Ahhhhhh Das Gurum! (pictured above) The guitar that kinda started it all for the OddsFiche sound. It all sorta began last February and it was particularly cold that day I remember and I was in the basement playing away on who knows what now but for some reason this Japanese knock off Strat just would NOT stay in tune. I had tried to adjust the neck slightly myself and couldn’t afford the $65 for a set up on it at the local music shoppe I once worked at just up the street so I took matters into my own hands and after fiddling with it for another few minutes and getting frustrated with it beyond all comprehension. I got pissed off enough with it that I clutched the neck up by the headstock and stomped upstairs to the kitchen, opened the back door and literally threw it with all my might in to the snow covered backyard. It landed over by where the tomato planters and raspberry bush grows and stayed there for about 3 months till May when the snow had all melted away and spring was coming in like it does and the rain had fallen a few times and yet it lay there undisturbed and quiet all this time. I went out once as if to look at a lonesome grave and took its picture to which later found its way to the cover of my album, “Soundtracks for Cemeteries” and just stared at it feeling nothing really and walked away form it without a word spoken.
Finally in May I went out and brought it in as it had dried in the now baking sun and brought it back downstairs and placed it back on its guitar stand like a couple’s fight over something stupid we kissed and made up so-to-speak. It sat there for about a week until one day I was hammering out mish-mash on another guitar and thought,…. I wonder what would happen if I plugged it in again? Only one way to find out! So, I did and with a very sincere sense of uncertainty and fear of electrocution! Lo and behold she played! Now by this time the fretboard had rotted off and the neck was warped like a hunter’s bow but she made a sound! I was impressed due to the considerable amount of rust that she had taken on over the winter and had settled around the input jack and the pickups as well as the bridge and the string setting pieces on the headstock so I was unsure if anything would have happened but she sang out and I was quite chuffed by this. Naturally the first thing I did was run it through all of my effects pedals to see what kind of sounds it would generate. WELL…… let me tell you! I was impressed and couldn’t stop the onslaught of different tones and sounds I was creating with this newly reformed guitar of mine. After about an hour of messing around with different sounds I finally came up with the perfect blend of pedal settings for it and it almost wrote itself for the grounds for the song, “Subtle Grenade Cereal and Oyster Velocity” to which i then proceeded to record right there on the spot. Brilliance, sheer tonal brilliance to me and I’ve never regretted a single moment of throwing it out in the snow that day back in February. Now for its appearance, it didn’t start off the way you see it above, no, she was very naked and bare to look at, see below.
I couldn’t leave it just bare and not decorated somehow so I added my Gerd Arntz flare to it and love the look of it now. It’s not perfect but nothing is and I’m loving how it turned out because it’s battered and beaten and abused and still holds up and does an awesome job. Can’t wait for it to be even more weather beaten looking but I won’t be throwing it out in the snow again!
The Magnum Galaxy III, my very first guitar I got when I was 16! It weighs as much as Les Paul standard, is as thick as one and looks like the headstock of a Gibson Flying V that James Hetfield played in the early 80’s. The pickups, machine heads and pickguard all had to eventually be replaced. The truss rod cover and pickguard were custom made for me by the two guitar techs Dave and Rich at the Long & McQuade I worked at and the bridge has a Dimarzio Super Distortion and the neck has a Paf Pro. I changed the dials on it too to match the motif of it and with Grover machine heads 16:1 turning ratio she looks better than ever and sounds awesome for when you feel the need to get your metal on! My first band, Wulfila (1998-2002) this guitar saw a lot of action and it served me very well. I performed live with it as well as recorded with it and it was my main guitar for those first 4 years.
For a brief period of time I played an Epiphone Flying V (see above) but it only lasted for one gig before I returned it and kept to my original V. Pictured above was from the Elmocambo in Toronto in 2000 when I still had long hair and my Cliff Burton bell bottoms which I loved! Most people’s complaints about Flying V’s is that you can’t sit down and play them to which you can, you just have to angle it across your leg properly and whoosh you’re away! The Magnum Flying V’s were a tough guitar to track down info about but while working at the music store I was able to incorporate the help of a few customers and some staff who were pretty well versed in odd and older guitars. It would seem that my particular Flying V was built between 1971-1976 possibly no later than 1979 but there’s no serial number on it anywhere and it was in the late 70’s that governments made guitar luthiers to add even sequential or random numbers to their guitars to be able to cash in on them for tax purposes and tracking, theft, black market etc who knows but that’s the story that I’ve heard form several sources as to why it would be pre-1977. Either way it’s a brute of a guitar and weighs a metric ton but still has awesome tone and has been used in a few songs recorded for OddsFiche albums thus far. It won’t become a prominent guitar of choice due to the limited tonality but when it’s needed it’s perfect for what I want it for.
