I tried to pick the most odd & attention grabbing of my herd. Do you think I missed the boat by not including some of my other notable oddballs? He didn’t even mention the amps or pedals. Ha ha.
Shout-out to my peeps at Actual Ugly Guitars! It’s a Facebook group focused on looking for guitars ranging from the weirdest of the weird to just pure abominations with strings and sometimes even frets. If you’re gonna join, answer the questions or you won’t get in.
Here’s a rundown of what’s pictured if you’re interested:
If not rocking the Spark for practice or jamming along to YouTube or the built-in drummers, I like to rock a guitar through the tuner then into the A/B/Y into both the Blues Jr. and the Micro Terror through the Laney. Sometimes I put the wah up front, or sometimes on just one amp. I had a Dunlop CryBaby for years, then once I heard the “tone-suck” even when it was off, I couldn’t un-hear it. Same with the Dirt & Ernie… sometimes I just use it as a boost. It will come in handy if I ever get back to live stuff. My “sound” is pretty much gain on 10 master volume on 2 through both amps because I love the sound of the overdriven amps, so I don’t really need to add much dirt. If I set up the Trio, I run the “band” out to the PA so drums & bass come out of that nice & clean instead of one of (or both of) my amps. I am terrible with the POCK LOOP looper. The Lil’ Smokey is also a ton of fun, and I have used to to drive a 4×12. I think I need simpler one or more patience. Maybe both.
So, that’s my setup. Yes, I do play these guitars. Yes, they’re all playable. (I have a go-to guitar guy that is like a guitar-whisperer.) Yes, I have gigged & even recorded with some of them and would gig with all of them.
Which ones do you dig or hate the most? Got any oddballs you want to share? Hit me up with some comments!
My cousin recently made a Facebook post asking for your top 25 albums. No restrictions. Just the thought that 25 is easier, yet more difficult than a top 10.
He’s right you know.
Opening up the post top 10 or eve 15 tier really digs into stuff. There are a LOT of great albums that I skipped that really deserve to be on here. This is what I was feeling recently. This may be a slightly different list tomorrow or a drastically different list next year.
I took it as 25 albums that I dig, that I like to listen to the whole way through.
They may not contain my favorite songs from the artist, or may not be my top favorite artists, but these are 25 dam solid albums that I have enjoyed end-to-end on multiple occasions and sometimes on repeat.
Because I like to talk (type/read) about music on the internet, here we are. I’ll drop a short explanation. They’re ina alphabetical order, couldn’t begin to order them. Please, share yours in the comments.
25 is harder than you think!
12 Hits From Hell – The Misfits | This was the album that never was, that should have been. Is it the ultimate bootleg? Bobby & Doyle on the same tracks? Probably Glenn & I think the producer too? At any rate, the songs shine. It’s inherently an unnatural entity, but isn’t that in the spirit of melding dark campy lyrics with poppy melodies over distorted guitars and driving rhythms? I wish this got a proper release.
…And Out Come the Wolves – Rancid | This album is frantic and melodic and gravely and beautiful. How do you not like the unapologetic frantic pop punk shenanigans infused with a bit of street and reggae and ska? I know this is the album that “cool” rancid fans pretend is not the best. Listen to it. It smacks you around for less than an hour and makes you happy about it.
American Cheese – Nerf Herder | I had a hard time picking, because How to Meet Girls could easily be here too. I think “Jacket” is my favorite track, so that slightly tipped the scale. These guys are fantastic, and Parry’s solo stuff is a trip. You can tell they’re fans of a lot of the same stuff I grew up on. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. They can really craft a powerful melody.
