Proceeds from Campaign to Benefit Planned Parenthood and True Colors Fund
NEW YORK, NY (March 2, 2017) – Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award-winning artist and activist Cyndi Lauper has designed and released her official “Girls Just Want To Have Fundamental Rights” t-shirt. Inspired by the menagerie of protest signs using this empowering slogan during the worldwide Women’s March that took place on January 21st, Cyndi has partnered with Omaze in honor of Women’s History Month to raise vital funding for Planned Parenthood and the True Colors Fund.
“As I marched down the streets of New York City in January amongst a beautiful array of people of every sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and nationality, I was blown away to see so many people embracing the message of “Girls Just Want To Have Fundamental Rights’ on their handmade signs,” said Cyndi Lauper. “Seeing this anthem continue to empower so many people to speak out and get involved, I was inspired to find new ways to further spread this powerful message of equality and justice for all. I am hopeful that this t-shirt will raise much needed funds to support the important work of Planned Parenthood and the True Colors Fund.”
Cyndi’s official “Girls Just Want To Have Fundamental Rights” t-shirt is available starting today at www.omaze.com/fun and can be purchased for $25. A sweatshirt is also available for $39. The net proceeds from each t-shirt and sweatshirt sold will be donated to Planned Parenthood and the True Colors Fund.
About Cyndi Lauper Cyndi Lauper is a Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award-winning artist and New York Times Bestselling author who, after 30 sterling years and global record sales in excess of 50 million albums, has proven that she has the heart and soul to keep her legion of fans compelled by her every creative move. In recognition of her ongoing contribution to music, Lauper was inducted into the prestigious Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2015 and received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last year. A lifelong advocate for equality, Cyndi co-founded the True Colors Fund in 2008 to further her commitment to prevent and end LGBT youth homelessness in America. For more information about Cyndi, please visit www.cyndilauper.com.
About Omaze Founded by Matt Pohlson and Ryan Cummins, Omaze is a fundraising platform that offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences and exclusive merchandise to raise funds and awareness for today’s most important causes. By leveraging the power of audiences and technology, Omaze is radically changing charitable giving and streamlining public participation with charitable campaigns to create impact in real time. Since launching in 2012, Omaze has impacted more than 200 charities and received donations from over 175 countries. For more information please visit omaze.com.
About Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) is the statewide public policy office representing California’s seven Planned Parenthood affiliates. Through advocacy and electoral action, PPAC advocates for sound public policy in areas of reproductive and preventive health care, family planning and comprehensive sexual health education and information. For more information about Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, please visit www.ppactionca.org.
About True Colors Fund The True Colors Fund, co-founded by Cyndi Lauper, works nationally to end homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. In America, up to 40 percent of the 1.6 million youth that are homeless each year identify as LGBT. Yet, only seven percent of the general youth population is LGBT. The most cited reason for this disproportionate rate is family rejection due to the young person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Through a broad continuum of advocacy, training & education, and youth collaboration programs, the True Colors Fund is creating a world in which all young people can be their true selves. For more information about the True Colors Fund, please visit www.truecolorsfund.org.
Gives Behind-the-Scenes Look at the World’s Foremost Guitar Luthiers Celebrating 30 Years of History
HOLLYWOOD, CALIF. (March 1, 2017) – In celebration of Fender Custom Shop’s 30th anniversary milestone, Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) releases an exclusive, 10-minute documentary about the genesis of the renowned Fender Custom Shop – known as the “Dream Factory.” Told through the eyes of eight trailblazing luthiers who helped elevate the Custom Shop to worldwide acclaim, the Fender Custom Shop Founders Design 30th Anniversary Documentary intercuts archival footage and photos alongside present day interviews with the influential Founding Master Builders who brought the historic shop to life: Michael Stevens, John Page, George Blanda, Fred Stuart, J.W. Black, Mark Kendrick, Alan Hamel and Gene Baker.
The documentary reflects the lifelong passion each Founding Master Builder holds for Fender and creating guitars. The filmmakers utilized an unfiltered approach to capture each builder in their purest and most-honest state. The story of Fender Custom Shop now breathes through the experiences of some of its Founding Master Builders whose one-of-a-kind handcrafted creations remain as legendary today as the icons who wielded them throughout history including: Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and many more.
“The Fender Custom Shop Founders Design 30th Anniversary Documentary allows fans to experience the Fender Custom Shop story in a way it has never been told – raw and straight from the source,” said Mike Lewis, Vice President Product Development, Fender Custom Shop. “We’re proud to share the story of Fender Custom Shop as a way to immortalize each builder’s talent, creativity, and contribution to the overall Fender brand legacy.”
Over the course of one month, the crew filmed footage across three states, visiting John Page and J.W. Black at their home workshops in the Oregon forest and Michael Stevens at his shop in the picturesque Texas countryside. The remainder of the Founding Master Builders came together at the present day Fender Custom Shop at Fender’s Corona, Calif. factory where they reminisced and shared stories from the early days. Henry Diltz, a legendary rock photographer and partner at the Morrison Hotel Gallery, joined the film crew to capture portraits of each Founding Master Builder and their Founders Design anniversary guitars through his lens. What resulted from the filming process was an unearthing of countless memories, archival photos and video of these Founding Master Builders, preserving a piece of Fender’s most-valuable history. Chronicling the milestones and what Fender Custom Shop has come to stand for through the years, the documentary will take fans on a journey – starting with the early days in Michael Stevens’ garage – and key successes that took the Shop to the next level, and closing with continuing the legend and bringing the band of Founding Master Builders back together.
The Fender Custom Shop Founders Design 30th Anniversary Documentary is released in tandem with Fender Custom Shop’s Founders Design Project: eight guitars, each designed by one of eight visionary Founding Master Builders featured in the documentary. One of the most exclusive and coveted collections in the Shop’s history, only 30 units of each design will be built by a team of artisans at Fender Custom Shop in Corona, Calif. and released throughout 2017 beginning in March at select dealers.
TO VIEW THE DOCUMENTARY, SEE BELOW.
For technical specs, additional information on new Fender Custom Shop and Fender products and to find a retail partner near you, visit www.fender.com or www.fendercustomshop.com. Join the conversation on social media by following @Fender and @Fendercustomshop.
