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Everything posted by Dana_V

  1. There's a popular local band here where I live that's VERY highly paid; they do a lot of corporate events as well as high-end restaurant/bar gigs. They do note-perfect renditions of hits from the 80s to the present and do it very well. The soccer moms love them (think Nance & Rand from Middle Class Fancy). What you see onstage is a drummer, bass player, guitar player and a singer - and they'll all very good at what they do. No fake wall of amps, so at least there's that. But...the vast majority of what you hear is backing tracks. A couple of years ago I saw them at a July 4th event at a high school football stadium (and this is Texas, so the stadium seats 10,000). They sounded great. When they launched into Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" the packed stadium went nuts. But there were moments when there was basically a full band coming out of the speakers and nobody onstage was doing anything at all. Just standing there. I found it boring, and it struck me as to how boring it must be to be that structured - no opportunity to extend a song if the crowd is into it (or cut it short if they're not). Then again, maybe I'm just envious: those guys probably got paid more for playing along to backing tracks at that one show than I did in a whole year of bar gigs.
  2. Exposed at last! 😆 I have followed that account for quite a while and often wondered who was running it. Nice job! Feel free to borrow any of my pictures any time you want (a large percentage of my Instagram postings are guitars, and a good portion of those are Hamers).
  3. I never owned it, but it always makes me look twice when it comes up for sale because it looks so much like my black 1981 Special at first glance. But then I notice those two chips in the paint by the high-E string and bridge pickup and realize, "Oh, okay, it's that one again." Interestingly enough, this one - 1 3614 - has a plain headstock, while mine - 1 4087 - has a checkerboard headstock. (My '80 Special, 0 2218, also has the checkerboard.)
  4. "Jackson Foam-Core case included." Another cost-cutting measure, I'm sure. But come on, Jackson, at least put it in a hardshell case. But, then again, I'm not their target demographic for this anyway. I'm happy with the Soloist I already have and don't really need another one. I special ordered mine in 1986 with an OFR, black hardware, three volume controls and three on/off pickup switches. The color is dark cobalt blue, which, depending on the light, can look blue, purple or even black. The pickups are original; whatever Jackson was using at the time. It doesn't get played as much as it used to, but it's a great guitar and was my #2 for a long time (#1 being my beloved '81 Special, of course). The color shows up better here:
  5. 8 0383 I bought it used from Lake Charles Music, Lake Charles, Louisiana, in 1982. My first Hamer. If I remember correctly, I paid $350 (no kidding!) for it. I still have it, of course.
  6. Took it out for a spin this weekend. Hopefully I can get video next time, but for now here's a still shot. As planned, I used it on Hound Dog Taylor's "It's Alright." With all four pickups on, it's loud and REALLY dark - which works out well for HDT.
  7. That's so cool! Always happy to see another Univox fan out there - even if the Univoxes only look like Univoxes!
  8. My first amp was a Tempo! I don't have it any more, but here it is in a Lafayette catalog: Mine didn't come from a catalog, though, it came from Bishop's Music in Nederland, TX, when I got my first electric guitar - a Univox Hi-Flier - in May, 1973. It was my amp when my neighbor and I got our first band together. In March of 1974, we played my school's annual talent show (I was in the seventh grade). It ran two nights: Tuesday and Thursday. After the first night, it was clear my little Tempo just wasn't loud enough for a venue as large as the Woodlawn Junior High auditorium. So on Wednesday, March 27, 1974, my dad and I went back to Bishop's Music and traded it (along with some cash) for a Univox U-1226 amp. 60 watts, all tube, two 12" speakers in a separate cab. It works best if you bridge the channels like a four-input Marshall. What really sets it off is some kind of preamp, so sometime in '74 or '75 my dad and I built the two-battery preamp from Craig Anderton's Electronic Projects for Musicians book - it's the little silver box on the top right. The label on the reverb enclosure reads: Q.C. Electronics, Inc. Folded Line Reverberation Device. Manufactured by beautiful girls in Milton, Wis. under controlled atmosphere conditions. When I got my Peavey Mace in 1976, the Univox began to see less use, and sometime in the mid-'80s it basically went into storage at my parents' house. Then, last year, I decided to see if it could be brought back to life. I do most of my electronics work myself, but I have a friend/bandmate who's really good with tube amps so I let him have a crack at it. He did a great job with it. Oh man, this thing is awesome. And LOUD. It's mostly Fender-like, but if you bridge the channels and add the preamp it gets almost Marshall-esque. Turn the volume(s) up past 10:00 and stand back. For now I've just been playing around with it at home, but at some point I'd like to work it into a gig. (I've gotta be careful with it, though - no road case or covers.) 1974 Univox U-1226 head and matching 2x12 cab: Close-up of the head. Note the homemade Craig Anderton preamp on the right. The brown box is an accessory box my dad made for me in 1974.
