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Wail away

All George Lynch needs to rock is an absence of shirt, a - scary skull guitar and a sturdy fog machine.
  • All George Lynch needs to rock is an absence of shirt, a scary skull guitar and a sturdy fog machine.

George Lynch is an ax-man's ax-man. After 30 years as a certified-shreddin' guitar god -- including a decade in the semi-seminal '80s rock band Dokken -- Lynch has gained a reputation as an aficionado and spokesperson for guitar technique and tone. So, yes, there's probably a reason you can't find a picture of the guy without a six-string slung around his neck.

Although there's certainly more to Lynch than technical prowess, he's a paragon for gear nerds around the world. In interviews, he speaks mainly in the Talmudic tongue of guitar specs, amps and mods, EL-34s and tube-mike pres -- all of it almost totally incomprehensible to those who don't spend their days poring over guitar magazines.

But Lynch also has a pretty deft hand at songwriting. Though eclipsed in the '80s by the work of other guitar virtuosos, such as Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhodes and the like, Lynch's writing and chops helped earn Dokken a 1989 Grammy nomination. Since then, Lynch has been a busy guy, recording albums solo or with his maybe-not-so-thoughtfully-named band Lynch Mob. His magnum solo opus, Sacred Groove, was released in 1993.

After a brief Dokken reunion in the mid-'90s, Lynch returned to Lynch Mob and his much-touted quest for the perfect guitar tone. (This resulted in what may be the most hilarious album title ever, The Lynch That Stole Riffness, given to a 2002 EP.) With a goodly number of Lynch Mob and solo albums under his belt, signature models of amplifiers and guitars, a fairly healthy touring schedule and a more-than-fairly-healthy career as a celebrity guitar clinician, Lynch is enjoying the status of a true guitar hero.

His newest effort, 2004's Furious George, neatly packages Lynch's strong suits, which are ample gifts of riffage. This isn't to say his songwriting talents aren't evident; it's simply that Lynch seems to use his albums to showcase his love of technicality and gear. The result, while far from soulless, is music made almost exclusively for worshipers at the Altar of Wail.

-- Aaron Retka


George Lynch with Section 16 and Drug Under

The Black Sheep, 2106 E. Platte Ave.

Wednesday, Dec. 14, 8 p.m.

Tickets: $16.50; call 800/965-4827 or visit

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