No one ever went to a Led Zeppelin concert expecting the band to open with “The Rain Song.” A fine tune, to be sure, but the electric charge of a crowd in waiting must be met in kind. The same applies to the album: Kiss didn’t open Destroyer with “Beth,” for example. And Metallica had the prudence to place “Fade to Black” a good four songs into Ride the Lightning.
Most guitarists at one point or another in their development have gone through some sort of “I want a custom guitar” phase. Whether it’s a funky paint job or a radical new shape, a custom ax presents the opportunity to express yourself. Or, in the opinion of some, the opportunity to say, “Hey, look at me, I’m a horse’s arse!”
There was a time when the name Eric Clapton meant one thing and one thing only: guitar god. His incendiary six-string exploits with the Yardbirds, followed by a pair of mind-blowing 1966 albums—Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton and Fresh Cream—briefly put the passionate young Clapton atop the U.K.’s, if not the world’s, guitar hierarchy.
Since the guitar's inception, there have undoubtedly been talented players that could make the instrument sing, but it wasn't until the mid '60s and the arrival of the wah pedal that one could make it cry.