Indiana Strat Copy

Whammies and surfers and lipsticks, oh my!

Okay, I admit it. The main reason I bought this guitar was because it was dirt cheap. And also because it had a whammy bar. I’d never really worked with a whammy much, and I wanted something cheap and “expendable” to experiment on.

I ended up getting more than I bargained for (as I’ve found you often do with these inexpensive and/or old guitars). In addition to a dedicated “whammy” guitar, I discovered that the bridge pickup on this guy is perfect for playing old surf-style and psychedelic rock — even better than …

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Applause AE-15 12-string

Space-age technology, indestructible neck

Found this guy on eBay listed as a “project” guitar. I asked the seller what was wrong with it. He said the action was a little high. Huh? That’s a project? I learned to play guitar on a cheap Kay acoustic in the ’60s… high action don’t bother me! (The action on this guitar wasn’t really all that high, anyway, until you get up around the 7th, 8th, 9th frets. And who plays a 12-string up there??) Anyway, I think I got the good deal because nobody else bothered to ask what “project” involved.

This is …

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July 4, 1976: The Bicentennial of the U.S. My story…

I was living in Philadelphia, the Cradle of Liberty.

I spent the night of the 4th in a Philadelphia jail, after squinting too closely at the badge number of one of Philly’s Finest, who was in the process of dropping a series of f-bombs on a poor foreign tourist couple who barely spoke English and who had the audacity to appear to have been asking the cop for directions. Welcome to Amerika…

The cops, of course, had been ordered by Hizzoner Frank Rizzo to round up all the radicals and hippies, who he said were planning on blowing up City …

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Nuclear Anniversary

I was running around all day Thursday, and it wasn’t until late in the day that I noticed the date: March 28th. That’s a big day for me. The anniversary of the Three Mile Island fiasco…. er, accident. Thirty-four years this year.

I was there. I lived just a couple of miles away from the plant. As a reporter for Harrisburg Magazine, I covered the entire thing, so I got — literally¬†— the inside scoop. I went on a tour of the damaged plant, I attended a press conference with President Jimmy Carter, I went to the NRC …

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Summer 2012 Group Shot

We had a busy summer here…

Here is a group shot from August, 2012. It was getting a little crowded around here for awhile. Some of these guys will get their own pages soon, but for now we just got them all together for a group shot.


On the walls, left to right:

  • Applause AE-15 12-string
  • Ibanez PF-10
  • Applause AA-31

On stands, left to right:

  • Teisco (?) CE-101, with gold-foil pickup
  • Ibanez RX-60
  • Trump solidbody electric, with gold-foil pickup
  • Indiana Strat copy
  • First Act bass

Leaning against speaker cab:

  • Yamaha G-55A classical


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Silvertone 1457 with amp in case

Even Mick Jagger played one of these!

My parents got me this guitar when I was about 14. (For those of you who are counting, that would be around 1968…) I was psyched. It was cool, it was loud…. what more could you want?

I’ll tell you what: a Vox wah pedal, because my buddy Frank told me that was the kind of pedal Jimi Hendrix used. So I saved up enough money ($20!) to go to the local music store and grab one of them, too.

Then I was set: two lipstick-tube pickups, wah on the floor, built-in tremolo …

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Dean Edge 5 5-string bass

So what’s that extra string for … ??

This was a garage-sale find. I’d always wanted to try out a bass, and there one was — great shape, low price, little bass amp and gig bag included. It came home with me. This is a very nice instrument, and I really liked the transparent red finish. But I just couldn’t get the hang of that extra string down there with the low notes. If I were to just jam free-form — by myself, with no other music except percussion — I could do okay. But ask me to play in …

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