Friday, December 19, 2014

Song of the Week #328

Hi everyone and welcome back.

The link between Soul Asylum and the Backbeat soundtrack clip from last week is that they are both sung by the same guy, Dave Pirner.

It's been a rather busy week here. Both kids have had their school graduations and then Zoë had a little trip to the hospital to have her appendix out! My fervent desire is that we see 2015 through without a visit to the Emergency Department.

Budgie - Crash Course In Brain Surgery - http://youtu.be/nrJOIXOldnQ

No comments from last week about Belle and Sebastian? Interesting. That's really not indicative of their sound at all but I still liked it. Here's something else from them which is a bit confusing as they use the name of another band in the title!

Belle & Sebastian - The Boy With The Arab Strap - http://youtu.be/pzXV6TICs4Q

Yeah....I didn't know what an Arab Strap was either....

This week's epic failure in terms of customer service goes to a big company whose name starts with G. They run the world's largest search engine among other things. I was told that they'd send me something in 3-5 working days. When I asked about its whereabouts after two weeks I was told that it was on backorder. That's hardly inspiring. Morons.

Anti-Flag - The Consumer Song - http://youtu.be/VBHzkBqF0y4

Righto then, the band, with me in tow, had a final hitout last night in preparation for our New Year's show. Ticket sales are excellent so if you're planning on coming along then get on the phone and book. Remember the deal...7 courses, loads of rock and roll and more fun than you can poke two sticks at. We can promise plenty of songs you'll know. 

Icehouse - Nothing Too Serious - http://youtu.be/H6Zq0JK1PFA

Next week is Christmas. Depending on your point of view that can mean any number of things: a pagan festival rebadged, the birth of Christ, a week down the coast, overeating or simply time with your family and friends. Whatever your "thing" is, how about you do it peacefully and respect that other people may think differently. I won't shove anything down your throat (except good music) and no one really needs to tell me that their way is the best way. I'll play a song for you and stick to my three pronged religion of family, guitars and bikes.

Twisted Sister - I Believe In Rock And Roll - http://youtu.be/rSSJpqADysU

Scouting for Girls - I Need A Holiday - http://youtu.be/vH99HVaj-Mc

Like the vast majority of people I was saddened by the senseless killing that happened, particularly in Sydney and Peshawar. One pointless death is one too many. I'm so tired of people who group all those in the Muslim faith with the Taliban. Do you think that all Catholics were working for the IRA? These events really made me think about religion. The way I see it, religious fundamentalists of any kind fear their supreme being; they are "God fearing". The religious people I want to talk with are those in the majority who see their faith as an expression of love. If your God is love then stop killing people in his or her name.

Yusuf Islam - Peace Train - http://youtu.be/TWgEUGnuwpk

I noticed this week that DJ Duck is off to see John Fanham and Olivia Newton John playing live. I thought Farnham had finished his second or third farewell tour already? These are two singers with distinctive voices and I'm sure it will be an excellent show. I look forward to a review!

John Farnham - Two Strong Hearts - http://youtu.be/tqaMHMooiEU

Olivia Newton John - Magic - http://youtu.be/oU5t3Ft5JhU

Every guitarist has a sound in their head. It's their ideal tone; how they want to sound. After years and years of trying to achieve that sound I reckon I got there yesterday. It was unexpected in terms of the guitar, my Fender Stratocaster, but it's just such a great feeling to move my fingers and hear what I've been searching for all these years. It's also something that's very hard to describe because the truth is that I don't want to sound like anyone else! 

Neil Finn - Ten Guitars - http://youtu.be/A91v2ZDOQfg?t=3m35s

That's all for this week. Tune in seven days into the future for a post Christmas wrap and more good tunes.

Rob

"I think I'm outta step like Minor Threat baby...you gotta lotta attitude for someone going out of style.." - Danko Jones, I Love Living In The City

Friday, December 12, 2014

Song of the Week #327

Musically it's a bit of a challenge finding time to listen to new stuff when I've got three sets of Australian rock hits going round and round in my head in preparation for the New Year's Eve show. It'll most likely be the last hurrah for us playing many of the Midnight Oil songs and some others too. They are great but I think we all agree that there's a lot of other music to play. I'm hanging out to play tunes like "Forgotten Years", "Hercules" and "Sometimes" like there's no tomorrow.


