The following takes place backstage at the Paramount Theater (now the
Schnitzer) Portland, OR, perhaps post-soundcheck, 10/2/77. A Reed College
student-radio producer, an acquaintance of Jerry's since Europe tour of '74,
is making a recording of basically hanging out with Jerry as he
changes strings. Some dialogue is hard to make out, because the
interviewer has brought a few friends along(or they were already
there?), and it's more of a mini-party going on than an interview,
with frequent snuffling and chopping and scraping sounds audible.
Jerry talks about a wide range of things, among them Kesey, Mickey's car
accident, their Egypt plans, a possible Iran trip(!) and the guitar he
is servicing as they speak. What I've transcribed is just the parts of the conversation as it pertained to guitars or gear:
> **Interviewer(GT):"Is that the one you were using last night?"
> **GT:"What was the one with the 'T' in the neck?..."
> **JG:"Um, Travis Bean."
> **GT:"Are you still using that one then?"
> **JG:"Uhh....yea, I had been using it, but I just got this back
> uh, the guy who made it for me; whose been- whose worked on it
> some...and uh, wanted to...see if there's...still
> me and it."
> **faint tuning noises**
> **GT:"Do you have your guitars worked on at Alembic?"
> **JG:"No. Don't trust 'em...!"
> (general appreciation of the joke)
> **JG:"This guy named Doug Irwin, who's real good, does really nice
> work. Like when I gave him this guitar, it was really pretty beat-
> up ...it had a decal on it, this little...(probably pointing at the
> Wolf inlay)...and I got it back from him and he'd inlaid it in wood
> and brass, you know (laughs) My god, it blew my mind! Now there's a
> guy-(unintelligible through the murmurs of appreciation)"
> *(more tuning)
> **JG:"You can talk to me while I'm doing this..."
> RE: STRINGS:
> **GT:"What are you using for strings now?"
> **JG:"Uh, these are these strings called uh...Vinci's. And, uh,
> they're made, uh...by this guy Tony Vinci, a guy in NYC who builds
> the string-winding machine that all the other companies (use)...And
> the interesting thing about them is that they're uh...they don't
> any nickel in them, so in terms of their magnetic efficiency,
> about 50% more...efficient as far as magnets are concerned."
> **GT:"So they're just pure steel?"
> **JG:"Yeah. They don't last very long; they rust through in a
> night...and they're really-"
> **GT:"You lost a couple last night,"
> **JG:"Oh yeah! That was the first string I've broken in about four
> years; Me and (RainBob?) were...exclaiming about it. That's because
> this guitar isn't set-up quite right yet. I need to fool with this,
> and uh..."
> **GT:"I'm still workin' on that Black Walnut thing"
> **JG:"Oh yeah?"
> **GT:"Yep, goin on three years now. One of these days..."
> **JG:"Jeez, I hate this. This is really the most miserable part of
> music: Tuning."
> THEN A FEW MINUTES LATER:
> **Girl:"You done?"
> **JG:"Well, I have to let it sit for awhile,"
> **JG:"...And everything has to get adjusted. See, the Travis Bean,
> the nice thing about it is that it's uh, incredibly stable, so you
> can change the strings and it doesn't have to go through any
> But this guitar, like other wooden guitars, to get it to really
> right and play in tune and stuff, you gotta set it up again every
> time the strings are changed, because it changes the whole
> **GT:"How old is that thing?"
> **JG:"Oh,it's about 5...maybe 5 years...6 years old I guess. I'm
> exactly sure how old."
> **GT:"What brand is it?"
> **JG:"It's not any brand, a guy made it."
> RE: PICK-UPS:
> **GT:"What kind of pick-ups are those?"
> **JG:" These things? I don't know. There's this new company that
> makes these things and I don't even know what they're
> I don't know what the name is, but they're uh single...single-coil
> pick-ups like a, a Tel-, uh, Stratocaster."
> **GT:"Have you heard of Danny Sheen's pick-ups? There's this guy in
> **GT:"He's supposed to wind incredible pick-ups, just beautiful
> **JG:"(deep breath) It's one of those things, that I'm not sure...
> I'm not sure what the trip is with them. I don't even really... I
> don't have really- I don't really like magnetic pick-ups all that
> much; I wish there was some other way to do it; they're kind of
> clumsy. And the thing is that the hotter you make the pick-up, the
> more irregular the harmonics get to be, because it bends the string
> down here. (laughs) You know, if you have really strong magnets,
> like wauuhh...the string, the string, instead of being like that
> like that. So the harmonics here are always incredibly inharmonic.
> always wonder 'Why the fuck's my guitar sound like it's not in tune
> here'. You run into those kind of weird exchanges."
Mosfed wrote:It's interesting that the single coils in Wolf weren't made by Fender. It would be amazing to learn who made them.
cmc64 wrote:See this thread.
I emailed and spoke with Becky and Bill. They are looking into it and I am waiting for a miracle. Will keep you guys posted.
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