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About Fender Musical Instruments Corporation:
Since 1946, Fender has revolutionized music and culture as one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers and distributors. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC), whose portfolio of brands includes Fender®, Squier®, Gretsch® guitars, Jackson®, EVH® and Charvel®, follows a player-centric approach to crafting the highest quality instruments and musical solutions across genres. FMIC is dedicated to unlocking the power of music through electric and acoustic guitars, amplifiers, pro audio, accessories and digital products that inspire and enable musical expression at every stage, from beginners to history-making legends.
The Sennheiser Digital 6000 microphone system is shipping now
Wedemark, 1 March 2017 – Digital 6000, the latest member of Sennheiser’s professional wireless microphone range, is shipping now. Incorporating the acclaimed Long Range transmission mode and proprietary audio codec from Sennheiser’s top-of-the-range Digital 9000 series, Digital 6000 delivers impeccable RF wireless and audio performance. At the same time, the system fulfils the business need of rental companies, theatres, broadcasters and houses of worship for a flexible two-channel wireless solution that allows the use of existing accessory infrastructures. Designed for demanding live productions, Digital 6000 also addresses the challenges of the shrinking UHF spectrum: The system eliminates intermodulation, enabling more channels to operate in less spectrum space.
Tom Vollmers, product manager at Sennheiser: “Digital 6000 is a wireless system that is all about performance. It brings the benefits of the Long Range mode of our benchmark Digital 9000 system to a two-channel receiver, while allowing the use of standard UHF antennas and existing Sennheiser capsules or microphones. Integration into analogue and digital workflows is seamless, and the fact that frequencies can simply be placed in an equidistant grid will help users in congested RF environments a lot.”
Sennheiser’s Digital 6000 wireless microphone series targets the rental and touring market, theatres and musical venues, houses of worship, broadcasters, and high-profile corporate customers. The receiver is available in two versions, both feature a digital AES-3 output, transformer-balanced XLR-3 outputs and ¼” (6.3 mm) jack outputs. The EM 6000 Dante is additionally fitted with an RJ-45 socket for integration into a Dante network.
The Digital 6000 series comprises a two-channel receiver that is available in two different versions, a bodypack and a handheld transmitter, and a rack-mount 19” charging unit. The receiver’s switching bandwidth of 244 MHz (470 to 714 MHz) is covered by three transmitter versions (470 – 558 MHz, 550 – 638 MHz, and 630 – 718 MHz). Up to eight receiver units can be daisy-chained without the need for an additional antenna splitter; the multi-channel system will work with a single pair of antennas. System latency is 3 milliseconds.
Digital 6000 is compatible with Digital 9000 in long-range mode and with the EK 6042 digital/analogue camera receiver.
The SK 6000 bodypack transmitter is a high-end solution for wireless instruments, or can be used with lavalier mics or headmics
The SKM 6000 handheld transmitter can be used with all evolution wireless, 2000 Series, and special 9000 Series microphone heads
Superior reception, reliable audio
Reliability has always been a hallmark of Sennheiser wireless systems, and Digital 6000 is no exception: true bit diversity, transmission error correction and additional intelligent error concealment make this a system to rely on.
True bit diversity is a diversity technique that ensures a far better reception quality than other diversity techniques, for example switching diversity or true diversity. While the latter either use the RF signal of a single antenna or the audio signal of a single reception path, true bit diversity combines the information content of both reception paths for an optimum signal. A Link Quality Indicator on the receiver informs the sound engineer of any issues.
If, as in difficult RF environments, the signal should get temporarily corrupted to such an extent that the transmission error correction can no longer repair it, the intelligent error concealment of Digital 6000 sets in. It employs intelligent learning algorithms to replace the corrupted part, enabling Digital 6000 to still transmit flawlessly where other digital systems fail.
For data security, a feature that is particularly important for conference and corporate use, Digital 6000 features switchable AES 256 encryption, with the transmitters also supporting the proprietary encryption of the Digital 9000 system.
Uses existing infrastructures and accessories
Digital 6000 has been designed to keep additional investments as low as possible: Existing antenna infrastructures can continue to be used as the system works with standard active and passive wideband UHF antennas, with the highly frequency-selective input filters being contained in the EM 6000 receiver.
The Digital 6000 transmitters use the same high-performance rechargeable accupacks as their Digital 9000 counterparts. The SKM 6000 handheld transmitter features Sennheiser’s standard capsule interface – it can therefore be used with any microphone head from the evolution wireless Series, the 2000 Series, and also with the special 9000 Series heads.
The SK 6000 bodypack excels as a high-end solution for wireless instruments such as guitar and bass – or is ready to use with a variety of Sennheiser clip-on microphones and headmics. These include the MKE 1 and the digital-transmission versions of the MKE 2 and MKE 40 clip-on microphones, plus the SL Headmic 1 and the HSP 4 headmic as well as the upcoming digital-transmission version of the HSP 2.
Ease of use for the engineer
In addition to making it possible to plan frequencies simply in an equidistant grid, Digital 6000 is fitted with an automatic frequency set-up function to make the job of the monitor engineer or dedicated RF engineer easier. As usual, the Sennheiser Wireless Systems Manager (WSM) software can be employed to control and monitor the wireless system.
The receiver’s operating controls have been modeled on the well-known EM 3732 to ensure straightforward operation. A new, user-friendly menu control with a bright, white OLED display gives a quick overview of the RF signal, link quality, audio signal, battery status, frequency, transmitter name and encryption. Several home screens provide easy access to further information, without the user having to navigate through submenus. Critical operating conditions and error messages are directly indicated on the display.
Smart charging solution
The series’ L 6000 charging unit is a 19”/1U mainframe device that can be fitted with up to four charging modules as required, each of which recharges two bodypack or two handheld batteries, respectively. Three-coloured LEDs on the front panel give a quick overview of the charging process for each battery, while two additional LEDs monitor the device status. More detailed information as well as additional parameters such as battery runtime, charging cycles and remaining capacity can be accessed via the Wireless Systems Manager. The L 6000 charging unit can also be used for Digital 9000.
