Closet of Regrets

As I write this, Mrs. Félix-and-the-Cats is preparing a presentation called Garden of Regrets for a local horticultural group. This made me consider what in my musical garden are regrets, and in almost all cases, it’s the stuff that got away, based on some poor choices.

Below is a stiched together image of my rig (and me with much better hair) way back in the late 70s. For gear wonks, I have listed what is in the shot, but the essential message is this: in a fit of blind ambition mixed with technical ignorance, I dismantled many of these cool pedals and built many of them into a very badly designed single unit, which of course did not work reliably. In an even greater moment of folly, I trashed the original cases and eventually just got rid of the guts. The rest I sold to the now defunct Encore Music Exchange. I still cringe thinging of it. The only item I don’t regret selling off is the 1972 Stratocaster in the shot; it was a bugger to play and I got a good price for it.

Closet Music
Top row: Maestro OB-2 Octave Box, Maestro USS-1 Universal Synthesizer System (rented from Cosmo Music in my prog-rock phase). Bottom row: Electro-Harmonix Black Finger compressor, Electro-Harmonix LPB-1 power booster, Univox Effectmatic Mu-1000 envelope filter, Ibanez PT-900 Phase Tone phase shifter, Jen model 310.001 cry baby pedal (still have this one — yay!), custom switch box, reverb switch for Ampeg VT-22 (under the suitcase and tape recorder), Colorsound(?) volume pedal. Not shown, but acquired later and subsequently cannibalized: Electro-Hamonix Big Muff Pi, MXR M-118 Analog Delay, Maestro FSH-1 Filter Sample/Hold. Sold off: 1972 Stratocaster, Gibson Melody Maker 12-string electric, Traynor YBA-1 Bass Master, Roland RE-201 Space Echo, Maestro RM-1 Ring Modulator. On my God! What was I thinking?

Looking up current prices in vintage gear shops does NOT help!


Looking at the Bright Side

Left to Right: me, brilliantfish, Lawrie Ingles, Henry Lees

 

The Songwriters’ Circle is going into its sixth week! Last Tuesday was probably the best turnout so far (thank you all!), and great fun as usual. The feedback was very positive from performers Lawrie Ingles, brilliantfish and Henry Lees, and audience alike. We got to put the onstage piano once again through its paces, and all thought it sounded mighty fine. I got to meet some other songwriters who I am happy to say have agreed to grace the stage in the new year. More on that as we get closer to the dates.

This coming Tuesday, the ABC Songwriters’ Circle features Jody Ferrer, Gary Edward Allen and Tim Prueter. Expect something great and completely different!

Poster ABC insert #6 photos only


Out and About

Monday night was a reunion of sorts, playing an open mic and the Rose and Crown on Yonge at Eglinton. Co-hosting was Sophia Radisch, an up and coming singer songwriter whom I have written of before and who is also making her name for herself in the corporate side of the industry with a slew of endorsements and media placements, including a recent article in Guitar Player magazine. It was an interesting experience playing for her a song where the first verse was inspired by events at the Linsmore Tavern where I first heard her play just a year ago, that obliquely references her and my friend, and upcoming guest at the songcircle, Gary Edward Allen. On the way home, I caught the tail-end of the Riverboat Monday open mic at Dora Keogh‘s, hosted by Tyler Ellis, who has taken the reins officially from Julian Taylor. I heard some great songwriters and I think some may just be the ABC fairly soon.

Thursday was the usual blowing off steam at Legends, with upcoming songcircle guest John Mahler as their featured artist. John played a great set and I look forward to his appearance at the ABC December 5. As for my set, I might have been better off sticking to acoustic that evening, as the gear I brought didn’t quite sound right, but it was still fun to wind out. Again, fortuitous meetings occurred which could manifest themselves in the new year.

Finally, I went to see good pal Sal Indigo at the Amsterdam, this time with a sometime seven-piece band rocking out the full-house joint.

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Left to right: Loudon Sharp V (guitar), Neil MacNaughton (trumpet), Jack “the Animal” Pepe (drums), Sal Indigo (guitar and vocals), Tim “Killer” Kelly (bass) and Sean Macauley (harmonica). Not shown but in the video below, Donna Flynn.

With the house PA in full working order, the band was able to cut loose and still be clearly heard, as in the video below.

 

 

 

So, hoping a lot of you can make it out on Tuesday evening for our next songcircle and thanking you for tuning in, I wish you all, “be well”!

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