Human gods, Part 1: The glory of it (Accidental appreciation)

Photo:  YJM @ Granada Theatre, Dallas TX – taken by Rick Grimes


I’ve been a rolling stone for over a year now, so my stuff is in different places, usually not where I am.  I’m no fool to taunt the gods with complaints when I do always have with me life support, aka LAHSIA  (laptop and high speed internet access).  I did say “support,” as in LAHSIA makes the air that I breathe a little thinner, cleaner, easier to inhale and sweeter to the sense of smell, and I see, hear, feel, and taste more and better.  All that made possible by the infinite knowledge and products the internet brings to life.


So when I found myself feeling and thinking the unforeseen unthinkable, I stumbled upon what else?  An internet solution.  Just as I’ve come to expect, one of the things I’ve said “Never!” about, happened.  I tired of months of listening to Joe Satriani, Andy Timmons, and a couple of other guitar god favorites which happened to be on my hard drive.  Most of my CDs of course were in another of the united states, not where I am.  Long story short, I found an up-and-up site for free music downloads, Spiral Frog.


There are plenty of drawbacks to Spiral Frog, though, namely that you can’t get some of the most popular artists and songs.  And when you download music, there are strict licensing limitations, so sharing with friends via e-mail or any other method or burning a CD even for your own use is out.  Some, but not all, of the Spiral Frog downloads are detected as being copyrighted and therefore Esnips won’t touch them.  And the Spiral Frog music that Esnips will upload can’t be listened to at all by anyone on the Esnips site itself, even though it’s been loaded to a public folder.  Also if you don’t renew your free membership monthly, which entails answering a quick survey, the music you’ve downloaded simply will no longer play.  Renew, and it plays.


Again, I’m not daring the gods to squash me like a grape (I seem to be a little worried about this, don’t I?), I’m just stating facts which pale, even in their inconvenience, in comparison with the overall joy brought about by Spiral Frog.  When I first signed up and signed in, I immediately searched for more Satriani albums.  Super Colossal and Surfing with the Alien were getting worn out and what I really wanted was a hefty dose of The Extremist.  But, in what I came to know as Spiral Frog’s polite way, it let me know that it didn’t have any Satriani, or Eric Johnson, or John Petrucci, or Steve Vai, but would I be interested in…?  And it gave me a lovely little list of artists along the same lines that it did have downloads for.


I saw the name Yngwie Malmsteen on the list and jumped for it simply because I knew his name and had heard a composition of his before on Guitars That Rule the World, Vol. 1one of the most impressive collections of some of the most awesome guitarists known to man on a single CD.  That one composition of Malmsteen’s, “Leviathan,” didn’t do a thing for me so I never pursued more of his music.  What a mistake blessedly rectified by Spiral Frog’s limitations!

 Photo:  YJM Barcelona, Spain – taken by Jesus Ruiperez


Malmsteen is so good it can make you cry…



His hooks were given him from the heavens…his riffs rip through your soul and seize a fistful of your heart in one masterfully finessed progression and they yank hard.  It’s so good it hurts.  This guy has been on the planet for 45 years, he’s been big-time since the mid-80’s, and I’m just now standing up to look around.  He’s gone from gangly, baby-faced cutie to a puffier version of himself, but his fingers are capable of the same fretboard-burning neoclassical shred that they always were.  Malmsteen was genetically engineered for it.  It’s the best of the same stuff we look for in ourselves, the thing we do best that takes us the highest.


What’s the thing you do best and how does it make you feel?


Do you have one extraordinary talent, or a couple?


Or are your skills spread out thin and wide like butter on toast?


 Photo:  YJM Barcelona, Spain – taken by Jesus Ruiperez






For those who find the likes of virtuosic ripping, shredding guitar solos right up their alley, this is where I dumped a lot of the cool Malmsteen stuff I found.  There’s so much phenomenal stuff out there on him and I hunted and pecked through such a shockingly humongous amount of it, off and on for days, that I feel like I know the guy.  Despite this, I also feel like I could never even remotely represent the fullness of him even with unlimited time to devote to the task.


Photo:  YJM in Singapore – taken by Jurgen Zul


I was blown away by every piece Malmsteen performed with the New Japan Philharmonic (NJP) and began to want to compare one of his compositions recorded three ways—in the studio, at a live rock concert, and with the NJP, so I’ve excessively linked to multiple videos below.


There’s an old advertisement and some interviews from when Malmsteen was just getting started in his twenties in the mid-80’s up to the DiMarzio interview at the beginning of this year.  There are also some demonstrations and a fun bit he did on a Swedish kids’ show.




