I’m doing my best not to let every little thing bother me, but today is starting to feel like one of those days where the whole lock down thing gets to me.
I slept okay last night. That’s a tick in the good things column. The kids are here. That is another one. I played guitar last night and I didn’t suck (any more than normal). Tick. It’s only been a small amount of use, but so far I’m not seeing the same issues I saw with the new MacBook Pro the last time I tried to use it. My backup from the old computer took without issue this time, and with the exception of my copy of the Vivaldi browser acting screwy this morning there hasn’t been any software problems (I closed Vivaldi and re-opened and it’s been fine since).
My wife and my step son have spent the last few weeks becoming excellent cake bakers. Not only that, but they are teaching themselves how to decorate too. They baked their cakes and made their frosting from scratch and are doing all sorts of fun things with the design. Unfortunately they have decided to take a break from baking for a while because… well… we’ve had a lot of cakes to eat lately. We can put the baking and the creativity into the good column, and the lack of more cake forthcoming into the bad column. I haven’t made any of my now legendary Tewksbury Tweets in the last couple of weeks. I don’t think I’ll have time before the kids go back to their dad’s for the weekend. Maybe I’ll have some for when they get back next Wednesday.
The kids are going back to their dad’s tomorrow. That’s a tick in the negative column. We get them today though, so I won’t be upset about it for now. Harry has started watching 30 Rock. I am 99% sure I binged the entire series. He showed me a youtube video yesterday of something hysterical that I totally missed. Apparently, there is a thread throughout the show demonstrating that Kenneth the NBC Page is immortal. They actually come right out and say it once, but you can laugh it off as goofy hickish behavoir, but with all of the little throw away lines lined up one after another… Kenneth is some kind of immortal being.
We can add that as a tick in the good column.
I mentioned in a post over the weekend that I sent an email to Gibson’s repair site. They haven’t responded. Under non-coronavirus circumstances I’d tick that under bad, but with things being as they are the staff are probably stuck at home… maybe… I don’t know how strict Tennessee is being, or how strict Gibson itself is being. I don’t know. I will invent a new category and call it the ambiguous, grey area list and put this there.
There were other things I was going to mention but I’m working now and all non-work related things have been flushed from my memory buffer (that’s a technical phrase).
I managed to sneak in the last two songs worth of guitars for the May Music. Now all of the tracking is done and I am down to three mixes to go. That’s it. Could we be finishing an album in a month project by the 29th for the fourth month in a row?
I Googled “luthiers near Boston” and this was one of the things that came up. 40 or so Luthiers to research. I didn’t count the Guitar Centers. They’ve let me down once.
I also may have just sent a message to Gibson’s repairs department. Wiring, frets, and a nut. What would that cost me? They also offer a service that they call “total restoration.” I’m going to be honest here and say that I drooled a little when I read that. I also asked what that entails.
I’m not doing any of this until COVID-19 is dealt with. I’m likely not doing any of it even then, but we’re in quarantine so why not fantasize a little?
After all the 335 fuss yesterday I took a second to Google Luthiers near Boston to see if I could find someone to work on my ES 335 (after the COVID-19 mess is over, of course). I found a few that might be worth talking to. I just need to figure out what I want them to do.
I know some of the wiring is failing. Asking to have the wiring checked and have anything that is fixable fixed and anything that isn’t fixable replaced is the minimum. But if I am going through this process, should I have anything else done? The nut could probably handle being replaced. The frets are not just worn, but are worn pretty unevenly. My Les Paul is the same way. I am terrified by the thought of a refret, but maybe I could have it done on this guitar as a test case before having it done on the Les Paul. Then there’s the electronics themselves. If they are going to pop everything out, should I just have them put new pots in across the board?
I took these questions to the repair desk at a Guitar Center a couple of years ago, and the tech there told me to ship the Guitar to Memphis and have Gibson do it for me (did he say Memphis or Nashville? I don’t remember). He didn’t want to touch it. All he was willing to do was blast some compressed air through the electronics to clean any dirty connections. After that discussion I saw a video on youtube where a tech was working on the wiring of a 335 and he actually unglued the top of the body to get at the electronics. Well screw that, I thought. That’s about the most horrifying thing I’ve ever seen happen to a guitar. That was like watching torture porn. It was just awful.
Today as I was looking at a price list from a Luthier in Boston I couldn’t help but notice there were no separate price lists for semi-hollow and hollow guitars. What did that mean? Did it maybe mean that the video I watched was, oh I don’t know, overkill? Or maybe (fingers crossed) just plain wrong?
Off to youtube I went.
Working on the wiring is a lot simpler than I was lead to believe. Thank you, god Clapton. For a guy like me who doesn’t have the “fix it” or “electrician” genes in his DNA, it was still pretty terrifying. It makes me think that it might not be as awful as I thought it would be though. Maybe there would be enough money for a refret after all.