Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cryptic Message On Analogman Pedal?

This Analogman pedal had me doing a double take. 

Analogman Pedal
Silkscreened on the back of this innocuous, but very fine Analogman custom loop pedal is "WE DOPED AL SRIGHT".

Who is Al Sright and why was he doped? 

Intrigued by this cryptic message, I accessed the Oracle of the modern information age

But Google revealed nothing.

We have to get to the bottom of this.

It's time to we all head down to our local boutique pedal store to check out as many Analogman pedals as we can.  Don't forget to bring along a Phillips screwdriver so you can access the inside of each pedal as well.  Look out for any serial numbers that might coincide with a date from the last ten years or so.  Just because.

And go ahead and plug 'em into your favorite Class A tube amp while you're at it.  The mystery of Al Sright might be right there in the tone.  Listen closely and let the pedal speak to you.

After you've soaked in all that boutique analog juiciness, buy a couple and bring them home for closer inspection.  No more pedal real estate on that 6' x' 2' custom pedalboard?  Analogman pedals make great stocking stuffers for Christmas!

Let's make this a concerted effort folks.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bill Connors | "Never Say Goodbye, Variations on Layla"

This one brings back a lot of memories! 

The July 1985 issue of Guitar Player magazine was devoted almost entirely to Eric Clapton and this piece, "Never Say Goodbye -- Variations on Layla" was specially commissioned for the included Soundpage.

According to Bill Connors who composed 'Variations' and played all the guitar parts, "The session took place at Media Sound in New York.  I had trouble hearing the first part back in my headphones, and when I added the middle voice to bars 17 through 22, the chords turned out to be slightly out of tune, giving things an eerie quality.  I considered doing it over, but decided that it had a horn-like feel that I liked, so I kept it."

Connors used his Charvel Strat-copy equipped with prototype DiMarzio pickups through a Dean Markley tube amp and Marshall cabinets.

Readers old enough to remember the heady experience of peeling open the outer shrinkwrap cover of a newly purchased record album will also remember the wonderful aroma of the black record vinyl therein.  (Don't knock it til you've tried it). 

Back in the day, circa October '84 til Dec '89, GP's monthly addition of the free Soundpage -- a paper-thin playable record, manufactured by Eva-Tone -- always featured exciting and unique content, often unavailable anywhere else.   Replete with that black vinyl smell!

It was on the first of these Guitar Player magazine Soundpages that I heard 'The Attitude Song' by a guy called Steve Vai -- blowing my mind and causing me to bust more than a few strings in the process. 

Check out my earlier Bill Connors article here.
The complete home study jazz guitar course

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

1959 Gibson ES335 on eBay | Mike Landau Owned!

Here's an eBay listing for a 1959 Gibson ES335 dot-neck owned by Mike Landau!

Mike rarely gives interviews and never comments on the gear he consigns on eBay, but for this guitar he had this to say:

"I've had the pleasure of owning this fine guitar for about 17 years now. I bought the 335 at Rudy's in New York while on tour with James Taylor, I think is was around '92 or '93. Its an amazing playing AND amazing sounding instrument, plus its definitely got the look. I used it on many sessions over the years, funny enough, I used it on a lot of Nashville artists some years back, including a couple solo's on Tim McGraw and also on his lovely wife Faith Hill."

"The guitar is all original except for an expert refret by Jim Tyler when I first got the guitar. I have the original tuners as well (I put new ones on when Jim refreted it) sadly its time to part with it now, I just don't play it that much anymore, I hope it find's a good home - Its a very juicy guitar!"

The original Patent Applied For pickups, with the black PAF stickers still attached on the underside, measure 8.56K ohms for the front pickup and 8.52K ohms on the bridge.  The 50-year old Alnico magnets would probably also have mellowed very nicely. 

The seller, LA Vintage Gear has listed several Mike Landau owned pieces on eBay in the past and are currently also listing Mike's custom Matchless Chieftain 2 x 12 which you can check out here.

eBay Item Number: 200511658923

Friday, September 24, 2010

Carlos Santana's Guitar Heaven | The Greatest Guitar Classics Of All Time

Have you ever wondered what Carlos Santana would sound like if he had to go back to playing covers in clubs, taking requests written in a smudgy scrawl on the back of a bar napkin, or humoring the punter in the back yelling out for Smoke On The Water for the fifth time that night?

