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Tag: Les Paul

Softcover edition of ‘108 Rock Star Guitars’ book to be available November 11

by on Oct.21, 2014, under LINKS, ROCK BOOKS, ROCK NEWS, VIDEO

Softcover edition of ‘108 Rock Star Guitars’ book to be available November 11

Hal Leonard Books will release a softcover edition of '108 Rock Star Guitars' by photographer/author Lisa S. Johnson on November 11. This exquisite book, originally issued as an embossed, red leatherette-bound hardcover in limited quantity that USA Today called, “…a monster of a coffee table book…” will now be available to a much wider audience at a more affordable retail price of $54.

Hailed as “impressive,” “jaw-dropping,” “masterpiece” and “elegant” by media and artists alike when it was released in October 2013, 108 Rock Star Guitars received widespread accolades for its overall design and the artistry of the images—up-close portraits of the cherished guitars belonging to some of the world’s most iconic players. American Photo magazine named it one of the “Best Photo Books of the Year” for 2013, while Brian Setzer called it, “The classiest guitar book I have ever seen.”

Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, Nancy Wilson, Bonnie Raitt, Slash, Dave Mustaine, Phil Collen, Carlos Santana, Jack White, Ronnie Wood, Lou Reed, Ace Frehley, Billy Gibbons, Don Felder, Joe Walsh, Robby Krieger, Willie Nelson, Johnny Winter, and Les Paul, who also wrote the foreword, are among the rock stars whose instruments are featured.

The softcover, with French flaps, includes many of the same features of the original book in a slightly smaller size (9×10.5”): 396 pages, 486 gorgeous color images, reproduced using a six-color printing process, on high quality paper, and cover art that replicates the hardcover’s award-winning design.

“I am thrilled that Hal Leonard, with its global distribution channels, will publish the softcover edition of 108 Rock Star Guitars,” Johnson commented. “Even at a lower price, it was essential that this version maintained the style and beautiful quality of the hardcover edition, and I think anyone who sees this book will appreciate the care and detail that went into the new presentation.”

In 108 Rock Star Guitars, Johnson’s extreme close-up images capture the intimate details of her six-string subjects in a fresh and distinctive way revealing the beauty and art in these magnificent instruments, and giving insight into the personality of the musicians who play them. Additionally, she provides personal anecdotes describing her 17-year quest to photograph these guitars and documents her travels from the backstage hallways of some of the world’s most famous venues to the artists’ private homes.

A portion of the proceeds from sales of the softcover edition will benefit the Les Paul Foundation, which supports music education, engineering and innovation as well as medical research. Pre-order now at


Lisa S. Johnson grew up in an artistic family, where she fell in love with melody and imagery and pursued a career in photography. After a successful 10-year stint working at Eastman Kodak, she met the owner of a vintage guitar shop in Memphis, Tenn., and began exclusively photographing guitars. She lives in Las Vegas.


Les Paul was a guitar player, inventor, and recording artist, and an innovator throughout his career. In 1941, he built his first solid-body electric, helping shepherd into existence rock music as we know it. A pioneer whose name graces some of the most beloved six-strings ever manufactured, Paul died in Mahwah, N.J., where he had spent much of his life, in 2009 at the age of 94.


The mission of the Les Paul Foundation is to honor and share the life, spirit, and legacy of Les Paul by supporting music education, engineering and innovation as well as medical research. The foundation awards grants to music, music engineering and sound programs that serve youth, establishes music-related scholarships at schools and programs for students, provides grants for medical research and programs related to hearing impairment, and supports public exhibits displaying Les Paul’s life achievements.

Check out a few video clips with Lisa sharing her interactions with some of the guitars featured in this fabulous book!

Rock Star Guitars book

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Van Halen News: Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and Lita Ford quoted in new photo book, exclusive 1981 Fair Warning Tour Footage

by on Oct.11, 2011, under LINKS, ROCK NEWS, VIDEO

Van Halen News: Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and Lita Ford quoted in new photo book, exclusive 1981 Fair Warning Tour Footage

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley from KISS have contributed to two coffee table photo books on Van Halen and Eddie Van Halen, both published by legendary rock photographer Neil Zlozower. Gene Simmons said: “Once upon a time, when it meant something to be a rock star and groupies prided themselves on whom they had spent the night with, I was invited to the Starwood Club in L.A. to see a band called THE BOYZ. I took Bebe Buell, she of Playboy/Liv Tyler/etc. fame, and sat next to Rodney Bingenheimer, king of the L.A. nightlife, and waited for the opening band to come on.

