Billy is is best known as the lead guitarist for “ZZ Top”. Gibbons trademark guitars are his Gretsch “Billy-Bo” and his 1959 Gibson Les Paul known as “Pearly Gates”, although it is common to see Billy step on stage with something quite exotic.
He is also known for his custom cars and love for Mexican cuisine. It is widely known that Billy has used a Mexican Peso coin as a guitar pick.
One of my favorite Billy Gibbons quotes is: “This place won’t be here tomorrow, so let’s tear it down tonight!”. Another is: ““Same three guys, right here. Same three chords right here. And we’ve been doing this for 35 years.”
A very special HAPPY BIRTHDAY today to one of my all-time Guitar Heroes, RONNIE EARL.
Ronnie Earl was born on March 10, 1953 in Queens, New York.
“I feel the respect and affection for him that a father feels for his son. He is one of the most serious blues guitarists you can find today. He makes me proud.” - B.B. King
Ronnie is a two-time Blues Music Award winner as Guitar Player of the Year.
For five years he was an Associate Professor of Guitar at Berklee College of Music.
In 1995, Ronnie released “Ronnie Earl: Blues Guitar with Soul”, an instructional VHS tape that was then re-released in DVD format in 2005. It’s one of my favorite instructional videos to this day.
In 1988, Ronnie formed his own band that he named “The Broadcasters”. About a year ago, Tom Hazeltine (Ronnie’s road manager) put together a retrospective video and posted to YouTube. I am adding it here for you to see what all of the BUZZ is about!
The New Jersey-born blues-rocker spent decades as an ace sideman, playing guitar behind the likes of John Lee Hooker, Big Mama Thornton, and Joe Tex.
In 1981, he was also tapped to replace the late Bob Hite in Canned Heat, remaining with the venerable group through the middle of the decade. While filling in one night for an ailing John Mayall, Trout (also a Bluesbreaker for some five years) was spotted by a Danish concert promoter who agreed to finance a solo tour.
Assembling his own backing band, in 1990 he released his debut LP, Life in the Jungle, trailed a year later by Prisoner of a Dream. The rest is history – as Walter Trout has gone on to carve out his place in the Blues-Rock world.
Happy Birthday Walter Trout!
What better way to celebrate than this 2 hour concert LIVE from Holland!
He began his career as a studio session guitarist in London and went on to be a member of The Yardbirds from 1966 to 1968, after which he founded the band Led Zeppelin.
Page is unquestionably one of the all-time most influential, important, and versatile guitarists and songwriters in rock history.
Last Year, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him #3 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.
He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, once as a member of The Yardbirds (1992) and once as a member of Led Zeppelin (1995).
Page was quoted to say: “Many people think of me as just a riff guitarist, but I think of myself in broader terms… As a producer I would like to be remembered as someone who was able to sustain a band of unquestionable individual talent, and push it to the forefront during its working career. I think I really captured the best of our output, growth, change and maturity on tape — the multifaceted gem that is Led Zeppelin.” - 1993 Guitar World Magazine Interview.
By the way… Jimmy Page is reputed to own over 1,500 guitars!
James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix was born November 27, 1942.
To say that Jimi Hendrix was a guitarist, singer and songwriter is like saying Michael Jordon was a basketball player.
To many people, Jimi is considered to be the greatest electric guitar player in the history of rock-n-roll music… and don’t expect GuitarDaddy to dispute that!
Certainly he was one of the most important and influential musicians of his era across a wide variety of genres.
He said often that his playing style was influenced by blues artists such as B. B. King, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Albert King and Elmore James.
After his initial success playing in Europe, he achieved “rock-star” fame in the United States with his 1967 performance at the Monterey Pop Festival. He went on to headline the iconic 1969 Woodstock Festival and the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival.
Hendrix favored raw overdrive and amplifiers with high gain and treble. It was that combination that helped him fine-tune the previously undesirable technique of guitar amplifier feedback. Simple stated, Hendrix turned the undesireable into the desirable.
One of my favorite Hendrix quotes was: ““Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you’ll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you’re gonna be rewarded.”
