There’s a saying that goes, “It isn’t what you play, it’s how you play it . . . ”

For many of our favorite guitarists, the saying rings true. Honestly, most of them could shred gold on a shoebox rubber band guitar without any of us being too surprised.

But for many of the players themselves, there’s always that one special guitar whose fame rises with the guitarists themselves, making that particular instrument just as iconic as their masters.

So to honor our favorite “axes,” here’s an ode to the legendary guitars (and guitarists) responsible for some of our favorite riffs in rock ’n’ roll.

Eddie Van Halen’s “Frankenstrat”

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 Image Credit: Taringa!

What happens when you combine a Fender Stratocaster body, Gibson pickups, some paint and masking tape? Well it seems for Van Halen’s guitarist Eddie Van Halen, the answer is the iconic “Frankenstrat.” Eddie thought he’d try his hand at creating the Gibson sound with a $50 Fender and by golly we’re glad he did.

B.B. King’s “Lucille”

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Photo Creddit: Cage Doc

After a fire broke out in an Arkansas dance hall, a 24-year-old B.B. King ran back inside to save his $30 Gibson. He found out later the cause of the fire was a dispute between two men fighting over a girl named Lucille. As a reminder to never fight over a girl (or run into a burning building) he’s named every Gibson he’s owned (usually similar to the ES-355 model above) “Lucille.” Watch King and “Lucille” here.

 

Brian May’s “Red Special”

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Photo Credit: DCM

Queen’s searing, harmonic guitar tones, created by guitarist Brian May, can be attributed to the one and only “Red Special” (also known as “The Old Lady”). The guitar was designed and handcrafted by May and his father between 1962 and 1964, largely from pieces of an old fireplace mantel, to produce a distinct sound that May could hear in his head, but couldn’t find in any other guitar.  Thus “The Red Special” was born.

Jimmy Page’s EDS-1275 Double-Neck Gibson 

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hoto Credit: Wackerman

Famous for its 12-string neck on top and a 6-string neck on the bottom, Page’s double-neck Gibson is famous for not only its obviously unique look, but for being the force behind the multifaceted Led Zeppelin epic “Stairway to Heaven.” Two heads are better than one.

Slash’s Gibson Les Paul(s)

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Slash of Guns N’ Roses has never hidden his adoration for Gibson guitars . . . He’s even collaborated with them on 12 signature Les Paul models. But his “main” guitar will always remain the 1959 Gibson Les Paul, which he used to record the majority of his sessions with Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver and his own solo albums.

And speaking of Slash . . . it just so happens to be his birthday today!

Celebrate with a free download of “Welcome to the Jungle” from our Lullaby Renditions of Guns N’ Roses.

P.S. We know there are more than a handful of iconic guitars we missed on this list. That just means we’ll have to do a Part 2. ;)

We are summer lovin’ the longer days and the warmer nights. Bedtime is officially for suckers now.

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It’s summertime, baby, and I’m letting my little ones run wild. We’re eating supper late as Spaniards, chasing lightning bugs in the backyard and staying on the beach until the very last moment of light. 9704_lrg

Then my wild troop of tiny revelers heads home, drunk with a mix of happiness and dog-tiredness, and covered in sand, sweat, salt water and sunscreen. From the backseat, they point to the moon and beg to do it all again tomorrow evening.

Sure thing, babies. And for the next three months, we’re gonna soak it all up —hightailing it to the water as soon as we can get there. Still, each day there’s that tiny twinge of sadness as sun sets, knowing that the day is done. Sir Elton John, we now know what you mean: “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me.”

And it won’t — or rather, it will, but at least not until a lot later.

categories: Andrea Richards, Family

Behind every photo, there is a story . . .

Today, acclaimed photojournalist, director and screenwriter Lawrence Schiller shares how this famous 1969 Jackson 5 photo came to be. Read on to see how it all started with a little help from one of their friends, Diana Ross.