Folks, wonder no more. 

Santana's latest release Guitar Heaven:  The Greatest Guitar Classics Of All Time features our favorite guitar hero playing through a selection of tunes as they might appear on aforesaid proverbial napkin. 

Granted, each tune is given enough of a twist to not be a mere carbon copy, but you've got to wonder if the punter in question in this case might be producer/record mogul Clive Davis.  Using the same winning formula that brought sales of 27 million copies for 1999's Supernatural, Davis teams Carlos up with some of the more current names in the business to provide the foil on Guitar Heaven's 12 tracks (14 on the Deluxe Edition) -- Chris Daughtry, Scott Weiland, Chester Benington, Rob Thomas, Gavin Rossdale, India Arie, Scott Stapp, Chris Cornell and Joe Cocker make guest vocal appearances.

For me, some of the material works, some of it doesn't quite fly.  But that's what you get when attempting an entire album's worth of classic tunes.  But Carlos gives it his all on each cut -- I especially dig his take on Jimmy Page's guitar fills on the solo breakdown of Whole Lotta Love!

And you've got to admit, few guitar heroes out there today are able to weave such tasty guitar fills around a vocal line with such elegance and spontaneity, without getting in the way.

Check out Carlos's heartfelt version of Little Wing with Joe Cocker on vocals in this clip!

Remember Guitar Heaven the next time someone yells out for Smoke On The Water at your local weekly gig.  Smile, play it your own way and remember that no one really finishes paying their dues.  Not even Carlos Santana.

For more song previews go to:

Friday, September 17, 2010

DIY iPhone Holder for Guitar!

Klein guitar
My good buddy Randolf Arriola came up with this holder that mounts his iPhone to the guitar, giving him easy right-hand access to the touch screen.  A really great idea considering that many of the current commercially available iPhone holders mount to the guitar neck near the headstock.

As Randolf describes it, "The pic is an early prototype. I tried several along the way but my current latest is actually a mini speaker wall mount with one of the iPhone grips which I can attach or remove with a simplex hex key. It's the most secure and functional version yet, until I come across something else down the road."

Photo credit: Anton Chia
Reminds me of the Synclavier guitar interface from the 80's.  Nice Klein guitar too!

I've known Randolf for some 25 years and in that time I've seen him evolve from a Van Halen-esque guitarist playing in Top 40 cover bands, to an Allan Holdsworth devotee capable of executing several of the master's intense chordal pieces.  And always with an ear for sound and a penchant for hours of endless tone tweaking.

Randolf has spent the last few years delving into the world of looping and will be headlining at this year's Y2K-X 10th Anniversary International Live Looping Festival in Santa Cruz and San Jose, California.  He will be performing on October 16th at Pearl Alley Studios in Santa Cruz.

Rock n' roll Randolf, do us proud!

Check out his latest looping video:

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Stevie Ray Vaughan Lesson

27th August 2010 marks the 20th anniversary of Stevie Ray's passing.

Has it really been that long? 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Blankenship Amp Owned By Mike Landau On eBay!

Up for your perusal is a Mike Landau owned Blankenship Fat Boy Supreme with Sour Cream option -- a 6-position bright switch.

Unlike the stock Fat Boy Supremes which come with a single 15" speaker, this amp is outfitted with a pair of 12" Rola Celestion G12-65's which seem to be Mike's favorite. 

And to up the deliciousness factor, this particular amp comes in a rich chocolate-brown tweed.

According to Blankenship's website, their Fat Boy amps allow the player to switch  between a pair of 6V6 or 6L6 power tubes, without having to re-bias the amp.  The Sour Cream option gives the customer a choice of either a Volume and 6-position bright switch or two dedicated Volumes, controlled by a footswitch.

Decisions, decisions..

Past listings by the seller, LA Vintage Gear, also included a pristine 1967 Fender Twin, also owned by Mike, that was reworked by Roy Blankenship.

eBay Item #:  200504434748

Friday, August 13, 2010

Steve Lukather Getting It On With Multi-Tap Delay

Tired of conventional reverb washing out your tone, making you sound like you're playing from a bathroom in the building next door?  Let Mr Steve Lukather lay down the rules of using a multi-tap delay.

The concept is pretty simple.  Stack three (or more) delays of different delay time lengths together -- let's say 200, 600 and 800 milliseconds -- and have at it.  For added juiciness, pan the different delays in a stereo field to taste.

