Somebody with a cell phone camera approached Weesay on the street and asked him to make up a jingle for O! Chips potato chips. Weesay picked up his three-string "can guitar" and proceeded to rock out. The result was a two-and-a-half-minute video that was viewed by millions.
Last week, I showed you how to take a common 2x4 plank and easily turn it into a playable lap steel guitar. (You can see those plans right here.) For this week, I've built a second 2x4 lap steel and improved its sound and setup; I even gave it a hobo-art look. I’ve listed links to the parts at the very bottom of this story, where you'll also find a new demo video.
Something major happened on the two-hour drive back home that evening: Instead of wringing my hands and lamenting the gig (as was usually the case), I started asking myself, "What are the specific details that went into my bad performance?" I turned off the radio, set the cruise control on the car and went through my whole act, song by song.
This is one of the easiest homemade guitars I have ever built, and it only took me one hour to make. This lap steel was made from an extra 2x4 I had in my shed and just a few saw cuts to the wood. I even used a pre-wired acoustic soundhole pickup so there was no wiring needed. Anybody can build this lap steel!
While countless other guitar companies introduced their own versions of Strats or dreadnaughts at the 2015 Winter NAMM Show, a California percussionist named Andy Graham had the most adventurous and groundbreaking booth this year with his SlapStick instruments.
In the past month, Eddie Van Halen donated a replica of his Frankenstein guitar to the Smithsonian—and Les Paul’s Black Beauty sells for $335,500 at auction. Both guitars are iconic and have created legendary music. And both guitars look like they’ve been hacked at with chisels, cut with coping saws and fitted with mismatched parts.
This Freak of the Week is one of the first Musicvox Spacerangers ever produced. The seafoam green model was part of the original 10 prototypes designed and commissioned by Musicvox CEO, Matt Eichen. The NJ-based Musicvox was the first company in the Nineties to embrace freakish retro designs of Wandre, Teisco Del Rey and no-name brands that graced the walls of music stores in the Sixties.
This guitar was never built to be a gimmick. I made it because I wanted a steel-bodied Dobro guitar but couldn’t afford one. Back in 1998, I was in the lowest point of my life: lost marriage ... living in a tiny apartment ... no TV ... no internet. Yet in all my boredom and depression, I was still obsessed with music. Most importantly, I wanted to own a metal-bodied Dobro guitar.
They call this tenor guitar the Sawyer’s Legacy. It features a soundboard made from wood from a 150-year-old Maine barn. You can still see the massive sawmill grooves burned in the surface! The back of the guitar has an even more interesting cross-cut saw pattern. Its primitive shape, similar to a cigar box guitar, seems to be the perfect choice as it shows off the wood in its original “plank” form.
Dennis told me he had a guitar pedal that would rock the world, and he had been trying for 20 years to get it on the market. I played it…and it’s amazing. I must have spent two hours experimenting with it. Warbles, fuzzes, bleeps and strange Ed Wood sounds came out. It was like nothing I've ever heard. This thing puts the mythical Ludwig Phase II Synthesizer guitar effect to shame.