Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 85

moody minor-key implications
not lost on Santana or a budding Gary Moore. Feedback,
heard intentionally in a few
spots on Blues Breakers, was
raised in Green's showpiece and
established a new norm in rockguitar technique. Like EC, he
favored a vintage 'Burst (serial
number 9 2208) sans pickguard
and paired with larger, morepowerful Marshalls. His was
passed on to Gary Moore, who
employed it throughout his
career, which was particularly
appropriate during his British blues/rock revival of the
early '90s. It's now owned by
Metallica's Kirk Hammett (VG,
March '18).
In June of '67, Green left Mayall's group to form Fleetwood
Mac, the ever-evolving blues
band with slide guitarist Jeremy
Spencer, bassist John McVie
(also from Blues Breakers), and
drummer Mick Fleetwood.

Mick Taylor: Dominique Tarlé.

CRUSADE AND
BARE WIRES
Green was replaced by Mick
Taylor, who as a teen once filled
in at a gig for Clapton after
convincing Mayall he knew the
material. His skills impressed
the leader, but he disappeared after the
performance; in one of blues/rock's great
Cinderella stories, Mayall tracked him
down by placing an ad in Melody Maker.
With Taylor, Mayall recorded Crusade,
a tribute to his heroes that included songs
by Albert King, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy,
J.B. Lenoir, Freddie King, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Eddie Kirkland. Some tracks
hinted at a move to modern R&B merged
with blues/rock, including the Mayall/
Taylor original "Snowy Wood." Taylor
delivered Freddie King's instrumental
"Driving Sideways" with ferocity, displayed
a passionate slow-blues feel in "I Can't Quit
You Baby," and revealed a predilection for
rock-informed boogie in "Man of Stone"
(which may have caught the ears of Jagger
and Richards when they sought to replace
Brian Jones). In an interesting harmonic
convergence, Taylor played the same '59
'Burst that Keith used in the Stones (having purchased it from Keith after his first
Les Paul was stolen) and plugged it into
Marshall stacks.
Bare Wires, recorded in April '68 and
released that June, was the last album to

Taylor with 'Burst during his stint
with the Bluesbreakers.

bear the Bluesbreakers name and reached
#59 on the Billboard 200. The recording
signaled a change of direction, with a
full program of originals, varied timbres
and influences, greater experimentation,
and the incorporation of folk, jazz, and
psychedelia. Mayall wrote every tune
except "No Reply" (co-written with Taylor) and Taylor's Freddie-King-inspired
12-bar instrumental, "Hartley Quits."
The album opened with a 22-minute
suite that blended electric guitar, acoustic
guitar, harmonium, harpsichord, piano,
organ, solo violin, sax, cornet, string bass,
and harmonica over divergent sectional
backgrounds. Clearly a different type of
blues record, it marked a change in the
Bluesbreaker formula.
1968 saw the third and final edition of
the Bluesbreakers Clapton/Green/Taylor
trilogy. Afterward, Mayall went solo while
blues-rock music morphed into myriad
new forms. The final album of this cycle,
Blues From Laurel Canyon, was recorded in

September 2018

85

VINTAGE GUITAR

August, released in November,
and featured guest spots from
Green and Taylor. That year
also saw the not-unrelated
debuts of Led Zeppelin, the Jeff
Beck Group (Truth), and Mike
Bloomfield's Electric Flag.
The Bluesbreakers' guitar
triumvirate connected to
music later made by Cream,
F leet wood Mac , Rol l i ng
Stones, Led Zeppelin, Jeff
Beck Group, Free, Santana,
and numerous others. Even
the Beatles were affected ("Yer
Blues" and "While My Guitar
Gently Weeps" on the "White
Album"). "Blues Breaker," a
duet with Brian May and Eddie
Van Halen, was an undisguised
homage on May's 1983 solo
album, Star Fleet Project. A
few years later, Gary Moore's
Still Got the Blues contained
unmistakable visual and sonic
references, and Blues for Greeny
expounded on the Mayall
effect. Moore's recordings
launched a British blues-rock
revival, and the Bluesbreaker
inf luence that counterbalanced Stevie Ray Vaughan's
Strat-colored Hendrix sound
and more-traditional blues
bent. Joe Bonamassa's recently released
British Blues Explosion pays tribute to
Clapton, Beck, Page, and includes two
"Double Crossing Time" and "Little Girl"
from the Beano album.
The Bluesbreakers' sonic legacy prevails
in the new millennium. Vintage 'Bursts
and Marshall amps are cherished pieces
of history and sought-after collector items.
Gibson enshrined the Beano 'Burst as the
Les Paul Eric Clapton 1960, and offered
the Peter Green/Gary Moore 'Burst as the
Custom Collector's Choice #1 1959 Les
Paul Standard. British companies with a
connection celebrated two decades earlier;
in 1989, Marshall reissued the '62 Blues
Breaker combo, a tribute to EC's JTM-45
with two 25-watt 12" Celestion Greenbacks.
In '99, it offered a second version, the Blues
Breaker II. To complete the picture, they
offered the BluesBreaker overdrive pedal
in '91, currently marketed as the BB-2
Blues Breaker II.
Read Wolf Marshall's breakdown of the
Bluesbreakers' run at Freddie King licks in this
month's installment of "Fretprints."


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - Cover
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - IFC
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 3
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 4
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Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - Contents
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