Of course you'll need a pretty slamming delay unit if you're going live -- in this vid, Luke demonstrates the vintage Lexicon PCM70.  Allan Holdsworth, another die-hard multi-tap delay loyalist helped design the now sadly discontinued Yamaha UD Stomp which featured no less than eight individual delays in a stompbox floor unit!

Or as Lukather puts it, "The most fun that you can have with your clothes on.."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Paul Rivera's Fender Princeton Mod Link

If you read my post on Steve Lukather's Rivera modified Princeton amp, here's a link I recently discovered that provides instructions and schematics to get your Fender Princeton souped up to Lukather's specs:

Bear in mind that I make no claim as to the accuracy or safety of the amp mod information on that site. 

And make sure you know what you're doing before opening up any amp and poking around in there -- these kinds of mods are best left to a qualified technician.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Making A Gypsy Jazz Guitar Pick!

For those who can't bring themselves to fork out 15 bucks or more for a handmade Wegen pick, here's a vid showing how you can make your very own Gypsy jazz guitar pick.

In true Gypsy jazz guitar tradition, the base material looks to be at least 3mm thick!  Acetal plastic was used for the pick in this video, but for some downhome Gypsy authenticity, beef or hambone could also be used if you're so inclined.

Respiratory masks are a must when making your own custom guitar picks!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Aethertone Steampunk Style Stratocaster on eBay

Here's custom work you won't see too often.  No EVH Frankenstein or SRV 'Number One' clones for this creative DIY'er!

Dubbed the Aethertone AE1, this Steampunk style guitar is actually an '89 Fender Stratocaster that was modified so that the entire body appears to be wrapped in burnished metal plates. 

A tribute to Victorian-era steam engines, the plates, according to the seller, are not really metal.   And neither are the 150 painted-on screws that seemingly hold the plates in place!

The Steampunk even  features its own steam pressure gauge that opens up to reveal a secret compartment to store picks! 

And check out that deeply scalloped fretboard!

It wouldn't surprise me if the Fender Custom Shop starts knocking on the door of the Aethertone AE1's creator very soon.

eBay item number: 140430483553

Saturday, July 24, 2010

1966 Marshall Super Lead Plexi Head Owned by Eric Johnson on eBay!

The sellers of this fine 1966 Marshall Super Lead Plexi head were at first a bit coy as to who the celebrity owner actually was, showing us only a partial signature on the handwritten letter of authenticity.  I'm digging Eric Johnson's cursive penmanship!     

The listing for this particular amp has ended, but what the hey, better late than never I always say.

eBay Item number: 230500114170

The sellers also have what is possibly an authentic Jimi Hendrix owned Marshall JTM45, serial number 7026 on their website which you can check out here!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Joe Satriani | Birthday Tribute!

Born July 15th 1956, Joe Satriani is 54 today!

In this clip from the Seville '92 Expo Guitar Legends concert, Joe is backed by the incredible rhythm section of Nathan East and Steve Ferrone!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cool Guitar Website Alert | Arizona Guitar Brokers!

I just received a comment from Jordan Warner on my Leon McAuliffe-owned Fender Broadcaster post.  Jordan was the eBay seller of that vintage gem and now runs Arizona Guitar Brokers.

Arizona Guitar Brokers is currently featuring a Leon McAuliffe-owned Fender Precision bass along with some very nice vintage Fender Jazzmaster guitars from the 50's and '60s. 

The multiple picture views of each item in AZGB's inventory is a nice touch too. 

And dig that bird's-eye maple-topped BC Rich Mockingbird!

Check out and check back often!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

TS808 Tubescreamer Owned By Stevie Ray Vaughan On eBay!

This eBay listing had me reading it twice and then a third time to make sure that it wasn't just a clever item description to draw attention. 

Folks, it's Holy Grail time again at eBay!

Up for your perusal is what the seller claims to be a genuine Ibanez TS808 Tubescreamer formerly owned by Stevie Ray Vaughan!

Tubescreamer connoisseurs will notice that this pedal is from 1980 with the 'registered trademark' above the Ibanez logo and the sought after JRC4558 chip in the circuit, coveted for its warm, 'brown sound'.

Interestingly, pedal mod guru Analogman's Tubescreamer history page also lists this pedal with serial number 111179 as belonging to Stevie Ray Vaughan and Cesar Diaz, Stevie's tech at the time.

