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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-15-2015, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
 
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Shrapnel Guitarists

Who are some of your favorite Shrapnel Players. I released my first CD on that label called "Midnight Drive" and became friends with many other players from the label. Some of my personal favorites are Yngwie, Richie Kotzen, Greg Howe, Firkins, Vinnie Moore, Jason Becker and Paul Gilbert.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-15-2015, 12:31 PM
 
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Re: Shrapnel Guitarists

Tell us some stories of the Shrapnel days, Stephen.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-15-2015, 01:16 PM
 
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Re: Shrapnel Guitarists

I would only hear many single tracks but oddly, or maybe not, Shrapnel did more to sell me the Ibanez brand (by far most widely used brand among shredders) and open up the big world of diatonic lead guitar.

It's hard not to like almost everything that comes out of Varney's label. Since I was in same town for some time, I didn't realize Shrapnel had that much influence outside of the areas around Varney in the North Bay Area near SF.

To us, he was really promoting the huge norcal guitar shredder scene and he was an alternative to the even bigger and more covered LA guitar shredder scene. It was only after I moved out of the area and was exposed to more guitarists did I realize that Varney and Shrapnel was more than just a cottage industry.

Guitar Player Magazine mini record inserts were cool and Racer X, Tony McAlpine, and Greg Howe definitely made an impact.

More than anything Shrapnel showed me there was something beyond blues box playing which I grew up with via the Elvis, Beatles, Stones, Led Zep, etc.

PS- wow, amazing playing, Stephen! - I am totally grooving to "Midnight Drive". I never came across your work but it's now something I plan on catching up listening to.

Last edited by 63Blazer; 04-15-2015 at 01:32 PM.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-15-2015, 04:19 PM
 
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Re: Shrapnel Guitarists

Quote:
Originally Posted by midnight View Post
Who are some of your favorite Shrapnel Players. I released my first CD on that label called "Midnight Drive" and became friends with many other players from the label. Some of my personal favorites are Yngwie, Richie Kotzen, Greg Howe, Firkins, Vinnie Moore, Jason Becker and Paul Gilbert.
Shrapnel is a great label for guitar enthusiasts. One could buy an album from that label without ever hearing the player before and still be certain to hear some great playing. I liked all of the players you mentioned. Recently I rediscovered Firkins first album and I have to say that's one of my favorites. Somehow, I missed your album though.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-15-2015, 04:26 PM
 
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Re: Shrapnel Guitarists

I was kind of poor back then and didn't get to buy many albums... but Tony MacAlpine's Edge of Insanity was a favorite of mine.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-15-2015, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Shrapnel Guitarists

I learned on the Beatles, Steely Dan and Stevie Wonder. It was when I heard Van Halen for the first time that I started wanting to play lead. Then Randy Rhoads, Yngwie, Rush and Steve Morse (maybe my biggest influence for instrumental writing). Going to the NAMM show for the first time was cool after my CD came out. I hung out with Mike Varney and Richie Kotzen for the most part. We saw many great shows, did some nice jamming and had a great time. I also enjoyed hanging with Greg Howe and Bumblefoot too. Two great guys and lots of fun to hang with.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-16-2015, 12:30 PM
 
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Re: Shrapnel Guitarists

Awesome thread! Some of the above post brought back some very good memories. Did not have access to that Shrapnel/Varney catalog back then. Most of the time had to mail order from across the border. Did not know about you Stephen, but thanks to youtube, you are adding some cool music to my day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDKfzDGPVlE
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 07:08 AM
 
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Re: Shrapnel Guitarists

I bought all these albums as soon as they were released through the
'80's and they are still my faves today. As well as all the players mentioned
already I have all the Joey Tafolla, Impelliteri, Chastain/CJSS and Apocrypha
(Tony Fredianelli) albums as well.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-22-2015, 08:40 PM
 
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Re: Shrapnel Guitarists

Quote:
Originally Posted by midnight View Post
Who are some of your favorite Shrapnel Players. I released my first CD on that label called "Midnight Drive" and became friends with many other players from the label. Some of my personal favorites are Yngwie, Richie Kotzen, Greg Howe, Firkins, Vinnie Moore, Jason Becker and Paul Gilbert.
I used to buy a lot of Shrapnel Records albums. I still have most of what they did from 1987 - 1998. My favorites are Paul Gilbert, Richie Kotzen, Vinnie Moore, Tony MacAlpine, Darren Housholder, Marty Friedman... I still follow these players' careers today.