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© Polaris Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Photo by Lawrence Schiller

In Lawrence’s own words:

dianaross (2)The New York Times had given me an assignment to photograph Diana Ross and Motown Records, and one day when I was shooting Diana in Central Park, she said to me, “You should also photograph a new music group that I discovered.”

And I said, “I didn’t know you were discovering music groups.”

Diana replied, “Somebody discovered me and I’m doing the same . .  the groups name is the Jackson 5.”

The Jackson 5 didn’t mean anything to me….. Jackson 5, people, 5 kids, whatever.

So I asked the President, and owner of Motown, Barry Gordon Sr. to arrange for me to photograph them. Diana had also mentioned the group was coming to California, where I lived, to make an album.  Back home, one afternoon I got a phone call from one of Barry Gordy’s sisters who said, “the Jackson 5 are in Los Angeles, where would you like to photograph them?”

“Well, have they been to California before?” I asked.

“Nope, they have never even seen the Pacific Ocean . . .” She replied.

What ran through my mind was that I should be there as they had the experience of seeing the Pacific for the first time.

So she arranged for them to meet me near the Santa Monica pier . . . and next thing I know a group of kids drive up in a big Mercedes. They had a chauffeur and everything they might want.  But what hit me the most…. sitting in the back seat of the Limo, one of the boys looked so small.  And that was when I was introduced to Michael, by one of his brothers.
schiller2 (3)I suggested we move down to Malibu, where there would be more privacy.  . . . I didn’t have really anything in mind of that I wanted to do. When we arrived near the Malibu Pier, they just all jumped out of their car and headed toward the water.  But, Michael ran to the trunk their car and pulled out a ghetto blaster. . . .

“Are we going to listen to some of your music?” I asked.

Michael replied before I even finished my sentence.  “We always carry our music with us . . .”

When I looked back toward the rest of the brothers they were already down on the beach looking at the water. That was when I started taking some pictures of them with their feet in in the water. Later I would later discover they had actually never seen an ocean before.  Before I knew it Michael had the Ghetto Blaster going as his brothers began to dance to their own music on the beach.  It’s sad I don’t remember what song it was. .

They were still shy in a way, but the minute the music played they came alive, Michael Jackson was like a balloon filled with helium. He just took off to the sky. He became an entirely different person . . . you could just see the beginning of his insecurity. But when the music came, he just exploded.

There is no question that the Michael’s brothers were already playing second fiddle to him, and they had to accept the fact that his innocence and talent was what was driving the group.  But still Michael, as I remember him that day, was just an innocent little kid dancing to the beat of his own music.

 

For the full interview, click sound file below!

INTERVIEW WITH LAWRENCE SCHILLER

Learn more about Lawrence Schiller and see his iconic photographs at lawrenceschiller.com.

 

And hear our Lullaby Renditions of Michael Jackson by clicking the album cover below.

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Why opt for store-bought jar or pouch baby food when our “Master Chef,” Jeff Parker, is creating delicious baby food recipes — included in each of our releases! — you can make at home.

Plenty of us here at Rockabye Baby HQ have tried out the recipes and, as an adult, I can honestly say I’d spread pretty much any of these on toast.

Try your hand at our easy-peasy baby food recipe below. It’s even tastier when served with a lullaby side.

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Just a few days left to enter our latest giveaway!

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categories: Food, Ms. Rockabye

It’s #ThrowbackThursday, and our bear is celebrating with a visit to one of L.A.’s most treasured landmarks. Does this scene look familiar? Think 2007.

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For you film enthusiasts, we’ll send Rockabye Baby stickers to the first 10 people to post the name of another Hollywood film that was shot at this famous site. Show us your pop-culture knowledge in the comments below.

And here’s your chance to win a little Bowie. 

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If someone says they don’t have any pet peeves, that person is in denial. What is life without being annoyed by something — or, in the case of the Rockabye staff, many things?

What’s on your list of pet peeves?

Perhaps a few of yours are on Rockabye Baby’s list of top pet peeves below. Know that by sharing this list with you we’re not looking to trash people, but to reflect on the ridiculous things that drive us crazy.