Rock – Live in Leningrad 1989

Orchestra – NJP 2002




Rock – live concert

Orchestra – NJP 2002




Rock – live concert

Orchestra – NJP 2002



Studio – with Trilogy album cover

Studio versions of “Crying” and Black Star” with “The World is Beautiful” slideshow



Rock – live concert 1985

Orchestra – NPJ 2002



Rock – live concert

Orchestra – NJP 2002



Arpeggios from hell

Full shred






1995 #1

1995 #2

1995 #3

2008 at NAMM with Larry DiMarzio



Part 1

Part 2





13 responses to “Human gods, Part 1: The glory of it (Accidental appreciation)

  1. Oh you are definitely a rock girl :) And you’re doing a great service for all other rockers out there.
    I must investigate Spiral Frog, though I must say I already have too much music on my computer and don’t listen to most of it. And I don’t worry about the gods squashing me in that sense. lol

    loved the ‘puffier version of himself’ hahaha :) It’s 1:21 am now over here so I must keep really quiet and not listen to guitar riffs, I’m afraid.

  2. Devil Mood: Oh you know it! I’d be a groupie if I was any good at shameless self-sacrifice!

    I couldn’t believe my eyes earlier when I had just barely hit the “Publish” button on this and *POOF!* there’s a comment from Ms. Mood! Oh, you’re good! Scary good!

    OK, now that you’re back here reading this, even though I have a good idea of at least some things you do best, like astrology and crafts, I would love to know your exact thoughts. And I also can hardly wait to see what the video of Malmsteen performing “Brothers” does to you! I know I’m still not over the Bettencourt video you posted back in February! Lord have mercy!

  3. Well now. First things first: \m/

    Second, you should definitely check this out: Echo Etude. Blew me away when I saw it on this guitar tutorial of his. Check out the scalloped frets, very visible here.

    “What’s the thing you do best, and how does it make you feel?” Well, I’d say running away from things is something I’m good at. It makes me feel a little yellow. Second would be a tie: Playing guitar and writing. I suppose I do both the same way: without formal training and by feel. Third would be singing. I’m sure I suck; but it’s one of the few things that makes me feel good.
    “Do you have one extraordinary talent, or a couple?” Nope, nothing extraordinary.
    “Or are your skills spread out thin and wide like butter on toast?” Yes, that’s more like it. But I don’t like butter… Nutella?

    Okay, a little more later after I check out your Malmsteen links.

  4. i am glad you discovered malmsteen. i remember a time when his records weren’t really available that easy. in the pre-internet days. the delight of holding a brand new malmsteen in your hands when you are 16 was something else.

    over the years i have moved on. the G3 records have made place for other stuff. and yet i couldn’t help but feel a shiver down my spine as i read your experience. i envy you. oh to listen to him the first time again.

    what are you reading now? if you are…

  5. Okay, so my effort at HTML didn’t quite pay off. Here’s the link the old-fashioned way, copy-pasted: http//

  6. you seem like a big time rock person. i like it too. was introduced to it very late, and so took my own sweet time to really understand it, even though i have always been exposed to music all through my childhood (mainly indian music)

    high speed internet here isn’t really high speed, so i’m not going to any of those sites. plus, am not much of an internet person. so if i bum my way to your doorstep sometime in life, i’ll request you to play it for me :)

    i’m pretty good at listening. sometimes i get lost, but am quick in catching up, without making the other feel bad ;) and i am really good at keeping secrets. i don’t usually talk about people. its probably all this that makes people confide in me.

    i’m more the butter kinds – jack of a few trades, master of none!

  7. Helloooo Void! “Echo Etude”…mmmm, nice. Both hands busy, that’s what I like to see. Speaking of that, on the same YouTube page as “Echo Etude” was on there was a link to “Yngwie Malmsteen Guitar Solo and ‘Bouree’” so of course I checked it out as well. Unbelievable. The guy is more than amazing.

    I got such a kick out your running away from things comment! Oh man, me too! Especially if it’s controversy—I will avoid, sidestep, hide from, hightail it from that tricky beast like some of the worst plagues in history. Mostly I excel at procrastination and once I do manage to start something, I do one of the best jobs of getting off track that you could ever hope to see. It’s truly spectacular.

    As far as any admirable talent goes, I guess for me it’d be writing. There’s nothing like homing in on feelings, thoughts, emotions, and turning them into words and picking just the right words, words that not only mean exactly what you want them to, but that look pleasing to the eye and that sound good in your head when your mind speaks them… I can draw pretty well if I have to but I don’t enjoy it much… So really I guess it’s just this teaspoon of writing that’s somehow got to be spread out over the whole piece of toast…and I can already see that it’s not enough to go around! Oh the mundanity of it all! So then we’re left with doing stuff, writing, singing well or horribly, it doesn’t much matter, as long as we’re enjoying it… Sigh…

    It’s awesome that you play the guitar! I don’t see how it’s humanly possible, I really don’t. That and playing a pipe organ with its two or three keyboards played with the hands, a bazillion stops, and a keyboard played with the feet. So you see it’s the patting the head while rubbing the stomach thing that kicks my tail!

    OK, Void… OH, I almost forgot! The link you came back and dropped off (http// took me to a Google search results page where the top listing was Malmsteen’s Echo Etude. Did you mean to give me another one?