Vintage TS808's go for a pretty penny these days but given its pedigree, I anticipate that the price of this particular pedal is going to go through the roof.  But as always, do the necessary research before committing!

(EBay Item #: 270592330548)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Electric Guitar Stilettos... Ayyyyy!

Designed by Max Kibardian in collaboration with Chicks On Speed for their Objekt Instruments collection, this stiletto incorporates strings, a pickup and a built-in wireless transmitter

I'm guessing the strings can be tuned and will vibrate with each step -- tune each shoe a flat 5th apart and you'll have a little Purple Haze intro happening! 

This one should have Manolo the Shoeblogger going ayyyyy!

Found at

Monday, May 31, 2010

1982 Ibanez Rocket Roll Formerly Owned By Joe Satriani on eBay!

Here's an interesting listing for a 1982 Ibanez Rocket Roll II  Flying V on eBay, formerly owned by Joe Satriani!

The documentation that comes with this guitar states that it was consigned to Real Guitars in San Francisco by Satriani himself, although according to the seller Satriani could not remember if the guitar was used on any of his recordings.  Modifications to the instrument, including the addition of two Seymour Duncan Seth Lover pickups were also done at Real Guitars.

Produced for a short time between 1982 and 1983, the Rocket Roll II came a couple of years after the Destroyer II, Ibanez's variation on the Gibson Explorer.  Together with the Ibanez Iceman, the Rocket Roll II and Destroyer II were Ibanez's early forays into the hard rock and heavy metal markets and precursors to the shred axes that Ibanez has become so well known for.

Do the necessary research if you're getting this guitar for the owned-by-Satriani mojo aspect.

(eBay Item #: 190399406612)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Eric Johnson Talks About His New Signature Stratocaster

Fender has just released this great video of Eric Johnson talking about his new signature Stratocaster

According to Eric, the bound rosewood fingerboard on this signature model was inspired by a run of Stratocasters in 1965 that appeared briefly with fingerboard binding. 

I'm not sure if I could get used to seeing a Strat with fingerboard binding, but if the body edges were squared off and bound as well that would be a different story -- Strat-in-a-tuxedo territory baby!

Other player friendly features on the EJ RW include a 12 inch fingerboard radius, jumbo frets, pickups wound a littler hotter and custom voiced by Eric Johnson himself and staggered tuners that eliminate the need for string-trees and potential tuning hangups.  Interestingly also, the neck was modelled after Johnson's favorite vintage '62 rosewood neck Strat.  Finish the two-piece alder body and neck in Fender's thin-skin nitrocellulose finish and you have one serious tone machine!

It's always a joy to watch Eric play, and if we are to believe what we're seeing, Johnson is getting his trademark 100 lb violin tone out of what looks a little vintage tweed 'narrow panel' Fender Champ -- after being routed through his extensive pedalboard offscreen at left of course!

Check out this link for Eric Johnson's Guitar Setup Secrets Part 2!

Joe Satriani's Experience Hendrix 2010 Guitars Revealed!

The folks at Premier Guitar have detailed Joe Satriani's pedalboard and amp setup as well the single-coil equipped prototype Ibanez JS custom axes he used for the recent Experience Hendrix 2010 tour!

Satch also talks about his switch to Marshall heads from his signature Peavey JSX's for both Chickenfoot and Experience Hendrix.

“At the start of the Chickenfoot tour, I noticed that my Peavey JSX rig sounded more specialized for someone playing lead guitar all night.  I had Marshall send me some different stuff to try out in Vienna, and I ended up using a JVM410 for the rest of the tour. It made such a profound difference, because I’m playing rhythm guitar most of the time in that band.  I was shocked to find that using a Vox Satchurator into a Marshall 6100 Anniversary head’s clean channel was really the best sound." 

Satriani tonehounds take note.

But it doesn't stop there!  Those resourceful PG folks also give us a great all access view of  the guitars and gear of Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jonny Lang, Susan Tedeschi, Robert Randolph and Vernon Reid. 

And not forgetting of course Eric Johnson's particularly quirky setup complete with specific wooden folding chair on which he places his Marshall head for the ultimate in tone!

(Pic and Quote Source:

Monday, May 24, 2010

Pristine 1964 Fender Vibroverb on eBay!