  9. Yeah, in addition to the Lafayette catalog guitars like this were sold in department stores all over the place - Goldblatt's, Woolco, etc. We didn't have a Lafayette store in my area, but I can remember getting the catalogs in the mail and I was always fascinated by the dazzling array of electronic gadgetry inside. Yes, four volumes, one tone and one on/off switch for each pickup - a world of possibilities! I'm not surprised the arm is still there - it takes a screwdriver (or socket wrench) and a wrench to remove it. I HAVE seen some of these where the arm is broken off, so I was lucky to find this one with the arm still in one piece. That's EXACTLY what I thought! That's a great story! Sorry you couldn't get it back, though.
  10. Eastwood is great. I really like the idea of more gig-worthy versions of rare/obscure guitars at affordable prices. I have an Eastwood Delta-6, which is a reproduction of a Mosrite Californian. A real Californian would have cost thousands of dollars and I probably would have been afraid to take it out of the house, whereas the Eastwood is well-made, super-reliable and stays in tune (even tuned to open-A) - for a fraction of the cost of a vintage Mosrite. I don't think Eastwood has done a repro of the Kimberly yet (although requesting it is a good idea), but they do have the SD-40 Hound Dog, which is a recreation of HDT's Kingston:
  11. Yes! We already do two Hound Dog songs; since 2008 we've opened petty much every show with "Give Me Back My Wig" and closed one of the sets with "She's Gone." I think I'm gonna try "It's Alright" on the Kimberly. And yes, SIX fingers! (Until he got drunk one night and chopped off the extra right-hand finger a straight razor.)
  12. Velvet Elvis - yes, exactly! And yes, the quality of entry-level guitars was pretty bad back then. I'm sure a lot of beginnings guitarists got really discouraged when their guitar wouldn't stay in tune, play in tune or was just generally hard to play. You can get MUCH more for your money these days. All those old catalog writers LOVED the word "outfit"! 😆
  13. Sometime around 1970 or so (which means I would have been eight or nine years old), I was in our local Woolco department store with my parents. On a high shelf over in the electronics section there were a couple of guitars on stands, and one of them really caught my eye: green (!) and black with FOUR shiny pickups. I thought it was about the coolest thing I had ever seen (not unlike Ralphie staring at the Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle through the store window in A Christmas Story). My first electric ended up being something else, but I never quite forgot that greenburst beauty from Woolco. Many years later, through the magic of the internet, I discovered it was made by Kawai and bore the Kimberly brand name. In addition to department stores like Woolco, it was sold through Lafayette Radio Electronics mail-order catalogs. Fortunately, there’s an archive of Lafayette catalogs online, and the "Deluxe 4 Pick-up Solid Body Electric Guitar" appeared in the catalog from 1970 - 1974. Every now and then one of them would pop up on Reverb, but most were ridiculously overpriced, the electronics didn’t work, it had suffered a neck break, etc. Finally, one showed up that, although it was missing the Kimberly logo and had a crack in the pickguard, everything appeared to be in working order. The original chipboard case was long gone, but it came with a basic gig bag. The price wasn’t bad, but I made an offer considerably lower than the asking price and to my surprise, it was accepted. It was in serious need of cleaning and I had to fix a broken ground wire, but otherwise it was okay. I took it completely apart and cleaned it as best I could, oiled the fretboard and DeoxIT-ed the pots and switches. Someone had put silver duct tape on the back of the pickguard where it was cracked and it was a sticky mess, so I cleaned that up and patched it from the back with