HIGH ON FIRE
You Can Believe In
on Recording, Gigging,
Gear Mods & More
RIGS OF ANARCH Y
The Gear of Punk’s
Gibson, Ernie Ball, Schecter,
SUSAN TEDESCHI, BRAD WHITFORD,
ERNIE ISLEY, VERNON REID,
Hard W ire, Carr, Ritter, Source Audio,
JONNY L ANG, KENNY WAYNE SHEHERD,
AND ROBERT RANDOLPH
What About Memphis?
I just saw the cover of your latest edition [July
2010], and as a musician it saddens me that so
much was lost. But what has really been lost is
the fact that where I live, just three hours west of
Nashville, we had just as inclement weather, and
just as many musicians are now at a loss for gear.
We may not be Brad Paisley or Keith Urban, but
we too have lost lives, friends, and gear to this
storm. No one seems to care about Memphis, or
even acknowledge that we got flooded too.
Hi, Hunter. Our hearts go out to you and
everyone affected by the flooding, regardless
of where they live or whether they play music.
As our story mentioned, catastrophic loss
of life and property struck countless people
throughout the region. Our intent was simply
to highlight the loss of Nashville’s incredibly
storied musical heritage.
I would like to comment on John Bohlinger’s
article, “I Can’t Die—I’m Booked,” from the
June 2010 issue. His descriptions of elderly
or ailing musicians seemingly transformed
physically as they engage in their beloved craft
was inspiring and encouraging. Anyone, no
matter how accomplished, will benefit from
musical self-expression for many reasons.
Whether you play for fun, as a creative
outlet, to escape from the daily grind of
work schedule, or for self-improvement and
enhanced self-esteem, playing an instrument
can really add to the quality of your life.
In a study of brain function during different
activities, listening to music scored high, but
playing an instrument was the single most active
thing your brain can do. All hemispheres of the
brain light up on an MRI as motor skills, memory,
abstract conceptualization, and analytical and
emotional centers are all triggered by the act.
Playing an instrument is just plain healthy, and
(inter)actively so. Playing the coolest instrument
on the planet is just icing on the cake! Guitar
rules! Long live the King of the Instruments!
London, Ontario, Canada
We watched Honeyboy Edwards ( 95), B.B. King
( 84), Hubert Sumlin ( 78), and Buddy Guy ( 73)
play the Crossroads Guitar Festival on June 26,
2010. The fact that they’re still hitting the stage
is inspiring and humbling. Here’s to our collective
longevity through music!
Gear on the Brain
Isn’t it amazing how much time you spend
thinking about your rig? For instance, your wife
will be talking to you in the car, and you know
she’s talking ‘cause her lips are moving, but
you’re knee-deep in wondering, “If I put 6V6
tubes in my Ampeg Jet will it improve when
overdriven?” You’re always, always, always
thinking how to reconfigure or supplement the
tone machines to see what happens. We all do
it. We’re crazy. Always thinking and reading,
deepening our desire to get better at this—we
all want to improve our sound.
If that’s crazy, you can commit us all. Mental
note: Hide this issue from the spouse....
I finally got around to doing a modification
on my Boss DS- 1 pedal. I don’t use the pedal
much—it’s too trebley and high-pitched for my
playing. So, I took it apart and replaced the
capacitor at c- 10 to a . 47 µf, and 20 minutes
later I was in tone heaven. I stayed up until 1
a.m. playing my heart out. Give it a try!
Congrats on making your gear work for you.
There’s nothing more satisfying than swapping
a component and hearing the results you’re
looking for, right? Thanks for sharing your
mod with our readers. Happy soldering!
Missing in NYC
Loved your feature on NYC’s famous guitar
stores [“Big Apple Guitar Shops: Then and
Now,” June 2010]—and I have visited them all
many time—but you had one serious omission:
Rivington Guitars. Rivington has a really nice
selection and Howie is a great owner.
We regret we were unable to connect with
Rivington Guitars in time for the article.
Located in NYC’s East Village, Rivington is
known for its selection of vintage instruments.
Check them out at rivingtonguitars.com.
Physics vs. Mojo
I was disturbed by some of Eric Johnson’s
comments in the “Experience Hendrix” article
[June 2010]. Does anyone really believe
that the screws holding the back of the
amp actually affect the tone and feel of the
amp? That sort of shuck and jive is normally
reserved for snake-oil salesmen. If that’s the
case then I have a really good one for you:
When I was reassembling my MIM Strat, I
temporarily lost one of the silver-colored back
plate screws and replaced it with a spare gold-plated screw. This totally messed up the tone.
The tone of the guitar was finally restored to
its pristine glory when I found and reinstalled
the original screw two days later. What a relief!
Keep the laughs coming! I teach physics for a
living, so this stuff really makes my day.
You are now entering the mysterious zone
of minutia and mojo. Guitarists could
debate stuff like this for eons, but Eric
Johnson’s tone speaks for itself. If specific
screws get him there—either physically or
psychologically—who are we to tell him
Keep those comments coming!
Please send your suggestions, gripes, comments and good words directly to email@example.com.
You can also send snail mail to Premier Guitar, Three Research Center, Marion, IA 52302.