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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dennis Hopper , another victim of prostate cancer...

Another legend leaves us. famous for many films, my favs being Easy Rider and Apocalypse Now..


Been a great weekend as a couple of friends got married in Skåne. Roadtrip to Simrishamn and the first time I've visited that side of Sweden.Really nice scenery and a great Wedding which had me finally believing that people can get married and stay together forever. Took a few years to get past this cynical concept..
Anyway, I was fortunate enough to be invited and of course I had a 3 minute spot with another mate to do a speech.

He's off to South Africa for 40 days as a journalist to cover the World Cup.Nice job if you can get it.
The night ended after way too much booze, shots of Dooleys, Konjak, and just about everything you can was nice however not to wake up with any anxiety!

Friday, May 28, 2010


Right are the 10 top Guitarists according too The Rolling Stone magazine in 2003.

01 Jimi Hendrix United States
02 Duane Allman United States
03 B.B. King United States
04 Eric Clapton United Kingdom
05 Robert Johnson United States
06 Chuck Berry United States
07 Stevie Ray Vaughan United States
08 Ry Cooder United States
09 Jimmy Page United Kingdom
10 Keith Richards United Kingdom

So I have to say, straightaway that I'm not wholly in favour of this list.I suppose people can discuss forever who should or shouldn't be in the top ten, but lets just say I'd easily spend an evening with a konjak and cigar and discuss the pro's and cons here..

Now then, here is another Top 10 list made by Digital Dream Door, for Top Rock Guitarists..

01 Jimi Hendrix United States
02 Jeff Beck United Kingdom
03 Eddie Van Halen United States
04 Eric Clapton United Kingdom
05 Jimmy Page United Kingdom
06 Ritchie Blackmore United Kingdom
07 Tony Iommi United Kingdom
08 Chuck Berry United States
09 Duane Allman United States
10 Robert Fripp United Kingdom

Well, nice to see EH getting on the list, a player who by all accounts and listening to some big names deserves to be on the first Top ten list.Now then..Eric Clapton does seem to get high on both lists...I've seen him a few times but I have to say I feel he's slightly overrated on the lists...but a personal opinion only, I reckon Buddy Guy boots him out straightaway..
Nice to see Beck gets stuck in there as well of course.
I reckon they should kick off a real "last man standing" and get the Top Ten Blues Guitarist going...that would just get silly..but I feel its important to get the point over as to why and what made them where they are on the list..Hendrix imo should be number 1 as he basically did change the whole concept by putting the guitar up front and personal in everyway imaginable...And by all accounts all that witnessed his London shows went away pretty scared as well as impressed, Page, Beck, Clapton, Townshend, Richards and the whole Tone ratpack..Now, there are some names that I would say I do enjoy and they're style did change a generation..
like Iommi..but the fact that Jan Akkerman aint there...okay..Blackmore? As the big bands went, sabbath. zepp and deep purple imo were the sum of all parts, which would have me look at the guitarists under a microscope..Surprising then that Townshend isn't there as he played some serious Jazz chords through some of the most famous Rock songs of all time and even smashed things up before others...think people feel that because he wasn't a soloist he wasn't that good..I disagree...
Anyway, been fun looking at Silvers site today..he's obviously looked at my Tone comment and backed it up with, I had a look around and funnily enough found some footage and other stuff from 84 when I was fortunate to watch VH and of course EH..shame was that it felt like AC/DC didn't really assist with the sound..
Anyway, here we go for a laugh, my second Castle Donnington, I went in 81 (AC/DC) and 84...feels like another era..back then VH were really meant to blow everybody away but I walked away disappointed...No real surprise..
AC/DC back in 81 and 84 were better than they are today...but imo there will never been an AC/DC that beats the years with Bon Scott!

brian johnson

and last but not least, a song that I always thought was great without realising he was indeed playing a little guitar...VH when they were still good despite Roths obsession with spandex and hairspray

Thursday, May 27, 2010

get a couple of lads...and produce some tone..potatochip anyone?

and here we go again, face like a welders bench, but with 59 les paul and BB king on stage, all is forgiven..

say no more....and the guitar is ?

poor quality but a real dig!