Appetite For Destruction – Guns N’ Roses | I wore out this cassette tape at least 3 times. I have bought the CD more than a few times. A friend gifted it to me on Vinyl. I bought the digital version of the new 8,479 “disc” set… even though I may or may not have had decent quality bootlegs of 99% of it. I think it’s the first album I dove into head first. Just listening to how Slash & Izzy play off of each other, Axl’s layers of vocals octaves apart with Duff & Izzzy singing, Duff’s guitar-like bass grooves locking into Adler’s swing. Lightning in a bottle may be a cliché, but it totally fits here. These guys had their finger on the collective pulse of punk, metal, glam, hard rock, classic rock, and pop culture. They rocked harder than most of their peers and these are great damn songs. The arcing overall crescendo of “Sweet Child of Mine” was just epic, and definitely contributed to my itch to pick up a guitar.
Bitter Tongues – Ann Beretta | I heard “Bottlecaps” on a Lookout! or Asian Man or some other comp and just had to know more. I think pretty quickly, I acquired all the albums and even Inquisition and eventually Sixer, Foundation, and Rob Huddleston’s solo stuff. It reminded me a lot of Rancid, and obviously pays homage to the Clash and some more street punk stuff, and even folk or honky-tonk. These guys took their influences and blended them together so well to make something in a voice all their own. It’s anthemic. It feels working class-ish and just relatable and super catchy.
Bloody Kisses – Type O Negative | It doesn’t sound like anything else. I think I heard the “Blood & Fire (Out of the Ashes Mix)” on the Mortal Kombat soundtrack first. It was dark. It was Sabbathy and Misfitsy and Metallicish. I needed more. I think there was about a year where 90% of what I listened to was Black Sabbath, the Misfits, and Type O Negative. I used to put this on low on repeat when I went to bed at night. It is best enjoyed as a whole album. Even within a lot of the songs, it’s like there are movements. The metal guitars and incredible bass vocals are fantastic. Again, they had an incredible balance of humor, a dark scary tone, and it’s just… fun. Don’t tell anyone the goth kids are having fun though.
Boogadaboogadaboogada! – Screeching Weasel | If the Ramones created the pop-punk template, these guys stole it and ran. This is just a fun, snotty, whiny, poppy, witty, and goofy album. What a great sense of melody mixed with suburban angst and sloppy buzzing guitars.
Chimborazo – Foundation | Rob can really craft a song. This is a beautiful stripped-down heartfelt collection of stories in song form. It’s awesome how much emotion can be conveyed with a few lines. Rob is definitely up there as one of my favorite song writers.
Countdown to Extinction – Megadeth | I know. this is the “sell out” commercial album. You can’t deny that every track is killer metal while also being commercially successful. It represents a time to me where the “underground” stuff that I was aware of became mainstream. Why not celebrate more people being able to discover something you already know is great? Dave is a monster on the fretboard and sounds like an unhinged maniac on vocals. These songs are put together really well.
Danzig – Danzig | When you’re 15, Danzig is the coolest thing on the planet. Punk. Goth. Metal. Badass. He reads weird books! He reads comics! Rick Rubin probably deserves a lot of credit for image crafting and turning Samhain into this. John, Eerie, & Chuck provided a killer band! John definitely had an instantly recognizable sound. It sounded like metal, but it was clearly channeling the blues and hard rock. Danzig does not seem to have a sense of humor about his music, but that makes it humorous.
Dookie – Green Day | This was a solid album. Again, it brought stuff I liked to the masses. It took me a while to realize what a solid album this was. I don’t even know if I’d put Green Day at the top of my Favorite Bands list… but an this is a great pop punk album. Those drums! That wild bass! The vocal harmonies are perfection. Mike Dirnt is the yin to Bille Joe’s yang. You can tell these guys loved what they do. You can tell that subject-matter wise, they’re not the Sex Pistols or the Ramones… but they loved all that stuff. Is this skate punk? I don’t care about labels. This is well-crafted end-to-end and hit the right place at the right time.
Energy – Operation Ivy | A great example of working backwards to find gems. Like the Misfits, it has some Lo-Fi appeal that is just hard to quantify. Energy is so appropriate. It’s like they had to let it out before it became destructive. It sounds so sloppy but it is so tight. It’s chaos. It’s chocolate and peanut butter. Watch the East Bay Punk documentary!
