Twenty Eight years ago in Toronto, CANADA, an 18 yr old music fan slipped backstage, unnoticed by the distracted security people. Up a staircase, down a hall, then back down another staircase. He heard voices coming from the bands dressing room. He quietly stepped inside and said, “Mr. Nelson, will you please autograph my Album?” The memory seems like it was just yesterday. There, standing in front of me was my guitar hero, Bill Nelson of Be Bop Deluxe. He smiled and obliged. I turned to pose with Bill for a picture as my friend prepared to snap it. “What? No film?” My good friend Wally Moss had forgotten to load film in the camera. Go figure. People follow their passions – Wally’s was photography, mine was the electric guitar – and the musicians who made them sing. Bill Nelson remains one of the best.
I have been looking for an electric Mandocello. I don’t know if such an instrument has ever been made commercially. I personally would love to own and play one.
It was late 1969 early 1970. I was 13 years old and had been learning guitar for about a year when I was given what I considered to be the key to a world of freedom. Mum & Dad said it was ok for me to setup my room in a shed inside Dad’s garage. The shed was the size of a small bedroom, about eight by ten in the old measurements. It was originally built from scraps of recycled building material from a 100 year old house and was initially used as a tool shed.
Last month guitar legend Link Wray passed away at his Copenhagen home at the age of seventy-six. A master of raw tone and minimalist riffs, Link Wray was the great grandfather of the power chord.
George Harrison was my hero! OK, so he’s everybody’s hero, but you’ve got to understand, I’m a sitar player. The sitar is the love of my life – I love it more than my computer, more than my ’62 Telecaster, maybe even more than my orange tomcat who brings dead things into the house all the time.
I have been playing guitar for 40 years. I have owned everything, from ES175 to a 58 Les Paul Std, 59 Strat, Travis Bean, Alembic, Cort, Samick, Guilds, G + Ls, you name it, I owned one. And you know what? If I see one more damn Les Paul, Strat or Tele I think I will vomit! Good lord, are they the most boring thing in theworld or what?& I love guitars that are different. I do NOT want to see another guy walking down the street playing the same guitar as me. There is a world of cool guitars out there and yet some guys have noimagination, they just play the same blankity blank guitars that everyone has had for the last 50 years!
While the Pests downed a quick lunch, I grabbed a few instrumental odds & ends from the van and walked across the parking lot to the building with the huge sign, “Consumers Mall”. It’s one of those former discount stores, now indoor flea market which are popping up across the land in abandoned K-Marts, grocery stores and so on. One of the missions of our little band was the rescue of abused and/or neglected guitars, which we found on our journeys and there was a candidate for rescue inside.
Our pal, our drummer had The Beatles in his house!! His Pool! His room! And he could’nt tell a soul!! Our lives were changed that weekend. We were already Fanatics and had all the records and had already cut back on the surf music! The show was awesome, you saw it too! I buzzed on this for years! That Life magazine cover story was shot in the Shindler’s pool, on their diving board! In 51 years of living that weekend of laying around totally bummed out and dejected is one of the best couple of days I ever had!
After his 9 month bid in the clink for selling bongs, Tommy Chong was released from prison and began his comedy tour. When I heard that he would be performing in my home town (London, Ontario) on Jan 28th, 2005, I was like “No way man! I can not miss out on the chance to see Tommy Chong do stand up at Yuk Yuk’s!” Luckily I was able to get tickets for this event; for he was scheduled to do 4 shows in 2 days and all were sold out.
For the past few years I had been looking for a really nice Mosrite Ventures Model Vintage guitar. Prices ranged from $1,500 to $4,000 depending on the year and the condition. Last year an angel descended on eBay with 35 NOS Mosrite guitars that were built in 1987. These guitars were all brand new and were never sold. They were stored in a warehouse for 14 years. Unbelievable! They were auctioned off one by one, week after week, until they were all gone. I bought the 13th one that sold. I was not disappointed.
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