Let’s Get It On…Fight The Power!

11 08 2010

No plumage. No frills. No Nothing…except for amazing tone and rarity.  Here we have a Gibson Army Navy Model guitar and Gibson A Junior Mandolin. Both of these models are from between 1918-1922.  The Army Navy is the very first flat-top model that Gibson ever produced…and what a tone it produces!  Notice, no glossy finish, no logo on the headstock, no fancy appointments, just everything else!   This guitar has the most woody kind of tone I’ve ever heard.  It’s got a great neck that makes you work a little bit but it’s worth it.  This is “bottom-of-the-line” junk that kills.

The A Junior Mandolin is a great match tonally and visually with the Army Navy Guitar.  I’m in love with the no-frills nature of both of these pieces.  Both completely original and worth a hug.  Spartan to the hilt!
I’ve had several hundred guitars and this is kind of where I’m happy to wind up.  Sitting on the front steps playing music in the sun with a bag of fertilizer and terra-cotta pots.
Am I getting old?  I was playing “Jealous Again” by Black Flag  on that Army Navy!  Bee-otch!  AARP PUNK ROCK RULES!   Thanks to Kerry Char Guitars (Portland, Oregon) and Chuck Alvarez (San Pedro, Ca) for getting me hooked up with both of these beauties.  It ain’t so bad to be broke when you’re in love.  Hi Jenny!


T-Shirts For The Modern Mozza

19 07 2010

Here they are!  The most Haute Couture shirts on the planet! Just in!  With exclusive Art by The GREAT Scott Aicher and printed by the Crazy Nouveau Cream Of The Crop Kids at Cali Mucho Studio….thanks to Kid Kevin and Raul for getting these together just before leaving on tour!  If you need shirts this combo of Scott and Cali is very happening!  Get ’em while they’re hot! After about a week I only have one dozen left!  Only $12.00 and they’re a dark Chocolate BROWN W/ ANTIQUE WHITE print. Sweet!  Don’t worry, there will be plenty more where these came from!

Get with it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Put that bouquet in your back pocket!

July Awake All Night…………………..

7 07 2010

When I was a kid I was in a band and played the drums. We would play two chord jams in my parent’s garage that would go on for hours. I still can’t believe that not ONCE did the neighbors complain about the horrid racket we pumped through those paper-thin walls.  Soon after honing our skills, we had a real band that would play home-spun rock opera kind of stuff.  There were other bands in our High School, but we were the only ones who made up our own music.  These other cats would play shit like “Tales From Topographic Oceans” at house parties and we would counter that with our own Rock Operas like “Big Brain”…costumes, choreography  and everything.  When the band (“Wasted Space”)  broke up after a long stint, I decided that I needed a guitar. It’s not that easy to write songs on the drums. Here for your approval or disapproval, is the first guitar I ever bought.  It’s a 1970’s Kay that was made in Japan. It cost me $200.00 at Marshall’s Music in Torrance, California.  Pretty much a copy of a Martin D-35 with a three-piece back.  It’s been thrown off of two-story buildings, and landed on  railroad tracks, then once in a while, stuck into bonfires on the beach.  It still plays great and after owning over hundreds of expensive vintage guitars, I still have and cherish this thing.  The stickers of Bob Dylan and Metal Corvette logo are not stock by any means but they’re there for good…and good reason.  I’ve since forgot what that reason was but believe me, it’s very good.

And but so…I thought it only fair to run a short expose’ on this cutie pie.  On the back there’s a Backstage Pass for a Porno For Pyros show and a picture of some dude that was featured in an Aircraft Parts Catalog… I couldn’t pass that by without doing something with it.  Check out those fucking teeth and Sport Coat!

Next up, the MILAGRO of a PIG glued to the headstock.  What more could you want?  I glued it on all by myself! Sorry about the bad photo….

Are we having fun yet?  Probably not, but I’m sure plenty of you guitar clowns out there have something not that different than this story.  On a slightly and completely different note, make sure you get off your ass and buy the local Girl Heart Throbs, BOMBON’S new album… Have a Bitchen Summer and I’ll see you in Home Economics Class next year!

Pure Genius And A Grand Use Of Tax Dollars

1 07 2010

The Starfish Prime Explosion…Total Madness In Space

Hey Folks! Isn’t this a great idea? Not much to do with Guitars but worth a read.  Inspired by an NPR Story and stolen from Wikipedia after hearing about this random bullshit happening somewhere. Who in the fuck is electing these idiots who do this kind of shit?  How about Homes and Food for the Homeless? How about a better way of life? A better way to kill everyone on the planet? Pure Genius! What’s next?  Brian Wilson?