For Dancing and Listening – Guns ‘n’ Wankers | I wish more people knew about Guns ‘n’ Wankers. I wish I knew more about Guns ‘n’ Wankers. This album stands alone as incredible. It’s a bit of a mish-mash as Fat Mike could not leave it alone for the Fat Wreck release. It’s missing a few of the more metal tracks. I don’t know if Duncan Redmonds wrote all the songs, or what. His sense of harmony is fantastic. The song structure is just great. The tone is great. I love where the vocals sit in the mix. It’s another example of great storytelling with just a few lines.
Good Company – The Dead South | Usually I like loud distorted guitars. I like them clean too. This is clean acoustic guitars, as well as some more traditional stringed instruments, and just powerful melodies and vocal arrangements. Some of the vocals almost sound painful and sorrowful. I dove pretty hard into their discography after hearing the first few tracks.
High Risk Behaviour – The Chats | These kids are what I wish AiXeLsyD was! Ha ha. They are cheeky, hilarious, and totally serious. Ha ha. These songs are super fun. I need an Australian to English dictionary. This is another one that I heard an instantly wanted more more more.
Kill ‘Em All – Metallica | What can I say about this album that hasn’t already been said? It is the template. It is the sum of its ingredients and the sum of it’s strong-willed creators. From start to finish it just assaults your eardrums and raises your heart rate. Those riffs! That bass solo! Is he singing about the apocalypse? All killer, no filler. I think the first time Metallica hit my radar, it was …And Justice for All. When I worked back to this my mind was successfully blown. It was SO HEAVY at the time, which seems almost quaint now. Again, they get hate for success, maybe borrowing too hard from their influences, or for not being cool to Mustaine, to selling out, but… you can say they have ever compromised.
Licensed to Ill – Beastie Boys | The kids that are too cool for school or old heads will give you Paul’s Boutique for sure. I get that, and respect that. Again, this album brought it to the masses. This made music fans give a resounding collective “What?” Hardcore kids rapping? Sampling? Playing guitars? I don’t care if it’s hip hop or punk or pop. I love it. Another Rick Rubin album on the list? He must be on to something.
Master of Puppets – Metallica | This album could be included for just “Orion” and the “do-do-do-do do-do-do” double-lead part in “Master of Puppets.” This is another cassette tape that I wore out at least twice. I remember it being a go-to when I used to mow lawns for cash. Metallica matured here, but they weren’t yet racked by tragedy or swelled with excess. You could feel what I think was Cliff exerting guidance & expertise. All these songs felt great together. My favorite Metallica songs mostly reside on other albums, but this album makes a great statement as a whole piece of art.
Ramones – Ramones | Again. This is an iconic no-brainer. Did the Ramones start punk? People will argue to the end of time citing earlier examples. Are they what you think of when you think of punk? They are to me. It’s either that or the Sex Pistols. This album is fantastic. Guitar panned hard to one side, bass to the other… so you can play along! Cranked out in just a week, it’s frantic. It’s intimidating. Its 4 guys that have no idea what they’re doing while simultaneously knowing exactly what they’re doing. It’s loud, it’s catchy, it’s funny, it just rocks.
State of Discontent – The Unseen | Yeah, another “sell out” album. The dirty street punks found a producer so they must be inherently evil and capitalist and whatever other darts you can throw. Regardless, it’s an album full of screamy-yet-melodic shenanigans and I’m all for it. It’s catchy without losing it’s edge in my opinion. These guys spit fire and you’re either flammable or not.
Static Age – The Misfits | It’s got “Last Caress” which is probably one of their most covered songs. It’s got a bunch of stuff that is lo-fi on its way to becoming hi-fi. It’s catchy, it’s campy, it’s sort of funny, it’s melodic, it has loud guitars, it checks all my boxes. It’s just fantastic.
