|Spring 2008, as observed from GuitarAttack World Headquarters|
2008 is starting out great for the GuitarAttack Crew in spite of all of the gloom and doom you see on the news. The weather has been great, we've been getting plenty of rain, and nobody around here is going hungry. We like to make observations, and this is what this is about. It won't take too long, and we'd like to hear your thoughts.
Observation 1: There are lots of small guitar shops and builders out there, and we think a lot of them are part-timers and hobbyists. Well, we're not sure of his status, but we found a very cool place through the advice of our regular visitors. The place is Terrapin Guitars and it is run by a guy named John Polk. Click here to see his website. Need a custom or one-off pickguard? This is the place.
Observation 2: YouTube is an incredible website. I've found all kinds of cool videos on there, and I continue to be amazed at what shows up out of the blue. I got an email last week from a guy named Mike Sloat saying he had posted a video of him building a Flying V. We corresponded with John for a while before he started this build. I checked out the video and it blew me away. Click here to see this video, then get to the shop and start building. We're not worthy!
Observation 3: We spoke of the lack of a "big picture" concerning music during our 2007 recap. Well, this season of American Idol shows how business trumps "integrity" every time. Would you be shocked to learn that the performers are not amateurs and a number of them actually had recording contracts? Well, don't be. Click here to read about one performer. It is apparently true, and it has been racing around the internet. Like the America's Next Great Band show and other reality shows, I believe they are all scripted and we, the huddled masses, are left to figure out what is real and what is take two or three. I just know I would hate to show up for an amateur guitar contest at Guitar Center and find Steve Vai standing in front of me at the sign-up table.
Observation 4: We have two new companion websites. The first is "Hooked on Guitars". Click here to see it. There is no content, but we are considering offering Saga guitar kits on this site. What is your opinion on this?
The second is our "Guitar Freakout" site. Click here to see it. There is no content yet, but we liked the name and we plan on offering guitar music for download on this site.
That's what we need -- MORE WEB SITES!
Observation 5: What does it take to be an endorser for a major manufacturer? We know two guys, who shall remain nameless here, who are featured in major guitar magazines endorsing products. We know for a fact that neither are in a current band, neither have a major label recording, and neither are currently touring with anyone! How can this be -- are the endorsers supposed to be stars? Not exactly. My theory is that because a lot of these companies buying advertisements in magazines are run by musicians, their marketing plans may lack the rigor and oversight normally seen in a major corporation. Because of this, I believe they hook up dudes who are "cool" for the adverts. I also believe these dudes will also probably work for almost nothing. The next time you pickup a Guitar World or Guitar Player, check the adverts and see if you know the "spokespeople".
Observation 6: Economics, 2008-style. I've thought about writing a novel in my spare time. Here is the scenario: Imagine owning a guitar shop. You decide to loan people money to buy guitars, allowing them to make low payments. You know the people buying the guitars should be buying inexpensive Corts, or no guitar at all, but you sell them a new Gibson Les Paul VOS instead. The people love you because of your fairness and forward thinking, and they love their new guitars. Soon, the economy heads into a down cycle, and a large number of the Les Paul people decide they can't make payments on their Les Pauls. Politicians, eager for votes, decide there needs to be governmental "helping hand" to help the manufacturer, retailers, and downtrodden Les Paul owners. Soon, everyone is happily playing the Les Paul they couldn't afford in the first place, with their payments being made by people who actually bought the Cort because they couldn't afford the Les Paul. The retailer and manufacturer were extremely happy because sales were up again. In the end, nothing had changed, behaviors were intact, and Big Brother came to the rescue again. Man, am I glad nothing like this could ever happen in the United States.
Have a great 2008 and keep checking back!