Conveniently positioned within the receiver rack, the modular L 6000 charging unit recharges up to eight transmitter batteries. The four modules can be chosen according to the required battery type – BA 60 for the handhelds and BA 61 for the bodypacks.
Digital 6000 integrates seamlessly into digital or analogue system infrastructures. The EM 6000 receiver is fitted with a digital AES-3 output with wordclock in/out, high-quality transformer-balanced analogue XLR-3 outputs and ¼” (6.3 mm) jack outputs. Its Dante counterpart, the EM 6000 Dante offers an additional Amphenol RJ-45 connector for integration into a Dante network.
Music industry veteran Chandra Lynn launched Glow Marketing LLC in January 2000 as a marketing consulting business for the music industry and consumer goods. However, she founded her company with a different twist: providing inspiration, positive influence, and emotional health and wellbeing, which she does via her partner lifestyle brand, Glow Living. A certified coach, she created the platform as a free community to provide resources, outreach, and educational information to help others in their quest for a healthy life, healthy attitude, and search for purpose.
Owning and operating one business is challenging enough. Owning two is unfathomable for most. Chandra Lynn makes it seem effortless while seamlessly combining her companies to bring the best of both worlds to her clients and her audience. In January, she brought her successful online “Lessons Learned” video series to the winter NAMM show, where she was joined by musicians Omar Hakim and Rachel Z in an inspiring panel discussion.
Guitar Girl connected with Chandra Lynn to learn more about Glow Living, Glow Marketing, and her goals. She graciously shared some of her insight about the music industry, offered tips for navigating social media when building a brand, and gave us a look into her guidelines for personal growth.
After a lengthy and successful career spanning almost 20 years in the music industry, including public relations, artist relations, concert promotions, marketing, and MI, you made a career change by founding Glow Living and Glow Marketing. Why the transition and why at that particular time?
I’m in the time of my life where I want to share what I have learned from my experiences, and help others to share their shortcuts to greatness. I’m not leaving the music industry. I’m pioneering a new area of the industry by bridging it to personal growth and healthy living. I’m leveraging my relationships with the leaders and stars of the industry to inspire people to love life.
Artists are great teachers and have impactful insights on:
how to stay true to themselves by forging a creative career instead of a traditional one;
how to unlock creativity;
how to achieve live/work balance when they are required to tour and work on nights and weekends;
how to embrace growth and uncertainty as a way of life;
how to stay fit and healthy in a world full of drugs, alcohol, and fast food;
how to nurture intimate relationships while traveling and going through ups and downs financials and with depression, egotist desires, anxiety, and self-esteem issues;
and much more.
The world needs to learn from all of us, and Glow Living is the stage I have created for this interaction.
As you stated, you haven’t left the music industry — some of your marketing clients are MI companies. What is important in marketing and promotion within the industry during this digital age versus the industry of the 1990s?
My whole career has been promoting other people’s products and services, and I’ve learned a lot. Now that I’m focusing on promoting my own brand with Glow Living, I have learned first-hand what it takes to stand out.
The minute the Internet connected us, I jumped on it. For example, I earned an electronic publishing award for Keyboard Magazine’s first website in 1994, and also used it to get my arms around huge audiences of concert-goers while at Bill Graham Presents while promoting over 400 concerts per year.
What has changed is that social networks have given everyone an opportunity to promote, so it’s harder to get attention. For me, it’s about finding ways to use it to attract the right audience by being authentic and allowing for organic growth.
Magazines have suffered greatly, and many have been slow to adapt their business models, while blogs and forum sites have grown larger audiences because they were built online from the ground up. You can’t just run slick branding ads in a few key magazines to create a launch. It’s all about connecting authentically and developing direct relationships with your audience. As a result, I see social media feeding direct marketing programs as a key strategy for success.
How does Glow Marketing specialize in these capacities? What makes you stand apart as the company that the music industry should turn to?
What sets Glow Marketing apart boils down to three things: (1) marketing strategy and vision based on experience, (2) amazing longstanding relationships within the music industry, especially with press and artist communities, and (3) business and executive coaching that supports clients’ long-term career and personal success. Although I can bring in a team to support campaigns and projects, I often find working with senior management and their internal teams takes them to the next level. I used to promote Glow Marketing as a “do it for you” service business, but now I serve clients at a higher level when they want to engage me because I’m an idea person with vision.
With the free tools of social media and its many platforms at their fingertips, independent musicians can easily market, promote, and “build their brand.” However, that doesn’t mean they are utilizing these tools efficiently, effectively, or properly. What are some “right and wrong” approaches that you see when you look at musician and company websites and social media pages?
Being an artist or in a band is tied so closely with who someone is as a person, and there is a fine line between promoting their authenticity and causing boundary issues that make them vulnerable. To prevent these issues, I advise artists to see their public persona as a brand. That doesn’t mean they have to be commercial; it means they have to be professional and think through how they want to be perceived. I believe they need to find a way to promote an image that authentically resonates with their target audience.
Sometimes I see bands missing the mark on how to communicate their own brand. Their graphics, photos, and materials may not be professional enough for the audience to see them as big-time. And in some cases, it’s too slick and people don’t connect with it. The right way, in my view, is to visualize your perfect fan — maybe someone real who you can think of every time to decide to make a post. Ask yourself if the way you wrote it would appeal to them, and what they would think of the photo, video, or music you are sharing. If you don’t know, ask someone who fits the bill, or involve your audience when choosing an album cover art or promo photo. They love that kind of authentic engagement and will feel part of supporting your success. Then, reward them with your gratitude and appreciation as often as possible. You can do this with free downloads, enter-to-win contents, intimate videos, etc. Lastly, invest in professional help, when possible, when developing your creative materials. A good web developer, photographer, videographer, fashion stylist, and other creative resources can help you communicate your brand authentically and with style, if properly directed.
Glow Living is about personal growth and healthy living — not exactly concepts we associate with the hedonism and debauchery of the music industry. How does your video series, “Lessons Learned,” break down those stereotypes to present another side of the industry and the artists?
I’m all about having fun and fully support what is exciting about being in the music industry. For me, the key is to look at what your real human needs are so that you can get them met in a way that is in alignment to your highest self.