“Life is what happens to you when you least expect it. I saw Van Halen. I was stunned. They killed. Within two songs I was waiting for them backstage and immediately offered to sign them and take them into the studio. It seems there was a - I kid you not - yogurt manufacturer who was waiting to finance the band. I begged them not to do that. And, in a short time, I flew them to New York, signed them to my Man Of 1,000 Faces production company and took them into Electric Ladyland Studios to do a thirteen-song demo. I also bought Dave some platform shoes and leather pants.

“I took the demo and showed it to the rest of the KISSers and Bill Aucoin, our then-manager. No one got it. I was shocked. I gave the demo back to the band, told them I had a tour to go on and afterward I would try to get them a record deal, but until then, I tore up our contract and set them free. It didn’t take them long to get on Warner Bros. Did I discover Van Halen? Nah... I was there. I saw. I knew. I am a fan.”

Paul Stanley said:
“Lita Ford and I went to see Ed play with Van Halen one night at the Starwood in 1977, and I was blown away and brought Gene with me the next night. Their charisma, stage presence, and take-no-prisoners attitude coupled with great songs, killer arrangements, and airtight playing made them undeniable. Everything about Edward, from his groundbreaking technique to his hacked-up Frankenstein guitar, made him the heart of the band, and clearly someone who was playing on all levels, by his own rules.

“So many have tried to copy his style, but it’s always just made it more obvious that although imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, it pales next to the real deal.”

Lita Ford has cited Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen as a “great inspiration” to her, not just for his guitar skills but also for the advice he gave Ford early in her career.
Her comments come from rock photographer Neil Zlozower’s book ‘Eddie Van Halen.' Perhaps one of the most intense contributions to the book’s text comes from fellow guitarist Ford, who not only refers to the guitarist as “Edward” but says he was a “great inspiration to me” and christens him the “Les Paul of our day.”

Those are big words, but they are certainly not without merit! It is endearing how Ford, late of The Runaways, shares stories of the breakfast EVH would serve up to her – Carnation Instant Breakfast. Just add milk! She also reveals how he gave her advice about playing guitar, since she was a chick in a dude’s world.

Van Halen News Desk posted the essay Ford penned, which doesn’t stop short of gushing about Edward! Here is part of her tribute:

“We all know EVH is the Les Paul of today’s world. We all know Edward changed the face of rock ‘n’ roll. But it’s the person that he truly is that makes him so unique. He is an inspiration to every musician, because we all wanna be him, and some of us try real hard, but the reality of it is that there is only ONE Edward Van Halen!!! PERIOD! What makes him tick? Good question! But whatever it is, they honestly did break the mold after they made Edward!!! I love you, buddy friend! God bless you and your family! Thanks for rockin’ my world!!!” You can order the books here.

VAN HALEN News Desk reports:

Here’s an “exclusive” for you… a little gem we dug up from Van Halen’s 1981 Fair Warning tour. This is a never before heard audio recording of Van Halen playing 'Romeo's Delight' at the Tingley Coliseum in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Not your typical live version, this is an AMAZING performance, luckily captured on tape. Without going into too much detail, we’ll just say that you’ll enjoy the breakdown in the middle of the song."

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Gene Simmons to host Classic Rock Magazine’s “Classic Rock Roll of Honour” this November; Archie Meets KISS Comic Book Covers

by on Sep.13, 2011, under FUNNIES, LINKS, PHOTOS, ROCK NEWS

Gene Simmons to host Classic Rock Magazine’s “Classic Rock Roll of Honour” this November; Archie Meets KISS Comic Book Covers

Gene Simmons has been announced as host of this years Classic Rock Magazine's Classic Rock Roll Of Honour. Every year a musical great is given the coveted Living Legend award. Past recipients include Jimmy Page, Lemmy, Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop and Ozzy Osbourne. This years honoree is legendary guitarist Jeff Beck.

