Thursday 31 January 2008

Barry Wood's NAMM Oddities 2008: The pick of the crop of the weird and the wacky! If I'd been at NAMM this is the kind of stuff I'd have been searching out too. I especially like (in a ironic way) the Egyptian Gods guitars, which have to be seen to be believed.

Tuesday 29 January 2008

Crazy rabbit guitar

A rabbit and a turnipI think that the creature featured on this kids' guitar with built in amp is supposed to be a rabbit with very skinny ears. The position of the pickup makes it look as if the rabbit is playing the harmonica through its nose. I'd have loved an electric guitar when I was a kid, but I'd have preferred something like I'd seen people playing on Top Of The Pops, not something quite as embarrasing-looking as this. Gotta love that turnip headstock, though.

Monday 28 January 2008

(Mer)Made in China?

From the same people that brought you the Eagle Watching Over His Shoulder For Aliens guitar, here's a dodgy looking creation featuring a graphic showing a
Mermaid using a dolphin as a pillow.
Led Zeppelin guitarist wants world tour: So, apparently Jimmy Page wants Led Zeppelin to tour. Does Robert Plant know about this, I wonder, as he's been steadfastly denying it would happen in interviews recently. (Perhaps he's just saying that because he doesn't want any Led Zep news to overshadow his current project with Alison Krauss. I can't say I blame him - "Raising Sand" has to be one of the best albums of 2007).
Take instrumental journey in museum dedicated to guitars: 10 good reasons why you should visit The Martin Guitar Museum in Nazareth, Pennsylania (if you should get the chance).
Pay Graham Nash to teach you guitar online at

Friday 25 January 2008

Thank you to everyone who left Happy Birthday messages for me on my Mice Pace page today. It's appreciated.

Wednesday 23 January 2008

Watch the birdie

Watch the birdie!
Here's another supremely daft guitar which the deranged amongst you can purchase now on eBay. I appreciate it's supposed to be some kind of bird - an eagle or buzzard perhaps - but why the Alien fingerboard inlays? Actually, from the way the bird seems to be looking around at the neck, it's probably wondering the same thing. The listing claims it is a Hamer, which I very much doubt.

Wheelbarrow bass

Wheelbarrow bassLook what I found amongst the craziness over at The Washtub Bass Page. No worries about carrying this bass to your gig. Just wheel it along! Apparently it does detach from the chassis assembly.

Tuesday 22 January 2008

How low can you go?

Lobro spring bass
I can find out very little about this Lobro Bass Spring that I found on a Google search for something else entirely. It seems to be some kind of bass diddley bow with a screen door spring acting as a string and is tuned to A1, i.e. the low A on a piano. It appears to be the work of a fan of the German industrial/noise band Einstürzende Neubauten. It's not strictly speaking a guitar, but it's a relation of sorts.
All the other guitar blogs are talking about what's new at NAMM, so I'll leave it to them. If you want to see some nice pretty pictures of the latest guitars, then Modern Guitars Magazine has been posting galleries from each day. I would have liked to have gone (was invited, in fact), but I really couldn't afford the air fare from the UK, accommodation, etc. Perhaps another year.

Sunday 20 January 2008

Kaki King - free MP3 download from her new album

Kaki King
Although she had already recorded three albums, I have to confess that I had never heard of Kaki King before watching her brief performance on "Later with Jools Holland" last year. Her guitar playing style was unusual, to say the least, although very intriguing - she was knocking the neck and the body of her Adamas guitar for percussive effects whilst hammering-on and tapping the strings on the fingerboard with her left hand from over the top of the neck and playing open strings with her right hand. I'd never seen anyone play guitar quite like that before.

Her latest album, her fourth, Dreaming Of Revenge showcases Kaki King's desire to branch out with songs that feature electric and pedal-steel guitar, horns, and, for the first time, vocals. To hear for yourself, download the free MP3 of Two O'Clock (right click and "Save As"). It's well worth it - this song is quite beautiful.

Read the full press release here.