Les Paul having a craic with Beck and Squire

Beck on a Kramer...yer maun on a Number !

okay, quality improving..
just throwin together some blues from Jimmie, Stevie, Jeff and Angela who has an awesome voice imo

And finally,,,if you've managed to ignore what we used to deem as good that is the finale...
today I found an entire website dedicated to the argument that Jesus was in fact God..why, how strange...unless his last name is Vaughn...

No secret to my fav all time song...every version..

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Sarge D of the Sod! New contract now to get the local Division 6 football team into shape and assist the coaches with an SAQ fitness session as well as assist them with their own coaching as I've done quite a bit of coach education as well as doing many courses and club coaching. Lets just say it has been nice to be asked to help out after the turbulent time spent with a team I assisted on building up and then getting actively removed through some fucking stupid decision making, along the same lines as the day Adolf decided to conquer Russia and forgot why the Russians favorite aperitif is Vodka-straight!
So you go to where your wanted. Thats a bit of good advice if you ever needed it. Even though you miss the craic with soem mates, at the end of the day if people have their own wee agenda going, fuck 'em , don't get mad, get even, and move forwards!
So now the calender is booked with rugby, football and fun.

Recommended listening...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Real Real story...Jeff Becks Oxblood/chocolate paul..

This is a really interesting jackanory!Pictured above isn't his infamous 54 with wraparound and humbuckers, this is Jeff with 9 1864, his 59 Paul that was stolen in 72 and has never re-appeared.
He bought the burst from Ricky Nielson for 350 bucks after smashing up his other Paul....
This picture says it all though...marshall stack, Gibson 59 and of course Mr beck...

Interesting again to note that Jeff beck always like a huge fat bat neck and apparently his fender strat signature has a fat neck.As I mentioned before its the success to tone imo..
My 62 RI schecter necked strat is also a fairly hefty birdseye neck and its got more than enough tone!


Monday, May 24, 2010

oh yes.....

the new R9 aint a pearly gates although its the spitting image...but the neck is a real 50's bat quarter sawn which ensures the beast sounds like it has a loudspeaker built into the base of the body! Once again proof of what I've written earlier about fat necks, lightweight bodies and Tone!

Friday, May 21, 2010

just had too...

...and a garlic nan?

1/4 notes, pull downs all the way or stright strings to play the drone rhythms and movable frets just to fine tune...
Project....electric sitar , now that would be cool....stick in a dimarzio sd 1 in the tail of one of these beasts and the Balrog would come for a visit!
Ok, now we all know the history of the blues and the start of the pull downs, bends and all the rest from the Slaves playing on snow flakes instruments...what about the other side of the world...they were years ahead..
Listen to the rhythms in this music and it even makes Jazz a serious question mark!
There have been many great guitarists who have realised this, Jeff beck and Page being two at least who understood where they were and are compared to the history and playing of stringed instruments..
The only trouble to date is to try and listen to the music without wanting a garlic nan....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Good times...

A great song indeed played by one of the more interesting guitarist today.
I watched the guy live last year at the local , it was his birthday as well...and I can't explain just how incredible his tone was..obviously the fingers help,as well his gear..Not often I watch a guitarist and get goose bumps when they're playing but this guy was incredible. Different finger picking styles, different guitars for different tones, from a flying V to an acoustic as well as of course his own Bonamassa Signature Gibson.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Another side of..

