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Guitar Player magazine failure

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Endless Mike, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    Holy crap... he's dead? I didn't even know that.

  2. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Nov 2, 2016
    Arlington, Texas
    Interesting. It was thanks to GP in the 80's that I found out about all the weird, unusual and lesser known greats. I'd never heard of prepared guitar, Derek Bailey, etc before GP.
    I can't say Liona Boyd, Ed Bickert, Muriel Anderson and a host of others GP covered were very popular. Fortunately the staff at GP felt it was important to make them better known.
    And they also covered unheard of players deserving of recognition, thanks to short articles, and Mike Varney's "Spotlight" column.

    I really think the Prime Directive at GP has changed. Curiously enough, I glanced through a recent copy of Vintage Guitar while at GC a little while ago. They had a spread on Holdsworth. It was significantly longer than GP's four pages. I counted ten pages, before putting the magazine down to talk to a sales person.

    The other thing I noticed about GP is that their interview questions are absurdly superficial, and seem to focus almost solely on gear. They don't dig deep, ask interesting or penetrating questions any more. Or so it appears.

  3. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Nov 2, 2016
    Arlington, Texas
    I have no issue with Molenda. I'm not seeking blame. If anything, I think maybe they'll see this and maybe stop to take stock of what they do and how they do it.
    Even if they did, they could disregard it, and continue on as they are, and that would be fine. There are other magazines out there. I've grown to prefer Premiere
    Guitar, and Vintage Guitar magazines.

    To each their own, live and let live.

  4. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 15, 2010
    Years ago, I was a faithful subscriber and aficionado of GP, but nowadays...

    I don't hate Molenda...but I know that in the last few years, as his influence over content increased, I became less interested in the magazine.

    The articles are too short, the reviews less succinct and the self-congratulatory wankfest sections...erm, letters to/from the editor section became less entertaining.

    It also has become a beacon for All Things Guitar In and From the San Francisco Bay seems that bands/artists from that area get more extensive coverage.

    Also, many/most of the (established) artists I'm interested in are ignored and many/most of the (new) artists I want to investigate aren't featured or mentioned.

    (for example, The Arc Angels reformed and released a great live album--passing mention; Carlos Santana farted six times in a weekend and there's an eight-page spread about the burrito that caused it, as well as a transcript of Carlos' pot-induced ramblings about his transharmonic convergences with dead guitarists and their bouts of intestinal gas)...

    It's not a bad rag, but I don't have enough energy to filter out the parts that irritate me to get to the good stuff.

    I now subscribe to Vintage Guitar Magazine.
    Andy B likes this.

  5. kennl

    kennl Tele-Holic

    Feb 6, 2007
    Moon Township, PA
    I subscribed in the '70's and '80's. The magazine cover in that era stood out from pro wrestling or counter-culture offerings on the newsstand. Today, I don't find much worthwhile info in that publication.

  6. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Tele-Meister

    May 7, 2015

    the whole point of advertising is to convince you - that your inadequate in some respect, and then sell you the solution to the problem they just created in your mind. Its why I don't have a TV anymore. The solution to my inadequacy was simple enough, stop letting them define whats normal.
    sonicsmitty likes this.

  7. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Nov 2, 2016
    Arlington, Texas
    That's a hilarious summation of Carlos Santana. That should be read out loud while frank zappa's "variations on the carlos santana secret chord progression" is played.

    I'm very open minded, but CS is credulously new-agey.

  8. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Nov 2, 2016
    Arlington, Texas
    Marketing/advertising, the science of selling to people what they don't want or need, is highly refined. You've summed it up quite succinctly.

  9. xafinity

    xafinity Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Dec 24, 2015
    my Mom's basement
    An aricle only gets as many pages as they can sell ads for. Its simple. Magazines arent for you magazines are for the bottom line.

  10. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Nov 2, 2016
    Arlington, Texas
    When? Where ya' been? He died in April.

