Wait List

Back in March 2018 I added my name to the waiting list for a guitar pedal. The company is called Analogman and they make phenomenal stuff. Probably the most famous item in their catalog is a duel overdrive pedal called King of Tone. At the time the backlog of orders was taking about two years to process. I put my name on the list thinking I would probably have a King of Tone of my own by March 2020.

Remember what went down in March 2020?

By the time Covid hit the wait had already grown. I think I was expecting my number to come up in 2021 (I think). Then Covid slowed everything down more. I haven’t inquired when I should expect it to be my turn to buy a pedal, but I did just read a story that mentioned Analogman recently started working on orders placed in 2018. Hey, that’s me! The article also said they had to redo about 100 circuit boards because some prick managed to slip fake capacitors past them and they all had to be replaced. Damn it.

It will be my turn someday. Someday.

On a slightly related note, if you remember back in June of 2020 when George Floyd was murdered by police officers and riots broke out all of the country, I did a lot of bitching about a pedal builder who first decided that store windows were more important than police officers assassinating citizens before doubling down on his complete assholeness by verbally attacking his own customers for having the nerve to call him a racist when his behavior was about as racist as you can get. I declared I would never use his pedals again (he actually told at least one customer that they were not worthy of using his pedals so I guess he wanted me to stop using his stuff) and put the pedals I owned (there were two, with a third stuck at the band’s rehearsal room) into a box at the bottom of my closet where they can rot for eternity. Then Reverb and Guitar Center cut ties with his company as well. Now, two years later, he’s shutting down. I’m not sure if he’s going out of business or just scaling back to a tiny work-from-home type of thing, or if maybe he’s going to move manufacturing overseas, or what.

While I would never wish harm upon another human, I can’t help but think that going out of business couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, you know? As one who works in customer service… it’s not hard to not verbally assault your customers. Really, it’s not hard. It’s also not hard to not be a racist asshole, but that might be asking too much from some people. I guess.

Hopefully this is the last time I will ever talk about this prick.

Also, hopefully my turn to buy that Analogman pedal will be coming up soon. Four years is a long time, you know?

Today’s Lunch Break Projects

Lunch break project number one was finally unboxing the folding card table. It’s been sitting here waiting for me since early May and now it’s finally setup and useable.

Lunch break project number two was merging the two stay-at-home pedal boards.

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For the first time ever I have mounted a power supply underneath.

The chain currently runs:

  • Real McCoy Custom RMC10 wah wah pedal.
  • Korg Pitchblack Tuner.
    • I want to add one pedal to this board someday, but the power supply can only handle eight lines. If I ever get that little flanger pedal I have my eyes on, then this tuner will be the thing that gets replaced.
  • Earthquaker Devices The Depths uni-vibe pedal.
  • MXR Phase 95 phaser pedal.
  • Wren and Cuff Super Russian combination Big Muff style fuzz pedal combined with a clean boost (that I very rarely use).
  • Klon KTR overdrive pedal. The best overdrive pedal I’ve ever played.
  • Keeley D&M Drive dual overdrive pedal. One side is a higher gain overdrive, the other is lower gain with a big mid-range frequency push.
    • This pedal might be swapped out for a Wampler Plexi Drive Mini overdrive pedal. I need to test drive the Plexi through my Deluxe Reverb amp before I decide for sure.
  • MXR Carbon Copy Mini delay pedal

Now I just have to plug this sucker in and see how it all sounds together through my Deluxe Reverb. The Deluxe Reverb that is finally home!

It’s Home

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See that black thing with the word, “Fender” on it?

Know what that is?

That’s my favorite amplifier. That’s my Fender ‘65 Deluxe Reverb Reissue. It’s been at Mike’s house since late January 2020 and it’s finally back home where it belongs.

Kevin, Mike, and I were pretty terrible tonight but not nearly as terrible as I expected. We took turns throwing out song titles and then hoping muscle memory would kick in so we would remember how to play them. For the most part we did.

