Today’s been a real champ of a day, in the most sarcastic sense possible; my mother, who has been fighting a mostly losing battle with sarcoidosis for a few years, found out that she’ll have to retire early from work. That poses some challenges for us that will require some inventiveness to overcome. I’m also in the process of moping over something about which I shouldn’t mope, and like Forrest Gump that’s all I have to say about that.
But just when I figured the best way to handle the rest of the day was by finding the bottom of a bottle of Ketel One Citroen, a package arrived from St. Louis. Let me see. Do I have the “Best Of Ratt” tablature book around here? Yes. Yes, I do.
I’ve already written about the Westone Spectrum FX and its exalted place among Japanese set-neck shredders. Of course, I already own the Electra X199 in both Blueburst and “Ferrari Red” but the Spectrum FX is quite a different beast. My main man “ultra sonic” down in St. Louis really picked a winner this time, and when I realized that my St. Louis travel plans were going to fall victim to the pressures of work and parenthood, he made sure it was packed with Faberge-egg care then shipped promptly to me.
I expected this Westone to be in good shape, but this one is so nice it’s hard to believe it’s been played fairly regularly for the last twenty-eight years. All the hardware is clean and works properly. I tuned it up, locked down the string tree with an Allen key, and started deep-bending my way through some pinch harmonics. It’s utterly monstrous and just what you want for Eighties metal. Think Stevie Vai on the Skyscraper album, or Vernon Reid on Vivid. Bad ass stuff.
It’s so bad ass, in fact, that for my own amusement I’ve hired a new guitar teacher to brush me back up on my squeedly-meeedly. The next time you see me, I might be cranking out a little “Round and Round” or “Hot Dog And A Shake”.
Most importantly, it was just neat to hold the thing, plug it into a MESA Boogie Mark V, and be a child again. The child inside me doesn’t worry about his parents, who should be invincible, and he doesn’t worry about how much some woman loves him or doesn’t love him. He has a set-neck shred machine with eighteen different combinations from the UBC (UnBalanced Coil) pickups, and he’s playing the opening riff from Van Halen’s “I’m The One”, and he’s very happy.