About five years ago, I finally had the chance to visit the famous Guitar Center on Sunset Boulevard. It was there that I saw a James Trussart guitar in the metal for the first time. It would be an understatement to say that I was captivated by the thing. The idea of a steel-bodied guitar, polished and relic’ed and rusted… well, there was something just so Hollywood about it.
My friend Chuck met and interviewed Trussart a while back and his article is a very good introduction to the man and his philosophy. While I like pretty much all the Trussarts I’ve seen, my favorite is the “Three-Tone Ganja Steelcaster” that I saw two years ago at Chicago Music Exchange. Not that I’m the world’s biggest smoker, or even the biggest smoker in automotive journalism (I believe we all know that the trophy for that goes to a certain “smoker” of “tires”) but I like the Rasta imagery and the engraved leaves on the pickguard. It doesn’t hurt that I rode bikes with the Chris King Rasta headsets for a solid decade before I started writing about cars. Last but not least, Phil X did a bitchin video with one of the early Rasta Steelcasters, which were endorsed and played by Ziggy Marley.
The problem is that Trussarts are extremely expensive so I had to wait until I could make a deal on a used one. Which I’ve done, picking up the ’07 example above. It’s matte finish instead of the gloss I’d have ordered had I bought it new, but that’s something I could fix a dozen times over with the money I saved. I think it looks bad-ass and if you have a problem with a 44-year-old white guy playing the thing, you need to check your privilege, okay?
Let’s get to the roundup.
Before I begin with the things we actually wrote this week, I should mention that I had an advisory piece on snow driving published in WIRED recently. I’ve looked at snow driving from both sides now; from letter-perfect collision avoidance on a glare-ice-covered freeway to, you know, that one time where I caught a Sonata in the fucking B-pillar.
Today, Bark is asking TTAC readers about the future of the auto show. Speaking of car shows… Bark will be defending the honor of Jalopnik against seventy-two of its biggest fans at Kart2Kart tomorrow night. Go check him out. Incidentally, if you need a genuine idea of just how engaged Jalopnik is with its readers, consider the fact that the event sold out immediately and that there will likely be a few hundred spectators. That’s why I worked so hard to engage readers during my stint as EIC at TTAC, but most of the people out there who run car blogs are more worried about engaging with overseas press trips than they are interested in meeting and energizing the readers.
This weekend, Bark and I will be hitting the Detroit show and, luck permitting, recording the first episode of “The Bark-Cast”, a podcast dedicated to the wit, wisdom, and horrifying life stories of Bark Maruth himself. Keep an eye out for it! I’ll also be writing a show summary for Road&Track in case you’re interested in my reporting from the ground at Cobo Arena.