Midnight Oil - Hercules (live) - http://youtu.be/hih--64WkK0

 

"Consequence of Sound" is a music (and film) review website that I have been coming back to for more than a year now. They have a wide range of reviews and it's a good place to pick up artists you haven't heard of before. They use a simple grading system and even if something gets a C minus I'll give it a go. Their reviews are usually pretty close to the mark.

 

There has been a flurry of activity in the media about school children needing to learn how to write computer code. I'm fairly sure I saw the US President getting some lessons too. I've taught a few students who have gone on to be programmers of one kind or another. I've also taught Computing to heaps of kids that chose other career paths. I learned BASIC programming from a book and some trial and error in the mid 80's. The structures and logic lessons that I picked up have served me well working in IT and in teaching. But recently I was able to decipher a range of computer code to fix a few things at work. It wasn't that exciting; just some HTML, CSS and PHP but if I was relying on a visual editor we would have been stuffed. We don't need every student writing a new version of Windows (not that they'd do a worse job than MS) but some decent exposure provided by people who know what they're doing is a pretty good idea.

 

The Godfathers - Birth, School, Work, Death - http://youtu.be/QO5dcW0P75M

 

In 1987 I went to the drive in with Scouts (we walked there) to see a movie. It was a hot night so we all sat outside and watched "Highlander". It's still in my top 5 films of all time. I loved it then and I still do. Last weekend I sat down with my 18 year old daughter (where did THAT time go) and introduced her to the film. I'm pretty sure she liked it, she certainly liked the soundtrack. That's good parenting 101…ensuring films of cultural significance are introduced to the next generation!

 

Queen – Gimme The Prize – http://youtu.be/VEJ8lpCQbyw


You might remember that when the band toured earlier in the year that we spent some time and played a show for the staff and students at "Crossing the Divide" out at Bundarra. Well this week CTD had its first graduation. I was quite moved when H sent me a photo of Matt Pye along with some of the graduates all dressed up for the occasion. I think about the people we met out there quite often...it really was an experience that changed the way I think for the better.


Johnny Nash - I Can See Clearly Now - http://youtu.be/FscIgtDJFXg


Glaswegian indie popsters Belle & Sebastian have been around for quite a while now. They've got a new album ready to launch in early 2015. This is the first single and I think it's a rather well crafted piece of pop. There's a really funky guitar bit in there that I keep coming back to.


Belle and Sebastian - The Party Line - http://youtu.be/3vS1Hf3CVGs


In 1994 the Army sent me to Melbourne to learn all about computers. It was a pretty good course taught by instructors with a genuine desire to teach us. DJ Al-ee-Sunshine and I hadn't been married very long when I went and 3 months was a long time. She did get to come and visit for a weekend though. I remember that I was rather unwell and that we went to see the movie that the next tune is from. Somewhere I've got the entire soundtrack on cassette. I remember that the artists covering all the songs weren't allowed to use any modern studio gizmos. It turned out pretty well!


Backbeat Soundtrack - Long Tall Sally - http://youtu.be/v454mAro43E


Surprise, surprise...Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters is the drummer on the previous track. Is there anything this man hasn't appeared on??


And now for this week's competition. If you can work out why I've chosen the next tune, other than that I like it a LOT, you'll be doing well. The link is somewhere inside a song in this episode.


Soul Asylum - Somebody To Shove - http://youtu.be/OrrE5bCA5lg


Australian music buyers have never been shy of supporting a novelty tune. I see no reason to buck the trend either. Sometimes life is a bit serious and you need a good laugh. Here's one of the best ever!


Scatterbrain - Don't Call Me Dude - http://youtu.be/NbLhHtaVIO4


That'll do. The Walking Dead are beckoning...


Rob


"Still whining about your bonus
Man up, you're ridiculous
Hell you can't take it with ya
So, give a little extra" - Ian Hunter & The Rant Band, "When I'm President", 2012



Saturday, December 6, 2014

Song of the Week #326

Wow, this episode is only about 16 hours late! Sorry folks. Today's show is brought to you by the letter 'S'. Why? Why not.

