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All I want for Christmas… Elmore Writers’ & Photogs’ Wishlist!

We Bring you a Collaborative Gift Guide - Fight Those last minute Shopping Blues

Ho ho ho, and Happy Hanukkah too! We’re bundled up in our favorite cozy sweater, and in the full swing of the holiday season over here at Elmore Magazine. Well… swing, blues, country, jazz, folk, boogie and, as always, rock ‘n’ roll!

Our writers and photographers bring you wonderful content that entertains, surprises and delights throughout the year, so we asked them what musical gift they’d most like to receive. They have been good boys and girls all year long (sliding scale 🙂  ) but only time will tell what shows up under all those Christmas trees!

This is a list for Super-Gifters and Scrooges alike, and will hopefully offer some inspiration for all of you last minute shoppers out there… with a little added, musical flair, as only our Elmoristas know how…

All Ira Kantor wants is…

Shreddin’ skills (and the equipment to go with them).

downloadI want a Rickenbacker 4003 Bass. My bass playing skills are somewhat rudimentary (“Smoke on the Water” – woo!), but this has always been the instrument of my dreams. Considered the staple of progressive rock gods like Chris Squire (Yes), Mike Rutherford (Genesis) and Geddy Lee (Rush), this is instrumental perfection both sound-wise and visually. As I prepare for Cruise to the Edge in February, it would be a bucket list goal to be on-board the ship with said bass in tow, perform alongside my progressive rock heroes and then have them sign the instrument so it can be enshrined in my music room for eternity!

Get it here.

All Julia Egan wants is…

To keep her guitar nice and warm.

I want a Colorado Case Cover. The Colorado Case Company has been in operation since 1993. Their Case Cover is top rated, made from cordura denier nylon, a durable fabric used by retailers and militaries around the world, that rely on this material to make sturdy products. It insulates cases and protects against harsh weather conditions and dryness. You can order it custom made to enlarge the front pocket in case you need to fit scores or books. There’s also a custom order option to install a pocket at the top of the neck for picks, pencils, etcetera. You can also alter the case size to fit a larger or smaller instrument, and it comes in 144 color combinations!

Get one here

All Laura Goldfarb wants is…

To turn it up to an 11.

marshall_headphones_slide__stanmorebluetooth__cream__02_1308I want The Stanmore Bluetooth Speaker by Marshall. For the classy audiophile who goes bananas for anything reminiscent of the golden days, The Stanmore compact active stereo speaker from Marshall is the ultimate holiday present. I first laid my eyes on this beauty at a small shop in San Francisco on Valencia Street that seemed to specialize in all things cool. New love had me feeling especially lustful that day, but I had a difficult time peeling myself away from the speaker and to the darling man waiting for me. (Sorry, honey!) The Stanmore can be hooked up wirelessly via the latest version of Bluetooth®. You can also connect it straight to your phone, or use the RCA input to plug in your turntable (or CD player, if that’s how you roll). It comes with two standby modes, powersaver and standard, to minimize your environmental impact when not actively in use. Expect the trademark Marshall tone and a sound big enough to fill an entire floor of your home, all in a compact, vintage-looking package. I’m partial to the sexiness of the cream color, but the throwback design (complete with working analogue interaction knobs) comes in brown and black as well. At $350, The Stanmore is a statement piece for your loved one: “I dig you and your taste in music.”

Get it here.

All Nick Caruso wants is…

To get the band back together. . . and escape the wrath of the Librarian.

kd-cdaaaqbajI want Fleetwood Mac: The Complete Illustrated History. From its pre-Buckingham/Nicks blues origins to conquering the pop-rock scenes of the ’70s and ’80s, Fleetwood Mac traveled a bumpy road before hitting it big with their most popular lineup of drummer Mick Fleetwood, bassist John McVie, keyboardist and vocalist Christine McVie, guitarist and vocalist Lindsey Buckingham and singer Stevie Nicks. This book chronicles the rollercoaster of drugs, sex, relationships and super-stardom that the band endured throughout its storied 50-year history. Included are tons of band photographs from all its eras and assorted shots of memorabilia, with some super-rare items that will make any fan swoon. Seeing their 2015 reunion tour was an epic moment in life for me, finally seeing one of my favorites, and with Christine McVie back in the fold, too. I recently borrowed this from a local library, and have concerns about the increasing late fees I’m facing, since I’m never giving it back, ever. If my secret Santa bought it for me this holiday season, it would really prevent me from facing the wrath of some no-nonsense library ladies. I just really need my Fleetwood fix, you guys.

Get it here.

All Robert Myers wants is…

To make sweet, sweet music.

