By Garrett Wheeler
Guy No. 2 (Wearing Van Halen): "Nice, that song's a classic. It's really the seminal Stevie Ray Vaughan piece. And the solo? Man, anybody who can play those notes without slipping the fret board is ready to go on tour."
Guy No. 1: "You think? I'm not sure I've got it down to that level, but I'm getting there. It's taken me, like, three days of solid practice to really nail it consistently. I'm just stoked to finally be able to play a song I've always loved so much. Stevie Ray Vaughan is one of my biggest influences."
Guy No. 2: "I know what you mean, that's how I feel about Clapton. I'm actually working on his version of 'Crossroads'—you know, the one he did with Cream."
Guy No. 1: "Wasn't that originally a Robert Johnson tune? Talk about a figurehead of the blues. Clapton really took that song above and beyond."
Guy No. 2: "Yep, he did. I think that's why I respect him so much as an artist. Clapton had that ability to transform old-school blues songs to modern guitar explorations. I mean, the riff itself is pretty simple, but sooo timeless."
Guy No. 1: "Yeah, every guitar player should take notes from Clapton, no doubt about it. So what else are you working on?"
Guy No. 2: "Another '60s tune I've been performing is Hendrix's 'Spanish Castle Magic.' It's kind of a lesser-known song, but man, it's the beginning of heavy metal, I swear. And the crowd loves it. They go crazy when they recognize what song it is."
Guy No. 1: "Oh, I know all about 'Spanish Castle Magic.' Hendrix puts all that crazy distortion on his guitar, and the main chord progression is pure power. It's songs like 'Spanish Castle' that prove Hendrix really did invent modern rock."
Guy No. 2: "Yeah, when most people think of Hendrix, they think 'Purple Haze' and 'Hey Joe.' But I think his later work really took leaps in the evolution toward bands like Black Sabbath."
Guy No. 1: "Oh, for sure, Sabbath and Zeppelin were totally the next phase on the rock & roll timeline."
Guy No. 2: "Tony Iommi shredded before people knew what shredding even was. Sometimes I'll bust out 'Iron Man' onstage, you know, just because the fans love it."
Guy No. 1: "Sabbath was so influential, I mean, you can here them in so many modern bands, like Pantera, and even Queens of the Stone Age."
Guy No. 2: "Dude, I love Queens of the Stone Age. I always have to play 'Know One Knows' when I'm warming up. It gets me so pumped up before a gig. That's what I love about Guitar Hero, man, that adrenaline rush right before you hit the stage and rip into a killer song."
Guy No. 1: "Yeah, it's such a sick game. Who needs real guitars when you can just plug in and rock on!"
Send a letter to the editor about this story.