From the folks at LA Vintage Gear comes this eBay listing for an immaculate Fender Vibroverb from 1964! 

According to the seller, a few caps and resistors on this amp have been replaced over its lifetime --perfectly normal as capacitors are prone to leaks or drying out after a decade -- and a JBL speaker swapped out for the original Oxford 15-inch speaker.  As a bonus the seller is also including the original Oxford speaker. 

And every tonehound knows that a 15-inch speaker is the key to that elusive Stevie Ray sound!   Crank up that Strat neck pickup because that 15 is going to make your guitar sound like you went up two string gauges.  At least!

Seriously, the condition of this amp is unbelievable -- even the grille cloth is a perfect, just-out-of-the-factory silver and light grey.  Not bad for an amp that is 46 years old! 

Originally released in 1963, the first year of production saw this amp as a 'brownface' -- brown faceplate, brown knobs, light brown grille cloth and a cabinet clad in brown tolex. Fender switched to the classic blackface and silver grille cloth for the Vibroverb in 1964 and upped the wattage to 40W from the previous 35W on the brownface with some modifications to the tube layout. 

The Vibroverb was also the first amp in the Fender line to incorporate a built in spring reverb.  These spring reverb tanks which Fender procured from Hammond helped define the Fender sound and indeed the guitar sounds used in pop music in general in the 60's.  And it still stands that if you want a defined, ballsy reverb that doesn't wash out your guitar tones at more extreme settings, a spring reverb is still the way to go!

(eBay Item #: 200475280868)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fender Custom Shop 1960 Relic Stratocaster Owned by Michael Landau on eBay!

Here's an eBay listing for a Relic 1960 Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster owned by Michael Landau

According to the seller LA Vintage Gear, this Sonic Blue Strat was specially built for Landau by the Fender Custom Shop in 2002.   And for many big name pros that usually means a visit to the custom shop to hand-pick choice bodies and necks out of the batch.  A privilege for the lucky few! 

And if there's anybody that knows what he wants in a Strat, it's Mike.

Weighing in at 7.8lbs, this axe comes with all accessories and a Certificate of Authenticity.

(eBay Item #:  270581947272)

And here's a link to a Mike Landau-owned Tyler Studio Elite!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Guitar Recovery In Nashville After Floods

Chris Leuzinger's 1952 Les Paul after the flood
Nashville is still picking up the pieces after flash floods early this month poured about a foot of rain over the city.

And not spared was Soundcheck Nashville, the town's largest music storage warehouse, and as it turns out, the storage facility of choice for three quarters of Nashville's artists and musicians.

It is estimated that 1,000 guitars and 2,000 amplifiers were damaged at Soundcheck, many of which were vintage instruments and irreplaceable -- Chris Leuzinger's 1952 Les Paul Gold Top was rescued from under 3 1/2 feet of water that flooded the warehouse.

Sadly also, Soundcheck seems to have been under-insured given the extent of this calamity.

Meanwhile Nashville's own George Gruhn, Joe Glaser and Ed Beaver, together with 20 other volunteers have begun the task of assessing the damage and sending out the more valuable instruments for repair in neighbouring states.

Said Glaser, "We're all just motivated by one thing here: We want to save Nashville's guitars. This is our history here."

(Pic and Quote Source:

1979 Dumble Overdrive Deluxe Demo!

Here's one for all the Dumble freaks, umm.. afficionados out there!   The basic Dumble amplifier design is based around the Fender Deluxe circuit but modified to achieve much higher gain, more harmonic complexity at the top-end and more low-end on the bass.

Dumbles are hand-built from the ground up but this video features what is said to be a Dumble-modified Fender Deluxe amp -- a real rarity.  Alexander Dumble retained the tremelo and reverb circuit on this amp, and it also sounds like he goosed up the intensity of the tremelo a fair bit -- warm, lush, pulsating and downright hypnotic!

And dig the '2001: Space Odyssey'-style amp face lettering -- another Dumble hallmark.

Head over to this YouTube link for more:

You can also check out my earlier article on Dumble amps with a great video demo of the Overdrive Special by guitarist Gregor Hilden here:

Monday, May 17, 2010

Schecter YM-1 Yngwie Malmsteen Signature on eBay

Here's a rare Schecter YM-1 Yngwie Malmsteen signature model on eBay. 