The Epiphone Thunderbird Bass, or Thunder Chicken as we jokingly call it. Very 70’s Lynyrd Skynyrd looking and missing a pickup and two knobs but does what a bass needs to do, deliver the bottom end and this does the job perfectly! Loaded with the Lemmy signature bass strings it has that mid-range crunch and tone where you can be subtle or growl and snarl the sound to your liking. Dial in or out to what type of tone you want and you’re away. It has been the only bass I’ve ever owned and I have no real need to acquire another as I can get whatever I want from this bass and it does me just perfectly. Nuff said.
The single sound hole Ovation electric acoustic. Versatile and beautiful mid range tone which is what I like. Not crazy about the rounded back which makes it a pain in the ass to play live and sitting down as it slides out form under you so you have to use a guitar strap with it at all times. It was once described as a litter box with a lid to me but hey, I’m not complaining about it, aside from that stupid round back design. Why on earth would you do that? Obviously for sound and tonal reasons but it’s not very user accommodating that way! My wish is to one day get one of the ovation acoustics that has the leaves designed sound holes and possibly the double neck one as that looks awesome for sure! I am lazy I must admit because I haven’t changed the strings on this in….well….. I really don’t remember! Guess I really should eh? This guitar has been used for every acoustic piece on any of the albums I have done and of course the most recent acoustic gig at the Open Studio Art Cafe back on Friday, October 16th. It does carry a wonderful sound with it either plugged in or not so for that I am glad. It will see many tours of duty in the sounds of OddsFiche to come yet so you can expect to hear its sweet refrain being played again and again!
The Peavey Raptor standard electric guitar with trem. I love the somewhat unfinished look to the body paint, it’s like one or two coats of paint slapped on there and a lacquer to hold it in place like it was the last one in the line and they were running out of paint and said, ach screw it just finish off the can and let’s go home kinda thing. I have always been a guitar player who doesn’t use a whammy bar or tremolo of any kind. Could never do it justice and I always thought players who did were in the height of overkill on it for the most part. A good way to wank off and kill a few bars with notes warbling about in space as they bounced that whammy bar up and down like they were choking it or something. But for some reason I developed a bit of a penchant for it on a couple of songs in the OddsFiche canon; Somewhere on Gerrard Street and I was Lost in the Desert, No Wait it was Raining are two that stand out for use of it. Overkill? Maybe a little, liking it? Sure : ) More songs to make use of it? One never knows. I usually play in second position as it does have that typical Strat like buzz to it being single coiled pickups so a combination of the two works for me. This model does a 5 way toggle whereas The Gurum is a three way toggle only. So being 5 way gives me more tonal range and an opportunity to play about with sound a bit more but I rarely venture outside position two with this guitar. I used to have a HWY1 Flat Black Strat that I adored but was stupid and sold to pay bills but it did go to a good home and if I really wanted to I could borrow it at anytime for a gig or to record with but it’s lost to me now and no longer belongs to me so it wouldn’t feel right ya know? I’ll get another one, not worried. It just looked like the Strat that Gilmour played in the Pompeii video, see below.
That basic black colour and CBS headstock or the fat headstock as most people refer to it as. This was the first Pink Floyd music I ever heard and was exposed to and Echoes blew me away and from that day I had to learn it and have that guitar! I’ll have another one one day, I’m not worried. Sooner better than later though would be ideal! Did I mention I hate the headstock on the Peavey Raptor? Yes I do, not a fan, it’s too futuristic for me and if I can get my hands on a CBS neck and it fits this guitar I will be Uber Chuffed by that! Still want another HWY1 in black though! An OddsFiche MUST have!
So there you have it, the OddsFiche Guitarsenal! Don’t get your hopes up to see the pedal set up, that’s a trade secret. Can’t reveal everything right? Somethings have to be kept as mum’s the word now! Perhaps one day but for now it’s a well kept hidden secret….or is it?