Long Term Memory….. Part 2

 Going down………………..

Anyone who’s been with this blog since its inception in September 2006 will have remembered an article on Vintage and Rare and about my abject shock of the stupid prices being asked for late 1970′s Fender Strats.

Well it seems that some people are finally seeing sense, after having a quick look on Vintage and Rare’s website today (I’m on standby at work and I’m bored). I notice their 79′ Antigua Strat has now dropped down from £1395.00 to £1295.00…. thats -£100 in the last 6 months. Not exactly a great advert for 70′s Fenders as investments eh? Guitarist Magazine did a Vintage suppliment a couple of months ago where various Denmark Street characters collectively said prices were gonna keep on going up and up and…..Funny that. I wonder if house prices will follow suit?

But lets face it, they might be able to bullshit a few Floppy haired careerist indie kids who went to music school on a ‘Vocational rock guitarist NVQ level 4′ or whatever rubbish it is called these days. These poor souls are in the shop because African Film studies with Politics was full at Bournemouth, and know no better. But any guitarist either over 30 or worth his salt will spot these guitars as the potential pieces of firewood they are, or if wanting 70′s retro looks will just buy a Japanese reissue, or even one of the new Highway 1′ series Strats

My other shock looking at their site is how little the stock has changed in the last 6 months since my last posting. I’m aware a large amount of their business will be with known private collectors & Rockstars/roadies and probably done by word of mouth or telephone call. But surely having large amounts of the same guitars sitting in your shop for 6 whole months at a time, hardly sends out a sign that business is good. It also sends out the sign that there are less new people coming to the market as potential collectors, if thats not a sign of impending recession, then I don’t know what is!

From the Frontline

My apologies for not posting recently, however I have been busy gigging around the UK this month. Normally I would gig about once a month rather than 5 times. I’ve enjoyed the experience nonetheless & if anything it has improved both my playing and that of the band. Generally the gigs have gone well, the highlights and lowlights include:

  • Watching the drummer and bassist  perform an “audit” of the quantities of booze (mainly cheap Polish Lager) in the tour van.
  • Seeing the huge amount of kids walking around with big scary dogs in Brixton
  • Playing an entire gig without being able to hear the echo going through the FX loop.
  • Playing an entire set where the singers guitar rig was either inaudible or the loudest thing on stage.

This increased schedule has forced me to upgrade some basic peices of my rig.

First off is the pedalboard: In recent years this has been a sheet of plywood covered in gaffa tape, with the pedals bonded down with cable ties. However my pedals have been taking somewhat of a battering in recent times, so I was on the lookout for a decent flightcase style board with room for expansion, as I’m planning an extra delay unit as well as a Digitech Whammy & possibly a decent universal power supply when funds allow.

After some digging around I came across the rather excellent RockCase series by Warwick. This beast cost about £60 via mail order and although I had to suffer DHL loosing it for over a week, the unit itself is fabulously made and the supplied velcro pads hold the pedals down nicely.

Second up was cables, I bought a new set for the guitar to amp etc as well as patch leads, plus a speaker cable, all from Planet Waves. These feature secure 8 compression springs on the jack to allow a firm bond to the socket for a super firm fit and the audio quality seems to have improved no end.

Lastly I decided to upgrade my Distortion device. I have been using a Boss SD-1 for about the last 6 years and used it to boost the crunch channel of the Marshall TSL60.

While it works well in a Classic Rock kinda way,I was still struggling to get a nice lift above the rest of the band during solo’s, so I decided to use it through the cean channel. I got the jump in volume but needed something with a more full bodied gain and bite. After several unsuccsessful attempts to buy an old mark 1 Marshall Guv’nor, I popped into Fould’s in Derby and had a peruse at their pedal selection. Their Guitar manager Dan did me a deal on a Pro Co RAT 2. These evergreen classics are used by such artists as varied as Graham Coxon and Dave Gilmour and I must say its improved my soloing tone.