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ENTERTAINMENT
May 7, 2000
I appreciate Don Heckman's reviews of jazz albums and events and read them regularly. I do wish, however, that his "gaggle" of guitarists (Jazz Spotlight, April 16) had been expanded enough to include Thomas Tedesco. His Nine Winds release "Don't Ever Be Afraid to Be Ascared" is a delightful album and representative of some of the best music being made in Los Angeles, albeit in nearly total obscurity. CHARLES E. BLOOMQUIST Venice
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 13, 2014 | By Randy Lewis
Rock guitar hero Jeff Beck remembers falling in love for the first time. "I'd only ever seen Spanish-style or jazz guitars, and then I saw a Stratocaster," said Beck, 69, of his schoolboy crush. "I was fascinated by the shape, the double cutaways; it was all too cool. It had all these pickups and knobs and controls - it embodied all the excitement of modern living. "A few years later I saw one in London hanging in a window, and the guy let me try it on," said the former member of the Yardbirds.
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BUSINESS
May 8, 2009 | Alex Pham
Activision Blizzard Inc. is cranking up the volume on its music games business. The Santa Monica company said Thursday that it would release three new games for its popular Guitar Hero franchise this fall: Guitar Hero 5, DJ Hero and Band Hero. The series helped propel Activision to strong first-quarter earnings with the March 29 release of Guitar Hero: Metallica.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 12, 2012 | By Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times
On July 25, 1965, Bob Dylan stepped onstage at the Newport Folk Festival, plugged in an electric guitar and changed the course of pop music history. The performance caused a furious reaction. The crowd booed loudly, and folk icon Pete Seeger tried to stop the show. Dylan and his band retreated after three songs, coming back to play an acoustic set. Still, Dylan's provocative move has long been pointed to as a key moment when electric rock music eclipsed folk as the sound of the '60s generation.
BUSINESS
February 10, 2011 | By Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
Striking the death knell for a once-hot music game business, Activision Blizzard Inc. said Wednesday that it would disband Guitar Hero and scrap development of a Guitar Hero title slated for this year. At the same time, the Santa Monica company told analysts during a conference call to announce fourth-quarter results that it would invest heavily in creating an online service dubbed BeachHead for an existing video game, Call of Duty. Activision, which provided little detail on the upcoming service, also dropped hints about a new product it plans to announce next week at Toy Fair in New York, as well as a new multi-player online title from its Blizzard Entertainment studio in Irvine.
BUSINESS
March 22, 2008 | From Reuters
Gibson Guitar Corp. said Friday that it had filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Viacom Inc.'s MTV networks and Harmonix, as well as Electronic Arts Inc., relating to the wildly popular "Guitar Hero" video games. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Tennessee, relates to the same patent involved in another suit Gibson filed earlier against various retailers, the Nashville-based guitar maker said. The "Guitar Hero" series has sold more than 14 million units in North America and raked in more than $1 billion since its 2005 debut.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 3, 1988 | DENNIS HUNT
Jimmy Page, the revered ex-Led Zeppelin guitarist, was standing on the small balcony of a suite in a posh Beverly Hills hotel on a recent afternoon, leaning against a chest-high railing and peering at the ground 14 floors below. The idea of jumping--as an option to being interviewed again--may have crossed his mind. That's how much he hates meeting the press. Page had just finished one interview with MTV, but now was sentenced to another.
