New pickups for the Annihilator!


This is a copy of the Annihilator guitar developed by Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein and his brother Jerry Only of the legendary horror punk band, the Misfits.

Annihilator copy from AliExpress - A copy of the infamous guitars of Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein.

I ordered it from AliExpress. It seems to be a copy of the Oktober version. I think Jerry & Doyle originally worked with Rand to build the guitars… then Oktober made a run but Doyle has publicly and often decried their quality. Word on the street is that Dean will be making a production model. Doyle’s have been made from wood, graphite, and metal… with bolt-on sides since he can be a bit rough on them.

I had my go-to guitar guru (the inimitable Aaron Hutzel of Empire Music) recently do a setup and drop-in some Dragonfire Crusaders humbuckers. It sounds glorious through my Orange Micro Terror & a Laney 2×12 cab.

Here is a video of me playing it:

Here’s a short version of the video with annoying filters and stickers on TikTok:

I love it. I know its not “real.” I know it’s ridiculous. It’s fun. I’m too punk rock and too old to care what anyone thinks of the look, legitimacy, or irony of it all. Ha ha.

You can read about my first impressions here: My Guitars | The Annihilator Guitar

You can get one here if you have mad patience and expectations that match the sub-$200 price point: $189.0 US | Factory custom unusual shape Bat body Electric Guitar with Rosewood Fretboard, Bat inlay, Black Hardware, offer customized

Check out Empire Music if you want to see some really nice high-end Fender, Gibson, Martin, Taylor, & more guitars. Check out some of Aaron’s work on his Instagram, he gets to see some beautiful axes! If you’re in or around Pittsburgh, I highly recommend him for all your guitar repair, revision, and setup needs.

Check out a bunch of my weird guitars here on the blog and here on my playlist:

I may eventually set up a website just to catalog/showcase my collection. I have it, I just need to populate it. Would anyone be interested in that, or just me?

My Guitars | The Annihilator Guitar


Well, I did it. I bought a copy of Doyle’s Annihilator off of AliExpress. Hey, it was on the list. Twice. I have knocked others off the other list. Are you really all that surprised?

If 1999 me had been able to get a hold of this, I may have went down an entirely different path. I would have surely journeyed down some sort of horror punk and goth rabbit hole.

ERiC AiXeLsyD & DOyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein (outside Metropol some time in the late 90's or early 00's.)
ERiC AiXeLsyD & Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein
(Outside Metropol in Pittsburgh PA some time in the late 90’s or early 00’s.)

I have been a fan of the Misfits ever since a buddy of mine played a Collection I CD for me. I think we heard of them through Metallica and backwards from Danzig. When I started to play the guitar, I just gravitated towards the “Well, I could do this!” vibe of the stuff. The melodies. The campy lyrics. It takes itself way too seriously. I love it though. Doyle has been a huge influence on my in style and even stage presence. (Although my friend An-Die once remarked that when I stood next to Jerry Only & sang “I Turned Into a Martian” with my recently broken nose still in a cast… I had stage presence, and Jerry had stage presence, but they did not mix together well. I guess I will never know what that means unless video of that day at the Crowbar in Penn State surfaces!)

I dug the OG stuff, and I was a fan of the Misfits ’95 era stuff too. Those were some of the most memorable and entertaining live shows I have been to, and I saw a lot of them. AiXeLsyD & Gasoline Dion regularly covered “Dig Up Her Bones” and “I Turned Into a Martian” among others. I was even part of 2 different Misfits cover sets, the latter being captured on video in 2004.

An-Die Dyslexic, Jerry Only, & ERiC AiXeLsyD
An-Die Dyslexic, Jerry Only, & ERiC AiXeLsyD

Doyle has one of the coolest guitars that fits him perfectly. I look like a doofus with it no doubt. It elicits pure joy when I play it though. Doyle’s originals are one-of-a-kind. They have gone through several incarnations over the years. From graphite, wood, to bolt-on metal wings so they aren’t so easily destroyed. One of the original Rand Annihilator guitars was put back together with something that you’d find in a hardware store. There are many legends about the real thing that Jerry & Doyle crafted at Pro Edge. He has a unique rig for sure. BC Rich was going to make one I think? Ed Roman has one listed on their page, but only as a reference to the weird stuff they can make. Oktober Guitars did make some, but Doyle has stated publicly several times that he was not impressed with their quality and craftsmanship so they’re no longer a thing. It’s an open secret these days that Dean is next on the list to make a production model.

Doyle & his current Annihilator
Doyle & his current Annihilator

Weirdly, I think this AliExpress guitar is a copy of those Oktober guitars, but different enough that they can be spotted as not authentic easily. There must be fans out there, because their is a Facebook page for the Annihilator, and an Annihilator & Devastator owner’s group.