Sidetrack (that starts with  an 's'); the reason I'm late is twofold. On Friday evening I was too tired to finish what I'd started here. It was a big week with both kids having their school formals and alot going on at work. Rather than pump out something of inferior quality for my discerning listeners I let my ideas ferment overnight. Then this morning the sun was out, the sky was clear and there was no wind. As you may have guessed this meant that I couldn't resist getting out for a few kilometres on my bike. I judged it to perfection though; as the clouds rolled in I put my foot (feet?) down to get home and beat the storm. The ride ended up being shorter than I had planned but getting 91km done and walking in the door just as the rain started was a rather fabulous start to the day.

Solution (there's another 's' word). Last week's quiz asked for the two AC/DC studio albums not named the same as a song. The answers are "Powerage" from 1978 and "Blow Up Your Video" from 1988. One is their best album and the other is rather underrated.

Stevie Wonder, Sesame Street & Superstition. http://youtu.be/_ul7X5js1vE What a great song and look how much fun the kid is having at about 40s in. Stevie Ray Vaughan does a great version of this but Stevie Wonder's is the best. I believe he also played drums on the original studio recording.

Scouting for Girls are the next band to assault your aural senses. I got a copy of their first album when it came out but it never really piqued my interest. Lately I've been adding albums like this to my iDevice to see if my thoughts have changed. They have with this track; it's great! Poppy Brit Rock at its best.

Scouting for Girls - Elvis Ain't Dead - http://youtu.be/3jpLo1A4x_g

She Makes War is Laura Kidd's solo project. Laura is from Bristol. I went to school there once but that's beside the point. She Makes War is really cool gloom quirky pop. If you follow her via the web then she's always popping up playing online gigs as well as regular ones. I like her voice, the attitude and the songs too. If you listen and decide it's good stuff then head over to http://www.shemakeswar.com/ for free stuff, CDs to buy and the chance to support the recording of album #3. I have the first two albums here (bought direct from Laura) and they are never off my iDevice.

She Makes War - Scared to Capsize - http://youtu.be/5w-utqTYpeo

It wouldn't be an 's' show without Paul Simon I don't think. His album with Art Garfunkel, "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" has been on high rotation in my office this week. It just never gets old. The space and majesty of the title track is almost sonic perfection. I wonder if Sesame Street still has cool people on it?

Paul Simon - Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard - http://youtu.be/G1dlWmrRstc

Slayer have a new album coming in early 2015 (date if you believe the internets...). It will be their first without founding member and guitarist Jeff Hanneman. They released a track (below) online back in May. Wow, it's hard to believe all the haters. Slayer are THE original thrash metal band and just the fact that they are carrying on without Hanneman is amazing. It sounds like Slayer to me. I rated their last album highly and I'll be in the queue to buy the next one. It isn't music I listen to every day but it has its place in my playlists.

Slayer - Implode - http://youtu.be/k0gVs_UcxKY

Safia are a Canberra band hitting it big on the international scene. They recently toured with NZ sensation Lorde. Seriously groovy stuff...electronic r&b in a good way.

Safia - Paranoia, Ghosts & Other Sounds - http://youtu.be/J5CDzhnMTMI

I've been mucking around with some software that does amplifier modelling for guitars. Basically, you plug into the iPad and go wild. It's pretty cool stuff and I'll be interested to see how it sounds at volume with the rest of the band, It may or may not translate well. Having an electronic template of a dozen or so amps and being able to modify them is a lot of fun. DJ NotRoz complained that the dials didn't go to 11 though.

Spinal Tap (and all their friends) - Big Bottom (live) - http://youtu.be/iN42uzNFVmQ

Years and years ago now DJ DadofIke turned me onto a band called The Sisters of Mercy. I liked bits and pieces of their music but I did cringe at some of the bootleg stuff. I'm sure it was good if you were there. We used to play one of their songs (Something Fast) regularly in The Dark Violence of Beauty. It was amusing to hear the original version after 6 months playing our take on it!  Today I'm playing another one of their tracks that I like a lot. You don't have to be a Goth to like the Sisters, just someone who appreciates good music.

The Sisters of Mercy - Dominion - http://youtu.be/AeFC-rfQkVk

I'll close with a tune that Angus put me on to. Usually he's listening electronic or dance style stuff but the other day I heard guitars and my heart soared. Kingswood are a Melbourne rock band whose first album was released this year. They've been playing with such bands as The Living End, British India and The Saints as well as a number of festivals. It's good honest rock and roll and I'll check out more of their stuff very soon. Their band name might not start with an 's' but the song title does - ha!

