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Thursday, March 27, 2008

"rarer than hens teeth"...he said..

Down at the old muzak shop the other day and asking about the Ibanez ts808, or actaully more was the point of the just as hard to get unmodded ts9. The TS808 and TS9 are both called "tube screamers" and basically the most well known players to use them are too numerous to mention.
Looking around and it was gonna be tough to find a TS9 , original and not RI for under 2000kr. If I was lucky that is. Then the techy mentioned the pedal to the left, not a ts but a st9 with a mid boost and two chips to ensure the tubes would indeed scream. "forget the rest, thats the pedal you want, but you'll never find one...etc...)..Never say never, thats what I've heard before..
So I did some research and right enough there are even websites with every link around the planet looking for these pedals. So, I went to ebay germany as if it aint in the uk or Us your next best bet is the Fatherland.. and lo and original, unmodded TS9.But the shipment was only marked down as Germany , hence the fact it hadn't made the Ibanez fetish club sites..
So I asked the seller if he'd send it North.
The rest is history.
Probably due to the Germans being so efficient and wanting the latest ST9dx with digital chip etc, the old 80's original went for a price that was cheaper than a standard ts9 and under half the price of a new reissue ts. Difference is, next week the rocking horse crap, unicorn horn , fairy dust etc..arrives by mail.
As the A Team finished on...
" I do like it when everything goes according to plan".............

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

"Is my Siberian Hamster Mr Fawlty"....

...not quite, an albino hedgehog actually which could walk up to you in todays snowy conditions, steal your wallet, watch and shoes without you even seen it...

Thank God there are still some good guys out there...

Jeez, think I came closer to sweating 38 bullets and a heart fibulator padel than ever before....
Just "accidently" send some cally dosh thru me 'ol matey Paypal but only after it was sent did I realise I'd sent euro as opposed to dollars...
Now, if you've ever managed to do this at midnight when the call center is at home sleeping and the help page consists of telling you only how to spend your money and ll the great opportunitys...well , you can imagine. So, basically, all I had to rely on was the decency of a bloke sitting in a log cabin around the Great Lakes in the US (with broadband...) to read my plea in a mail and deny the payment..And he did, take a bow sir! I was already at DefCom 4 and the two keys with the code to start nuclear brain meltdown was well on the way...
..funny that actually...whilst at sat staring at the laptop at my kitchen table going thru every worst case scenario I suddenly has this remarkable thought go through my shit, suddenly out of the blue the following came through the visual reciever...

"what would an astronaut do if he was in this situation...would he stress out and lose control..."

err....pass me the mushroom Dipsy...

suffice to say my resting pulse is down to 174 now so I'm much better...

Well, what can I say, apart from the fact that the winter seems to finally arrived, maybe we'll have spring in august. There must have been around 20cm of snow over the past four days and its a very strange sight to see the colours that had been shooting up all over the shop, now wilting under the heaviness of the snow and been raped and freezin by the ensueing thaw (all typos are deliberate for Bombi to count and point out in another lifetime).
Not much to do but plod on, literally, and my boyz have not been too unhappy staying in and playing pc games and relaxing from their arduous life of been taken care of by a så kallad "curling föräldrar" who does everything for the wee buggers due to a guilt factor that will hang around my head and has since i left their nest...but we have fun, lots of it.

Life has been a breeze and a breath of fresh air since my resignation as an FK in what one could call the "little leagues" of the puddles surrounding the large ponds. Looking at certain cancer cells growing amongst the new victims and the reality show of just how many are there to make your grade shows in the aftermath we call resignation land. More and more, I feel so very content to get out of what couldn't even be called Dodge as that would have been more fun and honest. So new things beckon once I have a clear bill of health, the kidney stone has to go and back to some training without worrying.

The weather will extend the "indoor music sensation" as I would call it, when you dont have any anxiety about being indoors with a guitar. The sun will change that and my idea is to get a Tascam MG TG1 , a guitar trainer which is the size of a box a fags, and get out there turning the Sami Mk1 into a relic within a year.

Right then,
back to the new white paper I'm writing regarding ruggers to present next week in my new role as Tech Dir.

Friday, March 21, 2008

all change...the Holy Grail is found...

