Mothersbaugh onstage at the 2010 Coachella Festival with his La Baye 2x4 guitar, which features a Howard Holman-designed tremolo and what appears to be a non-stock single-coil in the
neck position. Photo by Peter Dervin
I know. After about six months I thought,
“Man! I’m tired of these sympathetic
strings.” So I took a jigsaw and cut them
off, but it still sounded like a sitar. I figured
out it was the plastic bridge that made it
whiny sounding, so I took it apart and tried
to find a new bridge, but couldn’t. The guitar was put in the barn and I kind of forgot
Was your first amp as ill advised?
My first amp was some cheap head. I had a
speaker that I strung up in a fruit crate, so
the speaker was just dangling, suspended
by strings—like a microphone shock mount.
In the mid ’70s, devices to radically
tweeze your sound simply weren’t
available—at least to guys in Akron,
Ohio—so we really had to work
at it to come up with sounds that
conveyed our particular brand of
frustration and humor.