Both Schecter and Aria Guitars were quick to sign up Yngwie when he landed in the US in the early 80's and started making a name for himself as rock guitar's new wunderkind.  Both endorsements were short-lived however, and Yngwie continued to play his Fender Stratocasters exclusively, right up until the time when Fender decided it made good commercial sense to produce an Yngwie signature model themselves.

The Schecter YM-1 featured an ash body, fully scalloped rosewood fretboard and a two-point fulcrum-style bridge, likely made by Trev Wilkinson.  Ash-bodied Schecters from this era are noticeably heavy -- think 80's era Les Paul-type weight in a Strat-shaped body!  

The Schecter YM-1 is also the very first example of a production model guitar with a scalloped fingerboard and is probably one of the reasons so few were made.  1986 was pre-CNC, and scalloping fingerboards was still an arduous, time-consuming, blister-inducing affair.

Electronically, the YM-1 takes the cake!  Since Yngwie never used the middle pickup on his Strats, the middle pickup on the YM-1 is wired as a hum-cancelling coil for the front and bridge pickups while the 3-way selector switch allowed for classic out-phase Strat tones in the middle position.  The single-coils on this axe bear former Schecter employee Tom Anderson's large-polepiece, cover-less bobbin design. 

Also unique are the three control knobs on the YM-1 which are wired for master volume, treble and bass!

Just under 5 hours to go on this auction! 

(eBay Item No:  220601401779 )

And here's a link to a rare Fender Yngwie Malmsteen Double Neck Stratocaster!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ceriatone JTM45 with VVR Mod, Demo I

I was looking through old footage on the videocam the other day and came across a couple of clips from my Ceriatone factory visit in September 2009 -- clips which I was telling myself to post up ages ago but never got around to.

In this vid I'm playing Ceriatone's in-house tester guitar, a Fender American Standard Stratocaster, which I might add, was really well set up. 

I used the rhythm pickup with the guitar straight into the amp, in this case a Ceriatone JTM45 head into a Ceriatone 1 x 12 cabinet.  The EQ was set flat, more or less, with no reverb or additional pedals.

This is all I could want in a clean tone, really.  This thing sounded really juicy with glassy overtones and the Variable Voltage Regulator (VVR) mod added a natural compression to the notes.  This amp had a lot of 'sponginess' or 'give' to the tone, and the notes seemed to get bigger after the initial pick attack.  Really easy to play through.

Stay tuned for a couple more Ceriatone clips soon.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

What Does Body-Painting Have to Do With The 2010 International Adelaide Guitar Festival?

What does body painting have to do with the 2010 Adelaide International Guitar Festival?

Lots it seems.

While my previous post on the Splato-caster featured paint in a guitar body, this one features a guitar painted on a body.  How about that for interesting parallels.. 

The work of Australian body-paint artist Emma Hack, this breathtaking work took more than ten hours to complete and is being used to promote the 2010 Adelaide International Guitar Festival that will run from 25th - 28th November.  

Apparently, the piece will be displayed throughout the duration of the festival and will be auctioned off at the end.  Although it is not entirely clear if the winning bidder gets to take the actual work of art home. 

(Pic and story source:


Friday, May 7, 2010

Fender Splatocaster by Scott Buehl

If you can think it, the Fender Custom Shop can probably build it.

Based on Jimmy Stout's winning entry to Guitar World's 2004 'Design Your Dream Guitar' contest, the Splatocaster was realised by Fender Custom Shop veteran builder Scott Buehl who took up the task of creating the aluminum-framed, fluid-filled instrument. 

Wait a minute.. fluid-filled? 

Buehl chose to go with bullet-proof, clear Lexan polycarbonate, formed into a hollow Stratocaster body to fit into the aluminum body frame.  The hollow Lexan body was then filled with a fluid made up primarily of paraffin oil, distilled water and food coloring to form a swirl-a-licious ever changing pattern of colors!  

Jimi woulda been proud.

(Pic Source:

Friday, April 30, 2010

Jeff Beck's Studio Guitar Session for Jon Bon Jovi

Whoever thinks studio guitar work is easy had better check out this clip.

And as Jeff Beck will probably readily testify, it's hard work that stretches every fiber of the creative imagination.  And guitar god or not, there's really no such thing as " I'll leave the car engine running while I nip in and whip out 20 perfect seconds of pure guitar magic."