I knew I was getting a potential turd. I just wanted the shape. Luckily, I know a guy who has polished many of my proverbial turds (guiturds?) with great success, and he’s now at Empire Music. I feel a visit coming after I get some new pickups and maybe pots & other hardware.

I had issues with ordering in October of 2020, not getting it & cancelling by December. They kept sending photos of an unpainted guitar saying it was almost ready. I asked them to reach out when it was complete so I could reorder. They did in February 2021, and I had it in my hands by mid March,

All I know is I think I am too stupid and impatient to use a Floyd Rose system (even a crappy imitation).

Here are my first & second impressions:

I did it. Thanks, @aliexpress.

This is probably the most ridiculous #guitar I own at this point, and I have one made out of a toilet seat.

Initial reactions: About the quality I expected for the price paid, albeit smaller and lighter than expected. The real thing is much more intimidating.

There is something jingling around inside.🤦‍♂️

The pickups are definitely not Seymour Duncan Invaders (or even imitations) at first scan, and I may want something else in there anyway. I have some quad rails that need to go into something.

I broke the A & D strings trying to tune it (to a half step flat).

The allen wrench that came with does not fit the locking tuners. 🤣

I need to open it up and see what’s inside and try some new strings when I have time to mess with it.

@ironhead_guitar_works, I may be bringing it in to you soon at Empire!

What songs should I play first?

#NotQuiteAnnihilator#FiendClub#Misfits#AllMyAxes

Pardon the terrible video, but I was in a rush to get to playing it:

My comments when posting on FB:

Well, then. This thing is FUN to play. Needs a lot of work! Luckily, I know a guy.


☠🎸☠


The (terrible) video;


https://youtu.be/RRKH9P2vt_c


I bought an AliExpress copy of Doyle’s Annihilator guitar.

These pickups are terrible.


The neck feels great. The guitars hangs perfectly. It could stand to have more heft, but a lot of people out there like light guitars.
The action is HIGH.


I can hear it going out of tune as I play, but that may be my own ineptitude at the Floyd Rose system.
Played through a Positive Grid Spark on the “Metal” setting with the bass all the way down and the treble cranked.


(Played a regular axe right after to make sure the amp wasn’t shitting out. 🤣 Also put it into the Orange Micro Terror and the sound did not jive. 🤣)

☠🎸☠


I have a quad-rail bought cheap online that I was itching to have dropped into something… but I feel like I need some real metal-y pickups in here. Do I get real Seymour Duncans? Who besides GFS does quality affordable pickups? Maybe I will just go with GFS. 🤷‍♂️

So, what kind of pickups should I have dropped into it?

Do you have an Annihilator? Do you want one? What’s next on your guitar list? What’s an axe that an influential player to you uses that you would also like to have? Is it crazy, or normal? Share in the comments!

Guitarobatics 🎸


I’m on a few super gear-nerdy and G.A.S.-educing groups on Facebook.  To the Awesome Cheap Guitars group, I recently posed this question:

So,what awesome cheap guitar moves have you pulled on stage? I’m a horrible guitar player, but I can wow a crowd with some flash, flair, and goofy-looking guitars. I’m guilty of the checked following…

Dancing E.

Dancing E.

☑ Playing behind the head.
☑ Playing while squatting with guitar in between knees, reaching arm through legs from behind.
☑ Playing while falling/laying down.
☑ Dropping-trou and continuing to play.
☑ Playing on knees bending back until head almost touches the ground.
Sad 80’s dance move with shuffling feet while playing.
☑ Playing on chairs.
☑ Playing on tables.
☐ Playing on the bar.
☑ Walking outside & in another door if possible with a wireless.
☑ Sitting in a seat with a wireless.
☑ Stage-diving.
☑ The Chuck Berry/Angus Young walk.
☑ Switching instruments mid song.
☐ Using a beer bottle as a slide.
☑ Using a mic stand as a slide.
☐ Blowing bubblegum bubbles. (Like Doyle.)
☑ Drinking mid song.
☑ Injuring a band mate by accident. (I chipped the lead-singer/bass player’s tooth.)
☐ Injuring a band mate on purpose.
☑ Improvising a mic stand out of duct tape, a hockey stick, & gatorade bottles. (Hey, we were playing at a dek-hockey rink.)
☐ Playing on someone’s shoulders.
☐ Playing while someone is on your shoulders.
☑ Playing from behind a wooden bear statue with the guitar on the front of the bear.
☐ Putting a lit cigarette under the strings in the headstock.
☐ The amp-hump. (Like Jimi.)
☑ The guitar-as-a-phallic-symbol air-hump. (Like Rex from the Lone Rangers  in Airheads.) 
☐ The guitar toss – Badass edition. (Like Prince – also, check out the falling into the crowd move!!!)
☐ The guitar toss – Oops edition. (Like Prince with the borrowed Epiphone or Krist Novoselic on MTV.)
☐ The guitar toss – Someone else catches & starts playing.
☐ Smoke-bombs. (Like Ace Frehley.)
☐ Set Fire to the guitar. (Like Jimi.)
☐ The windmill. (Like Pete.)
☑ The powerslide.
☑ The failed powerslide.
☐ Swinging from the rafters. (Hard to do while actually playing? This dude did it.)
☐ The “‘round the world” spin.
☐ The failed “round the world” spin.
☑ Yelling out a second story window mid-set for people to come into the bar.
☐ The “nyah-nyah you can’t see me” EVH turn-around.
☐ The flying karate kick.
☑ On the knees.
☐ On top of a piano. (Like Slash.)
☑ Dancing with the crowd.
☑ Duel of the Fates – using another musician’s fretboard as a slide.
 The salute – All in the air.
☑ The Poison-ish choreographed lean.
☑ Lean on a bandmate.
☑ Lean into a bandmate.

