I do keep my eyes open for new innovations in conservation.
I’m a big Jack Johnson fan and just bought his new album, “Sleep Through The Static”.
It is the only album I know that can claim to be “recorded with 100% solar energy”.
There’s this cool pic in the packaging that shows him on the roof of his studio—which is covered completely with solar panels. Very cool!
During last week’s Super Bowl, I noticed that one of the pre-game shows had been sponsored by one of the many caffeine-laden energy drinks. Their product cameo showed bike racers furiously pedaling exercise bikes that had been hooked up to some sort of power generator.
Apparently, these bike racers loaded up on energy drinks—pedaled furiously—and generated enough energy to power this particular 30 minute pre-game show.
I was impressed!
Imaging how cool it would be to channel the energy from a workout to lower your electricity consumption.
Who says the future is all bad?
Thanks to Guy Kawasaki, I recently saw something along these same lines that easily takes the cake for eco-coolness.
This merry go-round channels the excited energy of kids to pump fresh water into their village. Amazing!
I remember going nuts on these playground merry go-rounds as I kid.
In my life and time, I can say I’ve owned more than my share of guitars. Actually, not just guitars—but all sorts of musical paraphernalia. Music gear is almost it’s own unique drug culture. There is definitely such a thing as guitar porn!
One of the first jobs I ever had was working at Fullerton Music in Orange County, California. They were one of the very first Fender dealers. In the late 70’s, it was one of those great music stores where musicians were actually allowed to hang out in. I loved that place and was even more thrilled to actually get hired there. The pay was terrible (and…we only got paid once a month!)—But I got to be around musical instruments all day long. It was heaven! There is a certain smell that music stores have. It’s probably the smell of the plastic Tolex that most amplifiers are covered with but it’s an unmistakable smell nonetheless. One day, I was given the lowly job of cleaning out the long-abandoned upstairs storage area—I mean, we’re talkin’ an inch of dust on everything! But as I gingerly poked around, I noticed a guitar case under some dismantled furniture. Imagine my surprise when I dug it out and discovered a vintage Fender Mustang that time had forgot! The Mustang was originally one of Fender’s budget models. I think that discovery galvanized my love for so-called cheaper guitars. I actually scored some nice pieces while working there. Musicians would come in all the time needing cash and wanting to peddle gear. If the manager was not in a buying mood—then it was open season for employees to buy them. Given my lowly pay—guess what I bought most? Cheap guitars!
I guess everyone has a fetish. Mine is cheap guitars. The crappier…the better! In my career as a performing musician—I’ve seen lots of gear come and go. I still have a few sweet axes but most of my touring gear is long gone. What you’ll find lying around my house these days are plenty of cheap guitars. My favorite is this Boeing Classical. It’s serial #23 for all you Boeing aficionados. I bought it for twenty bucks and have had it for at least that many years. The strings are at least 7 years old. I tune it down to about a C#—and it sounds great! What makes this guitar so special is that the neck has been broken 5 times.
Ya see, I have 4 sons and our living room often doubles as the family-wrestling ring. My poor Boeing was usually just an innocent bystander who would get injured by flying little bodies. I glued it together very carefully the first few times but have now relegated myself to just pouring Elmer’s glue into the same recurring neck crack and just stacking heavy books on it for a few days. It’s a terminal injury and this guitar is probably on its last legs…but I love it so. I finally got smart a few months ago and bought a wall hook where I could get it off the floor to avoid the inevitable body slam.
My 11-year old son Jackson is the chief punisher. He’s not purposely destructive—he’s just rough. You should see him play football. When he was in 2nd grade, he could play and sing TNT by AC/DC on this same guitar. He’d play for the neighbors—who would always look over at me with concerned glance, as he would sing out the lyrics with reckless abandon.
When my oldest son, Josh, turned 10 (he’s now 22)—I bought him this gem from Toys-R-Us. It has a built-in amp right in the body. Turn this baby all the way up and it has a sound reminiscent of Paranoid-era Sabbath. Another jewel that has totally been beat to crap after years of doubling as both hammer and flyswatter.
I was recently doing some work at Phil Madeira’s home studio. Phil is one on the best musicians I know. He can play any instrument—and play it well! I always hated guys like that—but Phil is my pal and it’s always an honor to work with him and watch him play. He has some great guitars in his studio—but guess what I gravitated toward?…the ugly ducklings in his collection. I know…it’s a perverse sickness—but I love me some cheap guitars.