Congratulations to Beth McKeever from MN, USA. Here she is posing with her new ’59 Custom AIRLINE 2P guitar.
October 1, 2009
There’s been buzz on the Web and an actual broo-ha-ha this week in anticipation of the announcement of Gibson’s “Jimi Hendrix Guitar” package. As even the most casual Hendrix fans know, his main axe was a Fender Stratocaster. Especially devoted followers are likely aware that Jimi occasionally played a Gibson Flying V. Gibson’s Custom Shop already offered a high-end tribute model Flying V of just 300 copies with a list of $12,300 in 2007, so this new model would surely be some variation on that, right?
Wow. Where did the time go? OK, I’m 50. No big deal. I’m just a little surprised how fast I got here that’s all. Looking back I can’t imagine having more fun along the way and no reason to think it will get any less silly moving forward. I am blessed to be surrounded by a great family and a wide, diverse circle of friends. What else could you ask for? Sorry to bore you with the slide show, but I feel the need to document this.
If you want to learn to play an instrument or get better at playing an instrument there is a guaranteed way that you can achieve this: practice. Like with anything we decide to learn, the more we do something the better we get at doing it. This applies to everything we do in life. Its obvious that practice is a requirement of becoming a better musician, so you want to set up a good routine that is enjoyable and will keep you motivated to want to continue practicing.
It wasn’t even a tour…just a few dates in the Midwest over a long weekend. But it sounded like fun. Even a short time on the road is usually a good time, and we’d be playing with our buds from Chicago, the fabulous Mannequin Men, for all three dates. And it proved to be the great time it promised to be. If you want a cure for the blues, hot the road with the Mannequin Men for a few days. They remind me while I love rock and roll—seeing them on a good night reminds me of when I got to see the Replacements on a good one. A band that’s at once tight and loose, with great songs and killer hooks. What’s not to love?
October 1, 2009
I don’t go to guitar shows much any more. I should, because I have a lot of friends who ply the floor, but I’ve been on a guitar diet for several years now. And my friends always find something goofy for me to buy. That’s how I ended up with this mysterious and rare Takamine solidbody guitar from 1984. What the heck is this?! I didn’t know and the dealer who knew enough to bring it to me didn’t know either, but he knew I would have to have it!
September 1, 2009
Last year at NAMM, Eastwood grand poobah Mike Robinson and I were talking about hot rods and custom jobs. He’d said one of the truly fun things he dug about motorcycle riding was tripping out your bike with custom touches that made it your own. This led into talk about custom guitars and some of his favorite custom shots people had sent in to him with their modified Eastwoods and Airlines. He sent me a couple of cool pictures at one point of wild things people had done to their guitars, and it got me thinking about a long-neglected project of mine with an old Silvertone/Danelectro. Most of the mods I do are on amps—and they tend to be unseen, unless you look under the hood—but here was a guitar job that would be obvious to anyone who saw it.
July 1, 2009
Last month, I was talking about the very cool little Guyatone 535 model that takes 2 EL84s (6BQ5s) for a clean, very chimey, shimmering tone. Plenty of British sounding chime and a great amp for 12 strings and clean tones. And this month, I’m going to talk about the Kalamazoo Reverb 12. Here’s another dual EL84 combo that gives further evidence that the circuit design has a lot (most everything) to do with the tone of an amp as, beyond sharing the same output tubes, it has very little in common with last month’s entry in the cheap amp chronicles. This amp has some great cleans, too, but they are nice dark, woody cleans—not the glassy chime from last month’s entry.
June 1, 2009
GITHEAD, featuring Colin Newman, will be in Toronto June 30th, and we will broadcast live worldwide. Register for your free Webcast Ticket here. If you are in the Toronto area on June 30th and want to be part of our limited Studio Audience, email me.