For most of the night my signal chain was 100% things that had never been to a Lizardfish practice before. My new Les Paul into the Ryra The Klone into the Malaise Forever Black Lives Matter into the Vox AC15. I sounded okay. A little too toppy but okay. I mostly did the Clapton Les Paul thing (not “Woman Tone”, the other thing) where you run both pick ups but lower the volume on the neck a little. It sounded pretty good.

I was pleased with the AC15. I had been a little concerned that the little 15 watt guy would struggle to keep up with the bass and drums. I need not have worried. It cooked right along with lots of headroom to spare.

As well as the Vox preformed tonight, the biggest take away is still the Deluxe Reverb coming home. At last.

Pedal board Tetris Fail

Last night I mentioned that I was going to add another overdrive pedal to my big pedal board. Well, not today.

I took it out of the case and looked it over to see if I could fit that extra pedal. It’s a mini pedal, so yay? I can’t fit it into the spot it will go in the signal chain. If I am going to use it I will have to put it somewhere else and then wire it in the proper order with some longer patch cables.

There is a spot where it should fit easily. Unfortunately, the only cables I have that will reach from where it should be to where it is and back are not right angle connections and with those plugged in on each side it won’t fit. Not even close.

So the moral of the story is, don’t forget the importance of having the right kind of cables. Now I want to rewire the whole kit and caboodle (did I spell that right?) with the thinnest pancake connections I can get my mitts on. Oh well.

Guitar/Retail Therapy

I am sitting here thinking about retail therapy and guitar gear and all of that and I am trying so very hard not to do it. I want to, but I don’t want to, but I want to.

For the pedal board, I want an MXR Brick and an MXR Phase 95 and one of those cheap little Mooer E-Lady flangers.

I want to trade in my Strat and do… something. Trade it for a Les Paul Jr? Trade it for a ’68 Deluxe Reverb? The money won’t work out for either of those, but what about trade it in for money and then…

Take the ES-335 to a repair shop and redo the frets and the wiring.

Or take the Les Paul Custom to a repair shop and redo the frets and change the pickups to something nice and boutique and redo the wiring.

Or take my gorgeous new Les Paul Standard to a repair shop and change the pickups to something nice and boutique and see if there is anything else that a professional would recommend doing.

Or take my SG Standard to a repair shop and change the pickups to something either nice and boutique, or something high output and mean sounding and see if there is anything else that a professional would recommend doing, specifically to the height of the action.

AAAHHHH!!!!!

Two Weeks

Two weeks ago at about this time, I think I was being moved from the operating room to the recovery room. I’m trying to find some way to commemorate this historic anniversary and I am coming up with nothing. I’m in the cellar, watching Breaking Bad again and surfing online music stores on my laptop. I don’t want to spend money on gitter stuff but what can you do? Pedal boards and random gear are just fun to daydream about. I have made sure to avoid looking at actual guitars though. Amps too. Just pedals and non-bank breaking stuff.

As for the post-surgical update, I had a weird experience today. I ate my delicious tuna fish puree at lunch time. When I was done I… well… it’s so odd… I felt… hungry. As in, damn I could go for another ounce of that fun stuff. It was just a weird feeling.

I am still not giving any details on the subject, but my mother is still in the hospital. I still can’t do anything about it, and likely won’t be able to for another 2-3 weeks. I feel less than useless. Again, no details are coming but I just needed to state that publicly for my own guilt ridden reasons. That is all.

Happy two-week birthday to my little baby stomach*.


* In his book Ghost Rider, Neil Peart, while dealing with the deaths of his wife and daughter, refers to parts of his recovery as feeding his little baby soul. My soul is okay, but my little baby stomach needs constant attention.

Liquid Lunch

It’s almost 2:00pm and I am just getting to lunch now. When I say lunch, of course, I mean liquid lunch. I just had me a protein shake. Yummy. Will it still be yummy after tomorrow? Who the hell knows!

3.5 hours left in my work day and then I go on leave for a month. I am having a tough time wrapping my brain around that. A whole month away from work is just… weird.

It’s really loud in my yard right now. There’s a huge ass riding lawn mower tearing around like a madman. I forgot we booked a lawn service this year. It’s a good thing because we kinda don’t have a lawn mower of our own at the moment, and for the next month or so I am going to be no good to anyone.

