Wednesday, 1 July 2020

BULLS HEAD BOB JULY 2020. Mrs Bobs back. SHOCK NEWS! BOB buys his first pedal!! Marshall Bluesbreaker2 Overdrive.

Hello World, Turkmenistan, Chums, Brummies, Story tellers and incence smellers.  
Gather round whilst I regale you with things you never knew you needed to know but before that HELLO Hong Kong, Vietnam and Cambodia, a couple more countries with regular readers who I have forgotten to mention.  Have a great day you guys!!!

Mrs Bob is back in the house, hooray! It was nice to see her pass me  in the hallway as she went up to her bedroom to self isolate for 14 days.   I can tell she's happy to see me because shes started to chant "I cant wait to get my hands on you" and lately it's become  'mantra like' so I've passed her some incense sticks under the door to enhance her spirit.  I cant wait for her to be more ready meals eh?

Joking apart, I sincerely hope that all of you of "the Brumbeat age" are well and have been unaffected by the horrid virus.   My condolences go out to those who may have suffered.   It certainly makes you more aware of how fragile we are and just how quickly someone can be taken from you so please be extra thoughtful to do something special for the someone you love whenever you can.   Time is fragile. 

Following Turkmenistans continued large readership, I've been doing a bit of research with a view to playing to a sell out crowd there.   
I'm pleased to announce that I have discovered that the President of the country is also it's best selling Rock star, Rapper and DJ.     Just say the word Mr President and I'll get the band pumped up and ready for action to come and lay down some serious hard blues rock to get the crowd leaping Turkmen Style.  Normal Rider applies,  Hotel Suite overlooking the city, lashings of good food, heady perfumes being wafted around by veiled Turkmen beauties and a bit of dosh!

Thats just how easy it is to get  Me and the Boogie Band.   I love to Rock, Relax and be heady in a place I've never been to, and I have travelled the world my friends.

In the days before Venue Sound Rigs and large PA band systems we turned up for gigs with our 30 watt amplifiers, 50 watt, 4 input PA, solely for the vocals which we would normally balance on chairs and a drummer who could keep time well, if you were lucky, if they couldn't you could try  turning up and drowning him out until he catches up again.
There were no such things as "guitar rigs" but at the time mine consisted of instrument plus lead, strap and case and an obligatory EL34 valve.  As I gained in expertise and experience I played in a better band with a back line of Park amplification provided and as I was earning more dosh I made a major upgrade to my " Rig" by buying a second guitar and more than one set of strings.  That was it, there was nothing else gimmicky until the Watkins copycat came along, the first one being purchased by Johnny Kidd and The Pirates from Charlie Watkins shop.   

Some of us heavier guitar players learned early, the importance of playing close to your amp and thereby balance your Pick-up to amp sound, on the edge of "feedback" to get the rough edge and sustain that soon became 'the' sound of rock especially with the introduction, to the public ear, of "Satisfaction" with
Keith Richard's early distortion pedal.    
In no time at all, distortion devices became cheaply available and, indeed I bought one myself but found its use to be limited in that, you couldn't use much volume with it.  For the Stones live gigs Keith Richards overcame that by being able to switch between two separate amplifiers during the performance, its sound change is recognisable by its clunky, early tech during early shows.  There are some Youtube clips available.
Anyway I gave up using mine straight away and, apart from trying out a wah wah in 67, by which time I was playing through a load more speakers and greater volume.   I hated its gimmicky duck sound, Roy Wood used the wah-wah a lot during The Move's time.    I have never used a pedal on stage.   

In my band, effect pedals are banned.  If you have reverb and or Tremelo as part of your basic amp build they are perfectly ok to use, just not something you need to "engage", that costs more than your instrument, or needs a degree to set it up.   We are loud and I still embrace the close amp proximity style if I can which is fine for medium sized gigs but you lose that close relationship with your guitar once you hit the bigger stages and you look stupid standing next to a 30 watt amp in the middle of a big stage, or more importantly, the intimate venues where you can't use that volume without blasting your audience to pieces.  I don't like intimate venues by choice but sometimes the best gigs happens in small places!

I said to a mate that perhaps I should now drop the volume a tad and venture into the purchase of an Overdrive pedal to be more audience-friendly after playing at The Duck and Crumpet where the local rag, The Bilston Free Ads, Entertainments Review section stated we were "Rocks answer to an enema (I think they meant to say "enemy") and that we emptied the capacity 16 seater of The Dumpet faster than Weasel Poo.   

That conversation with my mate spread like wildfire amongst the local musos "Bob has Come Out! and is going to buy a pedal". That was in February. Assisted by the lockdown, and a stubborn streak that has lasted for 55 years I have gradually overcome my shame and moreover, my fear of actually owning one for several months but I have now bought, through , a cheap and battered Marshall Bluesbreaker2 foot pedal and its coming to me through the post as I write.  Nothing in life is guaranteed so if it's bad Karma it won't arrive.     I have a friend of a friend who said that it was the best pedal he had bought for a little money.  Well that was good enough for me but unfortunately they stopped production so new models weren't an option.  I thought they would be cheap but was shocked to find some people selling them for silly money, totally inflated.    I won the auction, paying 22 pounds.  Not bad.

Ha!  Karma indeed, it has just arrived 30 Jun.   It is used, has obvious signs of use which is what I expected and was described perfectly by the seller, highlighting a missing rubber mat underneath which is easily repaired with a bit of old car mat.  I popped in a 9v battery and off we went.   It does what it does well, its foolproof technically, its build is superb,  almost tank-like which is highly impressive for this old soldier.

I still sound like I sound, only quieter.   It has its place in the world and I am happy with the purchase and with the obvious quality of the pedal.    I can see its attraction to those who havent been through the old fashioned method of feedback control.  There is sustain aplenty for those who want it, I used just enough effect to make it dirty and it worked well.   So thanks to my mate and his mate too for advising me.  I have no desire for other things to make me sound different, this is what I class as a Consideration for others Pedal and I'm pleased I took the plunge....eventually.

Well the worlds going through a rough patch at the moment in every direction
I dont want to be another Joe with another opinion so I'm giving it all a slip in the hope that Common Sense will prevail and we will rid the world of traitors, racists, corporate greed and warmongers.     I bet none of the above have a Marshal Foot Pedal, wankers........

Take Care of Each Other



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