Next Victim! A New DIY Guitar

Look what UPS left on my porch: the neck and body for my latest ill-advised “parts” guitar project. I’ll be slapping it together in the coming days, but I couldn’t resist showing off the pretty parts. The body is Warmoth’s Mooncaster model, which is based on Fender’s semi-hollowbody Starcaster, a quirky cult guitar if [...]

My Top Three Wiring Mods

Premier Guitar just posted my new article on three favorite electric guitar wiring mods. The concepts won’t be new to anyone who hangs out here — I’ve pretty much flogged them all to death! But the new article includes the step-by-step walkthroughs that I never got around to creating for this site, and PG art [...]

Chez Trussart

While in LA last weekend, I got to hang out with the guy who built my favorite modern guitar: the brilliant James Trussart.

I’ve been privileged to know many great luthiers over the years, but the thing that always impresses me about James is the way his instruments seem to be just one expression [...]

A REAL Cult Band

I just watched an amazing documentary on Netflix: The Source Family, the story the early-’70s cult led by James “Father Yod” Baker. Baker’s Sunset Strip restaurant, the Source, was a fixture of my LA youth — a popular hang for both hippies and music-industry types. (You’ve probably seen it as the backdrop for the breakup scene [...]

Curse My Sudden But Inevitable Betrayal!

At long last, I reveal my blog’s sleazy ulterior motive: hoodwinking you into buying my crap! Bwa-ha-ha.

I exaggerate. But after several years of scheming, I’ve figured out a way to bring my stompbox designs to market that will permit me to keep doing stuff I love, like writing geeky stuff for my blog and [...]

Museum of Lost Effects:
Interfax Harmonic Percolator

Few guitar pedals can rival the cult cachet of the Harmonic Percolator, a singularly ugly distortion stompbox produced in minuscule numbers in the early ’70s by Interfax, a small company based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. And guess what? They sound ugly too, though they’re ugly in a cool and useful way.

They don’t get much [...]

A Vacation — and a CONTEST!

I was just in Europe, but I’m heading right back — this time on vacation. We’re going to spend a few days knocking around some fave cities, then embark on a tour of Paleolithic cave painting sites in France and Spain.

Our Cro-Magnon ancestors had to contend with such hardships as poor stage lighting, [...]

Double Double MIDI Trouble

I just recorded a solo version of one of my fave film themes: Jerry Goldsmith’s main title to the 1967 spy spoof In Like Flint. I’ve adored the melody since childhood, and I blame it for instilling the love of chromaticism that made possible my extraordinarily uncommercial career.

I’d previously posted another version [...]

Strange, Strange Strings

No longer ridiculously expensive. Now they’re just very expensive.

I spent last week covering the Musikmesse musical instrument trade show in Frankfurt, Germany, for Premier Guitar. I had a blast, and Chris Kies and I posted details and pics of more than 70 new products. (Here’s the short list of our personal faves.) Kies [...]

Birdmaster: A New Guitar Experiment

Oh, man — I’m flipping out over a new guitar I’ve assembled from Warmoth parts. It was an opportunity to try some new experiments — and amazingly, some of them may have worked!

I had several unrelated goals:

a better instrument to use with my digital rig, with the best possible MIDI tracking and [...]