  11. tonyj

    tonyj Tele-Holic

    May 23, 2011
    Alberta, Canada
    Allan Holdworth passed in April of this year, from a heart condition. He was 70 years old.

  12. Frank'n'censed

    Frank'n'censed Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 27, 2011
    Parts Unknown
    No disrespect intended, (I saw AH do a solo performance over 20 years ago), but Frank Zappa was a musical/pop icon! Bring up Holdsworth's name, among many fellow guitarist's, especially younger, mainstream/alternative rockers &'ll get a vacant reaction, in most cases. This is by no means, a reflection on the man's amazing musical abilities.
    Obelisk likes this.

  13. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity

    Dec 2, 2003
    The Netherlands
    I bought this issue about the gear used by the British invasion bands and I found glaring mistakes in it.

    For example they stated that Pete Townshend used Marshall full stacks on Monterey pop.
    Nope, they were Vox Super Beatles

    And they raved about his sound in the performance at the Rock N Roll circus using a Marshall Full stack.
    Nuh-uh, that was a Sound city head through Hiwatt speakers.

    Come on, is it really that hard to double check your information before you publish an article like that?
    Fiesta Red and sonicsmitty like this.

  14. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Jul 2, 2015
    I only became really aware of Holdsworth last year. What an amazing and inspiring player! R.I.P.

    I subscribed to Guitar Player in the 1970s, loved it, and saved a few issues (covers with Jimmy Page, John McLaughlin, Tommy Tedesco etc). Haven't read one in years.

  15. Gmountain

    Gmountain Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Jun 7, 2015
    I have never heard of him. Never.

  16. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Tele-Holic

    Jan 26, 2012
    Troy, MO
    I loved Guitar Player magazine in the 90s; the Joe Gore years. It was full of smartass quirky writing and I always felt it covered a lot of ground and introduced me to new stuff. After the editorial lineup changed I couldn't relate to it as well and let my subscription lapse.

    I've since found some of Joe Gore's subsequent work here and there on the internet and that confirmed to my satisfaction that his presence was a factor that shaped that magazine into something I liked.

  17. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

    Jan 17, 2010
    Decatur, GA
    I quit on GP decades ago when it just seemed like I couldn't care less what or who they wrote about... metalhead players and crazy expensive gear. Guitar forums have pretty well replaced magazines as a source of info for me now. I do subscribe to Premier Guitar these days, and they're often guilty of that as well, but when you can subscribe for $1 a month, I can forgive a lot.

  18. Bones

    Bones Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Dec 31, 2005
    Luddite Island, NY
    I have all of the Guitar Player Magazines that I need...

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  19. Obelisk

    Obelisk Tele-Holic

    Apr 1, 2013
    NW USA
    Guitar Player had a brief renaissance when Joe Gore was the editor during the early 90's. Once Molenda took over he kept some of Gore's changes to the format, but the magazine industry went into the tank as the internet took over. Having a better crop of younger players might have helped matters, but that aside the magazine has only seemed like a large advertisement with very little content for the past two decades. It's not surprising that the don't cover much about guitar playing or the death of a former contributor(meaning Holdsworth). For magazines, it's Vintage Guitar or Premier Guitar. Notice that both still have decent printed magazines with actual articles plus having good digital access. I wouldn't bother spending a penny on an issue of Guitar Player.

    To the O/P while I think Holdsworth was a great guitar player, he was nowhere near the composer or cultural luminary that Zappa was. Add in the fact that Zappa could give a crap about his guitar playing only makes Zappa that much greater-he just tossed those solos out without much thought as the composing was more of his trip. Zappa should have had a great issue to commemorate his huge contributions to both culture & music-I remember that issue actually. Then again when Zappa died Joe Gore was the editor of Guitar Player. I stopped reading the magazine when the Guitar Center shill Michael Molenda took over the editor's chair. Gore now posts articles & reviews at Premier Guitar when he isn't designing fuzz pedals or doing some studio gig.

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