New Local Guitar Column
In my teens in the previous decade, I was a Guitar World subscriber. The cover of the first issue I purchased featured a black-and-white photo of Pete Townshend, circa 1968, resplendent in a white, sequined suit, standing on stage with his arms outstretched, a Gibson ES 335 hanging at his waist, giving off an inaudible feedback swell that precursed the tinnitis I would receive in later years as a concertgoer. There were some good cover stories in those days. Then nu-metal came along and fucked everything up. Now the magazine features cheesy photospreads of amateur models with guitars.
GW: So, tell us, Darcy, how does your 14-year-old son feel about his mom posing with his rad new PRS?
Darcy: His what?
For years, though, the magazine sustained my guitar habit, not just with the frothingly geeky articles and ads for axes new and vintage but with the tablatures of rock songs and the instructive columns by longhaired guitar shredders. My high school garage band’s repetoire was pretty much half originals and half whatever Guitar World published the music to that month. Meanwhile, I took lessons from a mullet-and-loafers-clad, 15-year-old, electric-guitar prodigy in the back of the local music store. Though I couldn’t play half of them, I memorized every goddamn lick on A Momentary Lapse of Reason, Pink Floyd’s shitty and great 1987 post-Waters album.
Now, one can indulge in rock hero fantasy without learning a note on the actual instrument, thanks to Guitar Hero, which is appealing because (a) it’s on TV and (b) your guitar automatically sounds good if you can just manage to hit the buttons at the right time. Though I concede it’s a really fun game, I do fear what that video game and its spinoffs mean for the future of rock musicianship.
Anyway, all this self-indulgent reminiscin’ is to serve as a welcoming salute to Federation of Horsepower guitarist Troy Van Horn, recently ascended to the throne of local guitar columnisthood. Behold, mein Rockenkindern, the debut edition of Grace and Fury, published by local metal mag Heavy Frequency. Teach us, oh rabbi.