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From Jack Bruce to Rod Stewart via diversion to heavy metal and punk rock, Bill Liesegang has enjoyed a varied and exciting career in music. LARS MULLEN finds out about the equally eclectic guitars he’s used along the way…

Bill Liesegang has played with many an iconic musician, taking on many guises along the way. Having grown up playing blues rock and metal, he tried the punk rock scene with success, and has since worked on albums and toured with the likes of Jack Bruce, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Robert Fripp, John Wetton, Transvision Vamp and Rod Stewart.

“I could actually blame my grandmother for my career in rock ‘n’ roll,” laughs Bill. “It’s certainly been an interesting journey. I was learning the violin at school, which was sort of okay, but being the only boy in a class full of girls wasn’t cool back then for an eightyear- old, so that didn’t last long. My gran was an opera singer living in Germany, she knew I was so into the British beat boom at an early age, so she sent me over an acoustic guitar, bless her. We’re talking 11 years old now, so my hands are getting big enough to hold chords on a neck but, like so many of those early guitars, it was virtually unplayable.

“Moving up the scale slightly to an almost playable electric, I formed the compulsory school band which was probably the coolest thing you could do at that age in the 60s. How cool I looked in my teens playing slide with a sherry bottle, just like the guitarist I had seen on TV in The Pretty Things.”

Playing in a band would have an equally transformative impact on Bill’s musical tastes, as his bandmates exposed him to a whole new world. “The older guys in the band introduced me to guitar bands like Cream and blues players like John Mayall and Eric Clapton.” he recalls. “I learnt all the Clapton solos from the classic Beano album. Then Hendrix came on the scene so we did a mishmash of blues and psychedelic rock. I had all the hair and looked the part. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a Strat and saved all the money I earned in my Dad’s bakery to buy a Tone Bender and stage clothes, although starting at the bakery at 5am wasn’t rock ‘n’ roll!”

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The polls are closed, the votes have been counted and in the new issue of The Guitar Magazine we reveal the winners of 2017’s Gear Of The Year awards, as chosen by you! But we’re not going to spoil the surprise just yet – to find out which products have won you’ll have to pick up a copy of this special collector’s edition and rip open the bag! Inside you’ll also find a stellar set of artist interviews as we catch up with Queen legend Brian May, Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien and indie darlings The National. We also put an incredible Eric Clapton-spec ES-335 under the microscope in Vintage Bench Test, bust a few myths about guitar cables, review new gear from the likes of Marshall, Fender and Lowden and whole lot more besides. Get your special collector’s edition of the January 2017 issue of The Guitar Magazine now!