Thinking Ahead

Holy crap, I’m fully vaccinated. Wow!

Now what?

Today is Thursday and I have a rough day at work ahead of me. Tomorrow is Friday and I have a rough day at work ahead of me. After that?

I don’t know.

The weekend… what can I do to dip my toe into the waters of normalcy? One of the cars needs an oil change. I can go to Valvoline and have it done without leaving the car. That’s a good option. The other car needs an inspection. I don’t know about that. That seems a little much for the first few days. Maybe next weekend.

There is one thing that is looming over all other things. One thing that, now that Jen got the hybrid inspected (thank you so much, my love!), needs to be done more than anything else…

A hair cut. Woah boy do I need a hair cut.

I don’t know if I’m ready for that yet. Being in a closed room with another person close enough to touch me? I don’t know if I’m ready for that yet.

Back inside the house there will be music. I want to bring the big Bassbreaker amp down cellar and bring up the Vox AC15 and use that on it’s own for a while. I bought it over the summer and I don’t think I’ve used it without a second amp for more than a couple of minutes. April’s music will be through just that amp. At least for a day or two before I change my mind again. I also want to put the 1×12 speaker cabinet back into the living room so Harry can play the electric piano through it. He’s been 100% headphones for long enough. Once all that stuff is done I have to write and record a song for the RPM site’s Record Every Month challenge. It’s month two and that’s way too soon to drop out.

Okay, so that’s Saturday. What about Sunday.

We haven’t worked out the logistics yet… but I think we’re going to see how we feel about a really long drive.

Woah!

Trade Ins

Just before the pandemic hit I was planning on taking my 2000 Fender Stratocaster to a local music store and trading it in. It’s a great guitar and it deserves to be owned by someone who will play the crap out of it rather than me who will always unfavorably compare it to every other guitar I own.

Now here we are 13 months later and I’m starting to revisit those plans. I’m also thinking of trying to trade in my Fender Bassbreaker 18/30 as well. My Fender Deluxe Reverb is patiently waiting for me to return to our bass player’s house for practice. Assuming it hasn’t died over the last year it will immediately go back to being my #1 amp. The Vox AC15 can fill the #2 amp role better than the unbelievably loud 18/30 can.

Trade in both items… for a used Gibson Les Paul Jr? Maybe. Unless maybe a used Gibson Firebird is available? I’m fantasizing here. No store is going to give me enough value for the guitar and the amp to be able to equal a Junior or a Firebird, right?

Gear Acquisition Syndrome plus an active imagination equals unrealistic expectations.

Another Sort of New Song

I mixed another re-recording today. I don’t think I like it. It’s originally from the 2016 RPM Challenge when I wrote a bunch of songs about people dumb enough to believe the Earth is flat. This one was supposed to be part of an argument between a flat earther and a person with a brain. Five years ago it was the idiot point of view. When it came to re-recordings I couldn’t really use it out of context so I wrote new lyrics. Can you guess what they are about? I wish they were better. They really suck. The vocals suck too. The guitars are okay, I guess.

No Top Wrap

I put strings on the SG today. As part of my jonzing for a Les Paul Junior I was thinking about top wrapping. That’s where you put the string through the tail piece backward and then wrap the string over the top of it. For Les Paul Juniors (and standards from 1953-1955, I think) the tail piece is also the bridge so top wrapping is required.

For guitars that have a separate bridge, like all three of my Gibsons, it’s not necessary but I thought what the hell. I did it for one string and then stopped. I would have needed to lower the tail piece for it to work and I didn’t want to do that today. I keep the tail low on the other two Gibsons. Maybe I’ll try it on one of those.

Also, is there anything more useless than these locking tuners? They really don’t do anything at all.

Birthday Delay?

My 50th birthday is in less than one month. I was planning on buying myself a present. I was going to take my Les Paul to an actual luthier and have the neck worked on. At the minimum I would have the frets dressed and the one inlay that’s starting to pull off fixed. More likely I would have the inlay fixed and the frets (gasp) replaced. I was also thinking about new pickups and having all of the wiring replaced. I was also also thinking about doing all of the same work to my ES-335.

Now… Maybe I should retire the Les Paul (the ES-335 is already retired) and, when the band starts rehearsing again, just play my SG. It’s still practically new. It won’t need any work for a while (knock on wood) so just play the SG all the time. I’d still need a backup for gigs so if we ever have another gig (in the post-Covid world that question is still unanswered) I could trade my strat for a cheap, used Les Paul Junior or something. Juniors from the mid-20-teens seem to be reselling for cheap. I could maybe do a straight up trade.

The reason is college. Mostly, at least. We’re about to have two college students and I don’t want to spend what little money is left after tuition on something that isn’t 100% necessary. New frets on a 43 year old guitar are a luxury that can wait until after the kids graduate. College is expensive. Two colleges… that’s really expensive. There’s just nothing left over. That’s not a complaint, of course, college is worth every penny. It just means that come 2025 or 2026, my Les Paul is going to have some major league work done. I’m talking Hollywood actor after the first time he loses a gig to a 22 year old up and comer level work done.

Record Every Month

The good folks at the RPM Challenge came up with a new thing for us to mess with. Record Every Month. One song per month for the rest of the year. I was hoping to have 10 but here we are on the 31st and I’ve got one. Count me as a winner for the first month at least.

Eric’s Birthday

Eric Clapton celebrated his 76th birthday today and I’m guessing he didn’t wear a mask.

I can overlook a lot of shit from my musical heroes, I’m looking at you drunken racist immigration rants back in the… whenever that was, but the anti mask shit you pulled recently… just fuck you, bro.

I still want to hear him play live again. Just one more time. That’s despite the anti mask shit. I mean really… fuck you, bro.

So instead of birthday wishes here’s a pic from 1966 with the legendary Marshall combo amp behind him, and the even more legendary, dare I say almost mythical, 1960 Les Paul Standard in front of him.

Assuming the Instagram link works, of course…

(The guy next to him is John McVie who about two years later became the Mac in Fleetwood Mac)