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The Revolutionaries There are a handful of figures, scattered over the years, whose influence is so profound that they embed themselves on the very fabric of our culture. They do more than leave their mark; they actually transform our world into something completely new. Their contemporaries don't always understand them or their wild concepts, but history reflects on them with admiration and appreciation. They are bold. They are reckless. They are brilliant. They are revolutionaries.

Gorillaz Gorillaz
The year was 1998 and Damon Albarn — then the dynamic frontman of Britpop band Blur — and cartoonist Jamie Hewlett were sprawled out in their London flat doing what a lot of fellow 30-year-olds were doing during their spare time in 1998: watching music videos on MTV. On that otherwise ordinary day, Albarn and Hewlett hatched the idea for the epic multi-media cultural phenomenon that would become Gorillaz. With a highly ironic hat-tip to the substance-less, ADHD-driven programming they’d just stomached, they started a cartoon band.
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Ned Steinberger Ned Steinberger
Lou Reed, Eddie Van Halen, Reeves Gabrels and Blue Öyster Cult's Buck Dharma have all wielded the sleek, lightweight but heavy-hitting guitars created by Ned Steinberger.
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Lloyd Loar Lloyd Loar
Lloyd Loar's name is one of the most fabled in American instrument making history, and guitars, mandolins and banjos made during his stewardship of the Gibson Company's shops from 1919 to 1924 are among the most coveted and costly. They also remain the template for many of Gibson's finest acoustic instruments. The reason: Loar revolutionized their design.
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Tom Dowd Tom Dowd
Tom Dowd has one of the most revolutionary resumes in the history of American popular culture. As an engineer and producer, he cut albums and singles with an insanely diverse roster of artists, from Dizzy Gillespie to the Allman Brothers to Bette Midler to Eddie Money to Joe Bonamassa before his death in 2002. Among his studio innovations were the invention of the mixing console fader, which did away with rotary controls, and the popularizing of multi-track recording. And while in the military, he worked as a physicist on the Manhattan Project, where he assisted in developing the atomic bomb.
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Miles Davis Miles Davis
Radical change was Miles Davis' specialty — not just in his own playing and composing style, but in the very landscape of jazz and pop. That one revolutionary artist — considered by some to be the most influential musician of the recording era — would be a godfather of bebop, cool jazz, modal improvisation, jazz-rock fusion and even dance oriented electronica seems improbable, especially in today's narrowcasting music business. But Davis did all that and more, becoming a cultural icon and the very embodiment of jazz, in particular, across the globe.
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Paul Bigsby Paul Bigsby
Paul Adelburt Bigsby lived by the motto “I can build anything.” And he held himself to it: modifying the motorcycles he raced and built with parts of his own design, constructing one- and two-neck solid body guitars and steel guitars, and perfecting the vibrato arms that bear him name.
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Brian Wilson Brian Wilson
Everything about Brian Wilson — his stony, etched face, his weary blue eyes, his labored gait — seems to say: You wouldn't believe what's happened to me. The survivor of an abusive childhood as well as a devastating battle with drug abuse and mental illness, Brian mustered his mad, musical genius early on — almost as if his life depended on it. In many ways, it did...
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Bob Marley — Roger Mayer Roger Mayer
Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley — Roger Mayer has worked with them all on stage or in the studio, dating back to his associations with Page and Beck in the early '60s, and his electronic innovations have been key to some of their most legendary sounds. A very early pioneer of fuzz, octave and modulation effects, Mayer comes from a time when, if you wanted unique gear for a recording studio or a live performance, you simply had to roll up the sleeves and build it yourself.
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Elliot Mazer Elliot Mazer
Throughout his career, producer Elliot Mazer has been on the forefront of technology. Not only did he help invent D-Zap (which protects musicians from shock hazards) and develop the AirCheck monitoring system, Mazer designed the world's first digital recording studio – completely revolutionizing the way music would be recorded for the rest of time.
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Les Paul Les Paul
Les Paul was part Rube Goldberg and part Thomas Edison — a blend of whacky inventor and genius whose impact on the world of music was so deep and profound that he is one of the few creators who has a permanent exhibit on his life and works at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Of course, every time somebody plays a multi-tracked recording, picks up a solid body guitar or cranks up an echo or delay pedal that's also a tribute to Les, knowing or not.
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Orville Gibson Orville Gibson
Without Orville Gibson, none of this Gibson Guitar stuff would have ever happened. He's not only Gibson's namesake and reason for being, but it was Orville's pure creative spirit that has set the bar for the company's unrelenting innovation for well over a hundred years. The first revolutionary in a long line of revolutionaries (figures like Lloyd Loar, Ted McCarty, and Les Paul) in Gibson history, Orville remains the most enigmatic of the bunch; for that reason, he is also the most fascinating.
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Stay Tuned!

More revolutionaries to come!