Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tila Tequila - Why you pay so much to have your guitar repaired and so much more!!

I conclude that people like Tila Tequila however vapid and obtuse seem to proliferate during tough times. Why do we pay any attention to this Lamborghini leasing, tonsil mangling, teenage fantasy girl? Is it that we all want to do nothing and be well paid for Potemkin Meritocracy?

Now we have hard economic times and during these times we need to be frugal and being frugal requires us to be self reliant. In order to insulate and extricate themselves from dependence on a obscure global market people are looking to gain tangible skills. Lately, the local community colleges are filling shop and industrial classes with people who already have four year degrees. This is a shift in thinking from the techno revolution, heavy binary, less obtrusive work.

There is trouble brewing because in addition to the current economic fiasco there are many people who are unhappy in their work. Their jobs have obscure and contrived metrics, their bosses are under the guise of therapists or career coaches to their so-called teams. Worse, the arbitrary goals and objectives of these teams are more difficult to trace and leave the high achievers in the shadows while individuals with uncanny modes of manipulation shirk daily duties and pine for management attention.

Many people are trying to recover from the rapid descent of their assets base while they maintain jobs that will soon be outsourced. Careers that were once thought of as safe are no longer safe. Nurses for example, there was a shortage but there are other countries on this planet that have social systems that support free education. This resource was tapped and now we have an over abundance of nurses. We want the best for our children, we place them in tutorial classes in addition to their normal studies but are we only succeeding at producing students that can answer questions on standardized tests, site facts, but they cannot turn a screw driver or operate a shovel. Are we producing kidbots that will not be able to fix their toilet or change a tire unless the facts and instructions are available on YouTube or on their Iphone? We worry that we are becoming stupider and as we grow older we ponder if we really have an adequate grasp on the world.

Could it be that we will have a post technology revolution where some people decide that they can only find satisfaction in working with their hands? The current trend will dictate that soon there will be many proverbial chiefs and very few Indians then the question of how much a plumber costs will be a relevant question. So fear not, if you are unable to wield tools or fix things then your day of reckoning is near because obscure objectives and obtuse metrics driven by fear mongering pseudo life coach bosses are driving intellectuals into the trades and the prices of basic repairs will ascend as the need increases. Fibonacci sequence reflects this trend so get out your wallet Millennial's because whether the instrument you play or the toilet you flush works well will depend on someone with tangible skills. So there is a price to pay for our technology revolution that has given us the ability of being disburdened of involvement in our stuff.

So there is a price to pay and pay it you will. If your guitar, washing machine, car, bicycle, cell phone needs repair you will need to pay the person fixing this item and pay them well. China won't help, you cannot go there today and shipping, insurance, and time will vanquish this idea. And what if the electricity was off for a day? Well, lets just say that would be really bad news indeed.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Guild Guitars - Rich tone and history

I remember many moons ago when I happened into the old Guitar Center in downtown San Jose to look at and play some acoustic guitars. I didn't have much money but I knew what I wanted. My desire was to buy a 12 string guitar so I could play just a handful of songs that featured this full 12 string tone and sound. Before I bought my guitar I tried two guitars that I certainly couldn't afford to buy. One guitar was the ever popular Gibson Hummingbird and the other was a 12 string Guild JF-55. The effect the Guild had on me was magical and to this day I search for the same big tone that seemed to brighten the room and fill every space with rich tone.

Guild guitars have been around for a while but not nearly as long as Martin or Gibson instruments. Guild was founded by Avram Dronge in New York City in 1952. Guild guitars began during a time when manufacturing in the United States was becoming unionized. The unionized laborors are not inexpensive and this costly workforce had an ill effect on Epiphone, forcing Epiphone to move its factory to Philedelphia. The displaced Epiphone workforce in New York City was snapped up by Dronge for his new Guild product. Soon Guild was producing fine quality instruments.

