Mailbag 61

I’ve been listening to what I call guitar rock since the late sixties, early seventies and have heard quite a few of the best guitarists that have set foot on this planet. I have seen them receive acclaim and awards, sell millions of records and make a lot of money. My personal favorites are the ones that sound more original and try to do something more extreme and off the normal path. Steve Vai is one of these people. I appreciate his music, his knowledge of music, his playing (more than you know), and his real love of family as well as other human beings. But I feel that he has received his just due to some degree and has made a name for himself. My point is that there is a guitarist out there that Steve had mentioned in an article that I read somewhere he has great respect for and it just so happens that I saw him last night. With all due respect to Steve — who I think is at the very top of his art form and I listen to his recordings over and over again — there is a guitarist that us fellow guitarists need to show more appreciation for. We need to hold a tribute to his untouchable style and major contributions to the world of “guitar music”. He has paid his dues many times over and has said recently in an interview that if this last go around doesn’t prove successful that he might give it up, and we can’t have that. He is someone that is so far ahead of the rest of us mortals the we need to tell him how much we appreciate his being. JEFF BECK!! I know I’ve said enough but need I say more?
Respectfully yours,

Mel Ruddy
Hercules, CA