Archive for the 'Photographs – Non-Art Images' Category

Oct 03 2007

Hofner Galaxie Guitar

This instrument was given to me by a friend who got it from another friend who found it collecting dust in her house. According to trusted sources, it is a Hofner Galaxie. There are a number of different models in that line, however, so more specific info would be most welcome.

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Sep 13 2007

Mystery POS Acoustic Guitar

All I know is that this instrument belonged to my mom, and that it was bought a long time ago, and probably for very little money. The neck is fat and thick, bowed, with frets that are super thin. It is difficult to play, and the intonation goes to hell if you wander above the 5th fret. It was intended to be a ‘classical’ nylon string guitar but when I replaced the frozen tuners, I strang (stringed) it up with phosphor bronze strings instead.

Gibson Victory Bass

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Sep 13 2007

Gibson Victory Bass

I am not exactly sure why I got this instrument. I think I saw a picture of one and fell in love with it. I found one in the recycler for a fairly reasonable price and purchased it. This is a fantastic instrument, made well, and solidly, with good electronics. It is American made. The only real downside is that it is incredibly heavy which, I’m sure, adds to its beefy tone. Still, I only use it for recording because, after playing one gig with it, I was in agony.

Gibson Victory Bass

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Sep 13 2007

Fender Precision Bass (Made in Japan)

When I joined Blue Dot it was made clear to me that my fretless instruments weren’t welcome. Although I borrowed a fretted instrument for a while, I decided to commit to playing one and purchased a pewter sparkle Fender P-Bass Lyte, which had active P/J pick-ups, a wonderful fast neck, and a lightweight body. It sounded great. Unfortunately, it got stolen out of my car after a gig so I was forced to play my Gibson Victory, which was back-breakingly heavy. After one gig with the Victory, I was hitting the recycler and found this very inexpensive, and somewhat thrashed, Japanese P-Bass.

After reading an article by Rick Turner (A co-founder of Alembic, and owner of Renaissance Guitars) I replaced the existing p/u with a Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder, and had it wired directly to the output jack, bypassing both the volume and tone controls. This produces a wonderful, bright, clean sound with lots of low fundamentals.

This was my primary gigging bass for quite some time.

Fender Precision Bass

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Sep 13 2007

Taylor 110 Acoustic Guitar

I’d inhereted a real POS Fender Acoustic from my Poor Old Joe bandmate, Brian Nelson. I never liked it, but never thought to trade up either. I started playing the Fender more, just to delve into it, and began to dislike it more and more. It was just a poorly made instrument. I decided that I’d rid myself of it and get something just a bit better. I decided rather arbitrarily not to spend more than $500. After many months of shopping, trying a variety of instruments, etc. I decided that Taylor’s bottom of the line instrument, the 110, was for me. It is made in the same factory as their $5000 instruments, and by the same staff. I found one for sale on Ebay that was in my price range AND that included a hard case. End of story.

Taylor 110 Acoustic

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Sep 13 2007

Industrial Guitar’s Indy Rail

My good friend Mike Weber loves Lap Steel Guitars, also known as Hawaiian guitars. These instruments are some of the earliest electric guitars, and are played with a steel bar in the left hand to select the pitch, and strummed, picked, or plucked with the right hand. He was kind enough to let me play his lap steel and, in due time, I was won over by its charms. I consided buying a vintage instrument, but there is great demand for them, even the ones that are not that great. So, I found Chris Fouke who builds modern versions from modern materials. Although he makes instruments that are designed to be played acoustically, his Indy Rail is definately a screamer when plugged in.

Industrial Guitar's Indy Rail

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Sep 13 2007

Gretsch BST-1000 (aka The Beast)

I’d wanted an electric guitar for a long time, and was searching here and there rather aimlessly. I’d wander into a store and grab instruments just to see how they felt in my hands. I didn’t need to plug them in… I knew that I was looking for a fit, a feel, something indefinable that would eventually reveal itself. Sadly, one day, it did. I had the misfortune of grabbing a beautiful Paul Reed Smith guitar from the wall and it was as though the choir invisible began to sing, and light spilled forth from the heavens…. that is, until I saw the price tag. I wasn’t looking to spend $2000 on a guitar… More like $500. Still, now that I had the idea of what I was looking for, I continued my search. A friend, Jack Waterson, whose claim to fame was his membership in Green on Red, was working at a music store on Melrose. I described what I was looking for and, after trying a number of guitars, found this one.

Gretsch BST-100

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Sep 13 2007

Washburn Acoustic Fretless Bass

At some point I decided that I really needed an acoustic-ish bass. I was going for a more folksy sound at the time. My first act was to visit Jack Waterson who, at that time, was working at a music store called Guitar Guitar in North Hollywood. Jack, if you don’t know, was a founding member of, and bass player in, Green On Red, and by far the most ‘pro’ musician I knew at the time. He was steering me toward a beautiful, full bodied Guild which, without a doubt, was a finer instrument but, unfortunately, it was more expensive and didn’t come with built-in electronics, something I was looking for. They had two versions of the Washburn AB-20, a fretted and a fretless. I opted for the fretless. It has a simple piezo pickup under the bridge, and an on-board preamp/eq that was made by fishman (?).

This was my primary gigging and recording instrument for the early acoustic days of Poor Old Joe.

Washburn Fretless Acoustic Bass

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Sep 13 2007

Fender Fretless Jazz Bass

This was the 2nd bass I purchased. It was a sea change for me, switching from the Guild Starfire short-scale fretted hollow body bass to a fretless solid body. I replaced the stock pick-ups with what were at that time brand new Bartolini 9E p/us which were their first Active pickups that didn’t require external circuitry. I really enjoyed playing and recording with this instrument.

A few years ago, in a moment of creativity and/or insanity, I took an orange paint pen and personalized the body. You can decide if my actions were misguided…

Fender Fretless Jazz Bass

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Sep 13 2007

Custom Sweet Potato

I wanted a sweet potato (a kind of ocarina) and, because I had some wood left over from my guitar project, thought it might be nice if I could use it for that purpose. I found Charlie Hind who is considered by many to be the preeminant ocarina craftsman in the United States. He graciously concented to working with my wood, even though it caused him a few minor challenges. Check out the photos of the instrument as it is being made. Here are two of the final competed instrument:

Custom Made Sweet Potato

Custom Made Sweet Potato

He added layers of Birch and Bloodwood veneer as highlights.

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