Guitar Hero 2005
Molenda, Michael, Guitar Player
Guitar Player's Guitar Hero 05 competition, held at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, on June 10, couldn't have been a more joyous event if it were scripted by Santa Claus. The ten finalists were gracious and talented, Tommy Rich's house band kicked ass, cleveland.com's Webcast spread the joy far beyond those in attendance, the tachs at the Hall were totally tops, and the judges (Joe Satriani, Steve and Trevor Lukather, DJ Munch, and GP's Jude Gold) were insightful and hilarious.
But the night belonged to the players, of course, and each guitarist uncorked a phenomenal performance. (Jaws were dropping like flies, baby!) The thrills and chills exploding from the stage were ample reminders of why it's tremendously cool to be a guitar player. Stay tuned for entry instructions for Guitar Hero 06. Be there! (Many thanks to Gibson and Audio-Technica for sponsoring GH05.)--Michael Molenda
Tony Gaglio Finalist
Home Base: New York
Style: Rock, blues.
Influences: Randy Rhoads, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa.
Gear: '79 Gibson Los Paul Standard and '79 Les Paul KM, '57 Supro [for slide], ESP Mirage Deluxe, two Marshall JCM 800 50-watt half stacks, Marshall DSL 401 combo, Ampeg Reverberocket reissue, Dunlop CryBaby, MXR Phase 90, ADA MP-1.
Best Moment at GH05: "The mystery and expectation caused some underlying tension on the trip in, but once I started meeting the guys, it turned into a really relaxing day. It was a big friendly meet up of new buddies! When I finally got on stage, I felt like I was home. Tommy Rich and his band were flat-out killer on my song. The moment the crowd started clapping along with the groove, I knew I had 'em. It was an honor being chosen to perform with such an elite--and literally global--group of guitarists."
Web Site: milliondollarmovie.com
Home Base: Toronto
Style: '70s boogie glam on the early '80s Sunset Strip.
Influences: Thin Lizzy, Ritchie Blackmore, Ace Frehley, Eddie Van Halen, Marc Bolan, Mick Ronson, Mick Mars, Warren de Martini, Slash, Brian May, Randy Rhoads, Joe Perry.
Gear: B.C. Rich neck-thru Classic Mockingbird and Bich, Mesa/Boogie and Traynor amplification, various Dunlop pedals, In-Tune guitar picks [medium], SIT strings [.010-.046].
Best Moment at GH05: "Having the opportunity to play my music for a combination of my heroes, peers, family, and friends was a mind-blowing experience. To be acknowledged by a publication I have read for years, and to get to know some of the people I have read about within its pages, was an honour and a privilege. I thought that the GH event was a triumph of musical diversity and friendship over self-indulgence and ego."
Web Site: crashkelly.ca
Home Base: Connecticut
Style: Country, blues, surf, western swing.
Influences: Arlen Roth, Danny Gatton, Albert Lee, Jim Campilongo, Duke Levine, Roy Buchanan, Brant Mason, Brad Paisley.
Gear: '63 Fender Telecaster, Dr. Z Z-28 amp, Ernie Ball strings [.010 set].
Best Moment at GH05: "I don't know where to begin, as one moment was better than the next. Meeting and playing with such amazing musicians was incredible. Each contestant deserved an award! It was such a treat to play with Tommy Rich and the house band. The GP staff, Steve Lukather, Joe Satriani, Trevor Lukather, and all the contestants were so welcoming and cool that the entire event felt more like a celebration than a competition. The vibe just got better and better as the weekend progressed. The high point for me was hanging out after the GH05 event with everyone. Steve Lukather was exceptionally generous with his time and kind words for all. I'm honored to have been a part of the first GH event, and I'm excited that GP readers will be exposed to such great guitar talent. …