Saturday 19 January 2008

Spiritual Enlightenment from Fernandes

Fernandes Porong guitar
According to the eBay listing for this one-off Fernandes with custom artwork:
"Porong" is a mountainous region in Tibet where the monks use their musical instruments to reach and maintain spiritual enlightenment. With that in mind look closely at guitars graphic: The little man (monk?) on the body of the guitar is wearing a backpack and hiking boots, his hand pointing upwards. On the headstock you see what he is pointing to: The mountainous region of "Porong"! Look closely at the hat he is wearing: the word "Porong" is written on the brim of his hat suggesting that his spiritual journey is always on his mind! So what we have here is an instrument that reflects ones "spiritual journey" towards enlightenment via music! Now that my friends is some serious MOJO!

Friday 18 January 2008

Jemaine Clement's Russian Bass

Russia - Why Not?

Jemaine ClementUnidenfied Russian bass
In my previous post about Flight Of The Conchords I briefly mentioned Bret McKenzie's Casio DG-20 digital guitar. However, I'd been wondering, what is that retro-looking bass that Jemaine Clement plays? (See above left).

I've found a very similar looking Russian bass (above right) over at Cheesy Guitars in their Unidentified Guitars section. Unfortunately the only information we have is that it was made in a factory in Belarus. Still it narrows things down a bit, as I had previously suspected that Jemaine's bass was a Teisco or some other 60s/70s Japanese bass.

EDIT: It's a Kavkaz!

Wednesday 16 January 2008

Vintage 1964 Egmond Typhoon

EgmondHere's another "cheesy guitar" currently on sale on eBay. It's a vinyl-covered Egmond Typhoon from 1964 and appears to be in pretty good condition. There's lashings of pearloid mother-of-toilet seat; all the parts seem to be original, and the tremolo arm is present and correct. I've found old Egmonds before now for sale in charity shops, but they were never as glorious as this one, just beaten-up old jazz boxes with horrible action.
The man whose guitars travel around the world: article about Turkish luthier Ekrem Özkarpat, maker of many a fine guitar, acoustic bass, upright bass, fretless guitar, electrified tambour, electrified-cümbüş, and a "foot-piano" designed to play bass sounds (presumably at the same time as playing the guitar).
Gibson tuning up new Slash and Page guitars: LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Gibson Guitar will release eight new Slash-branded guitars on March 15, and is taking the current models affiliated with the Velvet Revolver guitarist off the market.

Why eight?

"Price points," says Henry Juszkiewicz, chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar. "They're going to go from cheap to high-end custom, personally signed by Slash."

Also on tap for this year is a new Jimmy Page guitar. "The ink is still drying on the deal," Juszkiewicz says. "It's going to be a special guitar."

Taylor Guitars and Fender Join Forces in Europe
Iranian musician invented 'guitar': renowned Iranian flamenco guitarist and historian of music, Mohsen Danesh claims the classical guitar was invented by an Iranian musician named Zaryab Shirazi.

Tuesday 15 January 2008

Tonika Bass - Rare early Russian Bass up for grabs on eBay now!

Tonika Soviet-made bass Tonika Soviet-made bass
This Tonika bass is one for all you collectors of the bizarre and curious. It looks like something that Devo would play (only as a southpaw, Gerry Casale would play it upside-down making it look even weirder). According to the fantastic Cheesy Guitars website: "The legendary Tonika bass is the first Soviet-made electric bass. Made in the sixties together with Tonika guitar - the first Soviet mass - production electric guitar."
Ronnie Wood recovers from surgery: Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood is recovering following an operation for a hernia, a spokeswoman has confirmed.

Monday 14 January 2008

Pictures of Greatest Guitarists Ever: this photo gallery from the NME features some of the usual suspects, some obscure guitarists (Who?), and some glaring omissions (see how many you can find). Bizarrely, Johnny Marr, Jimi Hendrix, and Angus Young each appear twice.
Handcrafted guitars are Spokane man's art: Article from the Seattle Times about luthier Joel Stehr.