I read somewhere that The Weeknd reported fears about being able to be creative without being under the influence because that’s where all of his hits have come from. Drugs and alcohol are thought to loosen people up and seemingly remove blocks from their creative process. However, I contend that it’s only at first and is not sustaining. Consider all the one-hit wonders or great artists that fizzled out, and if their lifestyle was to blame for their demise. Watch VH1 Behind the Music for tons of examples. Also, how many of the greats have died due to this lifestyle?
Artists that are able to explore their own fears, vulnerabilities, and anxieties during the creative process have huge hits because people can relate to their authenticity and vulnerability. Case in point: Adele.
I believe there is a deeper level of satisfaction when artists celebrate a hit record that came from the heart, because it’s meaningful to them. Artists that come out with pop hits that are surface level have reasons to celebrate too, but usually have dissatisfaction brewing underneath because they wish they could find a way to express themselves authentically. Learning to open yourself up naturally to the flow of creativity is one of the most awesome experiences an artist can have. And if they want to celebrate that with a bottle of champagne on a private jet, more power to them!
Exploring these concepts in my “Lessons Learned” series will hopefully help budding artists learn to master their craft without falling down the rabbit hole of meeting their needs in self-destructive ways.
Chandra Lynn with Omar Hakim and Rachel Z at NAMM 2017
Last month, you brought “Lessons Learned” to the NAMM Idea Stage. What inspired you to take the show on the road, and particularly to present those sessions at NAMM?
Zach Phillips, NAMM’s Director of Professional Development, saw my “Lessons Learned” video with Steve Vai and asked me if I’d consider doing one live. Naturally, I jumped at the chance and am immensely grateful for the opportunity.
Why did you select Omar Hakim and Rachel Z for this event?
I’ve known Omar and Rachel for over a decade and have had many long conversations with them about their careers. The combination of being stars of the NAMM Show every year, as well as deep, mindful people with incredible life stories, made selecting them a no-brainer. I love them as friends, and have felt almost guilty about being a private witness to their stories because they are so rich and meaningful. Being able to give the NAMM audience a glimpse at their souls and storytelling was the biggest gift I could offer the attendees.
Who was your target audience for the sessions and what do you hope they took with them as a result of attending?
Everyone was welcome. Secretly, I had hoped that we’d attract more than fellow drummers and keyboard players. And we did. It took 90 minutes to clear out the line of people that came to express their gratitude after the session, and I was pleased to see they were from all aspects of the industry.
The result was what I want everyone to get out of all of my “Lessons Learned” interviews: tips that allow them to love life! We all need insights on how to show up fully and overcome challenges, and when someone learns a lesson from someone else’s experience, it grows and expands them in a way that creates hope and optimism for embodying a life they love.
Winter NAMM was busy for you. In addition to “Lessons Learned,” you were a TEC Tracks panelist and hosted a pro-audio panel for Plugin Alliance. You’re no stranger to NAMM shows, having taught seminars there before and of course attended as an MI professional. How have the shows changed over the years and why do they remain integral to our industry?
What I love about the organizers of NAMM is they are always looking for ways to improve the show. The basis of the show is for music instrument manufacturers to show their new products and, in many cases, get orders from dealers. Now, the show has grown to serve many aspects of the industry, so I’ve seen new exhibitor categories and the addition of different educational content with the Idea Center sessions, TEC Tracks, and other aspects being added.
Maybe Glow Living and “Lessons Learned” will help pioneer a health and wellness side to the NAMM Show in the coming years. I heard yoga classes were being held at The Hilton in the mornings, so I know I’m not alone in seeing the need for this.
Will there be more “Lessons Learned Live” episodes, perhaps presented and recorded at trade shows, concerts, festivals, and other music industry events?
Most definitely! All the footage is currently being shared for free on GlowLiving.com, and I am seeking new opportunities for “Lessons Learned” as we speak. I have some amazing talent to feature and am looking for an underwriter to help with production costs.
I have been booked to speak on the Ultimate Guitar Cruise this November and will release details soon. So, for those of you who want a fun trip to Cabo, stay tuned! For this and announcements about other interview footage, register for free on GlowLiving.com and subscribe to the Glow Living YouTube channel linked from the site.
Over the course of your career, what are some of the valuable lessons you have learned?
There are too many lessons to share in this article, so I’ll leave you with two that I think are relevant for your audience:
1. When you wonder if what you have to share is “good enough” or “original enough,” keep in mind that diversity adds richness to life, which is why the world needs you and your unique contribution.
2. Stay true to yourself, and give others a chance to align to your authenticity. If you project something other than who you are, they will align to a false image. Having people align to your true nature is what brings fulfillment and joy.
Freelancer Chronograph inspired by the “Gibson Les Paul” guitar
A free-spirited watch that breaks loose from conventional codes
Music and the arts are to RAYMOND WEIL what thought is to humankind – an inexhaustible source of inspiration and creation. For three generations, the Weil family has been influenced by these higher realms to shape the destiny of a Swiss watchmaking Maison. A Brand that brings forth eclectic yet complementary musical choices expressing the personality and character of its family members. From Frank Sinatra to the Beatles, Nicola Benedetti and Gibson – RAYMOND WEIL has been putting its name in lights alongside some of the greatest musicians of all time for nearly half a century.
RAYMOND WEIL pays its respects to a legend with a tribute to the fabled Les Paul Gibson guitar. Elegant, with a touch of rebellion, the freelancer is inspired by the “Gibson Les Paul” model and embodies its free spirit, rock attitude and unparalleled power of music.
RAYMOND WEIL celebrates the most legendary of all electric guitar manufacturers – GIBSON – and the pioneer of modern music – Lester William Polsfuss, known as Les Paul – by honoring the guitar that has inspired and served the best artists of all time. From Jimmy Page to Keith Richards and Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton, brilliant musicians have turned to this instrument to make Rock ‘n’ Roll history.
“When I was a kid, my mother introduced me to the world of music, firstly piano and then string instruments. I discovered Rock ‘n’ Roll and the riffs of electric guitars during performances by Slash alongside Lenny Kravitz and Guns N’ Roses. Music has the ultimate power of making an impression on people. It doesn’t matter what kind of music catches our fancy, nobody can remain unmoved by a virtuoso’s skill. Blues, rock, pop, classical: we all have a striking memory of a concert, a piece of music or an artist that is profoundly linked to a key moment in our lives. The power of music is also about travelling in time. Today, Gibson leads us into the best that rock has to offer and makes our watches hum to this legendary beat,” declared RAYMOND WEIL CEO Elie Bernheim.
