From the end of World War II until 1959, there was hardly an American electric guitar to be found in Britain. I had always wondered why so many European bands played guitars like the Hofner Club 50 pictured below.
Following the end of World War II, the British Board of Trade controlled imports to try to improve the UK’s balance of payments, a politician’s term that means the wealth of the country measured by comparing incoming and outgoing costs. The government’s main objective was to secure what they saw as necessary savings in the UK’s overseas spending, in order to reduce the growing dollar deficit.
The broader restrictions of the early ‘50s applied primarily to food and drink imports, but among the restricted manufactured goods were musical items, namely gramophone records, harmonicas and their parts, musical boxes and their movements, stringed instruments (including guitars), wind instruments (not including organs), and some organ parts.
Coming up soon now. Just a tad over three months.
Lorraine and I did a lot of downsizing when we sold our house. And part of the downsizing required me to thin the herd. The herd of guitar and recording gear.
I have sold a lot of equipment since we downsized. And I have more to sell.
The process has been interesting to say the least. Being a bit of an avid photographer, I took the time and effort to create some wonderful shots of the instruments I was selling, like the red Strat pictured above.
Here is what one of the shots looked like from my listing on Reverb:
Too good a shot it seems. I had potential buyers ask me if this was a stock photo. No. It is a photo of the actual guitar. Using some white paper and a few well placed studio lights can create a very cool product photo.
Reverb has been wonderful for the most part. With an increase in selling activity comes a slew of issues though. I’ve had at least a dozen or so “interesting” encounters. I’ll share a few of them over the next several days.
Let’s start with the disappearing studio monitors shall we?
The initial offer came in with a request to pick up the monitors. My preference is to use Reverb end-to-end including shipping. That way both the buyer and the seller are protected. I’m also a little wary of strangers coming from several hours away to pick up a product. Are they really serious or just kicking the tires? Would they do something a bit odd or try to renegotiate the deal?
Not worth the hassle. So I offered to waive the shipping charges as part of the deal.
Above a certain price point I ship gear with a signature required to ensure proof of delivery.
You just never know when that might come in handy.
Here were the messages from that particular transaction:
You bet I contacted Reverb support at this point in the exchange.
Perhaps it was possible that a courier, taking two very large boxes containing a set of expensive studio monitors, went to the address in question and left it with someone that did not live there. Maybe someone was just walking near the address and was being kind. “I’ll take those two large packages that weigh about 100 pounds. No, I don’t live at that address but I know the guy really, really well. Honest. And, sure thing, I’ll sign for them. No problem.”
What likely happened? The courier went to the door, rang the bell, the door opened, and someone signed for the speakers. They were delivered to the address.
I passed the entire exchange over to the Reverb team. I never heard back from the buyer so I don’t know whether he ever got the speakers that someone at his address signed for that day.
What I do know is that Reverb affords a lot of protection when selling something online. And, if it is expensive enough, I spend the extra money to get proof of delivery.
You never know when someone might try to take advantage.
Of course, it could all have been just a case of mistaken delivery.
I have followed Thorsten von Overgaard for a long time. He certainly had an influence on my decision to move away from Nikon gear to Leica. A bit of an expensive decision to be quite candid. I thoroughly enjoy his writing and his videos. I’ve even been tempted to try out one of his workshops.
I am on Thorsten’s mailing list and I receive his newsletters.
The most recent one announced a new set of products for his online store: luxury camera bags and luxury bespoke suitcases for world travelers.
From his website:
You want the ideal product that fulfills all of your needs, made to make you happy every time you touch it, and made to last forever.
I must admit that I am totally out of touch with the pricing for luxury camera bags.
If you’re after a small unobtrusive camera bag with style, quality, great layout and zippered compartments, the Ryker really has no competition. Not only is it great for a Leica kit, but it’s suitable for any mirrorless camera kit plus a whole lot of extras.
At a price of US$379, it may sound a bit pricey compared to alternatives in the marketplace, but if you truly value quality that matches your equipment and photography, go spoil yourself with the Wotancraft Ryker. It has more quality and less hype than any bag I’ve ever owned and I feel privileged to have one.
$379 USD is roughly $500 CAD before taxes. I would expect a luxury camera bag to be in that price range. $500 to say $1,500. Pricey enough to make you ask whether it makes any sense to spend that much money on a camera bag (short answer for me, no).
My perspective on how much luxury camera bags have changed in price since Kristian’s review was obviously not an informed perspective.
If you want one of Thorsten’s bags, be prepared to dig deep into that bank account of yours. Really, really deep.
$7,500 CAD for calfskin. $50,000 CAD for croc.