The Impossible Kid – Aesop Rock | I don’t even know if I can do this album justice by writing about it. I don’t have his vocabulary. I got this album and could not stop listening, on repeat. It’s layer upon layer in between level upon level. It’s an introspective and deeply personal look at anxiety and artistry intertwining, but it is so incredibly relatable. The tracks flow right into each other. You don’t want to stop. It lacs the guitar presence of every other album on this list… but we need a little variety, right?
The Ozzy Osborne Years – Black Sabbath | Admittedly, I cheated. I could not pick a Sabbath album proper and I graduated from listening to the Bootleggy-ish We Sold Our Sul for Rock ‘N’ Roll to this all the time. This collects all the Ozzy stuff. The one sentence in the Wikipedia article about it is “This box set includes all songs from Black Sabbath‘s first six albums, excluding the songs without vocals.” It’s dark. It’s doomy. Iommi’s riffs are just massive, Ozzy melodies with Geezer’s lyrics and thunderous bass lines all marching along to Bill Ward’s inimitable swing is just crushing.
Tweet Tweet My Lovely – Snuff | This is definitely top 5, probably top 3, or even 1. Snuff have mastered sounding like snuff whether they’re playing punk, metal, ska, or anything else they want to play. Duncan Redmonds is a mad genius. Loz’s guitars sound beautiful… jangly almost. There are horns and keys throughout, and they’re not jarring. The vocal melodies and harmonies are epic. (Green Day cites them as an influence and you can immediately hear how.) I like everything Snuff has put out, but this was my first from them and it really encompasses the gamut of their sound.
Within a Mile of Home – Flogging Molly | I could have probably picked any Flogging Molly album. This is where my taste in music & my wife’s taste in music overlaps. (Although, I have brought her more into punk rock and metal than she has pulled me into pop and top-4o-ish country.) We always end up with Flogging Molly, Willie Nelson, or Johnny Cash on road trips… usually all 3. Flogging Molly definitely has a punk rock ethic and bent. They have beautiful tales set to music in a traditional Irish vein. It’s sentimental. It’s raucous. It makes you tap your feet. This is a collection of bangers that also tug at your heart strings.
Honorable mentions would probably have to go out to The Sword, The Bloodhound Gang, Masked Intruder, Aerosmith, Avenged Sevenfold, Graves, Gotham Road, Dogpiss, Duncan Redmonds, Rob Huddleston, Wat Tyler, Crotchduster, ALL, Descendents, Poison, The Devil Makes Three, Alice in Chains, Warrant, Peelander-Z, Willie Nelson, Def Leppard, Johnny Cash, AC/DC, Teenage Bottlerocket, Ozzy, Jimi Hendrix, and so many more that I am probably momentarily forgetting. Don’t even get me started on greatest hits, compilations, and soundtracks.
What are you waiting for? Leave yours in the comments!
I know I just said these are solid albums, but it doesn’t negate the fact that they contain solid songs too. Check out 2 tracks from each album!
It still needs a name. I haven’t officially decided. I have been calling it “the music room” or “the guitar room.” Both of those seem boring. Maybe this? I find it amusing but clunky.
I may make some videos of guitar shenanigans as a creative outlet. Not sure what direction they’ll take. I’m not a particularly good or technical player, but I can demo some gear or do some fun silly stuff. I do already have a YouTube playlist started for my guitar-related videos.
The Postitive Grid Spark amp & app have really made jamming quick and fun… they have a cool in-app video feature, but it’s not much different than recording straight-up with the phone’s camera.
More setup inspires more setup. I need a way to store my physical media (mostly CD’s) so it’s easily accessible. I have a lot. Too many probably. I need to build some shelves and the stuff I’m finding online seems painfully expensive and not quite a fit. And I’d like to dump that all on a personal media server. I have a lot of stuff not available on Amazon or Spotify.
The next itch I can already feel will need scratching is some kind of recording setup. I’d like to layer stuff I can hear in my head, without the aid of a looper. I miss the days of a Tascam 4-track with a cassette tape. Maybe I’ll delve into a nice simple digital version of that.
The kids have guitars, ukes, and a keyboard too… and now we almost need drums and a bass or too, right?