The body of the 43.5 mm case is made of steel and its tachymeter bezel is enhanced with black PVD inspired by the lacquer on the “Black Beauty” – a guitar renowned for its electrifying performance that continues to astound musicians all over the world. The board features circular guilloché motif featuring six chords studded by fret-shaped hour markers. At 12 o’clock, the names of the famous guitar manufacturer and the legendary Les Paul signature appear, while the split-diamond inlay – a distinctive feature of the Les Paul Custom shines in golden tones next to the date window. Its ebony perforated calf leather strap brings to mind the sound holes that are part of the body of a guitar. Asserting its character and confirming its prestigious soul, the “fittings” – tri-compax chronograph counters, date and strap topstitching – of the freelancer inspired by the “Gibson Les Paul” are set with golden highlights. The tempo of the watch is set by an RW5010 mechanical self-winding movement ensuring an approximately 46-hour power reserve.
RAYMOND WEIL is introducing this collector’s model issued in a 300-piece limited numbered edition, encased in an exclusive presentation box inspired by the famous Gibson guitar cases. With this watch the Swiss Brand strengthens its collaboration with Gibson Brands that began in 2015.
Speaking of the partnership, Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO, Gibson Brands said, “RAYMOND WEIL continues to be a great partner and we are thrilled to be honoring the legendary Les Paul and his iconic work with this latest collaboration. The freelancer embodies the distinct design and quality craftsmanship that is so closely associated with each Les Paul guitar and is a wonderful complement to a guitar that continues to inspire the world.”
“The values that unite us are rooted in that which is truly important to us – the importance and strength of family, the intensity and ease with which music carries us away, as well as the emotions that life and time imprint upon our personality. It is this unique combination of family, music and time that endows RAYMOND WEIL with its distinctive, captivating personality.” explains Elie Bernheim, CEO, RAYMOND WEIL
Join the discussion on social media networks using #RWGibson
72 centerfolds illustrating 30 years of Fender Custom Shop guitars photographed by Stephen Pitkin
Introductions by Mike Lewis of the Fender Custom Shop and Billy Gibbons of Z.Z. Top
MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Since 1987, the Fender Custom Shop has been producing guitars that are to playing what Ferraris are to driving, and since 1995, Steve Pitkin has been photographing those guitars, capturing the craftsmanship and artistry that go into every instrument.
Fender Custom Shop at 30 Yearsshowcases both Pitkin’s photography and the work of the supremely talented masterbuilders who turn guitar dreams into reality daily.
There is something special about the Custom Shop and the people who work there. They love their work, and they are true craftsmen, building each guitar with artistic expression, skill, and innovation. They do this while holding true to Fender’s time honored traditions and working in close collaboration with musicians who rely on these instruments to create their music.
Each page of Fender Custom Shop at 30 Years is made to be interactive, from the highly detailed photographs to the text on their edges, written by the builders who created them and the artists who play them. As Pitkin writes in his introduction, “I hope every page of this book is a window of discovery for you, inspiring curiosity and encouraging your imagination to dream of a masterpiece when it is in your hands.”
A guitar from the Fender Custom Shop may not be within reach of every guitar enthusiast, but with Fender Custom Shop at 30 Years, every musician and fan can share in the beauty of these works of art.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
STEVE PITKIN is an internationally known fine art and assignment photographer. He began his career as a museum assistant and staff photographer documenting historic scientific instruments and opened Pitkin Studio as a freelance photographer in 1987. Pitkin illustrated the Fender Custom Shop Guitar Gallery in 1995 and has photographed over 20 years of the celebrated Fender Custom Shop calendar. He lives in Rockford, Ill.
Pegi Young is no stranger to media attention and being in the public eye. Married to Neil Young for over 36 years, she raised two children with him, sang background vocals in his band, and was an integral part of his projects, both inside and outside of the music industry. In 2014, the couple were back in the spotlight, this time because of their divorce, with details of their personal lives splashed across tabloids and websites.
A longtime singer/songwriter with four previous solo records to her credit, Pegi Young turned to music for solace and catharsis following the end of her marriage. The result is her aptly titled new album, Raw, a 12-track open wound encompassing her range of emotions, from rage to healing process.
When she’s not making music, Young donates her time and efforts to a number of organizations. She serves on the boards of Pono, the high-resolution digital media player and music download service founded by her ex-husband, and the Rainforest Connection, an organization employing upcycled mobile technology to monitor and protect rainforests.
First and foremost, however, is the Bridge School. As the parent of a son, Ben, who has cerebral palsy, Young is a longtime advocate for special-needs students who face severe speech and physical impairments. In 1986, she and Neil Young launched a benefit concert to bring the idea of the Bridge School to fruition. Over time, it has grown from serving local students to achieving international outreach, educational services, and recognition.
Pegi Young spoke to Guitar Girl about the process of writing and recording Raw, and of course her tireless work and passion for the Bridge School.
“I was terribly shy and I still am, but when I get onstage I let my other side come out.”
Ten years of solo recordings – how have you progressed as a singer, songwriter, musician, recording artist, and performer?
I was surprised to reflect on that myself. I came into the game late in life, according to some rulebook. I’ve been able to continue recording, and I’m quite pleased that I’ve been able to carve out this time in my life to do this. When I went into the studio to make my first solo record [Pegi Young, 2007], I’d been doing backgrounds and some professional stuff with Neil. But I was very shy and not at all self-confident about my ability to carve out a career for myself. Even in the later years, when people asked why I didn’t do this earlier, I didn’t know how, first of all, but I did not have the confidence. I was terribly shy and I still am, but when I get onstage I let my other side come out.
I see all those things you mentioned as the sum total of the whole. When I listen back to my initial recordings, I hear a timid and shy singer/songwriter. I was breaking out stuff that I had written when I was 20 years old. I had been writing my whole life, and my songs reflect life experiences, so my progression in that realm is noticeable in my recordings and my live performances. You do it and do it and you get more confidence.