For a camera bag.
At first, I thought that this was just another April Fools joke. But the website looks legit even if the concept seems a bit unusual.
The Plasma Pedal. As noted on their website:
The PLASMA PEDAL is a revolutionary approach within the realm of overdrive and distortion, as it is a new and previously unexplored method of achieving signal clipping. Instead of using LED circuits, transistors or vacuum tubes to produce overdrive, the PLASMA PEDAL transforms your instrument’s live signal into a series of continuous high-voltage discharges within a xenon-filled tube.
In essence – you are playing a bolt of electricity, and the electrical discharges produced by your instrument are instantly converted back into an analog audio signal, producing a quick, responsive, and extremely heavy distortion with TONS of unique character!
Here is their promo video:
I was so looking forward to this pedal when electro-harmonix announced it. The perfect sound! Until I noticed the date of availability.
Electro-Harmonix announces the BAG9 Bagpipe Machine! What’s under the kilt? Why it’s the new BAG9 Bagpipe Machine featuring 9 great bagpipe sounds guaranteed to haunt and disturb your family, friends and neighbors!
Increase your gigs, as the BAG9 will give you access to play funerals, parades, battle fields and any number of drunk bar gigs on St Patrick’s day. Squeeze the bag… the EHX BAG9!
116 days until retirement.
And 123 days until our retirement celebration cruise. We are making our way over to Europe and we will be spending time visiting Hamburg for a few days as well as Norway for a nine-day cruise on the Norwegian Jade.
We have booked a stateroom that you can make out on the front of the ship, just below the bridgeline. There are six large balconies and our stateroom balcony is the second one in from the starboard (right) side of the ship. We will always know where the ship is heading and, more importantly, we should have some wonderful views of the fjords.
Our cruise itinerary looks like this:
First time visiting Hamburg and first time visiting Norway. Lorraine and I are very excited about the upcoming trip.
As we have been making our bookings for our flights, shore hotels, shore excursions and ship dining, it is finally beginning to dawn on me that retirement is only about four months from now.
A guitar and gun-toting woman was arrested in my little town today. Assaulted her husband and struck him multiple times with a guitar.
No indication as to the well-being of the guitar.
A 45-year-old local woman was arrested on Monday after police said she violently assaulted her spouse and then went after another woman with a loaded rifle.
According to Kingston Police, the woman became enraged when she suspected her husband was being unfaithful. She tracked down the man at a mutual friend’s residence and then hit him multiple times with a guitar. When other people in the residence attempted to get the woman out a back door, she picked up a pot of boiling water and threw it at her husband. As a result of the attack, he suffered scratches and burns, however the incident was not reported to police at the time.
Then at about 5:30 p.m., police said the woman found a female victim at a west-end hotel on Princess Street. The woman entered the female victim’s room with a loaded .22-calibre rifle but was forced out of the room by a male. Police were called and located the woman sitting in her vehicle in the parking lot with the rifle.
The accused was arrested and transported to police headquarters, where she was held to attend bail court on Tuesday.
She was charged with assault, assault with a weapon, mischief, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, assault with a weapon, uttering threats, using a firearm, and possession of a firearm without a licence.
It was our last day in Vegas and we really did not have anything planned. I was a bit restless. I get that way towards the end of a vacation. Not really looking forward to getting back to the cold of a Canadian winter. And, now that retirement is only 18 weeks away, I found that I was quite enjoying the unstructured time and not really looking forward to getting back to a busy calendar.
We had a wonderful morning walking around a number of the resort properties on the strip. We decided to stop at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay for brunch.
Did I mention I was a bit restless? When I get restless I get impulsive. We walked by the Titanic exhibition and, on impulse, purchased two tickets and enjoyed a walkthrough of various artifacts taken from the ship.
We made our way over to the MGM property and I was taking a few shots including this one at the exit gate for KA.
As I was taking the shot, an employee raced over to us. At first I thought I had broken some rule about taking pictures but no. “Hurry!” she said, “You can join us for a behind the scenes look at Ka but the doors are closing right now.”
There we were. Inside the incredible theater hall for KA.
There were only a handful of people for the demonstration but the presenter was great and walked us through many of the remarkable sets for the show.
As we left the presentation, I took this picture of the dragon. And, being restless, which meant being impulsive, I jumped online with my iPhone and purchased two tickets for the evening performance. Great seats and, sadly, a great price to go along with the great seats.
What a show! We were so close to the front that we felt like we were in the show. We loved every minute of it.
Here is a trailer that shows some of the highlights from the show. What a terrific way to end the week.