Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Speaking of conversations, I just did my first interview (ever?) with Wayne Yang of, you can read it here. Exciting!

Assorted Hijinks

Happy New Year! Hope everyone had a nice holiday. We certainly did, relaxing at home for a change which is exactly what we all needed after a very busy year.

News -- I have a new acquisition for the collection: an Olympus Pen EES-2 that my Taekwondo instructor gave me, he must have seen it somewhere and he knows I collect cameras. Turns out he collects guitars, and has been playing since he was a kid. Hm...!

Speaking of that (and don't worry, I'll bring this back around), did I mention that I bought a bass guitar? Partly so Casey could learn, as he expressed interest (though I know keyboard is more up his alley), and partly for me to learn and to lay down bass tracks as I work up some original songs... a lot of my riffs sound like bass lines anyway. Anyway, it was kind of an early Christmas present to myself. SO... it's a kind of off-brand, and though the bass itself is nice and has great tone I thought its output was kind of weak and sought to replace the bridge pickup (you know how I like to tinker). My brother, who plays bass and has had his interest recently renewed now that I'm playing guitar, recently forwarded me the website for Subway guitars in Berkeley that he found while browsing around. So recently I cruised across the Bay (not literally, of course, I drove -- it's not that far from here) and looked it up in search of some parts pickups.

Subway guitars is located in what appears to be a converted house in a residential neighborhood in Berkeley, not far from UCB, and looks like it has been there forever. It has a real thrift store feel to it and is stuffed to the gills with vintage parts, amps, and of course guitars, some of the like of which you've likely never seen before. Its proprietor, aka "Fat Dog", is an old school Berkeley patriarch, probably one of the last of his kind. He not only sells used and rebuilt guitars but manufactures new ones in a factory up in Sonoma County. When I got there we got to talking about this and that, like domain name registration and the state of the economy, and some neighbors came in and we all went down the street to help them move a couch. It's that kind of a place. Anyway, he dug me out some pickups from a parts bin and tested them, told me how to install them, and let me have them for a measly $10 (cash only BTW!). Great guy, conversations with him are a real kick, I highly recommend a visit if you're in the market or at least in the area. Turns out he also has a thing for old cameras (surprise), and has a few that are in need of some TLC. At the end of my visit when the pizza and beer was breaking out and I had to split, he invited me to look him up early in 2007 when things calm down and look at trading some vintage camera refurbishing for some guitar goodies. Kewl!