Another view of Starfish Prime through thin cloud, as seen from Honolulu

On 9 July 1962, at nine seconds after midnight, Johnston Island local time (which was 8 July, Honolulu time, at nine seconds after 11 p.m.), the Starfish Prime test was successfully detonated at an altitude of 400 kilometres (250 mi). The coordinates of the detonation were 16 degrees, 28 minutes North latitude, 169 degrees, 38 minutes West longitude.[4] The actual weapon yield was very close to the design yield, which has been described by various sources at different values in the very narrow range of 1.4 to 1.45 megatons (6.0 PJ).

The Thor missile carrying the Starfish Prime warhead actually reached a maximum height of about 1100 km (just over 680 miles), and the warhead was detonated on its downward trajectory when it had fallen to the programmed altitude of 400 kilometres (250 mi). The nuclear warhead detonated at 13 minutes and 41 seconds after liftoff of the Thor missile from Johnston Island.[5]

Starfish Prime caused an electromagnetic pulse which was far larger than expected, so much larger that it drove much of the instrumentation off scale, causing great difficulty in getting accurate measurements. The Starfish Prime electromagnetic pulse also made those effects known to the public by causing electrical damage in Hawaii, about 1,445 kilometres (898 mi) away from the detonation point, knocking out about 300 streetlights, setting off numerous burglar alarms and damaging a telephone company microwave link. The EMP-damaged microwave link shut down telephone calls from Kauai to the other Hawaiian islands.[4]

A total of 27 small rockets were launched from Johnston Island to obtain experimental data from the Starfish Prime detonation. In addition, a large number of rocket-borne instruments were launched from a firing area at Barking Sands, Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands.[6]

A very large number of United States military ships and aircraft were operating in support of Starfish Prime in the Johnston Island area and across the nearby North Pacific region.

A few military ships and aircraft were also positioned in the region of the South Pacific Ocean near the Samoan Islands. This location was at the southern end of the magnetic field line of the Earth’s magnetic field from position of the nuclear detonation, an area known as the southern conjugate region for the test. In addition, an uninvited scientific expeditionary ship from the Soviet Union was stationed near Johnston Island for the test and another Soviet scientific expeditionary ship was located in the southern conjugate region near the Samoan Islands.[7]

After the Starfish Prime detonation, bright auroras were observed in the detonation area as well as in the southern conjugate region on the other side of the equator from the detonation. According to one of the first technical reports, “The visible phenomena due to the burst were widespread and quite intense; a very large area of the Pacific was illuminated by the auroral phenomena, from far south of the south magnetic conjugate area (Tongatapu) through the burst area to far north of the north conjugate area (French Frigate Shoals). . . . At twilight after the burst, resonant scattering of light from lithium and other debris was observed at Johnston and French Frigate Shoals for many days confirming the long time presence of debris in the atmosphere. An interesting side effect was that the Royal New Zealand Air Force was aided in anti-submarine maneuvers by the light from the bomb.”[6]

In part, these auroral effects were predicted by Nicholas Christofilos, a scientist who had earlier worked on the Operation Argus high-altitude nuclear shots.

According to U.S. atomic veteran Cecil R. Coale, some hotels in Hawaii offered “rainbow bomb” parties on their roofs for Starfish Prime, contradicting some reports that the artificial aurora was unexpected.

Pages 19–21 of “A ‘Quick Look’ at the Technical Results of Starfish Prime”, August 1962 states [8]:

“At Kwajalein, 1,400 [nautical] miles [2,600 km; 1,600 mi] to the west, a dense overcast extended the length of the eastern horizon to a height of 5 or 8 degrees. At 0900 GMT a brilliant white flash burned through the clouds rapidly changing to an expanding green ball of irradiance extending into the clear sky above the overcast. From its surface extruded great white fingers, resembling cirro-stratus clouds, which rose to 40 degrees above the horizon in sweeping arcs turning downward toward the poles and disappearing in seconds to be replaced by spectacular concentric cirrus like rings moving out from the blast at tremendous initial velocity, finally stopping when the outermost ring was 50 degrees overhead. They did not disappear but persisted in a state of frozen stillness. All this occurred, I would judge, within 45 seconds. As the greenish light turned to purple and began to fade at the point of burst, a bright red glow began to develop on the horizon at a direction 50 degrees north of east and simultaneously 50 degrees south of east expanding inward and upward until the whole eastern sky was a dull burning red semicircle 100 degrees north to south and halfway to the zenith obliterating some of the lesser stars. This condition, interspersed with tremendous white rainbows, persisted no less than seven minutes.”

