Episode 1: Paul Gilbert

24Sep07

Paul Gilbert

We’re taking Metal Mondays into official space with the start of this blog, and who better to whet our appetites for destruction, rock, and all-things-guitar than Paul Gilbert: the best guitar player you’ve never heard of.

Gilbert helped found Racer X and then left to form the supergroup Mr. Big, a band that invented the phrase, “big in Japan.” Based on a YouTube safari, I’ve gathered that the man learned enough Japanese to converse on talk shows when his guitar wasn’t speaking for him. Fortunately, Van Halen in any language is still Van Halen. (update: Wikipedia confirs Gilbert speaks Japanese, albeit not 100% fluently.)

Dude’s website is plenty interesting as well: there’s a gallery of self-created Photoshops featuring himself…Except for the one called, “Judas Prius,” which spotlights Rob Halford and a Toyota, natch.

To further wordplay matters, there’s also a page that celebrates musicians with their first name partially contained in their last (Mitch Mitchell, Dave Davies, Kris Kristofferson…) and a page purporting to be the most comprehensive list of, “musicians whose names are also sentences” ever assembled.

Looking back on this post, I almost regret picking Gilbert for Ep. 1. This is going to be tough to top. From Wikipedia:

In the track “Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy (The Drill Song)” by Mr. Big, the final 16 bars of the solo were played using a cordless drill with three picks attached to the end. After playing this song, Mr. Big got a sponsorship from Japanese power tool manufacturers, Makita, whose drills were used on all occasions from then on.

Guitar One magazine calls him one of the top shredders ever. But I’ve never been one to listen to guitar rags. I’m sure the music and videos we’re set to post will be more than enough to convince you of his metal might–the man plays so fast, the genre is still struggling to catch up.

More to come…

Paul Gilbert

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