New Starts, New Jams
by Cullen James

[due to a clerical error (read, a oversight by an editor whose name starts with an M) we missed this column that Cullen sent us before he went on vacation. So here it is today, in a special edition of All About the Guitar]

I started playing guitar because of heavy metal. The first song I learned how to play was Am I Evil and then several Metallica songs after that. Basically, I was absorbing every simple metal tune I could and slowly getting better at playing it.

geetar.jpgOver time, my listening interests have grown. I grew up on country, gospel and classical. My rebellion to that was metal and punk. Since then, my appreciation for music has grown to accept those forms from my youth and multitudes of other forms of music since.

My point is that while I was “under the influence” of metal and punk alone, I was hyper-critical of just about every other kind of music out there. If it didn’t have loud, distorted guitars, it sucked. And, if you listened to that music, something must be wrong with you.

Perhaps that’s just a juvenile mentality, but you still see it everywhere. I guess, with the new year upon us (well, here by the time this is read), I think back on that time and look at me now and wish I hadn’t been such a closed-minded asshole.

That’s what New Year means to me. It’s not a time to attempt to self-impose worthless resolutions that will fail as quickly as Paris Hilton in a math class. It’s a time to accept new things and realize that there’s a bigger world out there than that imagined in your philosophy.

A big world certainly applies to music. There’s plenty out there that I don’t like, and there’s plenty out there I think legitimately sucks. But those are personal opinions and opinions tempered by knowledge and study. It’s the knee-jerk reaction we have to be wary of.

How does this relate to the guitar? I’m not entirely sure. Heck, my birthday is today, so accept new and bigger things and buy me a damn Gretsch! Fuck the “bigger world” shit, it’s all about me! Buy me stuff, dammit!

And happy New Year.

Cullen just might want you to buy him stuff.


The editors of Faster Than The World wish Cullen a very happy birthday.


No shit! Someone buy me a Gibby SG! Hell, i'd even be happy with a decent SG copy.

Hippy Barfday, Cullen! And may 2007 bring you lots of new things to check out.

Hey there's a movie that pops up on IFC sometimes, called "punk:attitude:" and it has TONS of fucking awesome old footage and interviews with people like Ari from the slits and Poly Styrene and the dudes from the New York Dolls. There's bits with Henry Rollins, and at one point, he says "Punks were some of the most narrow-minded people out there". tee hee hee. It's hard to know how to respond to that, because goddamn, it was TRUE!


Thank you, pril.

I have seen that movie. It's hard to watch sometimes. I mean, it's cool to hear all these folks today, but some of the mentality is just hard to stomach these days.


Happy birthday, Cullen!!!

New year, new things, new attitudes, new everthing.


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