04 December 2007

GRRRrrrrrr Blender's "28 Most Recognizable Guitars"

God, I am so sick of listicles. Cheap journalism. Listicles are like shitty finger food hors d'œuvres at a lame party.

Anyhoo, Blender decided it was time for a list of "The 28 Most Recognizable Guitars". I took the bait and clicked the link. I knew something about it would make me mad. And sure enough, it did. It took about 4 seconds.

# 25 - Artist: Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters

Instrument: Dan Armstrong/Ampeg ARMG-2

Description: Made of transparent Lucite, these guitars debuted in 1969, making the claim that Lucite had better sustain and lighter body weight than wood.

Factoid: Calling it one of his favorite guitars ever manufactured, Grohl owns four Lucite Ampegs that are all tuned differently for various Foo Fighter songs.Shining Moment: This rare axe is featured in three of the Foo Fighters' most popular videos: “All My Life,” “The One” and “Times Like These.”

Yo, Jon D'Auria and Mike Errico, douchebags, if you're gonna do a list, at least do it right. Next time you decide to "salute rock & roll's most iconic tool of the trade since stuffed spandex — the multinecked, fur-lined, flame-throwing masterpieces that remain as influential as the shredders who strapped them on", give it more than an afternoon worth of your time.

the guitar so 70's, it had wood paneling!

I realise doing a "listicle" is a lazy way of submitting an article and collecting your check but next time do some fucking research. It would have taken you all of ten minutes to realise where Dave Grohl got the guitar from and who the guitar truly belongs to.

No one made the Dan Armstrong more famous than Greg Ginn of Black Flag.

Black Flag was that iconic clear guitar and Robo's clear drumkit.

Ginn's guitar sound was distinctive, often recognizable within a few notes. His guitar tone was typically characterized by a lack of highs and a high amount of mids, which creates a muffled sound. You know where that shitty muffled sound comes from, motherfucker? The Dan Armstrong, thats where!

For the majority of Black Flag's existence, Ginn used an Ampeg Dan Armstrong Lucite electric guitar with an interchangeable pickup nearly exclusively.

Over the years Ginn's guitar became extremely worn out and was eventually stolen in April of '86. Ginn would often play so hard that blood and sweat would seep inside the guitar and cause it to short circuit.

To fix this problem he nearly covered the entire guitar in duct tape before deciding to solder the tone and volume knobs in place and install a waterproof toggle switch.

In 1969 Ampeg and guitar super-guru Dan Armstrong set about revolutionising the electric guitar. What came next was "clearly" innovative, technologically advanced and well, clear!

The Rolling Stones first took the stage with Keith Richards sporting the 'See Through' guitar and Bill Wyman playing the companion bass. The legend was born. I think Keith gave his to Ron Wood after he realised the guitar sucked.

These guitars came to define the early 70's. Everyone had one. Joe Perry from Aerosmith rocked one as did Steve Miller, Leslie West from Mountain, Geezer Butler had a Dan Armstrong bass and so on.

The Dan Armstrong was my dream guitar from the first time I saw Ginn playing it. I finally bought one a few years ago and realised why they had gone underground for about 20 years.

The guitar was renowned for its excellent electronics, unique interchangeable pickups and long sustain caused by the solid Plexiglas body. Yeah, about that sustain... it never fucking ended. Playing this guitar was like trying to tame a liger. It is simply impossible to squelch; the Dan Armstrong renders all noise gates futile. Not to mention that Lucite body is heavy as fuck; the original Dan Armstrongs weighed in at around 15 pounds. Good luck with that one.

Anyway, the reason I was pissed at Blender's stupid list was because Grohl obviously fell in love with the guitar from Ginn, too. Grohl said so in interviews and in a few of his videos you could see he even had four strips of black tape fashioned like the bars on his guitar. And with Hot Topic these days, are you telling me Blender is afraid to reference Greg Ginn out of fear no one will know who he is?! Stephen Egerton of The Descendents and ALL also rocks the Armstrong.

What a clueless shame; what a dumb listicle.

Grohl definitely brought them back into vogue. I'm pretty sure Grohl was using one of the 1990's reissues unless he had an original one rewired because there's no way you can tame that bitch. Thanks in part to Grohl for certain, last year Dan Armstrong launched a new reissue model with many upgrades that are widely believed to actually improve upon the original design. I have yet to play it. I just know the originals were made to played sitting on a stool in a bar and not swung around your neck through a Mesa with the gain on 10.

the original 1969 tone, at concert volume, was unbridled and spongy a.k.a. shitty.

above photo of the author and his wily Dan Armstrong

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