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Everything posted by FGJ

  1. I think there are a LOT of dazzling players from a technical standpoint. Heck, there are little five-year-old Asian girls on YouTube that can shred with the best of them. But actual guitar heroes? Seems to me that what really made one a guitar hero had more to do with influence, innovation, originality, the chops, and the ability to write memorable and inspiring music. Lots of people can dazzle me from a technical perspective, but what is there left to innovate? I suppose one might have asked that same question during Hendrix's peak, but seriously, what hasn't been done on a guitar? One thing I've realized is that being "different" is easy. It's being qualitatively different in a positive way that makes a difference. These days I'm just happy when I hear a player that plays well and writes some music that I can enjoy.
  2. I went to several Van Halen concerts during the Diver Down and 1984 tours (as well as the infamous US Festival performance), and nobody went to hear Roth sing. We all went to see the GIANT rock circus that it was, as well as see Eddie (and Mike and Alex) play. I don't need to watch YouTube videos of those old shows to see Dave was never a very good live singer. However, like a great magician that knows how to divert your attention away from the "trick", Dave knew how to put on a great show and divert your attention away from the fact that his voice didn't hold out well in a live situation. He did, however, do a great job on the albums and his voice was so good that it was, for me, THE voice of Van Halen (even though I dig Sammy, who is a great live singer). I'm almost embarrassed to see what Dave has become and am quite surprised he hasn't gone on to become the game show host that he portrays at the end of the "Hot For Teacher" video, and I'm not so sure he'd even be good at that these days. His witticisms used to sound clever and funny back in the day, but now they sound pathetic. The fact is, my hopes of ever seeing a great Van Halen concert again with the original band is pretty much dead. Dave can't jump around nor looks good enough to divert our attention away from his non-vocals any more, Mike's gone, and Ed just doesn't seem interested or motivated because he does well enough with his product line. What I'm left with are some great albums and some fun memories. I totally understood the earlier remark of it having been better if Roth died in his prime. Where would Monroe or James Dean be if they were still with us? Would either just be another elitist Hollywood has-been, spouting off asinine opinions at awards shows that no one wants to hear? Would Hendrix have been completely eclipsed by the Eddie guitar revolution and all the guitar virtuosos that followed? Elvis definitely didn't die in his prime, and yet he managed to acquire somewhat of legend status by dying, depending on who you ask. So I get where the commentator was coming from. And in a way, in my mind, Roth did die when he left Van Halen. And while Sammy kept the band on life-support a little while longer, I almost think Van Halen died a bit for me, too.
  3. Something, something, something, tone is in the hands, something something. Just play whatever sounds good.
  4. I only have three guitars, but my '89 Cali will stay and then I have no idea where it will end up.
  5. I ended up with a collection of vintage Kaywoodie pipes and vintage typewriters, but it's only because I was buying and selling them on eBay and I ended up with a lot that I never sold. I'll eventually sell them if/when I get the time. However, the only thing I consciously collect because they're a source of inspiration and professional reference in my work are art books. I have a large library of art books, children's books, and fiction from the golden age of pulp. I have a lot of comics I bought as a kid, but I'll eventually get around to selling a lot of them. If I could collect anything I wanted (assuming money were not an issue), it'd probably be vintage cars, though I'd only get them if I could drive them. I see no point in collecting things just to sit around collecting dust.
  6. If Hamer used the same size across the board, I think they're 37.
  7. I stopped reading after a few paragraphs. The subject is too depressing. There's no point in obsessing over the inevitable. I'll make the most out of the time left, thank you very much.
  8. Say, do you pull the old frets straight up and out or do they slide out from the side? I remember reading where EVH said Fender pulled theirs out from the side when refretting a guitar. I don't know how common that is.
  9. I'm pretty sure ALL Hamers are made with Brazillion rosewood boards. Here's mine; a T-51 with a very rare "blond" Brazillion fretboard. This wood came from a rare Brazillion rosewood tree that was raised from a sapling by monks who fertilized it with unicorn poop, which gives it its rare blond appearance. I even have a certificate of authenticity, though I had to draw it myself on a napkin, but I did sign it to make it official in case anyone wants to pay me thousands for this rare gem.