If you've been following the scribblings regarding Project G's, you'll know that the whole concept was to use a 95 as a basis and add 59 to 63 parts to ensure the tone and sound would be awesome..The only thing that could improve the lot would be somehow to get the old wood and guess what, the holy grail Les Paul Black Beauty above has been residing somehere around the Great lakes in the US awaiting a recon.
You see, Reissues are fantastic, but even if Tom Murphy gets his aging process on new wood, you still have "new wood".. hence the huge costs of 50's and 60's G's..
In 93 I bought a Les Paul Custom in Nashville Tennessee whilst there on a trip for 6 weeks as a body/money guard. I sold that guitar and always regretted it, so when I came across this relic I simply had to get the calculater out to see if there was any way I could purchase it.

With the original parts arriving in the post including a Burstbucker #1 and rewired paf for the bridge, the only thing missing are pots and knobs and some plastic..but this so called "fretless wonder" simply had to be had...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Plus ca change...

well, not really..

Christ, the plastic keys on this work pc just leave a hollow echo in the room...well, once again, not really but one can use the old "little grey cells" to believe they're made from brass or something exotic..
The place is of course more than 90% empty and it's only the one's that put the "L" in oozer that are left behind pretending that they (see I) have something that just can't wait till next week bla bla...yeah..whatevvaaaaaa (raise head at end to get the nasal sound on the aaaaaaaa..)

Quick questioni, just wondering if it's only me or if other people loop songs time and time again until they get sick and tired of them? Don't mean Radio style where you don't have an option, but like, you download a song you've not heard for years but spotted on the itunes shop and then play it over and over and over and over (etc..) again? I tend to do that more often than not, thing is I don't get bored with the song for several weeks.
of course, nowadays I go home and try and play them if they're easy enough.the buck dropped dead with a 12 guage when it came to Bron Y Aur.....

Back to the echo echo...and it's "something"thursday, which means that everybody has been really smart and gone away for an extended weekend with their family, or something.
Of course, those who have read my blog understand that this is of course a nonsensical due to my planning skills...hence the fact that I just wasted several hours looking at sistaminuten only to finally realise that getting a Vuxen (??) and two boyz on a sistaminuten , like today or tomorrow, for under a couple of hundred quid including taxes, hotel and food is not gonna happen. Bugger..
The Johnson Ligan land in GoaGubbar land tonite. Awesome, been a while and always ends up looking like an MC Escher etch by the time they leave.
The only trip available at the mo is a trip to Glasgow with RyanAir..Scotland for a week may do the boyz and myself some good, sun and sangria and....oh, wrong destination. Not Beige, but grey all day.But we shall see, we always get on so well that we don't have to run away from our everyday reality which seems to be the in thing at every red day..

I just recieved an sms from South Africa regarding a bunch of baboons who have been in a friends car, shit all over the place including her jacket and ate all her fruit and food before leaving out the window. My reply was short, if the Baboons had pissed in the car before they left they would have replicated a rugby bus trip to Stockholm and we would have been one step closer (or further away?) from our DNA Ancestors...25 degrees and sun...jealous as one can be without the crap and babs of course..

So, lets take a wee wander down historys lane and ask what does Jezuz leaving chicago(he just left for u ZZ fans..) on a big block Donkey swathed in the latest Versace cloth and pants duo,,,what has that got to do with yellow hens and multi coloured feathers?? Did he order chicken in a basket on the way out of soddom and gmorre..did the donkey get a feather caught in the back of the throat or indeed are we missing something here with the dead sea scrolls mentioning something about "tar and ...."
There has been a HUGE misinterpretation regarding this period, palm trees , could we be in Trelleborg? Tyres, Trelleborg tyres...the word Tyre comes from Tire, which is what the donkey was? davinci code stuff here..but those of you who have made the trip to Trelleborg have realised that "tar and feathering" would be an oddity down there where "Best of blue grass banjo" has a higher audience than even the Pope..u c, another da vinci thingy whatever special handshake , or was that mikshake?..they DO have a mac a dds...

Anyway, where was I? Right, office is just about dead and buried 'till next tuesday.Even if you push stuff out here the other offices send an auto reply.Sweden works less but on average live longer than any other country..Or..ironically Japan actually has the highest life expectancy and nobody could call them as busy little bees.Strength and Honour in work etc...all for the emperor who is devine etc...wonder if he has a Nissan Donkey?

Well, news in from the family J senior and my bro is gonna head over to Austin, TX for a year. Sounds like a good reason to head back to the states.. on the other end of the scale my Sis who is an officer in the british army is currently circulating around Kabul...think that Austin texas has a nicer ring to it, although if we are to believe the Yanks there is more oil in Afganistan than Texas, hence the invasion..(You would have thought that somebody, somewhere, at some big important "Special Opps" meeting mentioned under his breath, "hey guys...didn't those guys beat the crap outta Rusky Red?"...)