In 2006, Palmer Dyal described the particle and field measurements of the Starfish diamagnetic cavity and the injected beta flux into the artificial radiation belt in the Journal of Geophysical Research [8]. His measurements describe the explosion from 0.1 milliseconds to 16 minutes after the detonation.
Now here’s a guitar that somehow lived through this stupid shit.

Dessert & The Desert

14 06 2010

Well alright!  We made our way out last weekend to Joshua Tree for a couple days of debaucherous hilarity.  Losing our car in the dark parking lot of Pappy & Harriet’s…lost purses, lost cameras,  rides in cars with strangers, more rides in more cars with different strangers, climbing through windows, and seeing one of the most amazing bands on the planet!  The Sadies.  Dallas Good, Travis Good, Mike Belitsky, and Sean Dean. A better than perfect mix of Psychedelic Country, Garage, and Canadian Surf Tunes (Imagine that!).  These guys are so bizarre and cool.  They’re like a Charm Of Hummingbirds attacking Tippi Hedron in a phone booth!  This is my third time hearing them live, up close and personal (Check the photos).  The desert can be incredible all on it’s own but when the Sadies are added to the mix of rocky desert scenery, there is some well placed rock…and no telling what’s gonna happen.  We managed to find a tiny bungalow for the weekend in the middle of nowhere with a kitchen and a view.  The Rimrock Ranch. DO NOT GO THERE!!!  I just might  need the room for myself!  Great folks, nice surroundings, Petticoat Junction style aluminum pool, and a nice doggy that hangs around in the dirt then invites himself in for the night if you give him a leftover Rigatoni Noodle.  Then next, you’ve got your Pappy & Harriet’s.  This is where you can go and listen to raunchy bands while having  the most impossibly delicious Blackened Catfish Sandwich and sweet Homemade Strawberry Shortcake, then ask for a lid for your Iced Tea and have the wonderful waitress Madeleine tell you with a smile  ” You’re shit-out-of-luck Bitches!”  “No lids for the plastic cups.”   The whole weekend was one crazy, dusty Dune Buggy Hayride to Heaven!

It was great to meet and talk to The Late, Great Jimmy Bryant’s son John who just happened to be our neighbor for the weekend.   He’s busy making a documentary about his father entitled “Stratosphere Boogie”.  Keep an eye out for it!   Everyone was so entertaining!  I’m sure I was too.  Knocking on everyone’s door to no avail at 1:00 am after realizing that the key to our rented Love-Nest was still in the invisible car at Pappy & Harriet’s black-hole parking lot after the show.  Using my brain, I decided to Reverse-Defenestrate myself through the Bedroom window, nearly breaking my neck before the bed below me broke my fall.  Hooray!  This is probably way too much information for all of the casual readers of this sporadic blog….all two and a half of you!   Oh, by the way, I still have a Guitar Shop and you need to go there very soon and throw money at me, then go to the Desert.  It’ll do you some Good!  The Brothers Good that is!  Go see the Sadies when they come around…just be sure to mind your P’s & Q’s!!!

Fresh Lumber

8 06 2010

Howdy, and welcome to June!  Things have gone pretty nuts around here.  The genius squad at the City Of Los Angeles has decided to cut down some 80 year old trees. I’ve had to endure loud grinding noises for over two weeks and they’ve prevented people from parking in the already depressed shopping area.  NO PARKING signs were posted way before and way after the work was to be completed…GENIUS!  This must be phase one of the Stimulating Package!  To the city’s credit, they did replant the sidewalk with the smallest twigs of trees imaginable.  It’s great now with zero shade in the afternoon.  ZERO. GREAT!  However there is some good news…one of my dream guitars just reared it’s ugly little head in the shop.  It’s a mid 1950’s Harmony Stratotone H88. I had one of these years ago and always regretted selling it.  These things are just plain nasty.  They have a big fat neck-through design (probably one of the first guitars to do so) and the pickups are hot, stinky, and filthy.  Sadly this one has a cracked pickguard and missing knobs but that’s part of the “cool” with a guitar like this.  It’s a dirty, broke-down and busted, genuine blues flavoured 18-wheeled shot of whiskey washed down with a bite of the most greasy fried chicken ever committed to a gullet…get in line!   I can’t believe that I’ve already found the stack-pot style knobs and missing bridge but I’m leaving the pickguard alone…keeping the funk in the trunk just a bit.

Look at that cute little headstock!  What ever happened to the Atomic Age? So what if it’s missing a String Post?  I LOVE IT!!!  What’s next for me and my Sweetie?  Heading out to Joshua Tree for a relatively quiet and relaxing couple of days, except for when we go to Pappy & Harriet’s  to see The Sadies.   If you don’t know these guys who come all the way from Canada to entertain the masses, get to know them!  The Brothers Good (yes, that’s their last name) can rock the shit out of any house.  I hope I don’t suffer Heat Exhaustion or Leprosy…or, God forbid, a Love Hangover?  Casting my fate and three sheets to the wind has always been my specialty.

