over the fretboard, a technique I really like and
use a lot. Actually, I have two prototypes at
home—they’re sporting the threaded saddles
I love so much and special humbucking single-coil pickups that I like to call “Campy pickups”
[laughs]. Toploader Teles in general are more
mellow sounding, less bright compared to a
standard string-through-body Telecaster. And
it’s easier to do bend-behind-the-nut techniques because the tension of the strings is
more moderate. As for the electronics, I like it
stock! No mods and no hidden gems.
The guitar will be released at the Winter
NAMM in January 2010 in Anaheim. It will be
available in white-ish blonde with a white pickguard, like my original guitar and in orange
as a custom color as well. Both colors will be
nitrocellulose finish, applied conservatively. I
feel most of the great guitars I’ve played featured very light to nearly nonexistent finishes.
I think this allows the true resonant character
of the wood to shine through. The neck will be
lightly finished for a fast playability.
You’re widely known as a Fender Princeton
Reverb player—what is so special about
These little amps have everything I need.
They have a great tone, fantastic reverb and
vibrato. Besides this, they’re easy to move
and they are always loud enough. The tone
is a perfect combination between the well-known bright, sparkling Fender clean tone
and a mellow, woody sounding overdrive
when pushing it hard. The overdrive sound of
a Princeton Reverb amp is by far the best one
I’ve ever experienced. Don’t get fooled by
the low wattage of these amps. These little
rascals can get really loud [laughs].
Can you tell us about your involvement in testing the Fender Princeton Reverb reissue amp?
I was only involved in testing and fine-tuning
this amp, not in development. Fender did a
fantastic job; these amps are really great, and
I own two of them. G.E. Smith was the one
who introduced me to this project, so Fender
followed his suggestion, asking me to test and
endorse their new amp. I’m really glad and
proud to be involved in this project. The reis-
sue amp hits the flavor of the original black-
face amps of the mid-‘60s perfectly—it’s a
really faithful recreation and affordable as well.
If you had the chance to live wherever you
wanted, where would it be?
I really love NYC, and I can’t think of a better
place for me. I like to discover my new hometown, and whenever I have the time and the
chance I do extended walks through NYC. I
really love this city and the people here. For
me it’s the most American city of all. I’m proud
to live here and to be a New Yorker at heart
... the city is so big and has so many different
cultural shades that exploring NYC will be an
adventure for the rest of my life. You can ride
the train for a short time, and you will find a
completely different New York… living here is
simply perfect for me.