Kingswood - Suckerpunch - http://youtu.be/mgVG-nS-X9c

Hoo roo,

Rob

(Language warning on this one if you couldn't work it out from the title!)
"Negative are all your views,
So you can prop up your fake cool,
A puppet all the same...political" - Skunk Anansie, Yes It's F*cking Political, 1996. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Song of the Week #325

Yesterday was the 21st anniversary of the best party I've ever been to. It was our wedding anniversary. Not a bad innings in this day and age. I'm often genuinely amazed (and thankful) that Alison still wants to hang around with me. It isn't like I'm easy to live with I wouldn't think. The old adage that a true friend is someone who knows all about you and still likes you anyway certainly applies. I met Alison when I was 17.

Elton John - Kiss The Bride - http://youtu.be/xXqFJJ5AX0c

New bike news; in two words "it's awesome". For those of you interested in the detail, the new ride is a 2014 model Cervelo S2 with a full Ultegra groupset. My old Cervelo was a dream and I'll admit that I was unsure that this would be as good. A week of riding later and I'm convinced. Comfy, fast and good looking. I like it. Top marks to Spearman Cycles in Wollongong not only for a great deal but for the knowing about the long lost art of customer service.

The Smiths - Shoplifters of the World Unite - http://youtu.be/lJRN76hxFz0

Australian AC/DC fans should tune into the ABC's 7:30 Report on Monday evening for an interview with Angus and Brian. In the preview Angus was speaking about the first signs that Malcolm was unwell. It must be incredibly difficult to carry on as a band without him. Remember that they've been doing this together since the early 70s. More AC/DC at the end of this week's episode.

The ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) awards were on this week. What a joke. They imported One Direction and Katy Perry for the show. What does that say about the industry's own view of itself? I can think of plenty of top notch Australian acts that deserve a place over those two. At least One Direction actually performed I suppose. I also learned from credible sources that 5SOS are not a "boy band". I'm sure they don't want to be labelled as such but when you tour supporting One Direction it's kind of a label that's going to stick for a while regardless.

5 Seconds of Summer - Amnesia - http://youtu.be/X2BYmmTI04I

Personally, this is what I think a boy band with guitars should sound like...

silverchair - Israel's Son - http://youtu.be/k2d6iwOSAfQ

There was more nonsense in the press this week about cyclists paying registration. Yawn. Let me reiterate my points of view very briefly.

  • I commute almost every day on my bike and I also ride it for recreation. Once in a while I even race. I average about 300km a week.
  • I ride a bicycle and I don't break the law. Some cyclists do and they suck.
  • I drive a car and I don't break the law. Some drivers do and they suck.
  • A bicycle will never win an argument with a car or a truck no matter who is in the right.
  • I'm happy to register my bike/s but then I'll actually expect a lane to myself, bike lanes that actually go somewhere, or decent bike paths.
As you no doubt know, the new AC/DC album will be released on December 2nd. The tracks already released sound fantastic. To me AC/DC are more than a band, they are a huge part of my musical DNA. I've been a fan since I was a teenager and that wasn't yesterday. Essentially they play simple, blues based rock. What they do differently to many other bands is that they do it well, don't take themselves too seriously and seem to genuinely be enjoying themselves. With 16 studio albums there's a lot of good material in there. I popped the question on StalkerBook this week as to what some friends' favourite songs were. I was pleasantly surprised. Using their input, here's a top few tracks any rock and roll fan should listen to once in a while. These are in no real order.

  • Hell's Bells - from Back In Black (1980)
    • fabulous intro riff along with the bell. What a great track to open an album.
  • Let There Be Rock - from the album of the same name (1977)
    • a live show staple but this original version probably has the roughest, ripping guitar sound they've ever put on tape.
  • It's A Long Way To The Top - from TNT (1976)
    • the first rock song I ever played live to an audience and of course the best bagpipe solo ever.
  • Sink The Pink - from Fly On The Wall (1985)
    • yeah sure, it's about snooker.
  • Crabsody In Blue - from Let There Be Rock (1977)
    • only appeared on the Australian release, as DJ Broose says, it just highlights Bon's wicked sense of humour
  • Gone Shootin' - from Powerage (1978)
    • my personal favourite from what I think is their best album
  • Big Jack - from Black Ice (2008)
    • a album track that is just pure rock and roll.
  • Whole Lotta Rosie - from Let There Be Rock (1977)
    • plenty of good versions of this one with the album track being nothing short of incendiary. As Brother Laff says; chant with me, "Angus, Angus, Angus!"
Righto. Here's a quiz question for AC/DC fans. No Googling. There are 16 studio albums by the band. Only two aren't named the same as a song title included on that record. What are those two?