Gayness & Guitars

20 05 2010

Are some guitars more Gay than others? I just heard a story on NPR about how the Census might provide some other entities with statistics who are wanting to take advantage of that information for the purpose of marketing their products or services to Gay, Lesbian and Transgendered people.  I don’t think there’s any way I might even try to spell things out for these folks, or anyone for that matter,  who might want to buy a guitar, amp or anything… a sandwich?  I mean, I don’t want to know anything except for the fact that you might enjoy my shop and think you were treated right.  This is a big problem for me…this is how Nazi Germany got it’s groove on…thanks to IBM and their newly developed Punch-Card system they were able to find out just a little too much about people.  The Census might be just fine but if only left in a very Grey-Area kind of way…I mean, why do I need to know if your skin is green to sell you a guitar?  People are people so let’s try to get over it.  The money or social program that’s made available for regions where this sort of information makes itself useful should come to town regardless.  Not for the discrimination or advantage of marketing.  Demographics my ass!  If I had to rely on any kind of statistic that I filled out on a form I probably couldn’t sell a guitar to myself…but a lot of people are trying to sell them to me because they’re hurting.  Really hurting.  It’s been said that in times of trouble the only things that keep selling are Liquor, Sex and Music.  As far as I can see, Liquor and Sex have won this time.  The mentality of this joint could maybe use an overhaul…or maybe just a U-Haul.…and, well, I Love you too Baby!  Now for something on the lighter side…Chow down on this!


6 05 2010

Okay, here’s a nice picture for you to ponder for the next few days.

How long can it remain to be six to ten?

If six…turned out to be nine….

Mike Watt’s Les Paul Signature Bass

26 04 2010

Les Is More. The Mike Watt Les Paul Signature Bass.

Every now and again, when he’s not on tour, my old friend Mike Watt either goes flying down the steep hill in front of my pad ringing his bicycle bell while simultaneously shouting my name to see if I’m home, creating a wild swirling Doppler Effect….or sometimes he’ll just foist and come up to the door and we’ll drink coffee and I’ll be served a history lesson of all things from Pelicans to the Indigenous Indians who inhabited San Pedro before the Spaniards killed them off.  History Lesson Pt 3?  To the point.  He’s been busy touring with Iggy & The Stooges in France and soon the rest of Europe.  In the mean time I’ve been entrusted to bring his Mid 70’s Les Paul Signature Bass up to running order.  This thing has been bouncing around his practice pad for at least nineteen years without a case and has a multitude of rattles, bowed neck and a tailpiece that’s just about as tight as a prick in a shirtsleeve.  No problem, I’ll fix her right up!  We’ve decided to go with a Hipshot 5G400C replacement bridge that requires no modification and has better features all around including individual saddle height adjustment!  How novel is that?   Normally I’m not one for aftermarket parts but the original OEM Bridge leaves a lot to be desired.   After figuring out where some of the rattles were coming from, ie:  loose truss rod, the low impedance electronics hanging loose beneath the selector knob and worn out bridge saddles with lateral (sideways) movement.  ( I forgot to mention this rare guitar has two outputs.  One for Low Impedance for recording and a High Impedance for live applications.)   The rattle continued and after much head scratching I found that all of the washers under the tuner ferrules were loose from the ferrules not being flush with the face of the headstock. It was maddening because the rattle caused by these washers seemed to transfer down the neck to the body.  You could put your ear to the body and it sounded like the rattle was coming from within.  Anyway, I think I’ve got it licked.  Two more things of mention…the pickup bezel is not original to this guitar.  When Mike bought it, the original was cracked and he asked me to fabricate something…I chose a piece of Mahogany and it’s been installed there ever since.   The autograph at the tail end is none other than the man himself, LES PAUL, who duly imparts the message…”To Mike,  Keep Pickin’,  Les Paul”.   Lester Polfus, Rhubarb Red, Les Paul… Rest In Peace and Keep Pickin”!

(Click on the photo for super fun detailed action…)

Talk To Me.

11 04 2010

If only I could come up with some kind of innovative genius notion like this for guitar players. Hmmmmmmmm….?

Excuse me while I puke. …Whoah Nellie! I guess I just figured out what this glob of shit is…It’s The Colonel’s version of Chicken Cordon Bleu…at least they could hire a photographer that doesn’t make it look so disgusting….or is that even possible?
I’m sorry but this looks like Sarah Palin to me…the most horrid, caustic, ignorant and poisonous kind of thing one might ingest.