Maybe, just maybe, if we took the time to really examine that which infuriates us, we’ll turn that annoyance into amusement. Here’s hoping, right?

Team Rockabye Baby’s Top 10 16 Pet Peeves

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1. People who don’t use their turn signal.
2. Seeing people leave the bathroom without washing their hands. (Turns out we have a lot of bathroom pet peeves. Read on.)
3. People who chew with their mouths open.
4. The whole “who puts the toilet seat up/down” argument.  If everyone put the lid down after they used it, this wouldn’t be a thing!
5. People who waste food.
6. All of the water that pours out of a ketchup bottle, pre-ketchup.
7. When you’re with someone and they tell the same stories/jokes to every single person they come into contact with.
8. Rain or bird poop the moment you wash your car.
9. People who use toilet-seat covers and then leave them there!
10. Noise in the movie theater: people talking, eating, ripping open wrappers and babies crying. (Plus, cell phone screen lights in the theater!)
11. People who don’t pick up their dog poop — or dog poop bags.
12. Cigarette butts on the ground. You know who picks that sh*t up? Little kids.
13. Cell phone use in public places: outdoors at restaurants, in waiting rooms, etc.
14. Nose and butt picking in public.
15. When people say “melk” instead of “milk.” It’s spelled with an “I” guys!
16. Overuse of exclamation points.

 

Now here’s something that can’t possibly piss you off…

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categories: Funny Baby, Rockabye Bear

It’s no secret: We love David Bowie.

His dance moves, his fearlessness to be whoever he wants to be, his memorable films and, of course, his music.

So for all you fellow Bowie admirers out there, here’s the ultimate prize package to vie for.

 bowiebundle

The Bowie Bundle includes Lullaby Renditions of David Bowie on CD and vinyl, plus, our brand new Lullaby Renditions of David Bowie album art bodysuit! To enter just tell us:

What is your favorite Bowie song and why?

Post your answer below by Sunday, July 20, 8 pm PST for your chance to win. One (1) winner will be randomly selected.

For extra entries, share the image above on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter and tag with #BowieBundle
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A couple weeks ago we asked you how you felt about these signs. And people had a lot to say about it.

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You voted and we listened.

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So our bear went to work!

Do you like what he did or would you have done something else?

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Tell us below!

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My two-year-old is a screamer: She screams when she’s happy, mad, annoyed, excited — heck, she even screams when she’s indifferent. And it’s not your usual pint-sized shriek; hers is a full-throat, blood-curling, headache-inducing howl. And I’m so over it. I think I’ve got low-level PTSD from her acoustic sucker punches.

She’s little and her verbal skills are still developing, so I get that she needs a way to express her opinions — and for the most part, her loud vocalizations are better than the physical beatings she used to belt out.

The lesson about the difference between an “inside voice” versus an “outside voice” is on repeat in our house, so far without much effect (maybe I need to explain it louder?).

But here’s what I’ve realized trying to turn the volume down on my kid: It’s a noisy world out there with all the people gabbing into phones, the ridiculously loud restaurants, the constant pings and zings of text messages, the Muzak pumped into public places . . . I could go on but I already sound like a grumpy grandpa.

Suddenly, my two-year-old singing “Meow Meow Meow” (her punk-rock ode to kitty cats) at the top of her lungs isn’t nearly as troublesome as the two bros at the café table next to me discussing their conquests the prior night.

We all need to use our inside voices a little bit more. Unless you’re on stage, in which case, belt out your meows as loud as you can. Without the band, the Screamers, after all, there would be no Dead Kennedys or Bad Brains.

I wonder how Tomata du Plenty’s mom put up with it.

 

For “inside voice” tunes that take down the volume, you know where to go, right?

 

The Rockabye Bear looooooves bear holidays, as you can imagine.


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Are you celebrating Teddy Bear Picnic Day today? Share your photos with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with #RBTeddyBearPicnicDay