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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Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
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Standing room only: the terraces at Villa Park in 1935
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine