by Martin Grohs
*analog pencil drawings . digital colored . martin grohs . 2013
created for cosmosys 13 – overdosed
by Martin Grohs
*analog pencil drawings . digital colored . martin grohs . 2013
created for cosmosys 13 – overdosed
by Joe Bosso
Think Eddie Van Halen invented finger tapping on the guitar? Think again.
Seven years before Eruption created a new school of shredders, Steve Hackett [then guitarist for prop-rock godfathers Genesis] set aside his pick and applied his index finger to the fretboard of his Les Paul – and he’s not afraid to lay claim to conceiving of the technique.
“I’m the inventor of tapping on record,” he says. “We haven’t found anyone who tapped earlier than me, unless somebody did it in the 1930s, but I doubt it.”
While Hackett admits that [Eddie] Van Halen and his followers popularized and expanded on finger tapping, his place as a wholly inventive guitarist, one who also helped introduce players to techniques such as sweep-picking, is assured.
Before we get into some of the new songs, let’s address the matter of finger tapping. Eddie Van Halen does credit you as having done it first. Have the two of you ever talked about it?
“Eddie and I have never spoken about it, but yes, he has credited me with tapping. When you see old films of Genesis from 1971 on, you can see me using the technique. It’s there on many recordings, as well. Eddie is a fine player, of course, and he’s the one who named the technique. The important thing is that you play as fast as you’d like, but you do it all on one string – and you have to use a finger from your picking hand instead of the pick.”
Between 1971 and 1978, the year Van Halen’s first record came out, did you hear anybody else finger tapping?
“No, I’m not really aware of that, I must admit. All I know is that it became part of the language for heavy metal players, and it became one of the glossaries of terms that you can dip into if you’re playing electric guitar. You can play it on a nylon-string guitar, of course, or acoustic steel, but it’s really going to work best on an electric through an amp with some distortion.”
So where did you get? How did you start doing it?
“Well, I’ll tell you: I was trying to play a tiny phrase from Toccata and Fugue by Bach, and I was wondering how to do it, because you couldn’t really do it across the strings. I figured that if I could do it on one string, then I’d be using the fretboard like a keyboard. There’s a couple of techniques I took from Bach, like sweep-picking, which is akin to a violinist rocking the bow across the strings.
“I did it one day, the tapping, but I thought it was a little unwieldy at first because I couldn’t play it in time. But then I could play it in time, and I started doing it live with Genesis. This was back in 1971, an awfully long time ago. It enabled me to be the fastest gun in the west for about five minutes, until somebody else came along and did it in a whole new way.
“It’s a little bit like Bruce Lee’s technique for martial arts: just like he did things so fast that the camera couldn’t pick them all up, with tapping, the microphone can’t pick up all the notes – it’s a blur of music.”
What did you think when Eddie burst on the scene with tapping – and when everybody started copying him? Did you say, “Hey, that’s mine! I invented that”?
“No, I’m not protective of any techniques. I’ve learned from every guitarist that I’ve watched. Everybody plays slightly differently; everybody has been my guitar teacher. I guess I’ve shown a few moves to some people. A guitar can sound like anything – a harp, even.”
The title track of the new album features a very striking guitar solo. Do you plot your solos out, or do you prefer to improvise?
“I would say they’re refined improvisation. Sometimes I’ll have phrases ready – I’ll work them out on a nylon-stringed guitar. I do a lot of things on paper; I tend to write things down. When you’re holding an electric guitar and you want to be spontaneous, that’s the time to do it. The beauty is, you can always go back and correct what you play if you don’t like something.”
The song Tall Ships has a pretty jazzy feel. For something like that, do you use a different guitar than the Fernandes?
“No, it’s the same guitar. The Fernandes is quite versatile. It’s like having an onboard E-Bow, something that’ll make the strings sustain. That song is a bit like a piece of trance music.”
Has there been any new talk of a Genesis reunion, one involving you?
“I’ve been working on a version of Genesis material that I’m going to take live with some guests. I’ve always said that I’d be up for a reunion if anyone wanted to do it. They approached me some years back, but it seemed to be far too complicated. As far as I’m concerned, with some of the guys from Genesis saying they’re going to retire, I feel that nobody should hold his breath, although I won’t be the reason it won’t happen.”
*Reblog from Music Radar: Article by Joe Bosso
No it’s not an official album either.
It’s a live concert [June 23, 2012 Orion Music + More - Bader Field, Atlantic City, NJ] where they revisited and played their “Ride the Lightning” masterpiece in it’s entirety. Yes folks, you read that correct. Never say never.
For those who did not get to attend the show live, watch the You Tube clips later or even knew about the LiveMetallica.com download site – I’m officially declaring this as historic | EPIC or monumental [laughs].
To set the record straight, they sandwiched other songs before and after the actual run through of the RTL LP…which is cool. But I will leave those out for sake of clarity in this special post. And believe it or not Lars actually played pretty good during this show, which really surprised me.
Trapped Under Ice
Fade to Black
For Whom The Bell Tolls
Ride The Lightning
Fight Fire With Fire
Yet another example of how the terms: “rock on” | “rockstar” or the “horns up” gesture continue to invade mainstream culture.
