RE: Show Us Your Guitar

Alright, in the spirit of experimentation, here’s a picture of my most used stuff.


This is from about 2009-ish when we were gearing up for Chatham Street. It’s unique in that it’s pretty much the only shot I have of the all the pieces of the whole rig.


The guitar is a 1979 Gibson ES335CRS, a special edition (only 300 made) that I bought new at Crazy Clarence’s (Wonderland Music) in East Dearborn. Put a deposit on it on the way out of town with some buddies for a ski weekend in Charlevoix, MI. I then talked my Dad into buying the rest of it when I got back (he was a great man). Been my main guitar ever since going everywhere with me including Carnegie Hall in college.


The amp is a 1983 Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ bought new from Arnoldt Williams music in Canton, MI. Again with Dad’s help. At that point I had serious asperations to become a session musician and was taking lessons from the best guitar player in Detroit. He also had one of these. It’s generally considered to be the first real modern amp played by a bunch of folks from Larry Carlton to Journey.


Originally, in 1983 anyways, I also bought a DeltLab delay unit that went in a road case on top of the amp and was wired into the effects loop of the amp (the effects loop was the thing that made the Mark IIC+ a “+”, the last roughly 2000 of the entire 14,000 unit production run) and run back into the power amp section through a volume pedal that controlled the rig volume. This was the secret of the Boogie, run the preamp with it’s cascading gain stages and guitar volume at full tilt and then control volume going into the power amp. The Boogie also has 2 footswitch-able channels so you can play clean and then just pop a button when you want controlled scream. It’s been the heart of everything I’ve done ever since. One of the “secrets” of Chatham Street was that switching ability controlled and utilized dynamics like nobody else. Several people commented to me through those years that if sound more like about 3 or 4 guitar players rather than just the 2 of us.


Anyways, eventually replace the DeltaLab unit with a used Lexicon piece which crapped out just very early in Chatham Street when we started recording our first CD. That then got replaced with the tc electronic G-System you can see here, still keeping the “4 wire” approach.


The neat thing is I still have all these pieces (including that first volume pedal!) that is now becoming the core of the “Pieces of Malarkey” band concept I’m noodling with. Who says newest is the greatest?

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