You recorded the album in your home studio [Redwood Digital]. Is it easier or more challenging to work from home?
I think it’s both, because for sure being this close to home is comforting. Especially as a single mom, being close to my son and making sure everything is cool with him is a comfort. At the same time, I can get pulled into other things that are distracting from the music. When I go away, it’s probably a little bit more free in my mind, and yet I think we did well here in the studio. My son’s health is good, things were going very well, so I didn’t have that distraction. It’s been over a year since we started making this record. So all in all, recording here at home has more plusses than minuses, but there are plusses to being away and being singularly focused on what you’re doing in terms of musicality.
We started here, went to Nashville for some overdubs, came here, went to L.A., and came back here, putting on different parts. The horns and background singers were done in L.A. I brought the band back in because I had written some more songs. There’s a lot of music we recorded that didn’t end up on this record, but it’s mixed, it’s mastered, and when the time is right, if ever, it will come out.
“I’m very much into the old-fashioned school of thematic relevance,
so I try to create a story that is told on a record.”
Do you always write with a theme in mind, or do you write and then create the chapters of the story from there?
In the case of this album, and I think probably my previous effort [Lonely in a Crowded Room, 2014], I write and write and try to narrow down the field. I’m very much into the old-fashioned school of thematic relevance, so I try to create a story that is told on a record. It’s a little bit like hearing an audio book. In this case, obviously, so much of this stuff came out of the past two and a half years of my life, what I’d gone through, and dramatic changes in it. A lot of it goes back to telling that story in my own way. When I think about how long it took to record this album, and the many times we went into the studio, I think you can see a progression in my emotional journey. Even though I look at this as clearly one of the most autobiographical records I’ve ever written in my modest catalog, I think there’s universality to it. I’m not the only person to go through a late in life divorce. I’m not the only person to have gone through heartbreak and grief. So I hope that others can hear this record and apply it to their own lives.
Do the songs sometimes change as they are being written?
That has happened so many times over the years. I think it happened to some extent on this record as well. The process for this record was, I brought in a stack of words, lyrics, and thoughts that I had written. After my band played the Stagecoach Festival, Spooner [Oldham – keyboardist] and I culled the herd. It was a collaborative process and it was super-cool. I had never done that before. I usually come in with at least a skeleton of a melody. I had nothing this time. I had nothing but words.
You have compared the album to the stages of grief, beginning with immediate loss and ending with closure. How did that influence how you sequenced the songs?
It was very interesting. The sequence you hear on the record is the very first sequence I came up with, just looking at all the songs we had. Usually you take a stab at it, you move a song, this and that. But it was perfect. It told the story, shows the progression of my emotional state of mind, and that’s what music’s all about. It’s about expressing your emotions and feelings about what’s going on in your life. Chad Hailey, my engineer, listened to the first sequence and said, “That’s it. You hit it.” I looked at the songs we left off, I couldn’t see anywhere that they would fit, so we went with my first sequence.
Did you play guitar on the album?
I do not play a single instrument on this record. I stopped playing for about two and a half years. I only started playing again recently. I was frozen for a while and couldn’t play guitar or piano, but I could write. What I discovered in the process is that it’s freeing to just sing. But there are songs where we need an acoustic guitar, so now that I’m much further along in the process, I’m practicing every day, and playing piano every day, and making sure I get my chops back up.
You have personnel changes in your band, as well as longtime working relationships. Tell us about this group of musicians.
I’ve got a stellar band. Spooner [Aretha Franklin, Bob Seger, Neil Young] is a founding member of The Survivors. After Ben [Keith – pedal steel] died, and Anthony Crawford, my lead guitar player, left the band, we brought in Kelvin Holly [guitarist; Little Richard]. Phil Jones [drums; Tom Petty, Joe Walsh] came in pretty early on. Then we lost Rick [Rosas – bass], who had recommended him. Spooner and Kelvin recommended Shonna Tucker [Drive-By Truckers] and she kicks ass. She’s great.
The constitution of my band changed after we lost Ben. Our first couple of records had gone into the country or Americana categories, and it has shifted from being less in the realm of country and more into R&B, which is also a place where I’m comfortable.
What do you look for in your musicians?
Collaboration. The notion that we’re all in this together. Support. That they’re going to have my back. That we all get along. I travel with my band on one bus, with my crew. You’ve got to get along. Obviously musicianship, that’s the starting point. But you can have a person with all the chops in the world, and they’re not someone you want to spend a lot of time with. In our close quarters we all get along well.
What makes you a good bandleader?
I think I have a clear direction of what I hear in my head, and I try to convey that to my band members, particularly to Kelvin because he translates it, he can write charts. I think just getting out there, being the front person, and doing a good job reinforces for them that they’re there to support me, and that’s mutually reinforcing. And I hope I bring good songs to the table.
The Bridge School is entering its thirtieth year. How has it grown in terms of operations and outreach? In addition to the annual concert, as a nonprofit you rely heavily on donations.
Yes, but not solely on donations. We do have some kids that are district-placed, so their tuition money follows them. That money covers about half of what it costs us to provide all the education services we provide. Obviously the concert has always helped. We couldn’t run the program without it.
We have so many other programs that are part of the school. We have the transition program, outreach programs, the teacher-in-residence program, which happens every other year. That’s an international program. We bring in a professional from a developing country that in one capacity or another is serving students with the same kind of profiles as the kids we serve at the Bridge School. We’ve got our camp, our website, our international conference that we do every second year, and on the off years we have the teacher-in-residence. We’ve got a research element to our program, so we have not only our anecdotal stories but also an actual database. The peers in the community, the professionals in the field, can look at what we’re doing and hopefully apply it. In many cases we have seen it applied in their school districts.
Some of our kids have transitioned to other states, where it’s not so easy for our transition staff to make site visits, so we work with a team and we have contact through all the wonderful tools we have these days. Technology enables us to work with people not only here in the country, but internationally. Our team goes to the teacher-in-residence’s country to help with workshops and troubleshooting and ways they can apply what they learned at the Bridge School.