I want a Martin Guitar. Aim high, I say, very high! Best guitar I ever owned was a Gibson (couldn’t afford a Martin), but I have been without it since 1975. Wow, 41 years. Would be nice to try to strum a great guitar once before I go on to the great music studio in the sky!

“Which one Robert?” Santa asked. The D Series (D28, etc.), but that’s many, many dollars!

Get it here

All Steve Sandick wants is…

Among other things, a nice, even tan.

Photo by Laura Carbone
Photo by Laura Carbone

Dear Santa,

I hope you and the Mrs. have had a great year. I know you and the Elves have been busy making toys and granting wishes, for all the good boys & girls. In the past, I have wished for the power to be telekinetic, to be able to fly like a bird, the six winning Lotto numbers etc. Since you have not granted me anything that I have asked for, I figured it was because I wasn’t a good boy… and I wasn’t. Well THIS year I know that I’ve been perfect. So this year, I figure you owe me and owe me big.

Hmmm… What shall it be? Wait… I know!!

  1. Santa, you know how much I love Tom Petty, so the two Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers vinyl box sets would be great.
  2. Photo credentials with backstage passes to Bruce Springsteen’s show at the Garden or Tom Petty at Forest Hills.
  3. Hey, lets take #2 to the next level. How cool would it be to photograph an artist or band in Cuba? The Rolling Stones did it! Just think you and Mrs. Claus could even join me.Great Music, Great Food, Amazing people. Lets face it hanging on a beach in Cuba has got to be better than the frigid North Pole. I can see no down side.

Thank you Santa, and pass the tanning butter.


Steve Sandick

Get the box sets here, concert tickets here and read about an Elmore photog’s recent trip to Cuba here

All Jon Kleinman wants is a…

A beautiful axe.

Photo courtesy of CR Guitars
Photo courtesy of CR Guitars

I want a Paul Reed Smith Santana Retro. What guitarist doesn’t dream of adding to his or her collection?  And what better way to celebrate the holidays than a signature axe from a musician you love? The Paul Reed Smith Santana Retro is the stuff dreams are made of. A beautiful figured maple top, bird inlays on the fret board and two humbucking pickups – what’s not to like?  Or, for guitarists who like the time tested Fender tone, how about the Eric Clapton Stratocaster or the Robert Cray Stratocaster? To do justice to any of these axes, you’ll need an amp that delivers pure, vintage tone. A ’65 Fender Princeton Reverb makes a great practice amp, and guitarists that really want to rock out will love the crunch of a ’59 Fender Bassman. Equipment like this will let the guitarist in your life have the ultimate Rock ‘n’ Roll Christmas!

Get the Santana Retro here

All Steve Walbridge wants is…

A time machine!

I want the Beatles back. I want Led Zeppelin back. I want Stevie Ray Vaughan to have never gotten on that helicopter or Buddy Holly on that plane. Jimi, Janis, Jim, Kurt, Elvis, David… I want them all back. I want Mark David Chapman to have found Jesus before approaching John Lennon outside the Dakota. I want to walk through cities and see real record stores again. And I want to stand in line for hours waiting for the box office to open so I can get my concert tickets like true fans always did.

I want to have friends over to listen to the latest Rolling Stones, Yes, Queen or Muddy Waters albums while we scour the liner notes and drool over the artwork.

I want to go to a concert and see a thousand Bic lighters (instead of a thousand cell phones) flickering through the haze of pot.

But most of all, I want people to recognize the magic once again there is in music—the salvation and sanctuary that music provides. I want people to feel the power, the love and the brotherhood of A Concert for Bangladesh or a Live Aid.

But… I’ll settle for a full-blown Sonos sound system with an Apple Music subscription so I can listen to those artists and anyone else I want, whenever I want. And while you’re at it, Santa, get me a job deejaying on Little Steven’s Underground Garage.

Wish we could help with all of these things… pick up the Sonos here

All Laura Sedor wants is…

To embarrass her friends and family.

mixtapeproduct1I want Mixtape: the Song and Scenario Card Game. Everyone is searching for a way to unplug from all our devices, especially during the holidays. But maybe we just need a way to focus our restless fingers? Try Mixtape! It’s a card game that pairs songs with life experiences. As the game’s creator will tell you, you only need three things to play:

-An imagination and/or real life experiences.

-Decent recollection of songs from your life and/or the ability to look songs up digitally.

-A means to play those songs. (smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop computer)

According to the website, “the original idea came from growing up and sharing music discoveries with my family. Call it soundtrack syndrome or montage mania, this was just something we did to kill time. Mixtape provided the outlet for the “best song to do blank to…” challenge we were constantly pitching to each other.” After a successful Kickstarter campaign last year, Mixtape was born. At only $30, it’s a great price, and all generations in the family can play.