Says Beck: “The Classic Rock Roll Of Honour has always been about great music that inspires and excites others. To be named as a ‘Living Legend’ amongst so many fantastic musicians is an honour. When I was a 6 year old boy I heard Les Paul’s ‘How High the Moon’ over the radio and from that moment on I knew that I wanted to play the guitar and make music. That moment has led me to where I am today. Rock music continues to evolve and its great how established acts inspire the upcoming bands and vice versa, producing more and more great music. I am proud to be a small part of this”.

Simmons will host the event at The Roundhouse in London on Wednesday, November 9, and he sounds excited about it: “On that momentous occasion, the planets will align, living legends will gather to honour their own and London will become the centre of the rock & roll universe. It’s one thing being a voracious and loyal reader of Classic Rock, but it’s another to be in the same room as the people who have inspired me to stop flipping burgers and jump up on stage and have a go at it myself.”

Cast you vote for all the rocking award show nominees here.

Come November, Riverdale will rock 'n roll all night -- not to mention, party every day -- for the four-part storyline "Archie Meets KISS" running through "Archie" #627-630. Written by Archie Comics' Executive Director of Publicity and Marketing Alex Segura with art by Dan Parent. The story will find Sabrina's errant protection spell inviting a horde of demons to town, with the comics-inspired KISS personas of the Demon, Moonchild, Spaceman and Catman arriving just in time to help save the day.

Read more about the comic series here.


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Definitive photo book of early Eddie Van Halen due in October from Neil Zlozower

by on May.23, 2011, under ROCK NEWS

Definitive photo book of early Eddie Van Halen due in October from Neil Zlozower

Rock photographer Neil Zlozower has just completed his second Van Halen hardcover coffee table photo book, "Eddie Van Halen", to be released October 12, 2011. The Van Halen Store is the exclusive retailer of autographed copies, signed by the author himself.

You can pre-order your signed copy now at

Book details:  The definitive visual history of early Eddie Van Halen, this hardcover photo book is jam-packed with classic and never-before-published photos. It is a must-have for Van Halen fans and guitarists alike!

One of the most revolutionary and influential players ever to pick up a guitar, Eddie Van Halen's music and technique continue to energize legions of fans and guitarists around the world. This book of photographs and text focuses on the innovative early years of the band Van Halen, when Eddie burst on the scene and changed the face of electric guitar-playing and melodic hard rock. More than 200 images of Eddie in action — both classic and never before seen — are complemented by text and testimony from famous guitarists, music writers, and many others. Also featuring a foreword by guitar legend Slash, this is the definitive visual history of classic Eddie Van Halen.

Famous guitarists who contributed text:
Angus Young (AC/DC), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Les Paul, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme), Ritchie Blackmore (Rainbow, Deep Purple), Gilby Clarke (Guns N' Roses), Phil Collen (Def Leppard), Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Peter Frampton, Paul Gilbert (Racer X, Mr. Big), Allan Holdsworth, Scott Ian (Anthrax), Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath), Steve Lukather, Mick Mars (Motley Crue), Ronnie Montrose, Gary Moore, Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave), Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers), Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick), Ted Nugent, Paul Stanley (KISS), Nancy Wilson (Heart), Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society, Ozzy Osbourne), Dweezil Zappa

Van Halen insiders who contributed text: Eddie Anderson (director of security 1980-84), Pete Angelus (creative consultant, production/lighting designer), Marshall Berle (personal manager 1977-78), Bill Gazzarri (owner: Gazzarri's nighclub), Michael Karlin (Van Halen business manager, 1978-present), Jas Obrecht (editor: Guitar Player magazine), Patrick Whitley (production manager 1978-84) and Michael Anthony.

Neil Zlozower's rock photography spans more than 40 years and includes work with The Rolling Stones, Ted Nugent, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Motorhead, Tom Waits, Slipknot, and many others. From 1978 to 1984, Zlozower was the "fifth member of Van Halen," touring with and capturing images of the band during the David Lee Roth era.

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