Now, our big focus is on raising the endowment in order to sustain the school. The Bridge School should continue no matter what happens to me, to Neil, to others. It should transcend all that. It should be well beyond what we, the founding members of this grassroots organization, were able to do. So a big focus for us is on our endowments.
Could you have ever imagined what it has become?
Well, you know, I dream big! From the get-go I knew that only a small number of students who would benefit from what we had to offer would be able to make it to Hillsborough [California]. We’re limited, in size and by licensing, in the number of students we can serve, so outreach and dissemination have always been core to our fundamental mission. We’ve done it in a variety of ways. I’m exceedingly pleased to see that our current executive director, Dr. Vicki Casella, who has been with us for now 10 years or more, has taken everything that we’ve been doing to a whole new level. She’s terrific.
I’m still president of the board. Nobody has ousted me yet! I had the vision, but I also knew what I didn’t know. I’m a professional parent, so I knew that I needed to bring in people in the field who knew what to do with these kids. When I look back at the mid-’80s, when we started this, until now, there’s a lot more people that are familiar with augmentative communication and how to enable students with severe physical and speech impairments to participate in their education. From the time we started this program until now, it’s been night and day. Has it been the light years we would like it to be? Not necessarily. But it still has been markedly different. When we had the first concert and we were debuting this notion of augmented communication, we were using the Apple IIGS — that’s where we were in those days. The number of students who have come through is hard to quantify because we only serve 14 students at a time, but I know the impact that we’ve had, not only through our core educational program, but also our transition program, our camp, our international teacher-in-residence, and our conference, so it’s getting to be a pretty significant number. We are having a global impact. This has been my life’s work, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
Taylor Guitars Releases Life-size, Playable GS Mini Model Identical To Doll-sized Guitar; For Each GS Mini Guitar Sold Taylor Guitars Will Donate $100 To Long-time Charity Partner Notes For Notes®, Supporting Musical Development For Youth Nationwide
EL CAJON, Calif. — Taylor Guitars and American Girl have teamed up to collaborate on a special edition life-size Taylor GS Mini acoustic guitar that matches the doll-size version for American Girl’s newest contemporary character, Tenney Grant, a singer-songwriter from Nashville. To support the project and the musical development of young boys and girls, Taylor will donate $100 for every American Girl GS Mini guitar sold to charity partner Notes for Notes, a non-profit organization that designs, equips, and staffs after-school recording studios inside Boys & Girls Clubs across the country.
A rising star in the Nashville music scene, Tenney is a breakout songwriter finding the heart to be herself. Tenney puts her whole heart into following her dreams, and although she still gets the jitters, her determination to share her true feelings through writing and performing gives her the strength to keep on strumming. The Tenney collection comes with several music-inspired products, including a miniature version of an authentic Taylor® GS Mini® guitar that features custom artwork and can be strummed and plays three songs. Both Taylor Guitars and American Girl hope the new Tenney character will inspire children to pursue their own artistic dreams through music.
Full-size, Special Edition American Girl™ GS Mini
Young girls will also have the opportunity to turn their musical aspirations into reality with a life-size, special edition American Girl GS Mini acoustic guitar that mirrors the custom-decorated artwork on Tenney’s doll-size model.
Like Taylor’s other standard GS Mini models, this edition blends a comfortably scaled-down size — making it easier for kids to hold and play — with a sound that’s impressively full. The body is a smaller version of Taylor’s Grand Symphony, with wood components that include layered sapele back and sides, a solid spruce top, and a fretboard and bridge of genuine ebony. The soundboard’s custom artwork features a teal stain with a white floral design. Other contrasting touches include a white faux pearl pickguard and white/black soundhole rosette. Together with Taylor’s legendary playability, this guitar makes a fun musical sidekick that’s sure to inspire young girls far and wide. The guitar also comes with a durable, lightweight GS Mini hard bag featuring adjustable backpack straps for easy portability.
Notes for Notes
For every special edition American Girl GS Mini guitar sold, Taylor Guitars will donate $100 to Notes for Notes, a national non-profit organization that builds, equips, and staffs after-school recording studios inside Boys & Girls Clubs and after-school centers giving youth the opportunity to explore, create and record music for free. Notes for Notes believes that music is the universal language of humankind, with the power to transcend virtually any barrier. The organization’s goal is to provide opportunities to learn about careers in the music industry, along with the inspiration and tools to explore their own musical dreams.
“Music is powerful, especially in the lives and development of young boys and girls, so we were excited at the opportunity to partner with American Girl to encourage young girls to pick up a guitar,” said Tim O’Brien, Vice President of Marketing at Taylor Guitars. “The program has also given us an opportunity to contribute to our non-profit charity partner Notes for Notes, an organization that plays a critical role in providing impactful music education experiences inside Boys & Girls Clubs and after-school centers across the country.”
Founded in 1974, Taylor Guitars is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of premium acoustic guitars. Renowned for blending an innovative use of modern technology with a master craftsman’s attention to detail, Taylor guitars are widely considered among the best sounding and easiest to play in the world. Many of today’s leading musicians make Taylor their guitar of choice, including Jason Mraz, Zac Brown and Taylor Swift, among many others.
About American Girl
American Girl is a premium brand for girls and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT, www.mattel.com), a creations company that inspires the wonder of childhood. Headquartered in Middleton, WI, American Girl offers an inspiring world of dolls, content, and experiences that nourish a girl’s spirit and help develop her strength of character. Best-selling lines include Truly Me™, Girl of the Year™, Bitty Baby™, WellieWishers™, and the classic historical character line BeForever™. The company sells products through its award-winning catalogue, on americangirl.com, in its proprietary U.S. experiential retail stores, and at select specialty retailers nationwide. Outside of the U.S., American Girl products are sold in specialty boutiques at select Indigo™ and Chapters™ in Canada and El Palacio de Hierro locations in Mexico City. By inspiring girls to be their best, American Girl has earned the loyalty of millions and the praise and trust of parents and educators.
Houston, TX, February 22, 2017 – Households across America and around the world were on the edge of their seats on Super Bowl Sunday as the Atlanta Falcons vied for their first Super Bowl win against the storied New England Patriots. 111.3 million viewers tuned in for the contest, all the way through to its stunning overtime conclusion. During an electrifying halftime performance, Lady Gaga performed through her trusted Sennheiser wireless microphone system, melding music from her own catalog and other patriotic classics.