Dronge sold Guild to Avnet electronic parts suppliers while remaining President in 1966. Guild relocated to Westerly, Rhode Island. Guild maintained its reputation as a fine acoustic and electric guitar manufacturer but an uncanny tragedy struck Dronge as he was killed in a plane crash. Guild's vice president took over and managed the company until 1983. Avnet was experiencing financial turmoil and was looking to sell Guild to focus on different emerging markets. In 1989, Avnet sold Guild to U.S. Musical Corporation who managed the company for the next six years.

U.S. Musical Corporation promptly suspended much of Guild's Electric production. Guild now focused exclusively on acoustic products. In 1995, Fender Musical Instrument Coproration, in a bold move, purchased Guild from U.S. Musical Corporationand reintroduced the Electronic guitar line while opening a Guild Custom Shop in Nashville, Tennessee. Fender also hired noted Luthier Robert Benedetto to build high-end Guilds. At this point Guild had experienced at least three relocations to their manufacturing facilities.

Purchasing Guild was the first in what would be a series of major business acquisitions for Fender Musical Instrument Corporation. This acquisition would be the start of a new series of manufacturing relocations for Guild. Fender Musical Instrument Corporation (FMIC) wanted to consolidate production and thus moved Guild manufacturing to Corona, California. Then FMIC decided to purchase Tacoma Guitar and once again moved Guild to Tacoma, Washington. Then FMIC acquired Kaman Music Corporation and moved Guild to Hartford, Connecticut in hopefully that last move in a series of six relocations. FMIC still employs Guild to make high-end acoustic instruments. These instruments once again have that storied tone and wonderful playability. I will always associate Guild acoustics with large ambient tone with unique bass tones and bell-like notes from the high strings.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Placing things in Perspective

We all have days where we feel challenged. Our bills, boss, mortgage, sewer, traffic, pickup truck, and dog just seem to be aligned with evil. There are many complex axioms and paradigms available to sooth and ponder in order to render sense to our troubles. So at risk of being clich├ęd I have included a simple list to remember the facts of life.


The most destructive habit
The greatest Joy (Giving)
The greatest loss (Loss of self-respect)
The most satisfying work (Helping others)
The ugliest personality trait (Selfishness)
The most endangered species (Dedicated leaders)
Our greatest natural resource (Our youth)
The greatest "shot in the arm (Encouragement)
The greatest problem to overcome (Fear)
The most effective sleeping pill (Peace of mind)
The most crippling failure disease (Excuses)
The most powerful force in life (Love)
The most dangerous pariah (A gossiper )
The world's most incredible computer (The brain)
The worst thing to be without (Hope)
The deadliest weapon (The tongue)
The two most power-filled words (I Can)
The greatest asset (Faith)
The most worthless emotion (Self-pity)
The most beautiful attire (A SMILE)
The most prized possession (Integrity)
The most contagious spirit (Enthusiasm)

Now pick up your musical instrument and get together with a friend or stranger and make music!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Jimmy Bruno on Tommy Tedesco, Barry Cleveland

As a youngster I knew all about Tommy Tedesco. He was usually wearing a hat and was a bit portly. I can still see him in my minds eye but my view is from the perspective of a prepubescent kid. All of my guitar hero's spoke of Tommy with reverence and affection for the man and his skills. If I learned anything in my lessons it was that Tommy's skills were the mad skills that I needed to challenge myself to beat in order to read music well. I can read music but I still am far from Tommy's skills.

Jimmy Bruno shares some of his experiences with Tommy Tedesco in this article written by Barry Cleveland of GP magazine. The article is brief and candid. Enjoy! Scott/

Below is the link to Jimmy's story about the Great Tommy Tedesco
Jimmy Bruno on Tommy Tedesco, Barry Cleveland

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sonny Landreth and Eric Clapton

Ever hear of these two guys? Eric Clapton has played in a few bands or at least that is what I've heard ;)

Do you think Eric and Sonny go to the same Barber shop? LOL

Eric's blue stratocaster is nice looking. Blackie might be famous but blue is cool! Sonny teaches us all how to properly hold a guitar and schools us on slide techniques of a higher order.

Look for the new Cross-Roads concert video to come out in December of 2010. In the meantime, buy a big screen LED Television and wait!