    And yeah, OK, Nutella :-)

    Hey Phish, really nice to see you here! Yeah, I’m listening to “Icarus Dream” right now and I’m dying a thousand deaths. And on dying, it kills me to think this ethereal sound—the precise picking and flying of fingertips at light speed, the heart tearing healing hooks, the digging, chopping power licks—could ever be considered just another earthly noise by me… This is what I grapple with and what I’ll be touching on in Human gods, Part 2—wishing the extraordinary, the highs of life could always be that…

    Oh, gosh, reading…I have the worst time reading these days! My focusing powers have shot off somewhere and I’m beginning to think I’ve got adult onset ADHD! But I do keep trying. Right now I’ve got started “Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing your Mind” by Joe Dispenza, D.C. He’s my main man from the film, “What The Bleep Do We Know!?” that I quoted a lot in a previous post. I’ve also got Stephen King’s “Insomnia” going. I don’t usually like to subject myself to freaky stuff like he writes but it was lying around at my parents’ house in a mist, beckoning me to Come hither in a hollow whisper…

    Hey Bum! You’re in top form as usual I see! LOL re: your slow high speed internet! And what a cool thought, you coming to the USA and getting to meet you in person… Think of it! All of us, you, me, Devil Mood, Void and Phish here, or there, if we could meet! Do you think we’d be all awkward not knowing what to say all of a sudden? Or would we be all smiling, gesturing, talking at once until we ran out of frenetic and into composed where the stories could really begin to roll? With Malmsteen’s “Rising Force” CD playing in the background of course! ;-)

  8. sounds like a plan – nice if you could make it here in india. india rocks!

    theres this other thing that i think i do fairly well, that i wanted to share. i think i can cook up a decent meal, specially if its for others.

    not sure if you’re aware, but in india, the lady of the house also usually serves the other members – literally ‘waits’ on them – and has her own meal later, towards the end. when i cook, i also like to make my the ones who eat comfortable, and wait over them, n make sure they eat well. to me, its a package that goes along with the cooking bit. i think i do it pretty well, and it makes me feel very satisfied.

    that brings me back to our meet – do plan a trip to india, and i’ll be glad to host you’all here. not knowing what to say, to me, isn’t always awkward. you just may be one of those people that i can enjoy the silence with, in absolute comfort, without much feeling the need to really ‘say’ something :)

  9. Ah, I don’t mean to gloat here, but I have all of Yngwie Malmsteens Albums. He’s good, but there’s some sort of an aggression in his sound. Its like he is in a perpetual war with the world. But he is one of the gods. No doubt about it.

  10. Dharmabum: I gathered that India rocks! Everyone I’ve met from there has a similar sweetness, calmness, togetherness, respectfulness…what am I trying to say? They’ve exemplified the word Namaste—the spirit in me meets the same spirit in you—that’s it. And since 2000 it’s been a kind of wishful thinking exercise for me to entertain going to Mumbai to hear Ramesh talk…

    I didn’t know about the meal-serving tradition you spoke of. Why, the mere mention of it to most women here in the USA would make the hair on the backs of their necks bristle! But it seems of that same sweetness, a non-concern about ego, and it’s nice, it’s significant that you take that on…

    I know what you mean about the silence…it is nice when it can happen :-)

    And now that the India idea has been put out there, maybe Fate will roll with it!

    Well hey there J9! I was going to say how nice you’ve come from the auditorium, but when I visited your site last night I found you’d moved into a cozier place of your own! Nice ;-)
    Thanks for the compliment. Something in the back of my head has raised its hand, cleared its throat, and ever so politely suggested that I move from “so much to say” to “pithy,” something that in just one paragraph leaves me and the reader near-mortally skewered by meaning yet desperate for more. And I’m trying to schmooze the Power of Thought to maybe facilitate that, but it’s such a hard clique to crack! Maybe therein lies the problem…and of course the answer… ;-)
    J9? Thanks so much for visiting. I hope you’ll come by to see me often :-)

    And you, Drumster! I read some of your deadly pith last night and I’m happily prepared to die :-)
    Until then, you go right on and gloat! I’m building my YJM empire fast. Soon, Drumster, soon…
    I’m glad for your take on Malmsteen, the aggression bit, so I re-listened, re-looked for it… I pick up on a force, yes, but I’d call it the combination of an insistent precision, a sureness, a dead-on driven-ness that comes out of one with the clearest of mental road maps. I see only what aggressiveness (as in bold, assertive, energetic) it takes to seriously power a guitar with consecrated finesse. In one of the many Malmsteen interviews I slogged through for Part 1 and upcoming Part 2 I did detect what I’d call impatience, and in all of the interviews I’d say there’s what could easily be labeled an underlying arrogance. Arrogance or assurance, unquestioned self-confidence? Whatever it is seems to accompany those humans with missile lock on their missions here on Earth.
    Welcome, Drumster. I hope to see you here again.

  11. I finally listened to it, I’m sorry it took me so long. It’s a good piece but I have to confess I’m not a guitar person. ::runs away and hides:::
    Thanks for all those links to me :)

  12. Aw, Ms. Mood! I’m so disappointed that we don’t share the love of shred! But you’re so cute when you run and hide that I can’t but be my live and let live kind of way!

    You’re welcome re: the links. It’s not like this place is swarming with readers, but the ones that are here are awesome and you are the sweetest and you never know! :-)

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