|Random thoughts as we head towards the New Year|
No...this isn't the Best Of page... yet. Some interesting things have happened around GuitarAttack World Headquarters over these past few weeks, and we wanted to share them with you.
Thought #1: How not to buy an SG
The GuitarAttack Crew was ecstatic when we heard about a 1962 Gibson Les Paul SG with an ebony block tailpiece being for sale in a neighboring town. With MasterCard in hand and caution thrown to the wind, we headed down to look at the beast. The finish was pretty rough, and though the guitar had one original PAF pickup, the other pickup was not original. There were some cracks in the finish around the neck joint, but it didn't appear that there was any damage to the wood. Additionally, there were a number of non-original parts on the guitar, but the emotion of looking at that ebony block was too much. Cha-ching!
That night we decided to give our new baby a good cleaning. First we disassembled as much as we could -- first thing to fix was the funky, nasty finish. Using naphtha, rubbing compound, and other cleaning agents we cleaned years of dirt, sweat, and beer off of the guitar. Finally, after three hours of rubbing and cleaning, we noticed something in the neck pickup cavity...it looked like wood glue squeeze out. Sure enough, on either side of the tenon was a cleverly disguised wood screw. Well sir...the neck had indeed been broken off. While the repair was pretty well done, this made the amount we paid for the guitar look ridiculously high.
Talk about taking the wind out of your sails. This guitar -- one that had been on the GuitarAttack wish list for a long time -- had been seriously damaged. If you've ever been in this situation, you'll agree -- you don't even want to pick the guitar up after finding this kind of repair! We phoned the seller the next morning and talked to him. He was as surprised as we were, and agreed to take the guitar back. He showed a lot of integrity, and it is deeply appreciated.
Lesson Learned: Rely on facts, not emotion, and always check that neck joint from the inside on an old SG!
Thought #2: PAFs on eBay
While we had the old Les Paul/SG, we slapped the real live PAF in our test guitar and gave it a test drive. Guess what? It is clear that the Attackbucker custom wound in the GuitarAttack Shop sounded as good as the PAF. Blasphemy, you say? I guess it is blasphemy when someone is willing to pay nearly $1000 for a PAF on eBay, sight unseen. The saddest part is that our 1987 Gibson Les Paul/SG '61 sounded and played as good (or better) than the old SG. Yes, it is true.
This goes back to our age-old question: Name a really good guitarist that has bad tone and a bad sounding rig? Of course. Fellas...that PAF is not going to help you that much. Oh...and by the way...I wouldn't recommend buying anything that is not soldered in the guitar and the original owner is standing there with the sales receipt. There are so many convincing fakes floating around, that the buyer must always be on the offensive!
Thought #3: MARS Music, R.I.P.
As reported on the Opinion Page a while back, we determined through our awesome MasterMind Group (Mr. KK, et al) that MARS in Nashville was in trouble. Well, guess what? They had their day in bankruptcy court, and they should be, by this time, about liquidated. Is this good or bad for the music industry (MI) business?
Hard to say -- is that definitive enough? I believe that Americans in general have become desensitized to "no customer service". Because we are now buying our "stuff" at Wal-Mart and not Mom and Pop stores like we used to back in the day, we really don't understand what customer service is, or how great it is when we get it.
I thought MARS was full of goons and wannabes...and those were the salesmen. Oh well, rest in peace MARS. Too bad the Staples business model didn't work out. The key question is "who's next"?
Thought #4: Celebrities as Ambassadors
There are plenty of political sites on the web, but this can't be passed up. Remember how everyone said how President Bush was stupid and didn't know anything about anything? I never believed that at all. He was a Harvard and Yale man -- normally that is enough to shut down just about any argument (if you're on the correct side, politically). Well...good thing we've got Sean Penn going to Baghdad to figure it all out. I believe that is one of the most outrageous things I've ever seen, and rivals Hanoi Jane manning the S-60 antiaircraft gun during her "Far East Tour" during the Summer of Love. We sure are lucky to have such enlightened voices for the new or old generation for that matter. The actor's petition to "end all wars" was particularly charming, too. I'm going out on a limb here -- these brats couldn't care less about you or me, or our soldiers.
Good thing these idiots weren't around in early 1944 to keep us from invading Europe. We had prepared all kinds of witty things to say about them, but you know...they just aren't worth it. OK kids...back to work.
Thought #5: the Perfect Rock Quote
Our favorite GuitarAttack movie is This is Spinal Tap.
We saw that the Smithsonian Institution archived it as one of the greats of all
time...Here, here! It is too real in some spots...kind of makes us feel
uncomfortable. In one memorable moment, rocker Nigel Tufnel, played by Christopher
Guest, explains his pride and joy -- a Marshall amplifier with dials that reach
"11" -- to a documentarian played by the film's real director, Rob Reiner.
Thought #6: I Wanna Be A Gansta
Forget for a moment that rap is demeaning to women...where is N.O.W. when you need them? We all took gansta names here at GuitarAttack -- the Fly Thug said hello. We culled some of favorite rap sayings for those of you not in tune to those wacky kids. These little phrases are not made up -- they are appropriate for Little League games and discussions at school:
Enough said...Have a great New Year, and check back soon for our Best Of 2003!