This next tune has just turned 50. It speaks for itself really. I'll be over on the Group W bench listening to it. Feel free to join me.

Arlo Guthrie - Alice's Restaurant - http://youtu.be/m57gzA2JCcM

That's enough for this week. There are teenage boys playing SingStar in the other room and now would be the moment to have bought those noise cancelling headphones.

Rock on Brothers and Sisters,

Rob

"Only the good die young..." Iron Maiden 1988 - http://youtu.be/Yq9ntSgEI78

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

All the news that's fit (?) to print...

For years now I've been on a constant search for decent news delivered via the Internet.

A while ago I had a really neat page setup using iGoogle. All I had to do was choose a list of topics and iGoogle fed me stuff to read. It was pretty good and not hard to tweak. But, because it was so good it was discontinued.

So, here's what I use and recommend at the moment. You can take my seal of approval with a grain of salt though; just because it works for me doesn't mean it'll be your kind of thing.

  • The Financial Review (www.afr.com).
    • to be honest, unless you're prepared to pay for the subscription this is useless. I'm fortunate in that my employer does this. 
    • The Fin Review is more than just business reporting and has a wide range of fairly well written articles. I particularly like their technology section.
  • The Conversation (http://theconversation.com/au)
    • independent and well written
    • funded by many Australian universities
    • good topical writing and usually well fact checked
    • there's still drivel here but not so much as a commercial news service
  • The Atlantic (http://www.theatlantic.com/)
    • a wide range of interesting and generally well written pieces
    • includes some great longer feature pieces
    • for an American publication it has a decent international focus as well
    • more of a new magazine than a newspaper
  • Zite (app)
    • Zite is a news tool that works a bit like iGoogle did
    • Choose your interests and Zite feeds you stuff
    • Zite also "learns" what you're interested in
    • Sadly, not available as a website but it works on Apple devices, Android and now Windows phones too. Blackberry users...well...move with the times!
  • Canberra Times (canberratimes.com.au)
    • I'm putting this out there because the app is reasonable and there is SOME local content.
    • It isn't great and you get a lot of stuff from the associated Fairfax papers so read critically.
  • ABC News Radio
    • Beats ABC TV news 24 hands down
    • Great content, no nonsense rolling news
    • Also plays programmes from BBC, NPR, Deutsche Welle etc.
    • Well worth a listen

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Song of the Week #324

This week I could tell you about any of the following things that have made me feel good;
  • enjoying my work,
  • spending a few hours with my Dad,
  • Chief playing my Stratocaster and pronouncing it awesome,
  • finally taking delivery of my new bike,
  • reading some books,
  • Alison being on the mend after knee surgery,
  • Angus doing homework on a Friday night, or
  • meeting up with interstate friends...
...but I won't. What I will tell you about is that Zoë has finished high school. We both started school on the same day in 2002 and it seems fitting that we both finished about the same time. She's been an amazing student and I'm a proud old Dad. Not everyone has the kind of brain that allows then to write a novella and have it published and also have a true love of Science. Zoë's next adventure is volunteering in Vanuatu for 6 months, travelling in Europe and then coming home to go to university. Sounds pretty good to me.

Thomas Dolby - She Blinded Me With Science - http://youtu.be/1p6fTDGLHGQ

The next song was a huge hit in 1984. I think the singer has a great voice and I was surprised to read about how many artists have covered the tune. Look for the Alison Krauss version sometime. I'm playing the original though. The reason I remembered it this week was that I was in a taxi and the driver was singing along, at a decent volume with the track. It was hilarious. Usually I get in a cab and the driver turns off his music. Most times I tell them to turn it back on because anything is better than talk radio or silence. This song and his rendition was a real treat!