Are you Stephen Ross? I still have that album on CD.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-22-2015, 08:53 PM
 
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Re: Shrapnel Guitarists

Wow Stephen pretty kick ass stuff!!!
I was and still am a big fan of a lot of the Shrapnel guys, I learned a lot of chops
off the artists on this label
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-25-2015, 11:21 PM
 
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Re: Shrapnel Guitarists

Listening to "Lee's Theme" right now and you are a monster player! That's one hell of an opening track.

Whenever I think of Shrapnel records I always think of Cacophony. I think I first heard Speed Metal Symphony when I was maybe 12 or 13. Pretty sure I hit puberty by the time the song was over haha
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 09:27 AM
 
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Re: Shrapnel Guitarists

Vinnie Moore for me has been an amazing artist on Shrapnel.

I see that Vinnie announced yesterday details of his new Solo Instrumental album, 'AERIAL VISIONS' on his pledge page - Guitar players out there, he is selling a prototype Vinman 2000. I can't wait for the new album, I am really excited about it
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 11:41 AM
 
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Re: Shrapnel Guitarists

I also remember being in Southern California at the height of the shredder thing and Varney was huge.

In college there all the wanna be metal musicians, some who were good but most not, wore all the right clothes and had all the right gear (anything double locking with Marshalls of course). It was like a stupid contest and a sausage fest.

But I often saw this one girl, very "religious" looking with cardigan who always had her piano music while she worked on music class homework in the soundproof piano rooms. She didn't hang around the rockers and kept to herself.

But then one day I pick up Guitar Player magazine and there she is with big hair, wearing spandex, and Varney is out there touting her as one of the best neo-classical shredders as she's holding a white strat in front of her Marshall! None of us knew she played guitar or even existed and she was that Sandra Dee looking character who was always playing Bach and Vivaldi on Piano. Obviously she played guitar very well and put her music theory to good use. The only reason I knew of her is that I also loved classical piano and had that softer side and would go to the piano rooms when not plugging in.

This was pretty much a girl who could have played the part of Sandra Dee in Grease from the cardigan thing up to the spandex thing. While most musicians were there competing to look the most rockin', she was out there hour after hour mastering Baroque and knew somewhere that a guy named Tony McAlpine (also Varney) could transfer high end piano playing to guitar in a way that guitar only players usually could not do. She was as high gain and metal as anybody had seen once she came out and all the male players probably considered jobs as pizza delivery boys and brick layers after her introduction. NYC had the Great Kat but at the same time Southern California had this girl. Had she been a man she would have made it. I can't think of her name (from Santa Barbara City College 1985) but she was a treat. It was the first time I knew of a female guitar shredder so when I moved up north a few months later and recorded I hired a GIT graduate as a lead guitar player named Lisa Larson.

Oh, here's some footage of "Sandra Dee" from Grease rocking out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GGWRAT-W7o

Last edited by 63Blazer; 08-28-2015 at 11:58 AM.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-29-2015, 01:30 PM
 
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Re: Shrapnel Guitarists

Listening to a lot of Cacophony lately. X-Ray eyes has some pretty great guitar lines in it...but it's all pretty new to me.

I made the mistake of basically ignoring Shrapnel guys when I was early in my guitar playing days due to the perception of "those mindless shredders" (someone playing complex sweep patterns on a Jackson, you know) and it being so out of my league at the time. Now that I'm older and more proficient at the instrument and what it takes to actually do what they did, the respect I have for how they play is there.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 07:24 AM
 
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Re: Shrapnel Guitarists

Vinnie more and paul gilbert are my favorites.
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