Sunday 13 January 2008

Carbon Fibre Guitars

PhotobucketDave over at Carbon Fiber Gear blog focusses on guitars in his post on 6 Sexy Carbon Fiber Guitars (or Carbon Fibre as we spell it in the UK). My personal favourite of the bunch is The Handle, pictured here, now being marketed by XOX Audio Tools, although originally it was to have been part of Italy's Jim Reed brand. Check out this YouTube clip of the guitar in action (although there are a lot of delay effects in action, it's still an impressive demo).

It looks like things have come a long way from the days of Steinberger and Status guitars and basses.

Thursday 10 January 2008

Seasick Steve - Cut My Wings

I was at a party on New Year's Eve and so missed the phenomenal Seasick Steve's appearance on Jools Holland's end of the year "Hootenanny" programme on BBC2. If anyone recorded this on DVD-R, please get in touch as I'd love a proper copy of this. Oh, and if you get the chance - go see him play live!

Edit: The programme was repeated on BBC2 on Saturday 12 January, so I managed to catch it then, but guess what? It looks like the programme was edited because we see Seasick Steve playing another song, "My Donny", on an acoustic 6-string, but don't see him playing "Cut My Wings" on the 3-string Trance Wonder as in the above YouTube clip, which is clearly from the same programme (same set, same guests, etc). Grrrrr... Did anyone record the original broadcast?

Tuesday 8 January 2008

Tele with T Rex vinyl pickguard

Tele with T Rex vinyl pickguard

Here's a clever idea that I'm surprised no-one has ever thought of before. This Squier Tele has been fitted with a pickguard made from a vinyl LP record, in this instance "The Slider" by T Rex. Marc Bolan fans can bid for this guitar on eBay now.
If you need to axe, you can't afford it: The Sydney Morning Herald discusses the vintage guitar market and the ever-increasing price tags, prices having risen by 300% in the last 18 months!

Monday 7 January 2008

Bill Gates with a stupid toy guitar buddying up to his new bestest mate Slash?

Not on this blog.

Sunday 6 January 2008

Skull Strings

Skull Strings

I've just installed a set of Drop C tuning Skull Strings on my Fernandes Native Pro by way of experiment. The makers claim that they are of the "perfect gauge and tension for extreme music", and that they last longer and sound louder! Quite a claim.

Actually, I haven't used a Drop C tuning as such, I've downtuned the entire guitar by two whole steps below standard tuning, so that low to high it's tuned C-F-A#-D#-G-C. Experimenting with the various different effects settings I'm able to get some quite convincing modern metal tones, but far more interesting for me is that using digital acoustic simulation, I'm able to create some really interesting and quite usable sounds. (I'm not really aiming to get into that whole death metal/grindcore thing). Anyway, it's early days and I expect I'll report again on how these strings are working out for me.

Friday 4 January 2008

Getting into a spin

Quadchopper guitar
It's Michael Gaughan and his Quad Chopper guitar!
Shite guitarShite guitar
If this cheap and nasty monstrosity is supposed to look like the skull of some poor long-dead bovine beastie, then why is it blue? Another half-arsed effort.

Thursday 3 January 2008

rubbish double neck strat type thing

It's the HARRY WORTH* double-neck Strat!

Here's another highly comical bad-looking guitar that I scraped up from the bottom of the eBay barrel especially for your delight and amusement at the beginning of this new year.

Who is this supposed to appeal to? Is it for those who can't decide if they want to play left or right-handed but don't want to appear to be a complete tool like that Michael Angelo Batio fellow?

I suspect it was just a cheap and easy way to build a double neck using readily available parts. I doubt it'll be a popular seller though.

Actually, it seems it's a half-arsed effort; if you click through to the eBay selling page you'll notice in another photo that it has two right-handed necks on it, thus spoiling the mirrored illusion.

Photobucket* For those of you outside of the UK or else of not advanced enough years to remember, Harry Worth was a British comedian who had a TV show back in the 60s, during which title sequence he used to get up to some memorable shenanigans playing about with his reflection in shop windows. Somehow the above guitar brought this to mind!


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