At the same time I've promised another a trip to Singapore..decisions decisions... no public chewing gum or spitting in the street..there you have it, the Triad, Austin TX, Kabul and Singapore..

Wonder how "she" is doing over in Mex... memory glides off in a tangent now and again...I'd better catch it up and write back at ya then..

the guts...

So, apart from becoming Edward scissorfingers cousin, Brian Solderfingers, life is moving on and I'm gonna cover some more GonZo stuff. It's 02.30 in the morning, Magnum just started...nuff I'll write up 2 morrow..

all in all, we're talking Kidney stone blasting in april, a virus and swollen glands as I type, a fall back in the abyss of tobacco and nikotin, a friend in South africa for 10 days of 25 degrees..another friend in Mexico on the beach who actually remembered my birthday or saw it on facebook...projects at work taking off on an international scale..etc...harley racing, gasgas supermotards, tag heuer stopwatches...list goes on.

So, keep your eye open and I'll write 2morrow..

back to magnum?

Davoli baby...what the fuzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

A mate dropped off a freebie, said it was a small valve amp from the 50's...
So, I plugged the EJSRV Sami mk1 and bugger me the neighbours cat must have flown out the window!
It basically looks like an air conditioning unit from the Baltics, but it delivers a great sound , even though i just can't push the sound up or I'll get evicted..I mean, there are no reverb or gain knobs, just volume which ends up distorting anything within 30 meters..
So, just waiting to see if I win the Ibanez Tube screamer Ts9 and then see what happens..
Blues, blues and more blues with some Chuck Berry mixed in...

The Univox got the Dp110 back

As I was home with the deadly Sweden Late Snow virus I got bored and gaving looked around the shop I call home , I picked up my Ramones anthology tab book and regretted the day I removed the dp110 and made the Univox original again.
Johnny Ramone was famous for a few things, and believe it or not he also shared the same passion for a pickup that was released by Dimario as early as '72 and guitarists like Gilmour, Knopfler and the Edge from U2 also liked the overwound and dirty sound of this classic pickup.
So unless you have a shed of cash to buy a mosrite from the 70's and then start to "modify" a la Ramone the next best is to try and find a pawn shop classic like the Univox Hi-flier , mid seventies, and wire in the DP110. One of the problems now is that since Kurt Cobain picked up a Univox and made it his own to get that famous grunge sound even these 80 dollars in 1976 guitars is becoming harder to source.
So I made sure the convert is kept to be able to "back to the future" it and just to get that massive sound from something which is made from a wood that nobody can put a name too.
Kurt nicknamed them "Plywood beasts" which is what they become when a DP is wired up.
Slab plywood with a fretless rosewood neck which can be used as a whammy...
I restored the strap buttons (replaced) and wired in a genuine s/h 3 way switch as well as soldering up the earths. Good as new, probably better and of course, "Sheena is a punk Rocker" now sounds the way it should do.
Part !!! of project Authentic as possible JP signature is nearing an end and I'm running to my letter box everyday nowadays.
As she started as a first run production 95 les paul standard jimmy page signature (mouthful..) she the eliptical neck and gorgeous light honey burst finish with matched and bookmarked mahogany body and neck. But thats the end of what I consider good enough for his name.
hence the 2006 custom authentic made by the custom shop and retailing at high bucks. However, they dont really cut the crust unless you get one of the first Tom Murphy aged versions and they will cost around 20k..pounds and upwards.
And to put that cost into perspective, a genuine 59 Gibson Les Paul standard which the guitar is based on , just now on ebay..$450,000. plan is simple.
The body, neck are spot on and already older wood than the latest offerings.
The stuff on the way though aint.
60s original patent pending Grover gold and word tuners...words can't describe
60's lightweight original tailpiece- tone maker and under an ounce
63 Gold and aged original ABR-1 bridge complete...hard to find, I found one..
used and aged 65 Gibson M8 Cream humbucker rings...just to add that authenticness
Gibson Historic truss rod cover, the standard is replaced by a thicker white rimmed cover
And to finish off , the pups which are over the counter 90's T500, T496 ceramics have to make way for that vintage sounding unpotted burstbucker alnico 2 or 5 sound..However, plans are afoot for me to undertake the insane idea of turning the 59 burstbucker unpotted alnico2 into a 4 wired conductor..meanwhile though, a custom made will be put in the bridge and hopefully by friday another 4 wire 59 classic seymour Duncan NJ (believe it or not, my initials) will be taking care of the sound. Ohm neck will be 7,65 and bridge around 8,9. but I suspect the tone and sound will really make the difference.
I've decided not to attack the caps or pots as they are all specials from Gibson USA for the JP signature.
pics will follow as well as soe sound files when its done.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tinker taylor soldier spy...

