News 'Fender was too clean...': Marshall with his amps in 1999

In the mid-1960s, the emergence of the powerful Marshall amplifiers enabled musicians to turn up the volume – and effectively transformed pop music into rock.

Album: Jeff Beck, Emotion & Commotion (Atco)

Jeff Beck has to be the most eclectic of the great guitar heroes, rarely restricting himself to a single mode across an entire album, yet without once abandoning the signature touches that enable one to recognise his hand the moment it strays across the strings.

Eric Clapton & Jeff Beck, Together & Apart, The O2, London

Heroes together are a class apart

Jimmy Page - It's been a long time since he rock'n'rolled

The documentary It Might Get Loud brings together a trio of guitar heroes and marks Jimmy Page's first return to action since Led Zeppelin's reunion show in 2007. James McNair meets the axeman

Album: Joss Stone, Colour Me Free! (EMI)

Delayed for a year by a label with whom she has fallen into dispute, Colour Me Free! represents a return to the retro-soul style of Joss Stone's debut following the ill-advised attempts to squeeze her into the R&B diva mould.

Album: Joss Stone, Colour Me Free, (Virgin)

Lambasted for that transitory transatlantic accent and locked in a dispute with her record label that has seen this arrive with little fanfare, at 22 years old, Joss Stone is finally earning the soul chops she so desires.

Les Paul: Influential guitarist whose technical innovations helped create the sound of rock 'n' roll

Les Paul, the "Wizard of Waukesha" was, perhaps, the most influential guitarist of the twentieth century.

Joe Bonamassa, Royal Albert Hall, London

Turning the Royal Albert Hall into the house of the blues is no mean feat, especially if your first gig in London drew 60 people at the Borderline some five years previously. Yes, the rise and rise of Joe Bonamassa has been inexorable, from the first time he showed his 12-year-old guitar-playing chops to B B King, through to opening for the likes of Buddy Guy and Greg Allman. Drawing his influences more from the British blues of Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page – and some of the raw power of Rory Gallagher – his first album came out in 2000. 2007's excellent Sloe Gin, his lucky seventh, made it into the album charts, and he was voted Best Blues Guitarist by the readers of Guitar Player magazine.

Kent Henry: Guitarist with Steppenwolf and Blues Image

Best known for the evocative blues rock of “Ride Captain Ride”, which made the US Top Five in the summer of 1970, the band Blues Image lost several of their members to more successful American groups of the era.

Today's television

Deep Purple, Excel, London

When Ritchie Blackmore left Deep Purple for the second time in 1993, many predicted the end of the group who put the classic in rock. Now the guitarist and his madrigals have fallen so far off the radar he only registers the odd play on Radio 2, while his former bandmates have been wowing audiences all over Europe this summer.

Nigel Kennedy: Proms 2 & 3, Royal Albert Hall, London

Englishness came under close scrutiny in the second Prom of the season: the refulgence of Bax, the mysticism of Finzi, the attitude of Kennedy. Actually, there were two Kennedys at this BBC Concert Orchestra programme under Paul Daniel. The tenor Andrew Kennedy led the BBC Chorus in Gerald Finzi's wonderful setting of Wordsworth's ode, Intimations of Immortality, where past memory and present consciousness meld in music of such rapture that, had the poet been a composer, this is how he would have sounded. Kennedy's rapt tenor attended the words like they were the first and last he would utter.

Album: Stevie Ray Vaughan & Friends

Solos, Sessions & Encores (Sony BMG)

Stevens' injury heartache ends to lift England

The good news for those who still harbour thoughts of England retaining the Webb Ellis Trophy this autumn - and it is very good news indeed - surrounds the individual most badly missed by the world champions over the last nine months ago. No, we are not talking about J Wilkinson Esq, fine player though he may be. We are talking about the Bath tight- head prop Matt Stevens: twice the circumference of the celebrated Newcastle outside-half and a tad less fleet of foot, but priceless all the same.

Album: Johnny Marr + The Healers

Boomslang, Imusic
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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...