Get it here

All Tom Clarke wants is…

To dance to some zydeco.

Semolian Warriors Mardi Gras Indians, New Orleans Jazz Fest, Kyra Kverno
Semolian Warriors Mardi Gras Indians by Kyra Kverno

I want a trip to New Orleans, Louisiana. The amazing melting pot of a city and state that my favorite music comes from. Every color in the huge arc of it. I’ve been to the Crescent City, and some of its beautiful bayou surroundings, but never to Jazz Fest. The abbreviated nom de plume for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival alone makes it magnetic to me. Of course, there’s jazz all over the place in that city, a music scene that everybody has to witness at least once in their lifetime. But JazzFest nowadays encompasses just about everything. It could feature Paul McCartney singing the Beatles’ “Day Tripper” and Dr. John being the Night Tripper on the same day. I have a need to get there, for all that music amid all that culture. So, my ultimate gift to receive would be a pair of tickets and all-access passes to Jazz Fest. I’d relish the chance to visit again for that reason alone—to watch, listen to, and absorb. And maybe to mingle some. Not a whole heck of a lot to ask for, right? To borrow a phrase, “friends seen and unseen…” Lend me your connections! Merry Christmas to all!

Get tickets to Jazz Fest 2017 here

All Lee Zimmerman wants is…

A box set big enough to last him through the winter.

I want the Stranded in Reality Box Set. At age 77, Ian Hunter remains one of the most venerable icons in the entire expanse of British rock history. His latest album, Fingers Crossed, asserted his standing, but a new 30 disc box set, titled Stranded in Reality, explores Hunter’s ample backstory with expanded versions of each of his solo outings and numerous exclusive content boasting rarities, outtakes, live materials and video. Hunter’s beginnings with Mott the Hoople are now approaching the 50 year mark, making Stranded in Reality an apt summation of the great man’s mystique.

Get it here

All Mike Jurkovic wants is…

Hey, who needs Santa!? 

Now that my wife, Emily, has gotten me Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings box set, there’s nothing I want!

Get it here

All Iain Patience wants is…

A trip to NC, with a pit stop in the past.

2017-merlefestWow, what a tricky ask!  Where do you start with something music connected? Normally, I’d settle for a full pass for Merlefest in North Carolina, my all-time favorite music festival, and one I’ve not attended since Doc Watson passed. I had the good fortune and pleasure to both meet and know Doc, often visiting him at his home in Deep Gap, so his passing has left something of a deep gap in itself.

However, a few years ago I foolishly sold one of my favorite guitars, a 1920s SS Stewart Parlor, Brazilian Rosewood, Spruce, slotted headstock, V-neck and snowflake inlays. I miss it enormously, and deeply regret the sale. I originally bought it as a an “as-is” wreck from an American dealer, shipped it to England where I had it totally restored by a leading U.K. luthier. It was wonderful, and I’m still looking for a similar replacement. So there it is, my desperately desired Xmas wish.

Get tickets to MerleFest here

All Brenda Hillegas wants is…

To have a merry Techie Xmas.

I want an iOS Flash Drive. I try my best to always email myself photos, or even get them printed. But every now and then, I go to take a photo and I’m told “not enough space!” This usually results in me quickly deleting a few memes or dog photos, so I can still get that shot I was trying for. Having an iOS flash drive allows you to quickly save your photos to the drive, and upload them to the computer when you get back home. Taking photos or video at concerts may be frowned upon sometimes, but every now and then you need an Instagram post to make someone jealous… or just to make memories.

Compare a few here

macaoronI want a pair of Macaron Headphones. These cute, super affordable headphones are perfect for throwing in your backpack, gym bag, travel bag, purse, etc. It’s travel season, and you’re bound to lose something, so get a few pairs of these to keep on hand when you’re on the go. I have a few pairs, and I’m looking to get some more. I keep a lip balm in every coat, so why not keep headphones in every bag? Not only do they look like a macaron, but the “cookie” shell doubles as a carrying case. They are a perfect stocking stuffer idea too.

Get a pair here

 . . .Well, and a chance to unplug. . . 

