Guitar porn…


Guitar porn Fender Guitars Coda Music

Four grand’s worth…a new guitar made to look like a very old one, probably most famous for being played by James Burton in Elvis’ band…I think Emmylou Harris has James ’68 Paisley Telecaster.

But if you stick in and practice, you could get here:

Davey Johnstone Elton John Edinburgh
The great Davey Johnstone (from Carrick Knowe) playing with Elton John at Meadowbank on 25 June.

Fender’s Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster

Somebody must have been having the mother of all hangovers when they thought this was a good idea…a right way up Strat body with an upside down neck and a reversed bridge pickup.

Hendrix simply flipped his Strat over and restrung it, so this is why they have reversed the bridge pickup to slant nearer the bridge on the bass strings.  It may have had some influence on Hendrix’s sound.

But the aesthetics of the guitar leave a lot to be desired (especially the right-way-up writing on the upside down headstock…)  I saw a couple in a shop window tonight and stood for about two minutes trying to figure out what was wrong.


Fender's Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster


Chris Bell’s guitar


Chris Bell guitar


Jody Stephens of Big Star put this picture on Facebook the other day.  It’s his 1970 Yamaha FG-180, which is in the guitar shop for some light restoration.  This is about as close to a relic as you will get.

The guitar originally belonged to Chris Bell, who used it on Big Star’s #1 Record.  One tempestuous afternoon at a Big Star rehearsal, something was said which caused Andy Hummel to punch Chris Bell in the face; Bell retaliated by smashing Hummel’s bass.

Hummel then went out to Bell’s car and used a screwdriver to put four holes where no holes should be  in the Yamaha – hence the strips of gaffer tape.  Bell wasn’t too upset, he just charged a new guitar to Hummel, who kept the modified Yamaha, then later gave it to Jody Stephens who was learning to play guitar and used it to write “For You.”

Yamaha guitars are great.  I’ve got a six-string seven or eight years younger than this which plays beautifully and sounds great.  The frets have been filed and polished once in the thirty-odd years it has been “my” guitar.  So I’m glad to finally believe that a Yamaha was used in the creation of Big Star’s #1 Record.

Chris and David Bell once stayed about half a mile from where I live when passing through Edinburgh…

Music · Travel

New Year’s Day in NYC

John Lennon Gibson Guitars New York

On New Year’s day 2011 I was in New York City, waking in the Chelsea Hotel (I was actually resident there, it’s not just where I happened to have fallen asleep…) Nice work if you can get it and you can get it if your girlfriend tries…
I recently wrote about John Lennon in Edinburgh and the vibrations that can hit you around my home town. So of course I was going to go to the Dakota building when in NYC.
I was on several tour buses in New York and when I go back, the rule of thumb will be to look for the gayest tour guide, because they will be the most interesting. The guy this particular morning pointed out the site of Studio 54, umpteen defunct theatres, loads of movie references, the Leonard Bernstein centre…anyway, you know what I’m saying.
As we approached the area around Central Park where the Dakota building is, he pointed out a pub called Malachy’s, which was unusual because a) it was a pub in a upper-dupper class residential area and b) it looked like a cowp. He claimed that this was where John Lennon would go for a drink of an evening after he’d got Sean down.
The tour bus drops you off outside Central Park near the Strawberry Fields memorial park, which is pretty disappointing. On this day, someone had formed a banana mandala on the memorial itself, which was puzzling, as I did not know John was a particular fan of the fruit…there are signs enjoining visitors to be silent and respectful, but that hadn’t put off the busker playing Sting songs (Sting has an apartment in the area…) A bit of a dump really.


Strawberry Fields memorial New York John Lennon Imagine

Walking over to the Dakota was emotional. I thought of John’s last walk home – what was he thinking, was he going to nick out for a pint later that night?
The Dakota building is tourist central (I raise my hand,) a roundabout of people posing for pictures, as I of course did. Must be a bit annoying for actual residents (Lauren Bacall still lives there) but there’s no way round that; the psychic pull will be there for the next few hundred years.

Dakota Building New York

We walked down to the pub pointed out by the tour guide. Although I was still jangly from the previous night’s celebration, it seemed mandatory that we should have a drink in John Lennon’s local (I had already bought the story.)
But it was shut. We looked longingly at the frontage, with its Bass sign and realised that it was only about 11 in the morning. Our diligence at rising early to make the most of our few days in the city that never sleeps had beaten us…

Malachy's bar New York