Today is Friday the thirteenth of April. Some may deem that day unlucky. Not me. Today, I realise a dream that I have held since picking up a guitar for the very first time. A dream to own a genuine Gibson Les Paul electric guitar …the ultimate rock n’ roll weapon! Today, that dream has become a reality and, aside from the always-awesome quality-time with my three year old Son, it’s been a long time since anything else has left me grinning ear to ear quite like this!
I’ve invested a lot of time and effort in finding the perfect model. Done the sweet talking to arrive at a price that makes this fantasy a reality. Inspected every inch of her fine body, curves and all, and finally got her home. Then, like a true gentleman, gave her time to acclimatise after coming in from the cold …it’s important not to rush these things! So, I take my time and then one by one, unfasten the clasps that reveal that flaming hot body, but although I am in awe at her beauty, I wait, giving her time to breathe. Excruciating maybe, but savouring the moment of perceptibly exhilarating anticipation is worth it. Eventually though, I do succumb to the temptation and finally caress her neck with one hand, as I boldly lift her body with my other hand. An intimate moment passes as we ‘connect’ and now she is hanging around my neck. Feeling the desire for music building, dials on ’11’, we cross that bridge and …oh …my …God! A seductive growl from this femme fatale …and life will never be the same again!
Ok, I really need to get out more!
All joking and femme fatale references aside, the reality is actually that the more I play either of my guitars, the more I feel like the guitar is slowly becoming an extension of me, opening up a doorway to a rare freedom of self-expression that truly feels like it is freeing my soul from the clutches of repression, rage, remorse and regret, through some sort of catharsis that all this musical expression appears to be encouraging. Whatever it is that is happening to me, I am better for it. Through my playing, I am better able to express the frustrations of day to day life, better able to channel that occasional bout of rage at the World, better able to smile every day as I overcome new challenges on the fretboard. Simply put, my life is just better!
For all you guitar geeks out there, the new axe is a Gibson Les Paul Classic Plus (2011 model), in vintage sunburst, featuring Gibson’s high-output ceramic 496R / 500T pick ups, their cult-status ’50s neck profile, and those classic vintage-style tuners.
To accompany my chosen rock n’ roll weapon of choice, I have also acquired a new amp.
Despite the fact that a full-blooded Marshall will always be the amplification dream, my budget wouldn’t stretch to an all-valve Marshall rock-generating machine, and to be honest I needed something that I could still just about get away with for home use, without the neighbours calling out an armed response unit, whilst also being capable of holding its own if performing live should ever become a reality. With this in mind, the most widely recommended and highly regarded solid-state amp out there, turned out to be the newer 80-watt Roland Cube XL flag-ship model, big brother to my first 20-watt Roland Cube amp. So, my new amp is the Roland Cube 80XL, and it truly kicks ass!
In addition to featuring a host of great guitar effects and legendary amp models, such as a great Mesa Boogie Rectifier model that offers that signature Metallica sound, the new mighty Roland Cube 80XL also has a bloody brilliant classic Marshall amp model too, that is just perfectly suited for the new Gibson Les Paul! Guns N’ Roses, anyone?
Right. Let’s take stock:
1. Ultimate axe: check;
2. Killer amp: check;
3. Awesome guitar hero skills: …well, two out of three isn’t bad, but on that bombshell, I better get on with some more practice and put the new rock n’ roll arsenal to work!
If you would like to witness what the new guitar and amp are capable of, please bear with me as I diligently continue on this road to guitar mastery, or at least competency, and will upload a new video as soon as I have something worthy of attention, relatively speaking, given my rookie status!
– Joel BB