Thursday, December 31, 2009

cigar box guitar New Year

Shit! Where did the first decade go? If I'm gonna make it to be rich and famous and idolised by millions, I'm gonna have to get a move on! Well Seasick Steve has a few years on me and he managed it, so I guess he's a role model for us all. Realistically it ain't gonna happen but you know what? I'm blown over by how many hits I've had on this blog and some of my Youtube vids. That's my little piece of fame and thanks to you folks for checking out my stuff and coming back for more.

So what plans have I got for 2010? Generally, the old chestnuts - lose some weight, get fitter, use my time better, blah blah blah. But realistically - CBG/music-wise I want to take a bit of time out from building guitars for other people. I have a list of personal projects I want to complete. You'll have seen some of them I started here months/years ago. There's my super-duper two-guitar case with built-in amp I started way back. Well before that I want to make a simple, one-guitar case and that's near the top of the list. I never have a decent case to carry the odd guitar around. The other one was a bit too ambitious so never got finished. Next is what I call my JuJu special. It's a keeper for me, utilising the fabulous hand-wired magnetic pickup I won at the Birmingham CBG Fest, made by fellow cbg builder and Yorkshiremen, JuJu. It'll have frets and a volume control - two firsts for me. I want to finish my SMOJO RATOCASTER - the strat copy I am building from a box of parts I bought for £25. I want to make another batch of tobacco tin amps - had quite a few enquiries about those; a stabilised power supply for my electronic experimenting and lots more - maybe a CB uke, a dulcimer, diddley bo - the list is endless. That should take me to the end of the next decade!

But most of all - top of my list for 2010 is PLAY MORE. I've got some great gear now and should make better use out of it. Most of the creative challenges of CBG stuff have been explored, so the final chapter is to get some of my own music down on record and hopefully produce some kind of album. Not becuase I think my playing is particularly good or that anyone would want to listen to/buy it. Nope, it's a question of 'completing the journey'. How many conventional artists - painters etc get all the gear, learn the skills, make sketches etc then put them in a drawer somewhere, never to see the light of day. Surely the most satisfying aspect is to finish the work, frame it and hang it on a wall. Job done. Creativity should not be stiffled or bottled and stored away. Once you've created your masterpiece, whatever it is, it's so much more satisfying to let it go out into the world. Like setting a caged bird free! That's the thrill I get when I've built a guitar and someone wants it; or I write my blog and publish it. It's the release that makes you sort of go 'aaaghhh' inside. It's a bit like breaking wind, such a satisfying feeling when you let rip and release it! So that's what I want to do with the actual music. In the words of Frank Zappa 'blow it out your ass, motorcycle man' though I don't think he was referring to creative energy! (It's just a great line I wanted to use). Hopefully it'll be more like a John Lee Hooker line in boogie chillen - 'Let that boy boogie woogie, it's in him and it gotta come out. And I felt so goood'

Happy New Year folks and keep on doing what you makes you feel good.