Guitars Unlimited

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Counting all the guitar stores or stringed instrument distributors who call themselves "Guitars Unlimited," one might be forgiven for thinking what was actually unlimited was the use of the name Guitars…
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Counting all the guitar stores or stringed instrument distributors who call themselves "Guitars Unlimited," one might be forgiven for thinking what was actually unlimited was the use of the name Guitars Unlimited. In terms of performing musical groups, there is still room for confusion. Sticking to the United States, one will fortunately encounter only one group of this name, a Los Angeles-based recording studio project on Capitol spearheaded by studio pros Bob Bain, Jack Marshall, and Howard Roberts. These top-dollar, first call studio guitar pickers were simply thriving by the early '60s, an era when the public's taste for guitar really did seem unlimited. Hit television shows such as Bonanza featured arrangements so heavy on guitar that amateurs at home mangled their hands attempting to figure out what was going on: which was in fact five guitarists, not one. Bain was one of these players whose sound was as big as the Ponderosa Ranch, and it didn't seem difficult to extend the guitar orgy concept into the realm of exotic hi-fi music discs. And so Guitars Unlimited was born. If cheesy versions of songs such as "Whiter Shade of Pale," "House of the Rising Sun," or "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" are desired, this is the group to do it. Guitars Unlimited also cut a less well-known series of knock-off tributes to various country artists for the budget Design/Pickwick conglomerate. As if being unlimited was not enough, an expanded group was created for the mind-boggling Guitars Unlimited Plus 7 project. Listeners who think they can manage wading through three compact discs worth of exotic hi-fi music can hear this band on the RCA box set entitled The History of Space Age Pop.

Overseas, there seem to be more groups named Guitars Unlimited than money changers. One which has garnered plenty of deserved attention is a French group that created a posthumous collaboration with gypsy guitar king Django Reinhardt. But there is a second French group also called Guitars Unlimited and a Swedish guitar duo also operating under the same name, featuring Ulf Wakenius and Peter Almqvist.