The song that sparked the British invasion.

The song that sparked the British invasion.

The song that inspired the British musicians who sparked the British invasion. In July, 1955, a London Dixieland/trad jazz guitarist, Lonnie Donegan, recorded a speeded-up version of a 1930s American folk track, ‘Rock Island Line’, made famous by blues icon Lead Belly. Donegan’s ‘Rock Island Line’ directly inspired a generation of British musicians, from the…

Rediscovering U.S. guitar great, Randy Resnick.

Rediscovering U.S. guitar great, Randy Resnick.

Hands up those who think the Dutch-born American rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen invented two-handed guitar tapping? It’s not true, of course, with Eddie always saying he was originally inspired by Jimmy Page’s ‘Heartbreaker’ solo, on Led Zeppelin’s self-titled 1969 debut album. But guitar tapping goes back much farther. In Jim Carlton’s 2009 book, ‘Conversations…

Breaking down hard rock.

Breaking down hard rock.

Like the Kingsmen, Kinks, Cream, Jeff Beck Group, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath? This video’s for you. Now writing a history of rock and roll, I’ve just reached that period in the mid-1960s where blues-rock became hard-rock, which in turn became heavy metal. I remember it well, witnessing it explode around me. I saw Black…