Earlier this week, South Carolina-based pedal builder Caroline Guitar Company, launched the FCK PTN, a limited-edition version of its Hawaiian Pizza fuzz pedal, pledging all proceeds to humanitarian aid in Ukraine.
The company now confirms that the entire 50-pedal run sold out in 10 minutes, raising over $9,500 for both the International Committee of the Red Cross and World Central Kitchen, which is working to provide meals to refugees on the Ukraine/Poland border.
Philippe Herndon, the brand's owner and founder, says he didn't even have a chance to officially announce the FCK PTN on social media before it was entirely sold out via his email list. “I think it took me longer to write the email than it did to sell out,” he says.
The idea for the FCK PTN was conceptualized and realized in a short space of time, owing to “urgency and immediacy” of the situation in Ukraine. Disturbed by footage of the Russian invasion, Herndon quickly drafted graphic designer Ben Walker and North Carolina brand Disaster Area Designs to create the pedal.
Its color scheme is a nod to the Ukrainian flag, and the letters on its front face are self-explanatory.
Beyond visuals, the pedal is exactly the same as Caroline's Hawaiian Pizza fuzz, with three controls on its front face for volume, voltage supply and overall gain. These can be used to dial in everything from cheap tube amp sounds to crunchier, vintage British tones and fuzzy blasts.
“People are trying to find ways they can help,” Herndon continues. “As a boutique effects pedal company, Caroline operates in a niche market, yet its customers jumped at the chance to help Ukraine and, let's be honest, to flip off Putin in the process.”
Caroline adds that news of the pedal's sale has resonated as far as Ukraine itself, with Kyiv pedal maker Kostiantyn Kozlovskyi, owner of Analog Music Company, personally messaging Herndon to express his gratitude.
However, Herndon is quick to redirect such praise to those who bought the pedal. “It's really our customers donating,” he says. “And the Hawaiian Pizza – the pedal that FCK PTN is a variant of – started its life as a limited-run Girls Rock fundraiser anyway. Fundraising is baked into this pedal's DNA.”
He adds that those who missed out on purchasing one of the 50 FCK PTNs should consider donating to charitable efforts in Ukraine regardless.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis that has followed have prompted widespread condemnation from the international community. In the music sphere, many artists have contributed to relief efforts, including Metallica, who through their All Within My Hands Foundation recently donated $100,000 to World Central Kitchen.
And this week, many artists have canceled forthcoming appearances in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, including Green Day, Bring Me the Horizon and Enter Shikari, to name a few.