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Browsing: Behind the Curtain

When Andy Summers plays guitar, you imagine his fingers dancing on the fretboard in some mad choreography of echoes, reverbs, jazzy little ghost notes and hypnotic arpeggiated chords. Spinning, jumping and leaping about the neck like some mad ballerina or when he’s playing something fierce and wild, his digits moving about like a crazy modern dancer. His tone is glassy and crystalline and soars and cascades like water flowing in a river. Your head is filled with the imagery of eagles in flight and great, vast vistas filled with nothing but the panoramic electricity of his guitar. Even the music…

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For this month’s Behind the Curtain entry, Steve Rosen recounts his experience interviewing — and connecting with — George Lynch, then of Dokken, in 1987.  In the early 1980s, glam rock was hatched.  From the eggs of metal, hard rock, pop, punk and shred guitar, these bands announced their presence by attacking airwaves like a plague of locusts. A pestilent swarm, they all looked the same and sounded the same. They were homogeneous, irritating and lacking in any real depth of expression. These were their defining characteristics: Good hair. No, great fucking hair. Tresses flowed like flaxen silk. If you…

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For his latest Behind The Curtain entry, writer Steve rosen recounts a few run-ins with renowned guitarist Neal Schon, of Santana and Journey fame …  It is 1975 and the Griffith Park Observatory about 20 minutes away from my little cottage pad in the Hollywood Hills is holding a laser light show. The Observatory is an iconic building in the history of Los Angeles — appearing in over 300 films, it was most famously featured in the legendary James Dean film Rebel Without a Cause — and has served variously as a planetarium, exhibition space and staging area for various…

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Larry Carlton walked out onstage at the Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, Texas on a hot and sticky afternoon on June 6, 2004. Dressed casually and nothing like a rock star in a black t-shirt, black pants and a pair of sunglasses to protect his eyes from the bright sun, he strolled up to the microphone with his trusted tobacco sunburst Gibson 335 draped confidently around his neck. It was the final day of the three-day concert that was part of Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival, the second presentation of this multi-day event. Clapton had initiated the benefit concerts starting…

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As a young, exuberant and adventurous rock writer back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, I would fly anywhere to pursue a story. On this particular day it was a trip to New York to interview Steely Dan singer-keyboardist Donald Fagen. It was the thrill of the chase and that whole idea of traveling to some distant vista — even if some of the locations weren’t so distant such as Las Vegas or San Francisco, which were only one-hour plane rides away — armed only with a cassette player and a typewritten page of questions in order to do battle [albeit…

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In his latest Behind the Curtain column, Steve Rosen recalls making a return visit to chat with Ritchie Blackmore — and his new vocalist, a very pleasant and chatty man named Ronnie James Dio. By the time Deep Purple recorded and released Stormbringer in November 1974, there was certainly a storm coming their way. Thunder on the horizon. A shitstorm.  Following the recording of Who Do We Think We Are in 1973, singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover quit the band during their second tour of Japan that summer. They’d had enough. Glenn Hughes [formerly of Trapeze] was brought…

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And now, the sequel to Part 1 of Steve Rosen’s Behind the Curtain story of his trip to Kathmandu for the Waterbone music project … Prologue: So, if you tuned in last issue, you know I was air bound to Kathmandu, Nepal, with two friends and a National Geographic photographer to document their exploits as they recorded indigenous musicians. That’s the short of it. Following is the long of it … After gathering up our bags, our little troupe made its way to the Hotel Manislu, accommodations our world-wizened photographer Gordon Wiltsie knew about from his previous visit to the…

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Prologue: This is unlike any other story I’ve ever written here. Those of you who have followed my travails and triumphs here in our Behind the Curtain column — and I thank you for that — will recognize this as being different than what you’ve previously read. It is not a story about interviewing someone who plays guitar or writes songs or magazine articles or sitting in an office somewhere.  It is musical in nature but only in a roundabout sort of way. It’s more an exploration, an uncovering, a discovery. I know that sounds cryptic or–and I shudder to…

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In his latest Behind the Curtain entry, veteran rock music scribe Steve Rosen details run-ins with Motley Crue guitarist Mick Mars that didn’t quite go as planned … (Photo: Glen Laferman) In a previous life before he began wearing makeup and outrageous clothes and was part of a hair metal band, Motley Crue, that celebrated sex, drugs and women with big breasts, Mick Mars was a mere mortal known as Robert Alan Deal. Born on May 4, 1951, he grew up in Terre Haute, Indiana, moved to Huntington about three hours away and then just prior to his ninth birthday…

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Back in late 1978 when I first interviewed Ace Frehley and found out I would be talking to him on the phone and not in person, I was relieved. I had no burning desire to meet him, and in fact I didn’t have much of a desire to talk to him at all. I didn’t much care for the music of KISS and in all honesty, I thought Ace was a mediocre guitarist at best and the rest of the band little more than marginal players. Not that technique alone was the only measure I used to quantify a player’s…

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