In this rare clip of Jeff Beck's guitar session for Jon Bon Jovi's song Blaze of Glory from the Young Guns II soundtrack, we see Jeff really being put through his paces.  Almost everything he plays is perfect, from a technical standpoint.  Great tone and intonation with the notes just blooming out of his Fender Stratocaster.  All the amazing Beck inflections are there.   It's enough to make a grown man weep.
Except for one thing.  It doesn't 'sit' in the track well enough.  Yet. 
Of course we've all heard the final outcome (some of us might even remember seeing the movie, but we won't go there) and marvelled at Jeff's uncanny abilities, thinking, "Bloody hell, that Jeff Beck!"  But this is the grit and determination it took to get to that point folks! 
So if you've ever found yourself in a recording situation, and after many takes plopping yourself on a seat and rolling a Drum cigarette in frustration, take heart.  It's happened to the best of them.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Duane Allman's '57 Goldtop Les Paul

I just came across this very cool site about a '57 Goldtop Les Paul, serial number 7 3312.

Originally owned by Duane Allman who played it on a number of recordings including Statesboro Blues and Layla, Allman swapped this Goldtop for a '59 'plain-top' sunburst Les Paul model in 1970.

The guitar resurfaced in 1977 when it was traded in at a music store, stripped of its goldtop to a laquered natural finish. 

It was purchased by Scot Lamar and Peter Young who saw the instrument's intrinsic value, although the fact that the guitar was owned by Duane Allman apparently did not factor into the music store's asking price!  I'm guessing they would have pretty much paid the standard going rate for late '50s goldtop Les Pauls at the time, which would probably have been anywhere upwards of $3000 or even much less, considering its delapidated condition replete with tooth marks on the headstock where it was chewed on by a previous owner's puppy!

Rightfully, the guitar was restored back to its former golden glory by Gibson finish guru Tom Murphy in the late 90's.

One of the current owners, Mike Boulware, has this to say about the instrument and its link to Duane Allman:   

"I think the reason is that, like many great players, he, as a man, came through stronger than what instrument he played, with one notable distinction... when he played slide on the Gold Top, the universe held it's breath to listen."

Apparently the owners are now selling the Duane Allman Goldtop. The asking price? A cool $1.1 million. 

Check out a detailed history of this amazing axe here:

Monday, April 26, 2010

Fender Furniture | Fender HotSeat and Stratocaster Tables!

Outfitting that newly refurbished den or basement jam room?  Think out of the IKEA box for a bit and consider these.

With designs licensed from Fender, Overkill Design LLC is producing a range of HotSeats and Fender Tables.  

The HotSeats are designed to mimic the look of a Fender combo amp in either Tweed or black Tolex. A cool feature is the strategically placed volume knob that releases the seat cushion allowing access to storage space within the HotSeat's cabinet.  Great for stashing cables, pedals and other contraband.

Measuring 13" long, 13" wide and 19" tall and weighing 22 lbs. these HotSeats would be difficult to move around were it not for the amp handles, accessible through the clever cut-out on the seat cushions. 

Overkill's Deluxe Stratocaster and Telecaster Tables are solid maple, custom tinted and lacquered for a vintage look.  Six tuning peg caps made of chrome plated steel disks are mounted flush to the table surface while the Fender logo and lettering are silk-screened and laquered over to stand up to everyday use.  Chrome-plated legs and a unique stamped serial number complete the package.

I'm totally digging that natural wood and detailed lettering.  I mean, seriously, wow..

Overkill is also producing a Standard Stratocaster Table made of a varnished wood composite with a vintage tint, silk-screened tuning peg caps and Fender lettering with silver powder-coat legs.

I've never wanted a piece of furniture so much in my life.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Steve Vai and Orianthi on American Idol!

Here's a clip from Wednesday's American Idol episode featuring Mary J Blige backed by Steve Vai and Orianthi Panagaris

Watching Vai fingerpick his way through the acoustic guitar bits of Stairway To Heaven was kind of cool in a 'ok, now we've seen everything' sort of way.  Funky half-acoustic/half-electric Ibanez doubleneck too. 

Orianthi does her own take on the classic Jimmy Page solo at 2:17-2:39, modernizing it with a barrage of pentatonic flurries.

She must have some mighty calluses from all those hammer-ons and pull-offs she does.  Anybody have a picture?

Check out Orianthi's take on Eddie Van Halen's Beat It solo


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