Tales of the Whammy Bar

No joy in NorCal -- the Mighty ‘Niners bombed.  Final score:  Ravens 34, 49ers 31.

What was your favorite part of Super Bowl XLVII?  The football?  The ads?  The halftime show?  Foreign television “correspondents” whose cleavage distracts from the banality of their reporting?  The press getting at least one homophobic remark from a player -- a ‘Niner no less?  Going to the Apple Store or the last day of the Norman Rockwell exhibit without the maddening crowds?  Or knowing that Super Bowl XLVII is behind us and all the hype and hoopla are done (until next year)?

The end of the NFL season means that some other form of entertainment is needed to put fannies in the seats at bars and restaurants.  A big-screen TV and a beer do not have much drawing power once the Super Bowl passes. 

Is this an opportunity for a “Surf Sunday” or two?  But let’s reserve that for another day.  This is about a whammy bar.

People who watch the Pups probably do not believe that, given my evident talent deficit, I practice very much.  Otherwise they think, I would be a better guitarist and not so reliant on my schtick.  Those people are right some of the time but wrong some of the time.  I would be incomprehensibly worse without practice!

While practicing (contrary to popular belief) recently, my G string unraveled.  No, I am not talking about racy underwear.  This sexagenarian’s days of racy undies are long gone.  I am talking about the G string on the Ocean Turquoise Jazzmaster. 

That meant time out for restringing and really cleaning up that guitar.  It also allowed spending time on a “whammy bar project.”  At our last band practice, the monkey eraser which adorned the tremolo bar on the OTJ fell apart.  Its head -- which had been superglued to its body -- just went flying across the Doghouse.  The headless, orange body that remained was empaled by the bar and had no personality.

Before blowing up, the monkey eraser had survived a number of shows.  It replaced a skull eraser, which was really cool but was too heavy.  The timing of the monkey eraser’s demise was fortuitous.  It forced focusing on whether to try something new or return to a white plastic tip.

Of course, a “stock” white plastic tip does not fit the Pup vibe.  How about a tiki?  That question bounced around my head for a couple of years.  But the answer always eluded me. 

That is until a recent trip to Swanberg’s to promote our upcoming show with the Sneaky Tikis.  There, my immediate thought upon seeing a display was, “Oh my!  Yes.  Yes.  The tiki on that necklace might work.”  I plunked down my money, took the tiki necklace, and went on my merry way.

Since the guitar was down for maintenance and the monkey was a casualty, I finally took on the “whammy bar project.”  A dowel.  Rasping and sanding.  Wood glue.  Putty.  Plastic Wood.  Electric drill.  Epoxy.

And . . . yes . . . yes . . . it works!  The next task is test driving this sucker at band practice.

Leave a comment

Add comment