Ha! Finding a cool title for the sidebars was actually harder than picking the discs. The selections are subjective in the extreme. I just picked what I thought were the hippest and/or most influential albums each artist released between 1969 and 1979. As for the title of the sidebars, I eventually decided to pay homage to the catch phrase Jimmie Walker made famous when he appeared on the '70s sitcom, Good Times.
While the band Van Halen started out in 1972, I was struck that the Eddie Van Halen interview was actually from 1984. Had Van Halen not been interviewed in the 1970s, or did you feel the 1984 was a stronger interview to run?
We do have Jas Obrecht's interview with Van Halen from the November 1978 issue, as well as a 1980 interview by Jas. They are epic pieces for sure. But I felt that the 1984 article, where Eddie actually delivered a sincere and insightful "personal lesson" to beginning guitarists (and, well, to any guitarist interested in what went on in Eddie's conceptual mindspace) was a fantastic example of the educational content that Guitar Player does so well.
Unless I am mistaken, June Millington is one of two women (along with Bonnie Raitt) included in the book. In the introduction to the Millington interview, Richard Pierce laments "it's quite surprising how few women have become rock musicians". Was it hard to find at least two women to include in the collection (given the lack of popular female guitarists in the 1970s)?
Yes. Absolutely. I wanted Bonnie in there because she's amazing, and she definitely kicked it so hard that no one could ever argue that she wasn't a tough, influential, and ballsy guitarist. I felt that June was a forgotten jewel. People talk about the Runaways being one of the first "all female" rock bands, but I felt that few include June's band Fanny in the same conversion, and Fanny predated the Runaways by five years. From there, I could certainly include some female jazz or country or classical players that GP covered in the 1970s, but I made the call that most of those players were a bit too under-the-radar to include in this collection. Trust me, one of the most frustrating aspects of my job is dealing with how female guitarists are still, for the most part, under-appreciated. It's shameful.
If response is strong enough to this volume, would there be enough material to do a second '70s edition? Or are you ready to tackle the '80s in the next edition?