At any rate… it’s important to have a creative outlet. Live isn’t conducive to me jamming regularly with a band right now. I only seem to do mazes when the inspiration hits, and I blog pretty randomly. Music is one more option for expression, creativity, and constant learning/exploring. I hope to foster the kids’ musical expression and drive home how important it is to remain creative themselves and appreciative of art in general.
Since the world is a bit strange right now, I decided I wanted to see more guitars on social media. Maybe it’ll start a trend, maybe not.
I like classic guitars, I like modern guitars, I like classy guitars, I like ugly guitars. I like guitars. I like playing them. I like looking at them online. I like looking at them on my wall. I like looking at them in the store. I like hearing them. I like arguing about them on the internet. I also like other assorted stringed instruments.
Maybe this will make the world a little brighter. Maybe people will like these guitars. Maybe people will argue about these guitars. Maybe absolutely no one will notice. Who knows?
Below the collage, here are the ones I have posted so far via Instagram with the #AllMyAxes hashtag, minus today’s. The rest will be in the next post. This is the bulk of my guitar collection. The rest of the stuff in the house are my ukuleles and mandolin, the wife’s ukuleles, and the kids’ guitars and ukuleles.
There is a little bit written about each guitar if you click through to Instagram or follow me on Facebook. I hope to blog more in-depth about each of them, or more than I have in the past anyway… reaching out to some manufacturers and designers, especially for the most interesting ones.
So, recently turning 40 has me reflecting on life in general (which is pretty damn great) & on my accomplishments as a “musician” even though I’m not actively gigging right now.
I’m pretty self-deprecating of my musical talents, but I am proud of the major part of the aural art that I helped create. I compiled and uploaded a few of my favorites after using Audacity to clip out some silence and mp3Gain to try to get all the volume levels somewhat similar.
If you’ll indulge me I’d like to give my thoughts & memories on each of these songs that I was proud to be a part of with AiXeLsyD, Gasoline Dion, & Ernie and the Berts. If I have any of the stories, names, etc. wrong, please correct me in the comments. Being that these are punk rock(ish) bands, you may find the content explicit and/or objectionable. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Gasoline Dion – “Shameless Plug”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Tommy came up with this cool shuffling progression and I played a super easy solo over it. I believe we kept the first take of the solo even though at the time I thought I could do better. It’s not perfect, but it’s fun. It was cool to open shows with this then rip into something completely different. It was called “Tommy’s Jam” until an inside joke on a local message board inspired the new name.
AiXeLsyD – “Wait”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Probably the first song that I wrote that I liked, and probably the first original that we worked on in the band. We dug on this & recorded it a million times. It morphed a bit, but was basically the same simple jam. Ben doubling the vocals an octave lower and the guitar part at the end really fills it out.
Gasoline Dion – “Pickle Farm”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Tommy had recorded this song solo, and it contributed to the itch that I needed to scratch when we formed Gasoline Dion. I really liked the melody. I think he stole the lyrics from Space Ghost or Brak. This song to me is about not being a square peg that’s forced into a round hole. I liked singing background vocals & playing guitar.
Ernie and the Berts – “Toybox”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Erin wanted to start a band to play rocked-out Willy Wonka covers. That never happened. This did. It was the first original that stuck, and an early recording became the soundtrack to a friend’s video project. Dave learned to play drums in/for this band. This is a nice simple driving groove and is the perfect vehicle for the introduction of Erin’s gnarly gravelly voice.
AiXeLsyD – “Hopeless & Heartless”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | I wrote this on the outside of seeing someone with a broken heart. I thought it was pretty catchy. The “whoa-oh’s” are overkill but oddly necessary in my humble opinion. I think An-Die, Ben, & I are all singing on multiple tracks here.
Gasoline Dion – “Cold”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | This riff was a leftover AiXeLsyD riff that almost became part of two songs but never really went anywhere. Mike had some leftover Who’s.Keeping.Score? lyrics that Dave & I re-arranged. Dave & I work really well on arranging musical parts & lyrics. I really really dig Tommy & I singing together on this one.