John Waite - Missing You - http://youtu.be/k9e157Ner90

Jason Isbell, whose work I rate very, very highly, just won song of the year for this next one at the Americana Music Awards. He also won album and artist of 2014! Keep a look out in 2015 as the three piece version of our band are planning to perform Jason's album, "Southeastern" cover to cover. I better buy a checked shirt.

Jason Isbell - Cover Me Up - http://youtu.be/fkHyP3hpB5c

During the week, H, via DJ Dylan sent me a link to the next video. They were both rather amused and I can't blame them. What follows is AC/DC's first single. It's pre Bon Scott. In fact the only band members in the video and on the recording that made it through to record the debut album are Malcolm and Angus Young. Malcolm's outfit is just beautiful I'm sure you'll all agree.

AC/DC - Can I Sit Next To You Girl (1974) - http://youtu.be/uRG1wPCWWw4

If you want a comparison to just a year later when Bon was singing, Phil was on drums and Mark on bass check this link. It's the same song but a much tougher and more polished sound.

AC/DC's new album is out in 6 days. I quite like the first single but I really do NOT like the video. Here it is with just the audio. The guitars sound great and the rhythm section are in the pocket as always. Brian's voice sounds pretty good for a 67 year old chain smoker.

AC/DC - Play Ball - http://youtu.be/cIE8F_OL_Ds

US pop-punk band The Dollyrots have been on tour in the UK with The Buzzcocks. Pretty cool! They've just released a new single and it's well worth a listen.

The Dollyrots - Get Weird - http://youtu.be/xZnfIrY2tGg

When I first became a Billy Bragg fan I didn't realise that "Ever Fallen In Love" wasn't one of his. It was obviously a good choice to cover! Here's the original.

The Buzzcocks - Ever Fallen In Love (live) - http://youtu.be/Bif2q_Zo3-4

While I'm in a punk rock mood I think that it's certainly the right thing to do to give this video an airing. I got such a shock as a young man the first time I heard this track. In the Army we'd marched to part of the tune and of course I knew the surf guitar track too but this was just uber cool. 

Radio Birdman - Aloha Steve and Danno - http://youtu.be/J5Jjg-5ouaI

If you watched "Happy Valley", the rather bleak English police drama then you will have heard this next song. It's the theme song. Thanks to DJ AngryPete for pushing the song my way. Jake Bugg isn't that old but he's obviously a Dylan devotee. The TV show is worth a look as well...but not if you're feeling down OK?

Jake Bugg - Trouble Town - http://youtu.be/WTM9rV8uKpI

I must say that I've really enjoyed the fact that Bob Geldof's efforts to record a single to raise money for the fight against Ebola have raised some eyebrows. Indeed, why should we listen to someone worth millions about giving to charity? I think that donating to a charity is great; they need the cash so choose a couple and dig deep. But always remember that giving something more than your money is what is actually needed to make real change. How you do this is up to you, not Sir Bob or even Bono for that matter.

Bad Time To Be Poor - Rheostatics - http://youtu.be/HjSx2YFMSpU

I'll finish with something a little different. This song was playing in the car today. I've always liked it because it has a bagpipe solo. But I remember how absolutely massive it was when first released. This was the kind of single that had teenage girls swooning and the rest of the country singing along. It seems a bit cliched these days and probably overplayed but I still like it.

John Farnham - You're The Voice - http://youtu.be/tbkOZTSvrHs

If you're in Australia don't forget to watch the Countdown retrospective at 7.40pm on Sunday. It's a bit of a rose coloured glasses view of things but it's entertaining nonetheless.

Rock on brothers and sisters,

Rob

"y'all don't know what it's like,
being male, middle class and white..." Ben Folds, Rockin' The Suburbs (2001)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Guitars...

This is the awful truth and only guitar lovers will really be interested.

At the end of 1987 I bought my first electric guitar with help from my Mum. It marked the start of a lifelong obsession and passion.

