Halloween Guitar Series 2011 Part 3

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Welcome back to part 3 of my goofy little tribute to horror movies and guitars.  By now I’m sure everyone knows what’s going on, so I’ll be brief with the pleasantries.  Today is semi-theme based with half of the guitars being galleries of various monsters alone.  The other half can be chalked up to being whatever else I decided to throw in for good measure.  Probably shouldn’t admit to not thinking too in depth about it, but there it is.

Since yesterday was about old Universal monsters I’ll finish that off while drawing attention to the Mike Learn guitar with the four monsters.  That was actually the first guitar I had seen of Mike’s portfolio and to say the least it made a believer out of me as it should you.  My understanding of the technique of airbrushing is mediocre at best, so I’m not going to BS anyone with pseudo-intellect, but I’m pretty sure that doing something like what’s pictured above isn’t something that comes without extensive experience.

Having said that the monsters are Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, the Mummy, and the Phantom of the Opera.  I’ve always kind had a background interest in Egypt, so being interested in the Mummy came quite naturally.  I pretty much think the first Mummy movie is incredible, but the four sequels… yeah.  I thought they got dull fast.

And for what it’s worth I don’t think I’m a good fan of silent movies.  I’ve seen the original Phantom of the Opera and of course I think it’s good, but mostly I think that’s because of Lon Chaney.  I tend to get a bit restless when watching silent movies for whatever reason and I’m willing to say I’m probably missing out, but Phantom didn’t really alleviate that.  I think by far Lon Chaney’s makeup coupled with his dramatic delivery did wonders to make him really horrifying and tormented.  Not like Gerard Butler’s phantom which I thought would have been better titled “The Hopeless Romantic of the Opera”.  Though for what it’s worth I really liked the music in both movies.  Gotta reference music at some point in this article, right?

I couldn’t find absolute verification, but I’ve read that back in 1925 when Lon Chaney’s Phantom was in theaters people were so horrified when his face was revealed that the audience would scream and run out.  I don’t know how historically accurate that is, but I thought it was kind of cool to just think about.

Speaking of the Phantom of the Opera, Richie Kotzen’s guitars are easy to transition into since the one has Lon Chaney right on the back.  Both of them also feature the iconic shadow from Nosferatu, another silent movie which I have actually not seen.  Kotzen used these, and more specifically the one with Lon Chaney on the back a lot on his album Fever Dream, but nowadays he doesn’t seem to do as much with them anymore.

The last multi-monster guitar would be the one featuring various iconic characters that really made the slasher genre what it is today.  Those are starting to creep more into my generation, but I’m going to spare the more in depth later.  In the meantime marvel at the cool premise, would you kindly?

The Godzilla guitar is another Mike Learn airbrush and yeah.  It looks consistently great like his other stuff.  It’s been a long time since I’ve watched a Godzilla movie, but whenever they were on when I was a kid my attention was pulled right in.  I never cared about plot, and if there was ever one included I’m a far cry from remembering it now.  I just wanted to see monsters smash cities.  That’s pretty much how far I think into anything I involve myself in.  Things stand a lot less of a chance at holding my attention if some city isn’t obliterated by a big monster.

Finishing this off are the Nightmare Before Christmas and Elvira guitars.  For whatever reason I actually deliberated on not including Nightmare Before Christmas, but in the end clearly I said screw it.  It’s a Halloween movie.  It’s good.  So why not?

As for Elvira, I’ll say this much.  At 60 Cassandra Peterson still looks pretty damn good.  I suppose since that Elvira’s coming into conversation now would be a good time to admit my fascination with bad movies rivals my interest in good movies, and that’s just what Elvira specialized in.  She’s probably the best spokesperson for crummy movies.  She’s over the top and cheesy and I love her for it.


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Kyle Smitchens

Kyle Smitchens is the Guitar-Muse Managing Editor, super hero extraordinaire, and all around great guy. He has been playing guitar since his late teens and writing personal biographies almost as long. An appreciator of all music, his biggest influences include Tchaikovsky, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Steve Vai, Therion, and Jon Levasseur of Cryptopsy.

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