Showtime

Celebrate Christmas starts tonight. Lots of work ahead to get things ready for the first show at 7pm. So excited for downbeat.

Sold Out

Celebrate Christmas is coming up fast. Two shows this year, one on Thursday and one on Friday.

Friday’s event is sold out. We still have a few tickets remaining for Thursday.

Wonderful show of support and the team is really looking forward to a great couple of evenings at the Isabel.

Here is our stage plot and setlist.

Time to change out the guitar strings and get ready to play.

 

 

Guitar Center Is Going Down

Not only is Guitar Center the world’s largest musical instrument retailer with roughly 270 locations across the United States, it also holds an impressive amount of debt.

From Moody’s latest report on Guitar Center:

Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) today downgraded Guitar Center Inc.’s (GCI) ratings. The downgrade and negative outlook reflect Moody’s continued concern regarding GCI’s significant and relatively near-term debt maturities. Excluding the company’s $375 million asset-backed loan facility, approximately 65% of the company’s long-term debt matures in April 2019.

GCI’s Corporate Family Rating was downgraded to Caa1 from B3, and its Probability of Default Rating was downgraded to Caa1-PD from B3-PD. At the same time, GCI’s senior secured first lien notes were downgraded to Caa1 from B3 while its unsecured notes were downgraded to Caa3 from Caa2. The rating outlook is negative. This concludes the review for downgrade that was initiated on Sep. 28, 2017.

“The downgrade considers that despite Moody’s expectation that GCI will generate relatively stable earnings and positive free cash flow, a significant majority of the company’s debt matures in less than 18 months,” stated Keith Foley, a Senior Vice President at Moody’s. “GCI’s cash flow on its own will not be enough to materially reduce debt and improve leverage within the time frame the company has to address its debt maturities,” added Foley.

The Caa ratings reflect very high credit risk and are the highest risk junk bonds you can acquire. With a negative outlook, Moody’s expect the company is nearing default.

The following was from a filing dating back to December of 2012. Looks as though the management of Guitar Center has had a bit of an addiction for debt over a long period of time.

Risks Related to Our Indebtedness

Our level of indebtedness could adversely affect our ability to raise additional capital to fund our operations, limit our ability to react to changes in the economy or our industry and prevent us from meeting our obligations under our debt agreements.

We are highly leveraged. As of December 31, 2012, Holdings’ total consolidated indebtedness was $1.581 billion, which includes Guitar Center’s debt of $1.017 billion. This level of indebtedness could have important consequences to our business, including the following:

· it will limit our ability to borrow money or sell stock to fund our working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions and debt service requirements and other financing needs;

· our interest expense would increase if interest rates in general increase because a substantial portion of our indebtedness, including all of our indebtedness under our senior secured credit facilities, bears interest at floating rates;

· it may limit our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and future business opportunities;

· we are more highly leveraged than some of our competitors, which may place us at a competitive disadvantage;

· it may make us more vulnerable to a downturn in our business, our industry or the economy in general;

· a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations will be dedicated to the repayment of our and Holdings’ indebtedness, including indebtedness we may incur in the future, and will not be available for other purposes; and

· there would be a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition if we were unable to service our (or Holdings’) indebtedness or obtain additional financing as needed.

When all of their debt matures in Aprils of 2019, Guitar Center might have to go Chapter 11. Difficult times for retailers generally. Especially difficult times for retailers with such high leverage.

Mike Britt Class Act

 

It wasn’t something that he had to do and I wouldn’t have been hurt if he hadn’t taken any action but it is always refreshing to see great customer service.

I love working with M Britt profiles and this is just another reason why I have no trouble recommending his profiles.

Thanks Mike.

3rd Power Amp Pack for Kemper

I had been waiting for this profile pack from 3rd Power to get released. Ordered it today. Should have some fun playing tonight.

More details about the amp pack here.

And a video with Michael Britt and Jamie Scott. Michael Britt is the standard for Kemper Profiles.

Collings I-30 LC

The team at Collings Guitars is still bringing out some awesome guitars. They just announced the Collings I-30 LC. Great tone machine especially with the Lollar P90s.

Here is the guitar in action:

Peter Frampton’s 1954 Phenix

Not Peter’s guitar. A copy of his guitar. Gibson will set it to you for $25,000 CAD no less. This line is being positioned as a very exclusive collector’s instrument. Gibson made only 35 of them available to the public. I have it on fairly good authority that Peter was given three of them. Always a key thing to keep in mind when buying stupidly expensive guitars. A copy is still a copy.

How much did Peter pay for the original?

Zero.

It was given to him. So now he has four of them.

Life isn’t fair.

My friends at Reverb had passed me a link to an interview that they recently did with Peter Frampton. And he tells the story about how he lost his guitar and how it came back to him decades later.

The story was covered widely back in 2012. From NPR:

That guitar — a shiny black number with an added pickup — became Frampton’s signature instrument. He continued to use it with Humble Pie, and in his solo material, played it almost exclusively for years. It even made the cover of his classic 1976 live album, Frampton Comes Alive!

In 1980, while Frampton was on tour in South America, the guitar was put on a cargo plane in Venezuela, en route to Panama. The plane crashed right after takeoff.

“Basically I’m thinking, ‘It’s gone,'” Frampton recalls. “But the thing is, I’m also sitting in a restaurant where I can see the pilot’s wife. She’s waiting in the hotel for her husband, who, unfortunately, didn’t make it. So we were all overcome, because people lost their lives as well as our complete stage of gear.”

What Frampton didn’t know is that the guitar had survived, albeit with some bumps and bruises. It fell into the hands of a musician on the Caribbean island of Curaçao, who owned it for many years before a local guitar collector spotted it and contacted Frampton. After some negotiation, the guitar was returned to Frampton last month.

Here is a relatively current shot of Peter with the Phenix (and, yes, that is the spelling for the name of this guitar).

Peter has aged. He is 67 now. I am not that far behind him. He’s still playing. And he is still playing well.

Here is Gibson’s interview with Peter about the same story.

10 Overplayed Guitar Riffs

I still hear many of these guitar riffs whenever I drop into guitar shops. Must drive staff crazy to hear the same riffs everyday. And yes, I have seen signs posted in some shops.

Might be time to learn a few new riffs.