Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Electric Guitars Through The Ages

Episode 2: Electric Guitars (and amps)

The first electric guitar I bought was a Washburn N2.  I didn't know anything beyond the fact that I wanted a wammy bar and I wanted the guitar to stay in tune.  Those were my guidelines.  I ended up going by myself to a small music shop somewhere near the north shore of Massachusetts. I don't know how old I was.  A teenager?  Early 20's?  I liked the fact that the guitar was wood and not some flashy color.  This was close to the times of the hair bands and I wanted to be as far from that as possible color-wise. I didn't know anything about brands. My brother had a Washburn and it seemed to work well.  So, I bought the N2. Little did I know this guitar was custom designed by Nuno Bettencourt from the band Extreme (not quite a hair-band, but very close).

I still have it.  It's in its case.  I bring it out when I need a wammy bar.  It's a pain to tune but, once tuned, it stays tuned since it has a crazy confusing locking system.  Allen wrenches are involved.

When School for the Dead started in 2001, we needed an electric guitar so I bought a light aqua-marine colored Danelectro from my friend George.  I think it was $100 or $150 dollars.  I played acoustic in that band and Tony played the Danelectro since his electric is kind of in disrepair.  Eventually I was convinced that I needed to get a better guitar if I wanted to sound and play better.  I found my black Telecaster at Downtown Sounds in Northampton, Massachusetts.  It's kind of a weird Tele.  It has more pickups than most.  I don't know the model number.  I think it was seven or eight hundred dollars.

That's it.  I've owned three electrics. I still have them all.

I also have a bass.  For a long time, I borrowed my brother's bass when I was primarily a bass player.  These were the days when I was in Humbert and The Aloha Steamtrain.  Eventually it became clear that I needed my own bass.  I got a Fender Squire at Blue Note in Northampton, Massachusetts.  I think it was $300.  This is still the bass that I have.  I don't really care for it.  But it DOES stay in tune always.

I guess I may as well mention the amplifier situation.  My first amp, like so many first amps was a little Peavy.  I used it for my keyboard.  I was a keyboardist primarily at the time.  Boy, it must have sounded terrible.  I held on to that amp for years until I lost it in the music building at college.  I needed to replace it fast and I bought my little Yamaha whatever-its-called in Cambridge, Massachusetts at a music store.  It was used.  I don't remember what it cost.  No idea.

After I bought that amp, I found my Peavey in the central office of the music building tucked under a desk.  I never did find out what happened, but I got it back.  I still have both.  I use the Yamaha for shows, I use the Peavey when I need an extra amp at home.

Back when I was a bass player, I also bought a Peavey bass amp.  I bought it from the bass player in my brother's band. I think it was $100.  Maybe $200?  I used that crappy thing at countless shows until I decided I should really have a better one.  I bought a GK head and a nice cabinet from my friend Kevin.  I don't remember how much it cost but it was expensive.  I could barely afford it.  It was really great, though.  I loved it.  Until I lent it to a friend and it melted at his show.

I still have the cabinet and I have another head but they don't ever seem to work right, so the old Peavey is still the bass amp in the practice space.  The others just sit there not doing anything.  Someday, I need to get a good bass amp again.  (And a better guitar amp)

Next episode: Keyboards.

1 comment:

drunkstuntmenbow said...

Hondo Mastercaster(Black)
Aria Roadstar II(Purple)
B.C. Rich Warlock(Shark-skin Blue)
B.C. Rich Warlock(Midnight Black)
Fender Telecaster(Pink Paisley)sold to Bruce Tull
Fender Telecaster(Black)

J.B. Player Bass(Red)
Steinberger full body bass(black)
Danelectro bass (sparkly blue)
G&L L1000 (Just like Ray Mason's)