finish what she’s got to say,” said Riley.
“In some ways Langston and Vincent aren’t too far off the mark. Sensitivity is subjective. So I want you all to think in general terms–broad strums. Guitar playing, whether it’s a chord progression, a type of rhythm, a guitar solo—doesn’t matter. At the very least, those aspects must relate to what the song is about and the sensitivity that they engender must come from within.
Puzzled looks all around.
“Well kids, it looks as if were in need of another dose of time travel. The LEGEND’S MANUAL says ‘Use as directed. Not to exceed more than six trips in a twenty-four hour period.’ Oh we’ve got plenty left,” Camille said. She then played three chords in rapid succession; E major, D# dim, and C# minor in a descending fashion on the fifth, fourth and third strings respectively, enabling the open first and second strings to ring. And they were now back in 1968.

Rush Street, Chicago

Rush Street, Chicago

The Sitzmark bar, on Chicago’s Rush Street, features top forty bands six nights a week. There’s a completely different vibe on Monday nights, however–there is no cover and local folk musicians are spotlighted in a quasi-open mic situation. On this Monday night, the display box in the bar’s window contained an 8×10 glossy showing two pretty, young girls and a handmade sign that read ‘Folk Rock Duo Playing Tonight Upstairs’. The small stage close to the cozy bar, along with a free smorgasbord (roast beef, ham, potato salad, homemade brownies), created an atmosphere of a family and friends gathering—the room just had a warm intimacy to it.
Two young GI’s in their dress greens were at the bar nursing…cokes. The Duo hadn’t started playing yet, so one of the GI’s, a young black barely out of High School, turned his head halfway towards the other GI, a Latino of about the same age, and said, “We can get drafted but we can’t get a draft beer.”
“Yeah, Right,” said the other GI.
“Anyway, my name’s Langston,” said the young black.
“Vincent,” said the Latino.
They then did an abbreviated ‘60’s soul brother handshake.
They both turned back to staring at their cokes and then Langston pulled out a piece of paper and said, “Orders for the 281st battalion, 72MP detachment, Camp Samaisan, USARPACTHAI. Great. Just what I always wanted to be –a cop.”
“Hey brother, that’s dick duty compared to what I got—Infantry, 1st Cav., Artillery division, ‘Nam”, said Vincent.
“Oh man, that’s cold,” said Langston.
“So what did you do before…”said Vincent.
“Before Uncle Sam Ain’t Released Me Yet time?” said Langston.
“Yeah,” said Vincent.
“I sang in a Rock ‘n Roll band,” said Langston.
“For reals!? I was a drummer!” said Vincent.
Just then the folk rock duo came onto the stage and the two soldiers then directed their attention towards the two pretty, young girls. One of the girls had long blond hair parted down the middle and wore a deep purple colored, cotton blouse unbuttoned at the top. She was holding a twelve string acoustic guitar. The other half of the duo was a slender Asian girl who had long black hair with bangs. She was also wearing a purple blouse only it had an indigo cast to it and it was buttoned all the way to the top. She played upright bass.
After a few brief microphone adjustments and volume testing, the duo introduced themselves. The blond guitarist got up close to the microphone, looked straight at Langston and said, “Hi, I’m Riley.”
Next, the Asian girl leaned into the microphone, looked straight at Vincent and said, “And I’m Akemi.”
Then Riley and Akemi started to play. A Jingle jangly 12 string riff, a clean bass rhythm and sweet vocals transformed the bar into a private concert for Langston and Vincent. Indeed, the duo seemed to be directly singing to the two young soldiers.
The two soldiers welcomed the attention of the pretty girls and were totally captivated by the song that they were singing. Not only was the performance a seamless melding of guitar, bass, vocal and lyrics but also this particular song at this particular moment in time was… well… just right. The song’s message of peace coupled with the soldiers’ plight only served to intensify the performance and by the time the chorus came along the soldiers had to look away, for their eyes were beginning to tear. It was a strange sensation of joy and sadness combined with pure emotion.
Langston and Vincent were staring into their cokes when the bartender came over and said “Yeah, I like them too. They’re sensitive. I really like sensitivity in a guitar player.” The bartender’s voice sounded familiar and when they looked up they saw that it was Camille.
Then Camille said, “Sensitivity is a power and you’re going to need that power when dealing with the Tarborgs at the Twisty Road Café.”

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