One doesn’t play a 12-string Rickenbacker guitar, as much as one wrangles it. Yes having played one a bit, I am convinced that is the verb: to wrangle. It’s a wonderful instrument but like a herd of cattle it will wander about and moo. You can’t be sure where all the strings will go and it is impossible to keep completely in tune. Sounds amazing in the right paws. One cat who can truly wrangle a Ricky-12 is young Matt Jaffe. You may know him as a singer-songwriter rock star, and he is these things, but! He’s also a Rickenbacker 12-String Wrangler to be reckoned with. And reckon I did, when Mr. Jaffe helped me finish “Smokestax” – track #2 on my EP, and the only songwriting collaboration on the record. When we sat down with guitars to play the tune, out came the shiny instrument that immediately evokes Pete Townshend, Paul Weller, The Byrds, and scooters. Matt’s jangly wrangling added just the sparkle the song needed, and we recorded it at Michael Rosen’s studio a week later. I asked Matt to play thru the solo section, because I had left it open, not sure if I wanted to put a 6-string solo there. I was curious, really. Kid nailed it properly, and I kept it! So, trivia item, there are guitar solos on all of my songs (total accident), and on Smokestax, the 12-String electric hollow-body Rickenbacker solo is wrangled by Matt Jaffe. I really love what he played.
How I MET Matt a few years ago, provides a perfect segue to my next post, which will be about Peace and Love and Matthew King Kaufman. Beserkley and Fun Fun Fun Records chief, and producer of many of the records I’ve played on, Matthew K called me in to play some gitfiddle on Matt J’s record. I was gobsmacked by the lad’s songs, and it was great fun recording with him and his super-tight band, The Distractions. Both these Matthews are my co-writers on Smokestax. We’re generations apart, yet we all share a love for guitars, especially electric guitars, in jangly and wrangly rock and roll music.
This has been my rambling jangling morning coffee-wrangling Peace and Love and Out post, from my Oaktucky outpost, on this fine day of our Lass, March the twenty fifth, two thousand billion zillion whatevers since the dawn of something. Good coffee.
Thanks Matt! Cheers all!
CD available in very small quantities thar:
Downloads infinitely cheaper and easily had, thar:
Oh, a picture. Must have a picture. Hmm. I don’t have a pic of Matt playing the Ricky, so instead, here he is with an adorable chocolate Labrador pup, a mountain bike, and what appears to be a Hacky-Sack. All good things indeed.
Tons more pics and vids of Matt and his band here: www.mattjaffemusic.com. Go see ’em if ya can, they play often and they are fantastic.
Hmm. This reminds me, I need to get a proper pic of me for these solo adventures, soon. Me the record label is annoyed at me the artist for not providing a current promo-shot! Ok, ok, me, I’ll do it. Right now I’m off to teach some guitar students. One of my advanced kittykats is gonna paw a Stratocaster on a track next month. I get to have guests. It’s fun. I’m all excited about my next round of recordin. I told myself last year, I have to finish the EP by Xmas. Needed a deadline, or I wouldn’t do it. I told myself, you can’t make the second one, til you make the first one! That’s the most advanced arithmetic I can manage. But yes, it’s liberating and fun and gives me an outlet and a sense of purpose, a psychic weapon even, against the encroaching forces of idiocy and despair. I’m grateful to the muse and the elements and the shimmering vibrations of sound cascading in chaos and order and wild beauty that we sometimes call music. Ahem. Very good coffee. Here I am, precisely middle-aged (that’s 25 I think, in LA years!) and my most favoritest thing is still rock and roll music played on electric guitars? I guess I know what I want to be when I grow up.
Have a lovely weekend,