The Bruins lost game one last night. Game two is tomorrow. I am guessing I won’t be terribly interested in watching. You know, other stuff going on.

Still no phone call telling me when to show up tomorrow. They said to expect the call between 3:00 and 8:00pm, so I am not worried… yet.

When am I going to be able to watch MoonKnight tomorrow? Do you think Disney+ will let me see it today? No? Even if I ask Mickey Mouse directly? No? Aww.

Musiciansfriend is going to deliver a new delay pedal tomorrow. I don’t expect to be able to play through it right away. You know how it is, right?

My wife Jennifer is my rock. I just wanted to share that. I couldn’t do any of this without her. She’s amazing and I am so in love with her.

What else… I don’t know. I am sure I had a reason to start typing this and I am equally sure that nothing I’ve written here has anything to do with whatever that reason was. I know that, even though I really don’t know what the reason I started this actually is. My 51st birthday is this weekend. I’d tell you all not to get old, but the alternative is really a lot worse so I won’t.

To do list for tonight:

  • Put gas in the car.
  • Clear a path in the cellar storage to the furnace. It’s getting a check up or something next week and I won’t be able to lift half of the stuff that’s in the way post-surgery.
  • Change the litter box.
  • Tell Jennifer how much I love her.
  • Text the kids and tell them how much I love them.
  • Call my parents.
  • Text my brother and sister.
  • Drink a protein shake for dinner.
  • Put away the laundry that I washed and dried yesterday.
  • Pack a bag.

My friends Larry and Mike have already gotten in touch. I got a text from Larry this morning wishing me luck. Last night I got a call from Mike. He’s been through this already and he gave me some advice for the recovery.

They told me not to wear any jewelry tomorrow. That means no wedding ring and no watch. I’m not sure what to do with my glasses. Maybe I’ll bring the case and ask Jen to hold on to them for me.

I’m not freaking out. Not really. I think I just want it to be over with so I can move on to the next stage. As scary as all of this is, it’s a good thing and I will have no regrets.

Okay, back to work for the home stretch.

PAF Journey

I spent some time with the Google and the Reddit and the Social Medias today looking for ideas for new pickups for my Les Paul Custom. I want to get as close to the original Gibson PAF’s as I can and I don’t care how snooty and snobby I have to get.

I learned a couple of things. First, it seems most of the people I encountered did not live in the United States, and most of the suggestions would require some form of international shipping. Also, most of the people I encountered have a ton more money than I do. I was hoping for something in the $200-250 range. I saw one suggestion that goes for $1300 and another that goes for $1500.

There were a couple of good ideas in my price range. Something will come of this. Weirdly, the one big company I looked at was actually more expensive than some of the small businesses. I didn’t expect that, but what can you do, right?

First we get through the kitchen, then we can get to the guitars. Also the cellar. All the stuffs.

Amp Swap

I made some changes to the bedroom music nook today. Sort of celebrating the fact that the RPM Challenge is over. Mixing it up, ya know?

I moved the Vox MV50 Nutube amp and the Fender Bassbreaker 112 speaker cabinet back into the living room. The electric piano is plugged into it again. I took the Bassbreaker 15 that I’ve been using for months and months down cellar and brought up the Vox AC15. The next time I play it will be through the AC15.

I am trying to work up the Covid courage to ask the band what their late-March schedules look like. I’m sort of hoping someone else brings it up first so if we all get Covid I won’t feel that extra layer of guilt. That’s ignoring the fact that we won’t be getting Covid, but that’s beside the point. I’m also thinking about bringing the AC15 to that first bad practice.

Speaking of venturing out into the world, I have been wondering to myself if this week’s vacation will be the time I finally bring my Fender Stratocaster to a music store, probably Guitar Center in Nashua, to trade it in for something else. First on the potential trade list is a Les Paul Junior. Second is the Fender reissue of the silver face Deluxe Reverb. Third would probably be a Gibson Firebird. All of those things will cost more than I could get for the Strat so price is an issue as well as store stock. Also, Covid. I don’t know if I am up to that yet. I don’t know if I’m up to anything yet, but going to the office once a week over the last three weeks, as well as some in person doctors appointments… my courage is building up.

We’ll see.