  10. So, like, you got the bride and five of her kids? You couldn't wait for her to be delivered to start making your own family, so you got the pre-fab Kit?
  11. I tend to agree with that lanky, hippie-looking dude in those old, pre-YouTube Van Halen tutorial videos that would always begin with, "If you want to sound like Eddie Van Halen, you have to play like Eddie Van Halen." He emphasized that point at a time when people thought they could sound like their guitar hero by simply having similar type gear or, if they were lucky, getting a signature guitar or amp (assuming such existed for the person whom they wanted to emulate). Now, with modeling and digital tools, there is so much that already gets you the right sound of a particular player without effort that all you have to do is reasonably learn to play the songs (I mean, that product comes with everything except a Brian May wig and inflatable guitar). It takes all the fun out of tone-chasing. Still, I think digital tools make perfect sense for professional musicians who just need to get the job done as efficiently as possible, so there's definitely a place for them. I suppose it all depends on each player's individual needs and goals.
  12. Do I sense a bit of skepticism about the actual merits of our beloved Newport? Say it ain't so!
  13. You mean, like, get a Korean product, or actually get a Korean? And if it's the latter, how does one go about ordering a Korean, and are we talking mail-order brides or something?
  14. Amazing how spending time reading nonsense from the same familiar names makes you feel close to people. I've never met any of you in person, but the names have become familiar enough to miss when someone is missing. RIP and condolences to his family.
  15. Japanese metal quality is excellent; they make some of the best ss knives and blades. I'll take Japanese Feather blades over today's Gillette crap any day.... Then again, much of Gillette's crap is imported now.
  16. Never spent any time with a Ric, but I always thought they were very cool with that retro vibe. There's something about the striped headstock that reminds me of an old 50's surfboard. Never heard an exploding tailpiece on a guitar before, but I don't think quality metal should fail like that. Sounds like crappy metal. Seems like so much stuff made of metal that comes from Asia is just crap. I have a vintage USA lamp from the 40s-50s that is built like a tank and works like a champ. I also have a lamp built in China that had metal parts that literally crumbled like a fortune cookie. I also have a really old USA Craftsman vise that can take a beating and that'll certainly outlast me. Saw another guy's Harbor Freight import vise from China that looked beefy but broke under a few whacks with a hammer. Looked like it was hollow spun-cast metal or something. The point is, not all metal is equal and Ric should find a better source for those tailpieces.
  17. Here's a PDF of it. Hamer_Newport_Review.pdf
  18. I used to not care for SGs, until I picked one up and it felt simple in a good way. In fact, for some reason SGs strike me as a Gibson version of a Tele; a flat slab of wood that works precisely because it's simple. Sure, it has buckers and isn't exactly twangy, but it's the simplicity that gives me that vibe...though I prefer a Tele.
  19. I was at that concert. I was the guy crowd-surfing on a camel.
  20. I think Peggy Bundy is kind of hot. In a rack full of Hamers sort of way.
  21. When I took my guitar to the clinic, the doctor asked why I needed to bring a guitar with me just to get hemmeroids lasered.
  22. I dunno, a "superstrat" without a whammy bar is like Superman with kryptonite in his underwear. It just ain't "super" anymore. At that point it's just a Strat-shaped Lester. Not that there's anything wrong with that, if that's your thing. Different strokes for different folks...or different Strats for different...rats?
  23. SS frets aren't snake oil. Aside from lasting nearly forever, mine remain persistently shiny like newly polished frets, and string bending is silky smooth. They do nothing to improve tone (and they don't hurt the tone any either), but for playability and looks, they're awesome. And it didn't cost me a penny more for the stainless than if I'd had the tech use regular wire. Titanium frets on the other hand is just unnecessary overkill. I wonder if they'd give the guitar a brittle tone.
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