I want a copy of Flight 505. Released last year, this novella is Les Bohem’s tribute to the Southern California post-punk music scene. It’s the story of three musicians looking to make it during the popularity of the club scene. One makes it big, two are left behind, and, years later, they hope to reunite. Anyone who is a fan of, or can relate to this scene will love Flight 505. Right now, everyone seems to be on board with ’80s and ’90s nostalgia, so this is a great gift for someone who longs for those days. Bohem himself was part of the ’80s scene, playing bass in the pop groups Sparks and Gleaming Spires. He recently released the folk album, Moved to Duarte, which also showcases his superb storytelling and makes for a great accompanying gift. And check out his show, Shut Eye, on Hulu when you’ve had enough of your family and want to go to your childhood bedroom and binge something. 

Get it here

All Jim Hynes wants is…

To jam out to some great tunes

I want the NRBQ’s High Noon – A 50-Year Retrospective. Terry Adams, keyboardist, co-founder and long-running leader of NRBQ describes the inspiration for the band in 1969 as “Sun Records and Sun Ra,” a wide swath, for sure, and one that allows for an endless amount of creativity. As the band grew popular in the late ’60s and through the ’70s, they didn’t take the well-traveled path that so many other bands took with blues or psychedelia. While there are a few hints of blues in the material, the New Rhythm and Blues Quartet (NRBQ), relied more on rockabilly, pop, a dash of R&B, jazz and straight ahead rock ‘n’ roll.

Get it here

stonesboxI want the Rolling Stones’ In Mono box setListening to the live in-studio, no frills Blue & Lonesome has me yearning to revisit those mostly blues-based Stones tracks from the ’60s. What better way to do it than to go all the way, with 186 tracks! The Rolling Stones In Mono covers the formative years when mono reigned, remastered and apparently sounding great. “You felt you were in the room… listening to exactly what went down in the studio, no frills, no nothing,” Keith Richards wrote in his autobiography, Life. Late recording engineer Dave Hassinger explained how he mixed his ’64-’66 work for the Stones in mono, “They always played together at the same time,” Hassinger said. “They would run the parts down, work out the changes here and there, nail it down, then start recording.”

Get it here

All Donna Marie Miller wants is…

A close up on the world.

olloclip-macro-pro-lens-iphone-36I want the Olloclip, a macro lenses for Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in black and white, that allows users to zoom in to photograph tiny details with the help of these 7x, 14x, and 21x – for beyond the naked eye closeups. No more lugging around a full size camera and lenses to large music venues, shows and concerts. The 21x lens allows users to achieve almost 100x magnification when combined with the iPhone’s digital zoom. The lenses provide crystal clarity for photos and videos, unlike most phones when used alone and they fit in a glove box, purse, or pocket of a jacket. Users can also collect and diffuse light for precise focusing. The lenses also come with a neck strap to wear, if that is preferred. The only drawback is the lenses cannot be used with a phone case or a screen protector. The instafocus hoods ensure rapid, clear focusing and a microfiber bag keeps lenses safe.

Get it here

All Peter Lindblad wants is…

A good and scary (and reasonably priced) book.

misery-frontJust asking for a book like Misery Obscura: The Photography of Eerie Von can get someone’s name on Santa’s naughty list, but so be it. Since nobody I know can afford to get me Springsteen concert tickets or Pink Floyd’s The Early Years Box Set: 1965-1972, this will do nicely. Before taking on bass duties as a founding member of both the gothic deathrock horror show known as Samhain and metal hell raisers, Danzig, Eerie Von was embedded as the unofficial photographer for legendary punks, the Misfits. While capturing their outrageously bloody rock ‘n’ roll theatrics in all their glory, Eerie Von’s “fly on the wall” images are said to trace the band’s tale all the way back to Lodi, New Jersey roots, giving readers an eyeful of all that went on behind their dark curtain of evil and famed devil locks and ending with thrilling documentation of Danzig’s rise to power. Released by Bazillion Points Books, Misery Obscura: The Photography of Eerie Von is supposed to be 160 pages of gory, rock ‘n’ roll danger that would scare the living daylights out of every parent alive, were such a thing possible in this day and age where nothing’s shocking anymore. The Misfits still haunt my nightmares. 

Get it here

All Tracy Montes wants is…

To tune out the world. . . for a good cause.

A pair of LSTN headphones is simply THE perfect gift. LSTN headphones have a unique handcrafted wooden design that provides great music and audio quality. LSTN is a for-purpose Los Angeles based brand, that also focuses on giving back to communities who struggle with hearing loss and impairment. For every purchase, LSTN provides hearing aids to a person in need through their partnership with the Starkey Hearing Foundation. LSTN offers a wide variety of high quality headphones with original designs fabricated with zebra, cherry and ebony wood. A pair of LSTN headphones is more than a cool present, it is also a reminder of the power of giving back through music.

