Part 4 of 4 - Agnes loses her guitar:-(
I know Jimi Hendrix played the Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock. Agnes only knew it was some patriotic guitar song. (Part 3 of 4)
Shades & a bandanna always add attitude to guitar playing.
Part 2 of 4 finds Agnes running her scales:-)
This week I decided to combine my 2 creations, Agnes (my syndicated comic strip) and reimagined guitars. Part 1 of 4, Agnes finds a guitar in the dumpster. Sometimes I do too:-)
Do the metals & other materials I used on my electric guitars affect the tone adversely? I am often asked this question. I suppose it could be debated either way, but there is no clear answer. I think the tone of an electric guitar is more the result of the pickups used, the bridge, & the amp it is being driven through. And don't get me started on the issue of pedals . . . how many do YOU have? I can change out many things on these guitars without hurting their beautiful aesthetic. You want Grovers? Give me a screwdriver. You want a brass nut? Give me several hours & a file. Seymour Duncans? Give me a soldering gun & some wire snips. I usually leave the hardware they came with. They sound great, but modification of tone is an individual preference. This video also makes this point. It's not my video, but I like it.
Sometimes I see my electric guitars described as SteamPunk. I like the aesthetics of Steampunk. I like to use old brass, copper, worn beautiful wood, and whites aged to shades of old ivory. Much like Steampunk explores the theme of steam, I like things that explore the theme of hyperelectric. Hyperelectric means hot: it has a smell. It can be used for good or it can go horribly wrong in a heartbeat, scarring circuitry and killing the ungrounded. Punk has a nice ring to it too. The Ramones changed my life back in the late 70s. The word punk sounds like a swear oriented one-syllable nod to irreverence, audaciousness, and defiance. I think that might make punk an appropriate description for some of these guitars. So I like Steampunk, but these are not all steam and they're not all punk. I think Steampunk means cool . . . I'll take that! What would you call it? Steampunk? Hyperelectric? Industrial? Other ideas?
Free 1962 Fender Stratocaster guitar. Just kidding. I'm using my usually entertaining and insightful blog for a selfish pursuit today. I need some help. I'm looking for a guitar with either an ALB Metal Hob or a Miller Sound Curb (same thing). Buy it and bring it to me. I will pay you double for it. I've only seen 2 and 1 was just in an old newspaper picture. The other was lost in a house fire. The "Hob" or "Sound Curb" is very fragile, so don't screw with it. It's tempting to want to polish it up because age makes the finish cloudy, but it will crack if you don't know what you're doing. Fifteen were made back in 1961, but most were attached to bass guitars. One was modified to fit a Rickenbacker 12 string, but that ended in a real meat on the floor tragedy I will cover later. Send pictures, leads etc. to me at this site or my Facebook page or Tweet me, I don't care which. I just need one. And I need it 2 days ago. Who couldn't use more money for Christmas?
He handed me the Rickenbacker 365 guitar to inspect. "It's perfect, except for the burn mark." He pointed to a small dime sized charring on the back. "I was at one of Jimi Hendrix's earlier shows in England . . . that's when he became Jimi Hendrix, you know, when he went to England. Anyway, I was playing rhythm guitar with a band that was on the same bill that night. You heard of The Sonic Birds?" He looked at me hopefully. "You mean The Yardbirds?" I asked. He snorted. "Not those posers . . . you remember the song Flower of My Love?" "You mean Sunshine of My Love?" I asked. He looked dejected. "No." He started humming an unrecognizable tune. He looked at me with an even more hopeful look. "I wish I could tell you I've heard it," I said. He sighed. "Jimi Hendrix put his cigarette out on my guitar. That's what that mark is. I had it flipped over trying to tighten the tuner for the E string and he walks by with this Salem hanging out of his mouth. He was so wasted he thought my guitar was an end table and he stabbed out his butt on it." He pointed again at the mark. "By my reckoning that makes this guitar quite valuable." I love storied guitars. "Good story," I said. "Did he sign it?" "No." "Did you get a picture of him doing it?" "No." "Any witnesses that will back you up with sworn statements?" "No." He said, "You want to buy it?" I looked at him with a steady gaze. It was tempting. "No," I said. "But thanks for the story."
My search for storied guitars took an odd turn. Sometimes it's the odd devices that get me jazzed. One guy even had a guitar with human teeth used for the knobs on the tuners. He was a professional boxing referee and collected the teeth for 20 years. Another guy once tried to sell me a hollow body Gibson that had a secret compartment fitted with poison darts and a blow gun. I don't know why, but I don't make this stuff up. One of my favorites is the one I have on my work bench right now. It needs a new volume pot. It's a Strat look alike clad with aluminum from the Porsche James Dean died in. The guy I bought it from said a friend of a friend swiped a door from the car. (The car has never been accounted for, by the way.) He deskinned the door and used the sheet aluminum to shore up some bad cracks in the body of his guitar. He had documents. I believed him. Enough said.
I like weird guitars, and that's about it. I'm not big on spiritual stuff and I don't usually get scared by things other people may jump clean out of their skin about. But I had a guitar once that I couldn't get rid of fast enough. It wasn't the way it looked. It wasn't the way it felt. It wasn't the way it sounded. I had picked it up because it had these cool, bone colored knobs on a chrome pad screwed to the body instead of coming right out of the guitar as is usually seen. I never researched why they were on there like that. Maybe some of you can help me out there. It had a name on the pod and a 5 digit number. The name was "CISSA" and the number was 11653. I guess it doesn't matter because I don't have it anymore. But I'd love to know where it came from. But I digress. I got rid of it because it smelled like roses. I aired it out, I cleaned it, I polished it with a fine cloth. It veritably stank of roses. Not a gentle wafting scent. Not a mild hint of eau de rose. It was a gut wrenching nasal scathing roar of rose. Funny thing is, when I sold it I told the guy that I hoped the smell didn't bother him like it did me. He looked at me and said, "Nah . . . I like eucalyptus."