..Bob Dylan, who, to always in Black and White.
In my world Dylan never made it past an acoustic and harmonica holding a bunch of lyrics which have forged a passion for years...but always in black and white.
Of course he'd never appreciate that as he moved forwards as he should have, but when I have Bob days for those days where you need to take a step back from the box we call "reality living", its a black and white day..
Now, I’m liberal, but to a degree
I want ev’rybody to be free
But if you think that I’ll let Barry Goldwater
Move in next door and marry my daughter
You must think I’m crazy!
I wouldn’t let him do it for all the farms in Cuba!
It's so weird when you spin a record...or should I say play it outta of a digital box..and suddenly memories scouring 25 years shoot through the grey solutions architect that we tend to carry around on our shoulders..
From those grieving days when self pity was the name of the day, to driving through Alabama on the way to Birmingham admiring the red necks of the over weight sheriffs reminding you of Sheriff Bruscoe..

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tomorrows review...R9..

Reunion Gig...

When I first heard that Sabbath were getting back together for a reunion gig at the Birmingham NEC my heart sank..
Here was a band I'd listened too for as long as I could remember, Sabbath bloody Sabbath record I believe..but never seen
Live.I'd seen Ozzy several times..but just not the same..Same with Sabbath and their singers ....just not the same..I never thought I'd get a ticket for the gig..but..
well, yes...the very night they made a live Mother couldn't understand how I could go to the UK just for this..

Nuff said..Bill Ward, Iommi, Butler and Ozzy...There aint anything this massive in sound or originality...and never will be again.

all started here.....

and just a few years after my birth..

and last but not least..if your not convinced yet...poor quality ..but trust me..when your standing there it blasts your head off......chunka chunka chuuuuuunk....

Ronnie James Dio passes away..

At the age of 67, Ronnie James Dio has died of stomach cancer.
Now then, respect for this guys voice or what? It was one of the most powerful in the Rock trade.
Personally I was never a fan of his , one of the view concerts I watched one or two songs and walked out of. (Rainbow in the dark a favorite and Holy Diver..)

But he will be remembered for that huge voice he had!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

..and here she prize..the Black Widow, isn't she lovely and so deadly

...those of you familiar with Alice Cooper with get the title...and Vincent Price of course who was in all the Hammer House of Horror films in my youth..
Anyway, here is the Gibson..year? not sure till I get the number out from behind the paint over, you can see a number very lightly under the paid and Made in USA its 71,71,73,or 74.Well, the body is anyway..the rest is a bunch of gear from the early 60's original abr tuner, lightweight 63 tailpiece, 68 paf sticker pickups which have been used so much they have hardly any gold left on them, 59 Grover tuners..list goes on and on...the caps are bumble bees...the height adjuster wheels and posts are yes, it looks like its really old and used and abused and to be honest it has..fretless wonders are still original and its not the easiest guitar I've ever tried to play..its been over painted through its life, its had a crack between the volume and tone pot...its had it's neck broken and gone through rehab and's still a very special guitar which you have to play to really understand why these guitars were the guitar that you plugged into a Marshall and played Rock.