I ran across this cutesy [sic] logo on the internet. It’s a site that posts pet pics, so I am not promoting it; something triggered in me upon encountering. You know, one of those ah-ha moments or sign-of-the-times-slap-you-in-the-face moments [laughs].
Allegedly, what started out way back in Italy (and some Mediterranean cultures, when confronted with unfortunate events, or simply when these events are mentioned) the sign of the horns may be given to ward off bad luck.
It is also used traditionally to counter or ward off the “evil-eye” (malocchio).
Most peeps came to recognize this gesture from seeing Metal icons Ronnie James DIO [R.I.P.], Ozzy Osbourne and maybe Gene Simmons [or so he claims] using it repeatedly onstage over the years.
According to Ronnie, he didn’t invent the “horns” hand gesture, he just popularized it.
“I was in Sabbath at the time. It was a symbol that I thought was reflective of what that band was supposed to be all about. It’s NOT the devil’s sign like we’re here with the devil. It’s an Italian thing I got from my Grandmother.” Dio said in a 2001 interview.
“It’s to ward off the Evil Eye or to give the Evil Eye, depending on which way you do it. It’s just a symbol but it had magical incantations and attitudes to it and I felt it worked very well with Sabbath. So I became very noted for it and then everybody else started to pick up on it and away it went. But I would never say I take credit for being the first to do it.”
*As time passed, the “horns” came to symbolize not only Sabbath but heavy metal music in general and rock fans the world over adopted it as a sort of not-so-secret handshake.
“The Age of Irony” dawned in the early to mid-eighties and among the “progressive” set, flashing the “horns” became the visual equivalent to yelling “Freebird” at a concert. Let’s Active fans had found a way to simultaneously make fun of the heshers that beat them up in high school while appearing deliciously droll to their bolo-tied brethren.
By the time a new generation of kids came on the scene, only jaded slackers would flash the two-fingered salute in an eye-rolling attempt to elicit knowing snickers from the rest of the coffee-house. Then came NuMetal.
Rap/Rock Mooks all across America had learned from their cousins, stepdads, uncles and cellmates that the horns meant something having to do with Hard Feckin’ Rawk. It was a way for a guy to scream “Woooooooo!” without uttering a sound. The horns enjoyed a brief renaissance until the already painfully derivative genre that nurtured the comeback began to feed on itself and suck even harder.
Today, the horns are merely another imagined accoutrement of the “band guy” like his eyeliner or backwards baseball cap. In photos, it is imperative the band guy flash the horns to identify himself as someone who “rocks”. The irony lies in the fact that 98% of the people who flash the horns to signify that they rock, in fact, do not.
When the RRC [Rock and Roll Confidential] website launched quietly, we adopted as our symbol a stylized version of “The Horns”: a modification of the classic Windows “pointing hand”. We felt it represented music and computers, which is where the Internet lives. It also represented one of the few times we actually came up with something clever.
However, during the revamp of the site, we began to have doubts about our trusty sidekick. There were just too many pictures of douchebag band guys flashing the horns. People were flashing the horns at MTV Beach Parties and N*Sync concerts. NuMetalers flashed it when they weren’t giving the finger. The whole thing had become a huge cliché, and it seemed like a good time to put it to bed.
So, on one hand, our little logo [above] is a neat way of saying “Hey look, it’s Rock and Roll on the web…or something.” On the other hand, thanks to douchebags like the ones that reside in our Halls of Douchebags, it’s become a played-out joke like dookie chains and Jackson guitars.
In the world of band photography, only one totem approaches the ubiquity of the brick wall: The “Horns”. We’ve all seen it thousands of times. It’s the hand gesture, index and pinky fingers outstretched, meant to symbolize rock and roll, world-weary ennui and sarcasm or simply partying down.
In closing, rawk on, all you [wannabee] rockstars out there.
*Quote from RRC
Should this [essentially] harmless, iconic gesture be put to bed or is it too late in 2014?
“Woe to you, oh earth and sea
For the Devil sends the beast with wrath
Because he knows the time is short
Let him who hath understanding
Reckon the number of the beast
For it is a human number
Its number is six hundred and sixty-six”
A beautiful and utterly mesmerizing view of everyday objects.
In a security-obsessed age, this work is subtly subversive, as it uses advanced technology to discover inner beauty rather than concealed dangers.
Using security scanners and x-ray machines, Nick Veasey creates beautiful, unsettling, inside-out images that reveal—like never before—the intricacy of everyday objects, animals, and plants. Whether the spectacle of an x-rayed Boeing 777, the elaborate geometry of an mp3 player’s circuit boards, or the ethereal grace of a translucent daffodil, each page of this book is an absorbing work of art.
Nick Veasey is a self-taught, award-winning photographer who works with clients from all over the word. His x-ray photography has been commissioned by many of the world’s leading companies and his work featured in Time magazine, The New York Times, New York Daily News, Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald and Die Zeit.
Veasey captures the x-ray images on film in a lead-lined studio. (He works on the outside of the studio when the machines are operating.) He wears lead underpants. Once the x-ray has been exposed, it is scanned at ultra-high resolution, using special equipment tailored for the process. These digital images are then composed and embellished on a computer. The whole process can take weeks or even months—but the results speak for themselves.
*Check out the book (from which the awesome pic above originates from)…and no it doesn’t contain Revelations or Iron Maiden lyrics [laughs]!