Below are some notes about all the electric guitars, amps and pedals I have owned. It's a bit scary looking back and I don't know all the dates but the chronological order is about right... (asterisked items are the ones I still have)

  • 1987 - first guitar; red "Applause" brand Stratocaster copy*. Purchased with my Mum at Northern Music Centre, Porirua, NZ.
    • this guitar has been rewired a number of times. For ages it had a Seymour Duncan Hot Rails pickup. Nowadays it houses genuine Fender Noiseless single coil pickups.
    • it's comfortable to play and seems bulletproof.
    • for a "cheap" guitar people are always surprised by how good it feels and sounds.
  • 1987 - first amplifier; Ross Fame 10 watt solid state. Purchased at Northern Music Centre, Porirua, NZ. Sold when I bought the Crate amp.
  • 1988 - first pedal; Boss OD-2 Turbo Overdrive*. Purchased with my Dad at Allan's Music in Melbourne CBD. Modded and upgraded in 2014 by JK Pedals.
  • 1988 - pedal; Rocktek Flanger.* Purchased by my Dad so that I could do spacey sounds for a school performance!
  • 1990 - pedal; Boss DSD-2-  Digital Sampler/Delay. Sold to Graeme from "The Entwined".
  • 1991 - amplifier; Crate G160XL solid state. Purchased at a guitar shop in Morwell, VIC. Traded.
  • 1991- guitar; Gibson SG 1976. Purchased with Sutto at Downtown Music, Annandale, NSW. Traded.
    • and herein begins my problems with these guitars. I'd love to have one but the necks are all too wide for my hands. Note that I don't give up on Gibson as time goes by.
  • 1991 - pedal; Marshall Guv'nor overdrive pedal. Purchased at Pro Audio, Canberra. Sold for peanuts. What a twit.
    • these days the Marshall Guv'nor pedal is very much sought after and expensive. I found the sound a bit harsh compared to the borrowed Boss Super Overdrive I was using at the time.
  • 1991 - reverb/delay unit; Yamaha R100*. Purchased at Pro Audio, Canberra.
  • 1993 - guitar; Washburn 335 copy; Purchased at Pro Audio, Canberra. Traded.
    • This guitar sounded great plugged in or not. Probably the best guitar I've ever owned for writing songs on for some reason.
  • 1993 - amplifier; Marshall Valvestate 8080, Purchased at Better Music, Canberra.Traded.
    • Great clean and crunch sounds but the lead channel never thrilled me.
  • 1994 - pedal; Morley Wah. Purchased at Better Music, Canberra. Sold to Ron from "The Sly Dogs".
  • guitar; Gibson SG 1972. Purchased at Better Music, Canberra. Sold to the band "78 SAAB".
    • another go with an SG but in the end the same neck problems got me.
  • 1994 - guitar; Fender USA Telecaster 1992. Purchased with Alison in Melbourne VIC. Sold.
    • I sold this because I wasn't playing much. It was a mistake as this Tele was a great guitar and fun to play.
  • guitar; Peavey Telecaster copy with two humbuckers. Purchased at Better Music, Canberra. Sold to B.
    • a fine rock and roll machine. Simple and effective.
  • pedal - Zoom. Purchased with Alison at Northern Music Centre, Poririua, NZ. I forget but I think I sold it.
    • I had a lot of fun with this and it was great for playing through headphones.
    • The Zoom lasted a couple of gigs with DVoB but I really only used the tremelo style sounds as the rest were tinny when volume was significant.
  • amplifier - Laney VC-30 valve amp with matching extension cabinet. Sold.
    • Laney's version of the classic VOX AC-30.
    • A big, fat sound. I could use one of these at the moment!
  • guitar - Samick TV-20. Purchased at Pro Audio, Canberra. Sold to G from DVoB.
    • an ugly guitar with a great sound.
    • you can probably pick these up for a song nowadays so I must look.
  • 1998 - guitar; Epiphone Korina Flying V. Purchased from Pro Audio, Canberra. Sold.
    • For years this was my main guitar. I upgraded the bridge pickup to a Gibson JB. The V always turned heads. More Gibson neck size issues finally forced my hand.
  • amplifier - Ampeg SuperJet 12R. Purchased from Pro Audio, Canberra. Traded.
    • this lasted a couple of rehearsals and one gig.
    • good little amp but little was the issue at the time.
  • 1998 - amplifier; Marshall JCM2000 50 watt valve head with 1936 2 x 12" cabinet. Purchased from Pro Audio, Canberra. Traded.
    • I had this amp for almost 15 years. It was loud, it never had any issues. But it weighed a ton and I got sick of lugging it around.