An Unforgettable Production
Lady Gaga, who participated in the Super Bowl 50 festivities last year by singing the The Star-Spangled Banner before the game, once again chose a classic, reliable combination that has been a staple in her high-profile performances: the Sennheiser SKM 5200 handheld transmitter and an MD 5235 dynamic microphone capsule. Beginning the performance atop the highest heights of NRG Stadium in Houston’s rim, she performed excerpts from “God Bless America” and “This Land Is Your Land“ with Sennheiser capturing every nuance of her naturally dynamic voice — all before diving towards the stage in a feat of wires and acrobatics. Once on stage, she launched into a medley of her top hits.
Cover Photo: Lady Gaga performing at the Super Bowl halftime show with a Sennheiser SKM 5200/MD 5235 combination
Down to the Details
Lady Gaga’s production manager Chris Vineyard worked with the artist in crafting the remarkable spectacle that was her 12-minute performance, which included elaborate staging, stunts, and dance routines. But high-quality sound remains at the center of a fantastic Gaga show, and the Sennheiser MD 5235 capsule and SKM 5200 transmitter also performed exceptionally well as she delivered her performance to millions of viewers worldwide. “Sennheiser was really the easiest part in this whole process,” Vineyard says. “We’ve been using Sennheiser microphones for the last eight years and they perform well every time. Knowing that we could rely on Sennheiser left us with some extra headspace to focus on putting on a great show.”
Perhaps Lady Gaga’s front-of-house engineer Paul Ramsay knows better than anyone how the artist’s voice sounds on the MD 5235 capsule. Having used the capsule extensively on her tours, he was confident it would once again give him exactly what he needed for both the in-stadium and broadcast mixes. “When I came onboard Lady Gaga’s team, I was pleased to discover that they were using Sennheiser microphones and wireless gear because the last two artists I’d worked with were on Sennheiser as well and we had great success,” Ramsay explains.
Detail That’s Fit to Broadcast
For Ramsay, the MD 5235 capsule has its clear advantages: “That capsule really suits her voice. The high end is articulate and the low end has a nice warmth to it.” Dynamic detail is important to capturing the artist’s performances, as she covers a wide range of volumes in her vocal delivery. “She can go from nearly a whisper to quite powerful and loud within a millisecond, and that mic handles it beautifully and captures every facet,” he says. Ramsay also noted the capsule’s excellence in rejecting off-axis sound from the band’s backline, the PA system, and the roaring crowd, allowing quieter passages to be lifted without an obvious increase in bleed.
Ramsay, who had helped establish the core stadium PA mix during a rehearsal before handing it off to an engineer with production partner ATK Audiotek, was fully hands-on with the broadcast mix during the live event. “With over 100 million tuning in at home I’m mixing for quite a large audience,” explains Ramsay, who also mixed the Super Bowl half-time show back in 2010. With five weeks of rehearsals under their belt, Ramsay and everyone else involved had a clear playbook for the big day — yet Ramsay is always ready to make an adjustment on the fly if needed. “I know her voice and how she sounds on the Sennheiser mic, so it’s easy for me to find the areas where I can make adjustments to dial in the sweet spot.”
More Than Music
Lady Gaga, who is appreciated for incorporating eye-catching visual elements into the presentation of her music, worked with Sennheiser to design three visually arresting customized designs for each of the three microphones used at different points in the performance. The Super Bowl 51 performance included one that featured a metallic wrap with the word “UNITY” engraved in it, a leitmotif of the performance. “The Sennheiser team was incredible and really bent over backwards to make sure we had everything we needed technically and aesthetically for this show,” says Vineyard. “We have a great relationship both with the company and with the gear itself from years of working together.”
Wireless That Soars
Navigating as dense a wireless environment as the Super Bowl is no small feat, but the Sennheiser SKM 5200 transmitters and EM 3732-II receivers were up to the task. “RF is an enormous challenge with an event this size, and the production has Lady Gaga covering a fair amount of ground with staging, but the Sennheiser wireless gear really held up,” says Vineyard. He and Ramsay also complemented the work of production provider ATK Audiotek and wireless experts Professional Wireless in ensuring smooth management of the crowded RF environment, enabling steady operation of their Sennheiser transmitters.
“Every last bit of RF channel was being used either by broadcast or some other application, so it all had to be carefully plotted out,” Ramsay explains. “With ATK and Professional Wireless keeping the RF stable, we can rely on the Sennheiser transmitters and receivers to get clean audio. And in truth they never fail.”
Though the New England Patriots came back against what would seem like long odds to claim another Super Bowl victory, Sennheiser was the one predictable element at this year’s game. “It is always a pleasure to work with an artist as inspiring as Lady Gaga and in doing so play a part in the excitement of the Super Bowl half-time show,” says Byron Gaither, Sennheiser artist relations manager. “Our team put their heart and soul into making sure that both the artist and her staff had the right equipment to deliver a memorable performance, and we are pleased that our equipment helped make the experience great to an audience of millions.”
Featuring “Squeaky Deaky” — a call to action for dogs. Ask your audience to bring their dogs into the room to hear this song and see what happens to the phone lines, A story of interest and major FUN for dog lovers — and their dogs.
Los Angeles, CA – Created by Skip Haynes and Dana Walden of the Laurel Canyon Animal Company – a Los Angele based record label that creates music exclusively about, for and with animals who utilized the talents of an animal communicator to act as a translator to involve dogs directly in the creative musical process.
Canine focus groups selected from over 200 dogs nationwide were assembled and questioned by their communicator as to their preference in music and content. The dog’s responses were then used as guides for the creation of the music and lyrics resulting in a unique album of songs and interaction dogs love.
The music was then tested by individuals, rescue groups and the Laurel Canyon Animal Company for its rehabilitative and entertainment attributes for both dogs and dog lovers.
Based on unsolicited testimonials Songs To Make Dogs Happy:
• Helps ease separation anxiety
• Settles dogs down when traveling
• Is used by shelters to calm the animals
• Used by vets to help dogs in recovery
• Strengthens the bond between dog lovers and their dogs (when used according to instructions)
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