Get it here

All Geno Thackara wants is…

To find some inspiration, while having a good time. 

d6a39f97843c983fe5ce354fdf445f73_originalScott Hughes seems to have done some something pretty interesting with Tonic: The Card and Dice Game for Musicians; he’s made a playfully fun and inspiring tool for musicians of any skill level, so it’s inviting to us middling amateurs, who don’t depend on technical knowledge or music theory. As intuitive guides go, it looks like a nice complement to a set of Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies cards (something that’s probably responsible, at least in part, for one of your favorite David Bowie albums or another). I don’t know if I’ve been nearly good enough this year, but for super nerd points I’d choose to top off the gift pile with a Chapman Stick.

Get them here, here and here, respectively.

All Mike Cobb wants is…

To get up close and personal, and look great while doin’ it.

All I want for Chrismahanukwanzamadan is the following:

For starters, a hardcover copy of Linda McCartney: Life in Photographs. I love rock ‘n’ roll photography, and Linda McCartney had some of the best access.

Get it here

img_7664__41073-1445363765The Morrison Hotel Gallery is one of the best places to see Rock photography. They sell lovely prints; click here to see Greg Allman’s selection of favorites.

For live concert recording and interviewing your favorite rock star, Zoom is your tool. I want the Zoom H6 Six-Track Portable Handy Recorder Kit with Deadcat Windscreen, Shockmount, Camera Mount and Mic Grip.

Get it here.
Clothes? Anything John Varvatos USA. If it works for Iggy Pop, it works for me!

Shop here.

Ooh, and some boots from Space Cowboy NYC!

The Old Gringo size 11 por favor!

Buy a pair here

Please “Sandy Claws”, please?

All Savannah Davanzo wants is…

Some home décor. . . and the story behind the song.

I want The Beatles Vinyl Record Wall Clock. Sure, you have 100+ records in your closet and one spinning on your turntable, but you’re probably not ready to cut them up just for the sake of making an impression. This Beatles vinyl record clock is the perfect piece for that blindingly blank wall you’ve been dying to do something with. Carved from an old, used vinyl record, the clock isn’t just an accessory — it actually works too!

Get it here

24762_1_1200pxI want a Personalized Mixtape Doormat. This is such a sweet way to add some personality to your home, right at the door. The design is impeccable, matching exactly what a real mixtape looks like, and the blue cursive personalization is the perfect pop.

Get it here.

I want a copy of Nashville Songwriter: The Inside Stories Behind Country Music’s Greatest Hits. In Nashville Songwriter, award-winning music biographer Jake Brown introduces a collection of anecdotes and interviews from country’s biggest stars and their chart-topping biggest hits (Willie Nelson and Carrie Underwood included!). The book is meant to give a surprising, engaging behind-the-scenes look of country music at its most-loved.

Get it here.

I want a copy of Your Song Changed My Life. NPR music writer Bob Boilen’s book features personal essays and interviews from 35 beloved artists across all genres, reflecting on the music that inspired their own work. Still not convinced? The chic hardcover includes contributions from music greats like Smokey Robinson, Hozier and St. Vincent.

 Get it here.

All Jonny Rosch wants is…


All Dennis McDonough wants is…

To say thanks to Santa. . . and a few other things too. . .

Dear Santa Claus,

10007963_navysuede_mens_hensley_top4-1450x1015Merry Christmas! I hope that you and the elves and the not-so-little Mrs. are doing well and staying warm. (I’ll bet that’s easier now thanks to global climate change, right? Ugh!) I have been a pretty good boy this year. Not very good, but pretty good. (At least I don’t walk around in my “underwears” like The Droid does!) For Christmas I want the following, but not necessarily in this order:

  1. A rock ‘n’ roll ‘lectric guitar that I can play “just like ringin’ a bell.” (red or yellow)
  2. A pair of blue suede shoes (size 9 ½)
  3. A pair of Ray-Ban “Wayfarer” sunglasses (Cheap knock-off OK!)
  4. A gold lamé suit (Like the ones Elvis Presley and Phil Ochs wore)
  5. A five pound box of money
  6. A copy of Inside Llewyn Davis (I prefer VHS but DVD is ok)
  7. A pony
  8. Maids-a-milking!
  9. Ladies dancing!

Well, I guess that’s enough for now. I probably won’t see you again this year, but I’ll know you were here! And don’t worry! Of course I will leave out a plate of organic, vegan, gluten-free, carob chip cookies and a glass of vanilla soy milk for you again this year. Have a safe trip! And a Happy New Year too.

Peace, Love and Understanding!

Dennis MC DoNoUgh!
New Jersey, USA

P.S. Santa, do you ever get any thank you letters?


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