I guess I’m a typical guitarist. When I’m watching one of my favourite players I used to dream about one day being up there sharing the stage with one of my heroes. Well that dream came true for me a few years ago when I was invited up on stage by Tommy Emmanuel.
You give your prized axe a strum, but it seems someone has replaced your instrument with an imposter. This guitar looks like your old friend in every way, but it’s buzzing and rattling, and the frets are sharp. You ask yourself what is going on.
Musicvox guitars are pretty wierd. But, you never know what will come of a sketch on a napkin and an enthusiastic owner – Matthew Eichen – who was responsible for Musicvox guitars. These were part of a small Korean production run in the mid/late 1990’s. You’ve probably never seen one in your local shop, as the distribution of the brand did not gain any traction, but you may have seen one when New Line Cinema put the guitars in the hands of musicians playing parts in the Mike Myers/Austin Powers film Goldmember in 2002.
I’ve been playing my ’72 Fender P bass since I was 14 and over the past few decades my collection of guitars and basses got to the point that I didn’t know how many I had. A common problem with musicians, as some were in cases, some on guitar stands, and some on hooks in the basement and others at practice rooms.
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.
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.
Because as many know (evidenced by the frequent waiting list for the room), Room #8 is where, on September 19, 1973, Gram Parsons, relaxing after having finished his second solo album, the classic, although laden with too many slow as molasses tunes, “Grievous Angel”, died. He was a amazing singer—listening to Gram Parsons’ cracked beauty of a voice dance over a 7th chord is one of the most painfully gorgeous sounds that has ever been captured on recording equipment. There were singers with better chops, to be sure. Though, as my friend John points out, Doc Severenson had better chops than Miles Davis, who couldn’t play in the upper register. Chops are never the whole story when you’re talking about art.
Here is my son Troy standing out front of the famous Rudy’s Guitar Stop on 48th Street. Rudy has built one of the most beautiful guitar stores on the planet. You must go there! Here we pose in front of one of his displays, this one dedicated to Eastwood Guitars.
Last month I took a trip to London – a little business, a little pleasure. OK, mostly pleasure! I went with three friends, played four rounds of golf, went to see five bands, had six great meals and had seven hangovers. Upon arrival my good friend Wally Moss (who takes the photo’s at Eastwood Guitars) caught the sold out Camera Obscura show at Scala in London. A treat!
I’m the luckiest guy alive. It’s my cardboard box upright bass that’s gaining celebrity status. I’m merely the box bass valet. I’m losing my mind, or the Bogdon box bass is actually developing a personality/character.
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