Ernie and the Berts – “Fred Rogers”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Erin supposed that a local hero may not really be a hero on this one. Maybe he read that weird urban legend. I really like the guitar part here, although it’s missing some kind of effect in my head. Wah? Phaser? Not sure. Erin let me just go goofy with background vocals here. I felt like Danzig or that Not-Danzig guy in the Cult. I love how this song builds into chaos.
AiXeLsyD – “Stand Up”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | This is where it all pulled together, and it was the last proper thing we recorded. Ha ha. An-Die wrote the riff & lyrics, I arranged them. Ben came up with the guitar noodling& octaves riff. I think I came up with the stupid guitar part for the verse. I really dig my guitar solo here,even though I went too long. (Oddly, this sounds a lot like “Anything, Anything (I’ll Give You)” by Dramarama as played by Buckcherry.)
Gasoline Dion – “Political Songs (With Deep Meaning)”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | I was listening to a lot of the Unseen, I think. I don’t really write political stuff that often. This was taking the piss out of that genre. Dave sounded better on it with vocals. I scream “feet” in the background and give the creepy laugh at the end. We lost the original lyrics, so Dave used what he remembered and made the rest up on the fly. I don’t really think any one ever tried to intemperate a deeper meaning. If they did, they didn’t tell us.
Ernie and the Berts – “Don’t Fuck With Ernie”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | It was hard to tell if Erin was serious or joking a lot of the time. He had a deadpan delivery, and it was hilarious. To deliver this ridiculousness so seriously is hilarious to me. I think I sort of came up with this riff over top of his bass line.
AiXeLsyD – “Dave Ugly’s Girlfriend”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | It’s “Dave Ugly’s Girlfriend”, not “Dave’s Ugly Girlfriend.” People always seemed to get that wrong. Dave Ugly played bass & sang for one of our favorite local bands, Useless Torment. I don’t tell the story as well as An-Die, but Dave was apparently saying he loved him, and An-Die was playing the “even if…” game, and arrived at this. I remember being “mad” when Sum 41 came out as a punk band rapping. I think Boner played guitar on this one and Ben played Drums?
Gasoline Dion – “Bitch Pants Opera”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | I don’t know if we could do this one today. People seem so easily offended. It’s just a joke. We don’t really care if you wear girl pants. We’re not insinuating or implying anything. We look ridiculous too. Another Dave vocals song, I am screaming the high parts. All of us are in the beginning. I think the breakdown was inspired by hardcore /screamo kids in skinny jeans doing the windmill and Peelander-Z’s “S.T.E.A.K.”
Ernie and the Berts – “Ikea”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Dave suggested I try a little more dynamics with space and clean. Dave is usually right. You can do a lot with the same 3 chords over & over. This was a slice of Erin’s life, full of his observations. We almost got permission to go in & shoot a video there. Somebody must have really listened to the lyrics. He had “nicer” ones prepared just in case we needed to sell out.
AiXeLsyD – “Love, Hopes, Dreams, & Smiles”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] |I think An-Die hated this one. I liked the noodling& the melody. The lyrics are super dumb & trite. The song was made infinitely cooler when Ben put in that volume swell in the final mix. That was never there, then we started doing it live after he did that to the recording. This could probably be punched-up a little bit more.
Gasoline Dion – “Two of a Kind”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Tommy sings like an angel. I have no idea what in the hell he’s talking about here. I think Dave & Mike made this honky-tonk-ish. I played a little solo under Tommy’s vocals at the end because nobody ever told me not to. The end sounds like the Misfits’ “NY Ranger.”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Same thing as the first track, second solo take by me with a wah pedal this time. Dave is also on guitar making crazy noises and soloing in between all of my notes. Ha ha. If you don’t “get” the speaking part, watch the Josie and the Pussycats movie some time.