EJ02002 slight Relic

Heres one of the projects that took the most time and effort but which was worth the wait.
Long story short, the first fender body I purchased off ebay was this EJ two tone light weight. What I liked about the body was the cutback and flowing lines. Weighing in at around 4.1LBs also helps.
But that was it..I bought EJ pickups but didn't really like them as much as they were hyped.They're special but the scatterwounds from Oz blew them away.
So..time went by and the body had several set the end of the day it ended up stripped and naked in the corner..until I noticed an ad of a guy who had done what nobody else I'd seen done, and that was relic a "same year" neck of the body. This came with a "same year" EJ neck plate.
So, the body had the perfect neck as it was also in used condition and suited a relic'd neck.
The rest had to suit and what you see is a long list of correct year parts for a 50's Strat, in true geek fashion. The single-ply scratch plate has 50s style pup covers, knobs and of course the football style switch tip.You'll notice it isn't the same as the later switch tips. Ok, if your gonna do something right, do it right. It's quite difficult to get that reliced "bakelite" white across the board, but I managed without going down the usual routes of turning everything ivory colored.
The tuners are actually GOTOH that are reliced by a guy in the states, who has been doing the job for a long time.They look awesome.
Obviously a big difference with the EJ and other custom shop is the steel block which has more meat to it that its 60s cousins. Thats why you'll see the string ends near the base. More sustain.EJ demanded this on his custom shop. I however managed to sort out a reliced steel base with a reliced Gotoh saddle plate and add some steel Reissue saddles that looked used. Okay, the EJ doesn't have a rear cover, one of the points that makes it special, so you can't have a relic this and that without the block, springs and claw being reliced, as well as every screw.So, look at the pics, the springs and claw are also reliced as well as all the screws mounting the hardware and all the rest. The smaller details complete the bigger picture.
Now then, I'm not a huge fan of heavy relic, so what we're talking here is a clean guitar that looks a wee bit used but not over abused. That will happen through being used, as the thin nitro is already rubbing down.
The pickups are wrapped by 50's style round edged pup covers , the magnets are not reliced and too bad.But the pups are quite rare, a set of 1959 pups from the custom shop which could only be found in the thinskins '59 stratocaster. They sound awesome.
Quarter sawn neck really makes this one sing and I'm delighted with the finished project.The EJ neck is fantastic and I understand the 2800 dollar price tag on these guitars...But, I like mine more! 

Tokai ..

Several well known guitarists have played these Tokai replica Strats, the most famous being the late Stevie Ray Vaughan. Stevie appears on the cover of Tokai's 1985-1986 Edition of their Electric Guitars catalog. Also, an interesting piece of trivia concerns Stevie's Texas Flood (Epic 1983) album cover photo. It was taken while Stevie was playing a Tokai replica Strat. On the cover, the Tokai logo was removed, however, many music shops sell a poster of that album cover and "Tokai Springy Sound" is clearly visible on the headstock.

In the customs paperwork Mr SRV had Tokai Strat in the list....

Saturday, May 15, 2010

amazing thread...

The Pikasso

Here we go..Pat Matheny apparently has played this creation...reckon you'd need a boot full of tabs to even pick her up..all the best..


Gibson Les Paul.
Nuff said. Okay, so nowadays it's all about the buck and Gibson seem to have entered into a CBSesque style timewarp where they're guitars are getting through quality control without the quality we expect.
And having looked at some of the high end Gibsons I have to agree with my mate that they are appearing to, "suck"..
I had a really nice Les Paul, Jimmy Page Signature first run from 95.beautiful flame. But the pickups were stock and I really didn't get anything from the gimmick of push-pull pots on all four and well, I decided to sell to finance other projects.
But the Gibson Custom Shop still pump out some classic items, here the latest Peter Green 59 Butterscotch..yes please.

then the JP Authentic...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ibanez Hoshino Gakki 100 Anniversary

Passing the local music shop today ended in a decent Indian lunch with Bruce, the owner, and a friend of his called Per, a guitarist of some note by all accounts and top bloke working at the Botanical gardens.
Looking at the guitars around the shop I noticed a rather ugly looking guitar hanging there with a price tag of 89,000kr. WTF! Ibanez? Basswood japanese junk that have to use hot Dimarzio pups and Floyd Rose to get their sound..well, not quite.Lets just say I don't have one, never played one but I'm sure Vai, Satriani and all the rest know a good guitar when it drops by.
This isn't basswood.
This is very rare, one of 3 in Europe apparently.
Reading around and apparently they don't sustain very well as standard models.
Well, in a way its cool. despite the cost.It's interesting to see that Ibanez guitars are demanding some huge prices though for models in pretty basic woods. But whatever works I suppose, they do have their own following and sound and for once they're original nowadays. Can't understand any hype for any Jap builder of copies. Doesn't really matter if its considered better, as i don't believe they are.Just cheaper. And, copies. JJ- JUST JUNK! and like all junk, cheap junk.
Saying that though...they do have some great craftsman and pride in their work. So sure, they've done some great work..but..copies...naaaaaa.
However...Ibanez, they have their own look, so yes, I'd probably buy one one day.