He was rewarded, and so were we — every time we heard him play.
Joe Bonamassa was born in Utica, New York on May 8, 1977.
He received his first guitar from his father at the age of 4, and by age 7 he was playing Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix tunes note for note. At the age of 11, he was mentored by Danny Gatton and learned to play country, jazz and heavy rock.
He opened for B. B. King when he was 12.
After first hearing him play, King said, “He hasn’t even begun to scratch the surface. He’s one of a kind.”
B.B.’s analysis of Joe’s ability was right on track.
Today, Joe Bonamassa is known as one of the finest electric blues-rock guitarists on the planet and is a favorite of GuitarDaddy and TheGuitarBuzz.com.
Happy Birthday Joe Bonamassa!
Want to JAM like Joe?CLICK HERE for Joe Bonamassa Backing Tracks!
Albert King was born on April 25, 1923 (“Under a Bad Sign” of course!) and world have turned 88 today. Oh how I wish Albert was still with us!
Albert King Gravesite in Memphis
Albert was known as one of the “Three Kings of the Blues Guitar”, along with B. B. King and Freddie King. He was a large man, 6′ 4″, 250 lbs, with incredibly large hands that were perfect for playing the guitar.
Like so many other blues guitar players, Albert began singing with a family gospel group at a church when he was just a young boy. He was influenced by blues musicians Blind Lemon Jefferson and Lonnie Johnson.
King was a left-handed “upside-down/backwards” guitarist meaning that while he was left-handed, he usually played right-handed guitars flipped over upside-down so the low E string was on the bottom. The electric guitar (specifically the Gibson Flying V, which he named “Lucy”) was his signature instrument. In later years he played a custom-made Flying V that was basically left-handed, but had the strings reversed. He also used very unorthodox tunings, often tuning as low as C — to allow him to make massive string bends.
This video is from a LIVE recording in the mid-1980′s titled “Blues Legends: Albert King, Live in Sweden” and the DVD can still found on eBay…usually under $10 bucks. If you love the blues, you should buy one of these while you can. What I LOVE about this clip is the interview and the open and candid answers that Albert gave. For a big man, he had an even bigger heart. He loved his fans and he loved the blues. His music lives on in me — which is the purest way to measure one’s impact on people’s lives.
I miss you Albert – Happy Birthday!
One more thing… You can download a BACKING TRACK to Albert King’s “Born Under A Bad Sign” by CLICKING HERE.
Howard Duane Allman (November 20, 1946 – October 29, 1971) was an American lead guitarist, co-founder of the southern rock group The Allman Brothers Band, and respected session musician. He is best remembered for his brief but influential tenure in that band, expressive slide guitar playing, and formidable improvisational skills.
A sought-after session musician both before and during his tenure with the band, Allman performed with such established stars as King Curtis, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, and Herbie Mann.
His contributions to the 1970 album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs by Derek and the Dominos went on to become a part of Rock history.
In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Allman at #2 in their list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time, second only to Jimi Hendrix.
His tone (achieved with a Gibson Les Paul and a 50-watt Marshall amplifier) was named one of the greatest guitar tones of all time by Guitar Player.
Happy 84th birthday to one of the true pioneers of rock and roll music.
With songs such as “Maybellene” (1955), “Roll Over Beethoven” (1956), “Rock and Roll Music” (1957) and “Johnny B. Goode” (1958), Chuck Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive, with guitar solos and showmanship that would become a major influence on rock music.
Berry is included in several Rolling Stone “Greatest of All Time” lists. In September 2003, the magazine named him number 6 in their list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. This was followed in November of the same year by his compilation album The Great Twenty-Eight being ranked 21st in the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The following year, in March 2004, Berry was ranked fifth out of “The Immortals – The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. In December 2004, six of his songs were included in the “Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”, namely “Johnny B. Goode” (#7), “Maybellene” (#18), “Roll Over Beethoven” (#97), “Rock and Roll Music” (#128), “Sweet Little Sixteen” (#272) and “Brown Eyed Handsome Man” (#374). In June 2008, his song “Johnny B. Goode” ranked first place in the “100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time”.