Always been a tinkerer..

Nowadays its guitars, as you've probably read.
The guitar in question is my Jimmy Page Les Paul Signature from 95.
Now, most people would be happy and keep her as she is, but I'm not most people.
Just like Jimmy Page, I'm not satisfied with the t500 ceramic pickup in the bridge, or the abr tunamatic or the very heavy and tone destroying bridge.
Otherwise , the 59 light honeyburst has the lot, 4 pots with phasing, tapping, single coil tap and the only guitar that can join the buckers together to make one massive sound.
So, what's the guts? Well, basically I wanted some vintage pups, as page would have had when he got the original from Joe Walsh, and the ceramics are way too much. The T500 has the same Ohms output as a dirtyfingers/Iommi humbucker, and that on a 59 replica? Naaa
So, how to find a 4 conductor non potted alnico 2 or 5 humbucker?
I was very lucky to find another luncatic in the world in ebay who had exactly that, a Gibson 57 burstbucker which had been rewould to 4 conductor, unpotted and an alnico 5 polished magnet stuck in, final result was 8,6 on the readout.I'll update when its fitted.
8,6 is okay as a neck pup, even back then, but I'm gonna use it as a bridge and stick a modified Burstbucker 59, reound to 4 OR a Seymour Duncan 59 which I just found on ebay.
This is only a start to try and get to that Holy Grail sound for under $450 000 of an original, I found bits and bobs which I'm adding and which will make the beast a relic looking and sounding monster. (I do realise its in the wood, but 95 is 95 and it has the correct JP neck with eliptical mod).
So, 59/60 original Grover Patent Pending tarnished gold tuners on the way
60's original gold (but worn) under an ounce lightweight alloy tailpiece
68/69 Les Paul custom gold (worn) Pat Pend Tunamatic bridge
I spend some of my birthday cash on cleaning gear for the guitars and they all had their rosewood and pau ferro frets cleaned as well as Martin wax on their nitro finish. Take care of them and they take care of you!
(Even the Univox hi-flier worked better after some juicy lucy on the fret board)
So, can't wait to get all the parts together, solder up the pups and put it through the onloan Davoli baby Valve amp that just can't be described...I'll upload a pic at some point...the sound is..clean and 50's..
Speak soon

Thursday, March 13, 2008

it's been a while, hasn't it...

...are the days of chain smoking and masi, sitting alone in the kitchen over? probably...
..or the phone bills that reached disproportional levels averaging 3500kr per month..unfortunatly..
oh, and lets not forget the fact that I would wait from 12 to 0300 in the morning ,looking and waiting for the phone to make that dreadful noise that is indeed NOT a ringing sound as advertised...most definitly..

and yet life goes on and with it we take some memories that are special in one way or another.

Sunday will once again be a day of mourning nostalgia, which is to say i once again take one more step towards the grim reaper.And as usual life around me is going at 100 miles an hour and its all fine in one way or another.

Sometimes you need to make a call, a change in direction that takes you off a path you've been walking down a my case a long while. And sometimes you have to bite the bullet and really try hard to play the game of politics or brown nosing, or indeed say nothing at all, whilst all the while you rot inside and like the famous Edvard Munch 1893 painting of "silent scream" bursting out.
So finally one day you can actually look in the mirror and decide enoughs enough and live happily with the decision. I had to make that kind of decision so I could simply live with myself and basically be happy. The shitstorm I was living in was imposing too much anxiety and despair on my personality which after all I don't actually have a problem with. Not anymore anyway.

So things have become clearer and I smile a lot more which is a clear indication that I made the right decision. And so life goes on.

Over the past weeks some names have popped out from the past and I may be taking a trip down to Barcelona to play some guitar and enjoy the Spanish way of living. My days as a guitar tech have caught up and since my decision to get out from the clutches of International Rugby I have turned back to my roots and the love of not only listening to music but writing and playing music. Three guitars now litter the living room and the long nights are taken up by playing simple riffs and rythm and blues through a roland cube with headphones.

There has been a long period of pain which has finally been diagnosed as a stubborn kidney stone that may have to be blasted. April 1'st and judgement day. Can't wait.
With my project at work going as well as ever and the music as well there has been little time to train anyway, and it's showing. So I will have to get motivated after the blast and try and get back into shape.

Just thought I'd drop a note on the blog, its been a long and sorry empty front page for too long and I will update on a more regular basis.



bloody echo in here.....