    • Sadly, the trading of this amp ended up costing me money as the two MESAs that I went to from here were awful.
  • pedal; Ibanez Tone Lok CF7 Chorus/Flanger. Purchased from Pro Audio, Canberra. Sold.
  • pedal; Ibanez Tone Lok DE7 Delay/Echo. Purchased from Pro Audio, Canberra. Sold.
  • guitar; Maton Mastersound MS500. Purchased from Better Music, Canberra. Sold.
    • A heavy beast of a guitar with a big fat sound. Sold after being repaired when a punter knocked it over.
  • 2006 - guitar; Fender Stratocaster "Classic Players Strat". Purchased from Pro Audio Canberra. Sold. Beautiful looking guitar but the neck was horrid.
    • The made in Mexico version. Thin reedy sound but a rough neck to play was the main issue.
  • 2006 - amplifier; Kustom practice amp. Sold.
  • guitar; Gibson Joan Jett signature Melody Maker. Purchased from Better Music, Canberra.
    • Didn't sound like Joan's guitar. Harsh pickup and the ubiquitous fat Gibson neck. Will I never learn?
  • 2010 - guitar; Burns Steer.* Purchased from NZ importer. 
    • Transported to me through the hands of family and friends in Auckland, Wellington and Geelong. 
    • It's not a signature guitar but it's one that Billy Bragg made famous.
    • In terms of versatility I think it could play any kind of music well.
    • This one is a keeper for a number of reasons.
  • 2012 - pedal; MXR Black Label Chorus*. eBay.
  • 2012 - guitar; Gibson Les Paul Deluxe.* Purchased from Davis Wheeler Music, Canberra. Bridge pickup swapped to a Gibson '57 Classic Plus in 2014 for a smoother sound.
    • Aha, I hear you say...another Gibson and what about the neck? Well folks, it's a different profile neck to any Gibson I've ever played and it's as comfy as a well worn in pair of shoes.
    • This guitar went on tour as my only electric and didn't miss a beat.
  • 2012 - pedal; original Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive*. eBay.
    • Finally bought an old one of these. I used a borrowed one in my first couple of bands and it was the only drive I needed at the time. Still sounds good.
  • 2013 - pedal; Redwitch Eve Tremelo*. Direct sale from manufacturer.
  • 2013 - pedal; Jim Dunlop Cry Baby Classic Wah. Purchased from Better Music, Canberra.
  • 2014 - amp; MESA Express 5:50. Purchased from Better Music. Traded. I hated the drive on this amp.
  • 2014 - pedal; Hotone EKO delay pedal. Purchased via eBay. Sold to J. Delay is not my thing.
  • 2014 - amp; MESA Lonestar. Purchased from Better Music.Swapped.
    • A seriously expensive amp that I toured with and just couldn't love. It always sounded harsh and/or messy to me.
  • 2014 - amplifier; Jet City JCA20HV valve amp with 2 x 12 cabinet*. The answer to all my tone issues. Purchased from Pro Audio, Canberra.
    • This is a very simple amp. It has one channel and no reverb. And it sounds great. Very much a rock and roll machine. Plug in, turn up, start playing.
    • Ideally I'd like a second one beside it for a cleaner tone but I can work with what I've got.
  • 2014 - guitar; Fender Stratocaster Plus Deluxe 1990 model*. Got this one in the swap for my amp.
    • This has upgraded pickups made by Suhr (maker of all things guitar for Mark Knopfler). They are quite full and fat sounding.
    • Although I hate the 60 cycle hum from a single coil pickup all you need to do is play with the switch at position 2 or 4 and the hum is cancelled pretty much,
    • This guitar is a keeper. The only slight temptation is to put the original pickups (which I have) back in one day. Not now though.
  • 2014 - pedal; Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal*. Purchased via internet forum. Always wanted one of these as a teen/young man. Now I have one. It rocks.

The future? Well there's no doubting that there are a couple of guitars I'd like to add one day. A nice Gretsch hollowbody and a Jackson Randy Rhoads V are the two that spring to mind. I am on the lookout for a decent amp head and small cabinet that I can use beside my Jet City rig for the clean sounds but that search may take a while. I don't plan to trade or sell any of the guitars I have now, or the amp. It's taken a long time to get something coming out of the speakers that approximates the sound I can hear in my head.

Oh, but if Gibson make an SG with the same neck as my current Les Paul I will be sorely tempted.

Rob