superglue and thin pieces of plastic. And of course I replaced the strap buttons with Dunlop strap locks (with the help of some toothpicks and Elmer’s glue), because all my guitars get Dunlop strap locks. Unfortunately, other than the values printed on the volume and tone pots, there isn’t a single number on it anywhere – no serial number (not that it would mean anything anyway), no pot codes, no date stamps – so there’s no way to know exactly when it was made. The only thing I have to go on is that it appeared in the Lafayette catalog from 1970 - 1974. The tailpiece is a little weird in that you have to depress the bar in order to change a string, but that's okay. The bridge is adjustable up-and-down and the individual roller saddles can be adjusted side-to-side, but there is no back-and-forth adjustment. Hey, who needs intonation adjustment anyway, right? Four pickups and four switches gives you SIXTEEN (including all-on and all-off) pickup combinations, which is pretty cool. Individually, the pickups are pretty weak, but since they’re wired in series all four of them on at the same time gives you a satisfying Hound Dog Taylor-style roar (HDT frequently played a four-pickup Kawai/Kingston). I’m looking forward to trying it out on a gig with the blues band. But most of all, I feel like a circle has been completed: fifty-plus years later, I finally got that green guitar (well, one like it, anyway) I saw in Woolco all those years ago. Kimberly Deluxe 4 Pick-up Solid Body Electric Guitar, post-cleanup: Back view: With Couch None-More-Black strap in front of my 1974 Univox amp: Lafayette catalog #700, page 192, 1970: Lafayette catalog #743, page 51, 1974 (coincidentally enough, this page also features a Univox Hi-Flier - which was my first electric guitar in 1973):
  14. Last Friday night was the first time back indoors since before COVID started, this time with my other band (The Rhythm Dawgs, est. 1998). Maybe people were just starved for entertainment, but it turned out to be a really good gig. Good audience response, dancers, and a healthy tip jar at the end of the night. Here I'm playing Shishkov Ultimate 0063 (note 0092 and my beloved '81 Special in the background) though my Mesa Mark V; the other guitar player plays a Schecter through a Line 6 Vetta II - I'm Mr. Analog, he's Mr. Digital. The bass player is playing a Lakland Skyline Custom PJ.
  15. Take care of yourself and do what you've gotta do - we can wait. Wishing you a full and speedy recovery! Dana 0063 0092 0139
  16. The gigs are slowly coming back. Here's a shot from last Saturday night (with my '90 Archtop). I've got another one (with my other band) scheduled for this Saturday, but it's outside and the way the weather forecast looks right now it might be rained out. This November and December we'll be venturing back indoors for the first time since before COVID.
  17. Back in the early 80s I played with a drummer named Mike. Great drummer, but he was also, shall we say, a bit overweight. I'm tellin' ya, that boy could eat. Watching him consume a whole large pizza by himself was like watching tree limbs being thrown into a wood chipper. In the summer of 1983 we played an outdoor festival in Sulphur, Louisiana - and if you've ever been to southwest Louisiana in the summertime you know that it's not only hot but very, very humid. At some point during our set I looked back at Mike - who had blond hair and a very light complexion - and his face, neck and head were a bright crimson red. He had an odd, glazed-over expression on his face. I remember calmly thinking, "He's gonna die. Right here, today, on this stage." Somehow, miraculously, he made it through the day, but I honestly don't know how.
  18. Yeah, but just think of it. A fully-assembled bicycle, same-day delivered by DRONES. I mean, come on, how awesome would that be?
  19. ...raises hand...<eyes drift toward upper right hand corner of picture>
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