Monday, August 16, 2004


That’s right, I’m very excited. Tanya and I went to Guitar Center yesterday…twice. She was sweet enough to let me get a couple new cool things.

There they are, my new amp and effects pedal. The effects pedal is actually more of a modeling processor. That means that it emulates the amp and guitar set-ups of those who have enough money to afford the real things.

But an amp emulator is the next best thing. Especially for me. I doubt that my neighbors would appreciate me getting a huge amp stack. They just don’t appreciate art. They’re fascists.

Let me explain why we went to guitar center twice. I was looking for a cool, yet inexpensive amplifier, mostly to help me complete the new and improved Christmas album. We got something a little more expensive than we had intended. It was a sweet amp I tell you. A good size if I ever decided to get off my butt and actually play for people. The problem was that it had no headphone jack. No way for me to silence it while recording. Again my Pat Buchananesque neighbors would’ve bitched.

But here’s the up-side. I had talked my way into a nice, and moderately pricey, amp. She had already resigned herself to the spent money. So when we returned the mega amp and traded down to a smaller version that was half the bigger version’s price, I had some money left over for an effects pedal (and a new cable).

Not a bad trade. And let’s face it; I’m never going to play in front of anyone anyway.

Speaking of playing in front of people, have any of you ever been to Guitar Center? Or any big music store for that matter? I’m not talking about the cool small music stores that I used to go to when I was younger, I mean the huge ones. The places who specialize in electric guitars and basses. The places where most of the people shopping there can’t actually read music.

It’s a unique experience. And a bit intimidating if you don’t what you’re doing. Like me. I always feel a little stupid shopping for guitar stuff. Saxophones I know, but guitars…I have no real idea what I’m talking about. I know what a metal mouthpiece sounds like on an alto sax, I know the difference in the strengths of reeds, and I even know how to fix a saxophone. But guitars? Forget it. Until I got my first real electric guitar a couple weeks ago (thanks again Tanya), I knew nothing. I thought that a humbucker pickup could help me move into a new apartment.

Oh, I kid. That’s just good rocker humor there.

But back to Guitar Center. It’s a groovy place, sure enough. The people who work there are nice, fine. The problem I have with a place like that is the clientele.

The place lets you play everything in the store so the entire showroom turns into one huge dissonant jam set and audition.

All these “jammers” seem to be under the impression that if they play loud enough, David Geffen will pop his head from around a Gibson hollowbody and hand them a contract.

It’s never going to happen, people.

But they won’t listen; they’ll keep playing the same heavy metal riff over and over and over and over again until they hit the big time. I guess I shouldn’t be so hard on them right? After all, they did practice that heavy metal riff for weeks in anticipation of shopping at Guitar Center..

But I digress, the point is that I got a cool amp and effects pedal and now I’m going to go and play with them before I have to do some real work.

So, if you play the guitar, or bass, or keyboards, or basically anything that you’ve ever seen played onstage at the Whiskey A go-go, I recommend the Guitar Center. Just bring some aspirin.

Fun Fact: Some friends got married this past weekend, so I’d just like to say congratulations to Kathy and David, even though they won’t see this post because they’re in Hawaii. Lucky jerks. Although they did have to get married…


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