Words of Support
This is a celebration of the great work of Michael Molenda. In 1998, at a NAMM show, I was introduced by my college friend Mary Cosola to a guy I had never met named Mike Molenda, the editor of Electronic Musician magazine. Mary told her boss, “This is my friend Matt. I think he should write for us.” Mike, being the iconoclast that he is, was crazy enough to take that chance, and he gave me my first-ever writing gig. When he moved on to Guitar Player, he was cool enough to ask me, “Would you be interested in coming along?” What followed was the greatest education of my professional life. Mike was the best boss. He taught me. He encouraged me. He busted my balls relentlessly, and he was justified in 95% of those cases. What he mostly did, though, was champion me. Mike constantly told me to be true to my vision. If ever I wasn’t bringing my voice to a piece, he would say (or occasionally scream), “Why do you think I hired you?” He believed in me 100%. Whatever confidence I have as a writer I got from Mike.
While we worked together, I saw how Mike dealt with the rest of the staff. The editorial staff consisted of badasses like Art Thompson, Andy Ellis, Darrin Fox, Jude Gold, Barry Cleveland, Shawn Hammond, Adam Levy, Jimmy Leslie, and many others. Mike celebrated and brought out the best in each of these Hall of Famers. It was inspiring and enlightening. I learned something every single day and I had an absolute blast along the way.
Mike is a lifer. Mike is a warrior. Mike is the defender of everything that made GP great in the 20+ years he shepherded it. He took bullets for this mag. He quite literally bled for this mag. He gave me and many others the opportunity to do the best work of our lives for the greatest guitar magazine of all time. For that, we thank you, Mike Molenda. — Matt Blackett, Associate Editor, Guitar Player
MIKE MOLENDA - A HUMBLE, RESPECTFUL, ELOQUENT & PASSIONATE SIX-STRING EVANGELIST
When I was a kid, Guitar Player was my monthly bible because the questions they asked their subjects revealed the six-string-stuff I craved for. Their April 1980 cover story on Edward Van Halen was amazing, and still remains my "bar" for what an interview by a guitar magazine should be. Then, slowly but surely, this wonderful train drove itself off the tracks and got stuck in a muddy field...
But then, a new driver took the helm and slowly but surely got the GP train back on the tracks. His name? If you play guitar and still actually read magazines, then you know it: Mike Molenda. Mike walked his talk. He doesn't just write about guitar with passion, he beats the daylights out of the thing on stage too...what a concept! One of the things I always look most forward to when my issue of GP arrives every month? Mike's insightful and always eloquent editiorial entitled "Noize." For example - his one on "backing the knob down from 11 to 7" in the June 2018 issue resonated as its message was extremely powerful. Mike Molenda—you are a class act, sir. Thank you for your passion and pensmanship. I look forwarding to your next move, my friend, as I know it will be great...and, I repeat, with the utmost sincerity: THANK YOU... — Nick Bowcott, Sweetwater Music
Congratulations to the Great Michael Molenda. You oversaw World Guitar Peace with your amazing talents and exceptional good will for two decades! We all wish you much continued success, happiness, and commanding influence as you surge onward and upward! — Matt Eichen, Musicvox
Now playing as a free agent is 20-year veteran GP Editor in Chief, Michael Molenda. Molenda proved to be an excellent captain, piloting his ship from the late 90’s until his final editorial in the July 2018 issue. His tenure saw tremendous change within the world of guitar and the music industry on the whole. He has always remained a passionate lover of the instrument and its various cultures, a thoughtful and insightful writer willing to reexamine his own point of view, active as a player/producer, and ,of course, as proud a guitar nerd as anyone ever was. We can fully expect Mr. Molenda to be an active voice and participant in the greater guitar universe bringing us a valuable perspective and a nice balance of dreamer and realist . —James H, GuitarHD