I know there are more.  I know photos & videos exist of some of these with me.   I know this post can get goofy. Please, I implore you to share your moves, including videos, animated gifs, and photos in the comments!  This kind of stuff is hilariously entertaining to me.

What’s your favorite to do?  What’s your favorite to watch?  What have you copied?  What have you invented?  What did I miss on this list?  Share your stories and images and favorite stuff from your favorite performers!

Now, for the self-indulgence:

What’s the worst Misfits related album out there? [#FiendClub]


I love the Misfits.  You may or may not love the Misfits. They have some great songs.  They have some really great songs beyond the confines of the Misfits.  There also exists many terrible terrible things under the Fiend Club umbrella.

We’re going to play a game.

Which is the worst?

Please, spill some fanboy tears and discuss.  I’d love you to elaborate on your answers, and maybe even point out something I’ve missed.

What's the Worst Misfits-Related album?

What’s the Worst Misfits-Related album?

☠💀

The Actual Best Rock Guitar-Dominated Intros of All Time According to the Ultimate Authority, Me.


Well, I said I was gonna do it.  I eventually got around to it.  Here it is.  I guess I should call this something other than “The Actual Best Rock Guitar-Dominated Intros of All Time (Not Chosen by Idiots)”.  But as a mediocre semi-professional guitarist, I am an authority.  Right?

  1. “Master of Puppets” – Metallica ==::: This riff slaps you in the head.  Thunk!  That’s what it does.  To your head.  Maybe it’s not as shrill as “Seek and Destroy” or as renowned as “Enter Sandman”, but it’s a hell of a way to bring you into a song.  There’s no easing, no build-up, just smack smack smack/blazing riffs and screaming about how drugs are bad!
  2. Velvet Revolver - Slash

    Slash

    “Welcome to the Jungle” – Guns N’ Roses ==::: This one owes as much to the delay effect as the riff, but wow it rocks.  It opens up one of my favorite albums.  I had to include it.

  3. “Sweet Child O’ Mine” – Guns N’ Roses ==:::  Legend goes that Slash hated this warm-up riff, and that he thought it sounded like circus music.  It’s a good thing Slash had Axl & the rest of Guns N’ Roses to keep this on around.  Who doesn’t love this playful riff?
  4. “Paranoid” – Black Sabbath ==:::  I play this riff 9 out of 10 times when I pick up a guitar.  Why not?  It’s fun.  Iommi is a genius.  It’s been covered by Megadeth, The Dickies, Avenged Sevenfold, Type O Negative, Green Day, Metallica, and bar bands everywhere.
  5. Toni Iommi playing a true left-handed guitar (...

    Tony Iommi

    “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” – Black Sabbath ==:::  I always feel like this one is underrated.  Everyone talks about “Iron Man” and “Black Sabbath”, but this is a damn cool riff.  Recognize.  (“Supernaut”, another of my favorites, could go here too…)

  6. “Sunshine of Your Love” – Cream ==:::  It sounds like Clapton is playing an army of guitars here.  I believe Jack Bruce came up wit the riff, inspired by Hendrix.  It’s an incredibly powerful riff.  (Even if you change it like Living Colour did.) It’s iconic.  It’s rock.  It’s blues.  It’s heavy.  It grabs you.
  7. “Rock You Like a Hurricane” – Scorpions ==:::  Here they are.  Everyone my age remembers this riff.  I was never a huge fan, I think I have a greatest hit’s CD, but this riff is still classic.
  8. Stephen Egerton

    Stephen Egerton

    “Long Distance” – All ==:::  It’s my list.  I’ll include killer punk bands if I want.  If you don’t know this riff, you should.  In fact, a bunch of All riffs could go here.  Stephen Egerton has a sound where you know it’s him when he’s on guitar.  He’s got a totally underrated incredible guitar voice.

