The Maniacs Behind the World's Largest Pedalboard
July 13, 2008
Inside the minds of the organizers of the world''s largest pedalboard
The world''s largest pedalboard came out of nowhere at NAMM, and ended up drawing attention from guys like Seymour Duncan, NAMM''s official publication, and Gibson. When the dust settled, we sat down with organizer Jaux King about how this juggernaut started, what kept it all together, and what happened to those 142 pedals.
Where did the idea for the world’s largest pedalboard come from?
Basically, it kind of came from a laugh. We just sort of had the idea out of nowhere, and it took on a life of its own – the whole thing kind of just worked itself out.
|To see our video of the World''s Largest Pedalboard in action, click here.|
Oh yeah, we get a lot of great response. All the sponsors and everybody involved thought it was really great. And they actually ended up thinking it was a pretty cool thing. We made the cover of the NAMM UpBeat magazine, which was pretty sweet!
Nice, man. That’s huge! How did you get this rolling?
We had a lot of help from our sponsers – Pedaltrain, George L’s, Seymour Duncan and Visual Sound. And we had a lot of other secondary sponsors that helped out by either giving us some gear or coming to help out with different things; the Creation Audio Lab guys invested a lot of time in just helping us tweak the board and make sure that it worked properly. That was really cool of them.
You had 142 pedals I think we counted?
What did you string all the pedals together with? Was it just kind of regular patch cable?
It was all George L’s cables. We managed to wire most of those up there on the spot in a matter of…I guess it took us probably 2-2 1/2 hours to put the whole thing together.
I can’t believe you didn’t need more buffers or anything…
You know, I can’t either! I was blown away that we had two Creation Audio Labs Mark 4.23 boosters and the chain, and that was it.
Didn’t that guitar have the redeemer circuit in it?
Yeah, we also used a green Les Paul standard that had a redeemer circuit in it so that coupled with those two pedals right there drove the world’s largest pedalboard.
What happened to the pedals after the show?
Well, we finished everything up that night and a lot of it was auctioned off for the National Kidney Foundation. It was really great – we ended up raising $6,014 for the National Kidney Foundation.
Is there a reason you chose that particular charity?
The National Kidney Foundation is charity that’s really close to Al Johns’ heart – his wife has had some kidney issues in the past.
Do you remember how many guys you had on the board?
Well I don’t know. We had a couple of guys who were confirmed to come in and kind of do some clinics, and we struggled with that at first – what we were gonna do after we built it. Obviously we wanted to demonstrate it, and let people know how it works, but we were a little wary of letting just anyone play it for liability reasons and things like that. What we decided to do was just get some people from within the industry to come out and just wank around on the board a little bit.
We had a few guys lined up, and they didn’t end up working out, but luckily that night we got there and as we were putting the board together a few guys showed up and we got them to agree to play a little bit – Brian Lionman from Creation Audio Labs for example.
Wasn’t there someone from Pedaltrain who played?
Yea, I think John probably jammed on it a little bit on it. I know Bob Weil from Visual Sound got up and did quite a show.
Aren’t you kind of trademarking this or something?
Yeah, well right now I own worldslargestpedalboard.com, so as I work through the process of getting the world record stuff online, that website will end up being what we use to document it. As a matter of fact, yesterday we got word back from World Record Academy who is sanctioning it, so we’ve got one world record now officially under the belt.
Really? Wow. So is there a book it’ll go in?
Well I don’t know if there’s a book, but it’s similar to what Guinness has. When you get put in the Guinness World Records, you’re placed in a database so it’s not like every single world record they do ends up in the Guinness Book of World Records. Because a book is merely something they put out, you know to showcase some of the more well-known records I guess. So we’re in the database, and there was a blurb on it in Google news yesterday! We’re really excited about that step – that’s a huge step in the right direction.
Congrats, man. That’s big. How’s it feel – you have a world record!
It feels great! You know, it’s weird. I never thought I would hold a world record for anything, let alone something so silly, but it ended up being this huge thing. And it’s just been great fun. There are plans to do another party next year and make it even bigger.
So are you one of those pedal guys, is that where this came from?
Yeah, I mean I’m into gear across the board, but I’ve got to admit I’m a complete pedal whore. I mean, it’s just ridiculous. I got a pedal a couple weeks ago and have already kind of cycled through it, tried it out, moved on, gotten rid of it and now I’m on my way with something else, you know what I mean? I go through pedals like I go through socks. It’s crazy.
I think there are a lot of guys out there like that. Was there a favorite pedal on the board for you?
I’ll tell you, my favorite pedal I’ve got right now is not only a great sounding pedal but it’s really unique. It’s a Robert Keely Gib 1 CI-only mod, and it’s interesting because he’s not doing this pedal anymore, now he does a DS1 that has the CI mod and the Ultra mod – its got two mods in it with a switch to switch between the two. But the one I have, has only the CI mod, and I was actually talking to Al John about it very soon after I got it and he said well you know you should open it up and see what it looks like inside because in the early days Robert used to sign and date the inside of the pedal. So I opened it up, and sure enough he’d signed and dated it 2003. That’s kind of a favorite pedal in a sense, that’s my most recent find that I really think is just a keeper because it’s so unique.
For more about the pedalboard, read Jaux''s blog GearTrap, at GearTrap.com
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