I’d love to know what you think, or to read/see/hear your own memories about these bands or in any bands or projects in which you have participated. Did I miss a song or two that you may have remembered or liked? Comments (or likes or whatever is deemed social-media-appropriate) on the songs on SoundCloud or YouTube would be awesome and greatly appreciated, too.
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…
☑ 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.
☑ 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:
Like a turtle
Three Axe Salute
Attention, bear-f__ker, do you require assistance?
The email/text/something came from Dave in a lull. I don’t know what it was, but I know it wasn’t a phone call. We don’t use phones to talk. What is this, the 1880s? Dave said he knew a cat that played bass who wanted to start something weird. Dave wanted to learn drums, and they needed a guitar player. I think the original concept was to cover songs from the Willie Wonka movie. That never panned out, but Erin told us that he had always been in bands to play bass, but had never really sung. He wanted to be the singer. That was cool with me. I was just happy to be making music & playing shows once again.
Erin took on the role of frontman pretty easily. That gravely growl was perfect. The bass playing was very fluid. All I needed to do was slap out some power chords, and some backing vocals. Everything was always a work in progress, ever-evolving. I eventually played slightly more than power chords. Erin was the writer, mastermind & driving force. Dave & I just reigned him in a little where we could and only if we thought he may be losing focus. Focus? Ha. We didn’t have much of that. That was OK.
Practice nights sometimes were about playing songs, and sometimes just about bullshitting. Sometimes we made some really cool sounds, and by next week we had all but forgotten them. Who cares? We were having fun. Dave & I were old friends by this point, but Erin was right in there. Somewhere along the way & pretty damn quickly we had that “dudes in a band” bond. He was the Ernie, and we were the Berts. It fit.
Erin was always excited at the prospect of a new show, new idea, recording, playing with a new band… new logo, new T-shirt, whatever. Sometimes it seemed like all of our effort was fruitless… but looking back, it wasn’t. It only furthered the “us against them” mentality. I think we played an open stage after 1 or 2 practices?
Erin was always concerned about what was going on in my life, be it good or bad. He listened. He actually listened & cared. That can be rare. He did the same thing to random people in the bars before we’d play, or after we played. He liked to talk & he liked to listen.
I don’t know if we were a punk band, a rock band, a fiasco, or a gang… but we were friends. I wish we had more time, and more shows. But that’s always how it goes, isn’t it?
Oh yeah. Erin had brain cancer too. He didn’t let that get in the way. Oh sure, he’d tell you about it just to make you squirm a little in your seat, but then he’d laugh it off and put you at ease. Yeah, he’d put you at ease. That’s the kind of cat that he was.
Haven’t been blogging much lately, but I have a new job, am trying to get mazes done when I can, and I’ve been researching several potential purchases to help with said job online. I will no doubt get back to blogging once things level out.
I finally got my prescription renewed, & got a double-pack. Thankfully I’ve never had to jab myself with one. I did try the practice one a few times. So, what do you do with your expired ones? Does anyone take donations or recycle them?
I’m also always trying to figure out how to come up with cash to buy more goofy guitars, and Ernie and the Berts is writing more stuff & hoping to record ASAP. I try to catch other local & national shows when I can.
I haven’t forgotten about blogging. There’s just been a bunch going on lately. The band had a few gigs back-to-back, & we’ve been trying to come up with new stuff. The real job has been rather taxing of late, the workload and hours have increased. The wife & I seem to have some sort of scheduled social or family function every weekend lately. Our week at Living Waters is coming up & I’ve been preparing for that. I started to work on my New York Pro guitar & chronicle that, but got to a stopping point & haven’t had time to get back to it. I’ve been trying to pull together some mazes, new old, some unfinished… I want to get a bunch ready to go, then look at my best publishing options. I’ve also been battling a nasty stuffy nose coupled with a summer cold & fatigue.
I’m certainly not complaining, there’s just a bunch of stuff going on. I felt the need to explain the lack of posts. I even have some drafts written on what I feel to be some entertaining subjects… I just need the time to sit, make the graphics & write the posts that go along with them.