  9. “Crazy Train” – Ozzy Osbourne  ==:::  It’s in that commercial.  It’s been played by marching bands.  It’s been covered by Pat Boone.  It’s in our collective consciousness.  Randy Rhoads was a madman, and this is an incredible riff.
  10. “London Dungeon” – Misfits  ==::: This is a great gloomy riff, and one of the few things the Misfits churned out that wasn’t a power chord.  I like the recording from the ill-fated 12 Hits From Hell album that never was.  It’s got Bobby & Doyle on guitar, & producer Robbie Alter on guitar overdubs… I dunno who came up with the riff.  It could have even been Glenn or Jerry.

I’m sure if I were to make a list tomorrow, it may contain different songs.  What did I miss?  Give a link to the YouTube video in the comments below.

Jerry Only needs an intervention.


Jerry Only

Image via Wikipedia

I wanted to love the new Misfits album.  Really, I did.  I of course, love the original incarnation of the band.  I really dug the 90’s Misfits too, even if it was without question an entirely different band with a different sound & different direction.  I mean, I like Samhain, Danzig, The Undead, Graves, Gotham Road, and most of the slew of other related bands, so why not the new Misfits?

I think Jerry Only has surrounded himself with people too afraid or too dumb to tell him no or keep him in check.  ([cough]John Cafiero?[cough])  Danzig arguably has the same problem.  As an artist you need a healthy amount of “I’m going to do something crazy” room in your creative process.  Sometimes, that’s the only way to achieve the next level of awesome.  It gave us the Danzig album out of Samhain, and it gave us the Shocking Return of the Misfits (a.k.a. The Misfits™ or M95).  It gave us my favorite Danzig song, “You and Me (Less Than Zero)”.  It also gave us Kryst the Conqueror.

American Psycho and Famous Monsters are solid albums, with a slight metal tinge to the old horror punk vibe and a lot more camp.  I was hoping that Devil’s Rain would be somewhat close to that.  It’s like the cutting-room floor material for those albums.  I would be embarrassed to have my name on this album were I involved in recording or production.  The songs don’t flow well.

There is stuff here with some potential, but it lacks a certain tweaking.  I have said the same stuff about Michale Graves‘ solo work.  I think he’s a great singer & songwriter, he’s just better tempered with a band.  With the 90’s Misfits, they all brought songs to the table.  Chud, Michale, Jerry, & Doyle all wrote songs or parts.  Right now, I feel like it’s the Jerry Only show, with a few scraps for Dez… and a leash for Goat, I mean… Eric “Chupacabra” Arce.  (Was Robo just sent a plane ticket home, or what?)

Jerry in a Jerry T-Shirt

Jerry in a Jerry T-Shirt

Jerry went wrong some time around when he started to wear the T-shirt of himself.  Was this before or after the band was falling apart?  It’s all such a blur.

I remember talking to him backstage on more than a few occasions.  He’s unarguably a great entertainer, an excellent showman, and a very cool guy to stick around to talk to fans, give interviews, and sign anything you’ll put in front of him.  (Although, I did one see him  refuse to sign a teenage girl’s boob… and it was hilarious – Kudos to him for not being a creeper.)  Where it goes from there is open to debate.

That being said, lackluster vocals can kill an album.  (See the Gorgeous Frankenstein album, then dig up the demo of the song “Gorgeous Frankenstein”. with Michale Graves on vocals.)  The aforementioned poor vocals do a spectacular job killing Devil’s Rain.  I can’t put my finger on it.  Jerry’s vocals aren’t bad live, but with this recording it’s evident that his range & the vocal power just aren’t where they need to be.  Dez would be great on a dirty punk record, but here it sounds like an old guy telling kids to get off his lawn.  The vocals have always been strong with the Misfits, be it Glenn or Michale.  On Devil’s Rain they fall flat (literally and figuratively).

The guitar tone is “eh”.  It lacks the metal punch that Doyle had going after Kryst the Conqueror, and it’s not quite the old dirty punk vibe.  I’m not big on the fills and solos.  I mean, we all know Franché Coma & Bobby Steele could do that, but they didn’t.  It wasn’t the Misfits’ thing with a few notable exceptions.  (I still think 12 Hits Form Hell is a damn-near perfect album & the Undead’s version is cool too.)

If the past Misfits stuff is campy, this album is just downright corny lyric-wise.  I mean, I like some goofy stuff (like Peelander-Z!), but this is the wrong kind of goofy entirely.

Father almighty turn the darkness to day
Father providing turning desert to grain
God’s son the Pharaoh speaks to Ra calling his name
Oh Ra, devour those who dare open my grave
Place a curse in his hand

Really?

I can listen to “Land of the Dead” which still needs something, but it’s undoubtedly the best of the bunch.

This is just one man’s opinion.  I’d be interested in yours.

Misfits | Devil's Rain

Misfits | Devil's Rain