BUSINESS
March 16, 2009 | Alex Pham
The Guitar Hero and Rock Band video games have become huge hits, generating $1.6 billion in North American sales last year from players who love jamming along with music legends. But now customers may be singing an old blues classic: "The Thrill Is Gone." After surging 68% in 2008, sales of music games are expected to be stagnant this year. Though new versions still do well, they don't catch fire the way they used to.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 18, 2008 | Geoff Boucher, Times Staff Writer
The latest sign of a video-game "Revolution"? You may soon be able to plug in and play guitar in "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." Martin N. "Marty" Bandier, the top executive at the music publishing company that owns the John Lennon-Paul McCartney copyrights, said he liked the idea of a dedicated Beatles edition of Guitar Hero, Activision Inc.'s hugely popular video-game franchise.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 17, 1988 | CHRIS WILLMAN
Richard Thompson had a nifty rejoinder when he began to be flooded with requests during his late show Friday at the Roxy: "We did all the great ones in the first show," he told the adoring audience. "The record company came to the first show, you see. . . ." Ah, that Richard, what a kidder. So only three of the dozen-plus songs in the late set were repeats from his earlier show.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 23, 2012 | By Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times
Just for a moment, as Carlos Santana was outlining the philosophy underlying his latest business venture, it started to sound as if he might be branching out into the food service industry. "What we do is focus on making everything fresh," the veteran musician and bandleader said. "I remind people: 'Ooh — don't bring last night's leftovers! Make it fresh and new and people will feel it.'" He's not launching a new Subway sandwich franchise but a two-year residency at the House of Blues in Las Vegas, where beginning May 2 he'll be holding court for 80 nights a year with a reimagined show he's calling "Greatest Hits Live: Santana — Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 10, 2012 | By Nick Owchar, Los Angeles Times
Spending countless hours playing the video game Guitar Hero has fostered an illusion among many middle-age guys. It's not too late to be a guitar god. Then they discover something: There's a big difference between the colored plastic buttons on the guitar-shaped game control and the six strings of an actual guitar. But is the difference insurmountable? Gary Marcus set out to answer that question in "Guitar Zero: The New Musician and the Science of Learning. " "I had a sabbatical coming up," says Marcus, a psychology professor at New York University.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 27, 2011 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
A few weeks ago during his concert at the El Rey Theatre, young R&B singer Frank Ocean stood alone in front of a mike onstage while a big image of a solar eclipse shone behind him. He was in the middle of his "American Wedding," which isn't really his song per se but him crooning new lyrics over the music of the Eagles' classic L.A. snapshot "Hotel California. " He moved through his updated verses, a wonderful yarn about marriage and divorce, as the moon passed across the sun behind him and the song made its way toward that epic Don Felder and Joe Walsh tag-team guitar solo.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 21, 2011 | Jessica Hundley
It might be difficult to imagine today, but there was a moment in the pre-Khomeini Iran of the mid-1970s when miniskirts and rock music reigned, where a female pop balladeer wowed crowds of thousands and a man named Kourosh became a guitar hero on a par with Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page. Since the Iranian revolution in 1979 and the subsequent censorship of many of the country's artists, Iran's pop cultural past has taken on a dream-like quality -- more than 30 years of constricting government bans having had a dramatic effect on the country's creative output.
BUSINESS
February 10, 2011 | By Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
Striking the death knell for a once-hot music game business, Activision Blizzard Inc. said Wednesday that it would disband Guitar Hero and scrap development of a Guitar Hero title slated for this year. At the same time, the Santa Monica company told analysts during a conference call to announce fourth-quarter results that it would invest heavily in creating an online service dubbed BeachHead for an existing video game, Call of Duty. Activision, which provided little detail on the upcoming service, also dropped hints about a new product it plans to announce next week at Toy Fair in New York, as well as a new multi-player online title from its Blizzard Entertainment studio in Irvine.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 17, 2010 | By Eric Pape, Special to the Los Angeles Times
In the long history of music, there have been improbable success stories. But even in such company, as a drunk man in the French documentary "Benda Bilili!" argues, there has never been anything like the Congolese "street-orchestra" Staff Benda Bilili. Or as the band's 55-year-old leader Leon "Papa Ricky" Likabu explained during the group's recent stop in Paris to support the film's opening: "Since God created the world, no one has seen five or six disabled guys play music like this.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 10, 2008 | Pete Metzger, Special to The Times
The whole fun of the Guitar Hero series of games is being able to hold an almost life-size guitar while playing. That's the main reason you'd never want to play using a standard controller, even though you could. Where's the enjoyment in that? The drawback has always been that the performances have to take place in front of a TV, making the game not very mobile. The new, fully portable Guitar Hero on Tour rectifies that problem but creates some others in the process.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 9, 1993 | ROBERT HILBURN, TIMES POP MUSIC CRITIC
Guitarists Duane Eddy and Link Wray earned places in rock history in the late '50s with instrumental hits that were as exciting to a generation of rock fans as anything by singers Buddy Holly or Little Richard. The records--Eddy's "Rebel Rouser" and Wray's "Rumble"--helped establish the concept of "guitar hero" in rock and featured sounds that were so seductive they are still used as guitar reference points.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 13, 2010 | By Alex Pham and Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
E3 is back. The Electronic Entertainment Expo, now in its 16th year, shrank into the shadows in 2007, after some game companies sobered up from the wretched excesses of previous shows with their ear-splitting demos, scantily clad models and million-dollar parties. After two years of self-imposed austerity that bordered on anesthetic, game companies cautiously stepped back into the old E3 mold last year. This year, game publishers are throwing caution overboard and plunging back into spectacle mode.
BUSINESS
March 31, 2010 | By Ben Fritz
The nation's largest video game publisher has shuffled its senior management team and realigned its internal structure without telling investors or the public. As outlined in internal memos obtained by The Times, Santa Monica-based Activision Blizzard Inc. has divided itself into four units, with one focused on the military video game Call of Duty, another handling other company-owned titles such as Guitar Hero and the Tony Hawk skateboarding games, and a third handling licensed properties.
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