Stuff that rocks

Back in ’77 the Pistols were trending

Back in ’77 the Pistols were trending

Perhaps the biggest disappointment about Sex Pistols 1977: The Bollocks Diaries is that it’ll go unread by the audience who could use it most. The fan already knows the story. The punk rock dad lived it (and more recently bought the designer t-shit). But it’s […]

When the Beatles were bad

When the Beatles were bad

The Beatles photograph by Astrid Kirchherr Before Ringo, before the fame, before Love Me Do and any talk about wanting to hold hands. Before they were fab, the Beatles were bad. Leather clad, pompadoured, badASS. This 1960 photo taken by Astrid Kirchherr, who subsequently fell […]

TransFender

TransFender

Ltd Edition American Standard Offset Telecaster

This Telecaster is a six-string crossbred. Now before the purest in you demands a wall of sound be built to keep the half-breds out, know this. Some of rocks most famous instruments have been mutts. There’s Springsteen’s Telecaster/Esquire, Eddie Van Halen’s Frankenstrat and apparently the lute Sting played on Songs from the Labyrinth is undergoing surgery to become a Martin cutaway. (more…)

Joe Corre would regift this book.

Joe Corre would regift this book.

God Save The Sex Pistols Deluxe Editions If Joe Corre happens to be on your x-mas shopping list, do not get him God Save The Sex Pistols. The book, packed with punk rock nostalgia celebrating the Pistols through poster art and photography, has received two […]

Prince’s sunny six string

Prince’s sunny six string

Prince cloud The last time I saw his purple badass was on the Piano & A Microphone Tour. It was amazing. Prince interpreting classics and rarities with just a piano and no backing band. Sadly, it was made all the more special with his passing. But still, […]

Designs for David

Designs for David

Bowie Blackstar Album Art

Jonathan Barnbrook’s give away of the David Bowie Blackstar album art work is probably the coolest tribute yet to the late legend’s legacy. And there’s been a lot of them.

I, admittedly, am very late to the party…ahh, to pass on my condolences. Mr. David Bowie left us over a month ago, January 16. Like most, his passing shocked me. I was also surprised by the outpouring of RIPs which flooded social media. A proud card carrying member of the National Cynics Society*, I saw many of the sad faces that flooded my news feed as less than genuine.

Well my darkstar of a heart was wrong. Partly. While not all the people who rushed to post their I-heard-it-first RIPs could tell a Man Who Fell to Earth from a Thin White Duke, the passing of David Bowie did led many people to (re)discover the music.  (more…)

Punk’s birthday shoes.

Punk’s birthday shoes.

With the arrival of 2016, punk rock turns 40. So expect to see plenty of unruly reissues and collabs spit onto your feed. Proof positive, Converse, long known for having ties to the world of punk, has just announced its first collaboration of the year […]

Limited edition bootie shaker

Limited edition bootie shaker

Technics SL-1200GAE It’s not an overstatement to say the Technics SL-1200 turntable has shaken more bootie than any other instrument out there. If you DJed, knew a DJ or shook your thang in a club anywhere from 1972 to 2010-ish, you are familiar with the Technics […]

London Doodles

London Doodles

Fans of The Clash will recognise the London Calling colors used in the featured print. But before you scream rip off know that the piece is part a Clash limited edition series based on sketches by Ray Lowry.

Ray Lowry was the designer behind the London Calling album art. The cover is widely acknowledged as one of the best of all time. The best if you’re at my house.

Fans of Elvis Presley will note that the London Calling design was a rip of The King’s first album. One of the fist rock ‘n’ roll albums ever. This was Ray’s enthusiasm for 50s rock and roll shining through.

Along with ripping off The King, Lowry was an acclaimed cartoonist and illustrator who often appeared on the pages NME and The Guardian.  Ray became well known for his satirical edge. In today’s climate of endless likes and happy faces, it’s nice to know that guys like Ray lived to take the piss out of things.

Sadly Ray Lowry passed away in 2008.

The Lowry foundation commissioned screen print artist Robin Ross to create The Clash Limited Edition Screen Prints. Ross worked with sketches Ray had created while on tour with the band in the late 70s. (more…)

When the Boss was everywhere.

When the Boss was everywhere.

Forty-years ago this week Bruce Springsteen pulled the 1970s equivalent of breaking the Internet. In 1975, Time and Newsweek were two leading sources of where people found stuff out.  In the hype surrounding Born To Run, Springsteen landed on the cover of both magazines on […]

The mania from the other side of the lens.

The mania from the other side of the lens.

First US visit ’64 by Ringo Starr So you’re 23 in a band on their first visit to America. For you the US is a mystical place. Hell it’s the birthplace of the music that makes your band relevant. Your band, BTW, is causing quit […]

The OG SG AKA Les Paul

The OG SG AKA Les Paul

The above beast is a 2015 recreation of Gibson’s first SG. You’ll find sweet pics of the original in Tony Bacon’s SG Guitar Book: 50 Years of Gibson’s Stylish Solid Body Guitar. While not as famous as the Stratocaster, Telecaster or brand mate Les Paul, the Gibson SG cuts one of rock’s most recognized silhouettes. The name of the above SG is the 1961 Les Paul Tribute. Now before you scream typo, read on.

The first SG arrived in 1961 as an upgrade to the Les Paul. Think of it like an i-Les Paul 2. It actually had a lot of the characteristics of an i-upgrade. It was totally redesigned, thinner, and faster. The fastest neck in the world if you believe the advertisements.

The obvious question is why would anyone mess with something as iconic as the Les Paul. (more…)

Old Bruce on the block

Old Bruce on the block

Sotheby’s Rock & Pop Auction On September 29, 2015, Sotheby’s is putting years of rock and roll memorabilia up for grabs with its Rock & Pop Auction. The item receiving most of the hype is the Beatles’ original contract with manager Brian Epstein. Along side […]

Alien sightings

Alien sightings

The Rise of David Bowie, 1972-1973 by Mick Rock In 1972 a 25 year-old David Bowie was about to launch Ziggy Stardust on the world. More than an album and tour, Ziggy Stardust was an alter ego created by the young singer songwriter. With Ziggy, […]

Surf Rock’s 1st wave

Surf Rock’s 1st wave

The Dick Dale Signature Stratocaster is part of a long standing relationship between the man and the brand.

As a young virtuoso, The King of The Surf Guitar was identified by  Leo Fender as someone he wanted seen holding his guitars. Even if Dale played them upside down. We’re talking late 50s before the Brits arrived on the US east coast and stole the heart of America’s youth. Rock ‘n’ roll was just approaching it’s first decade of existence and the electric guitar was being pushed into new extremes of loud. Fender and Gibson saw what was happening and like adidas and Nike court athletes to wear their shoes, the guitar manufacturers courted musicians to play their six strings. Dale’s contribution went way beyond the average product endorsement. In many ways he was to Fender what Les Paul was to Gibson.

Armed with his Stratocaster, Dale pioneered a sound that would become know as Surf Rock. The first guitarist to embrace reverb, it was a tool that allowed him to create the wet guitar sound he was looking for. (more…)