Please consider these few simple acceptance speech suggestions before you receive your justly deserved trophy.
Donovan Philips Leitch—a true artist to the core.
For musicians, it may very well prove impossible to watch an award show without imagining how you would comport yourself if you were on the receiving or presenting end of an award. If I don't count rewarding myself with a beer after I've mowed the lawn or merely survived another day all the way to 5 p.m., I haven't received a legitimate award since Cub Scouts—probably because I haven't done anything award-worthy since I whittled that awesome pinewood derby car. Having now established that I don't frequent the podium, I am the armchair quarterback quick to point out the failings of those under pressure.
This week I watched the HBO airing of the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction, which featured a mix of rockers young and old. By “young," I don't mean young. None of these guys attended high school during this century. The older and younger acts made for an interesting contrast.
Many of the guys in their 40s did not look much better than the guys in their 60s. Ron Wood looks like, well, Ron Wood—kind of an ageless, prototypical British rocker. The Chili Peppers don't seem to change a lot—still rocking the shirtless thing without need for embarrassment. The Bill Haley and the Comets guys appeared ancient, but they weren't exactly young looking when “Rock Around the Clock" was a fresh hit single.
Taste in clothing ranged from fabulous to douche-baggy to perhaps homeless with an equal number of offenders and impressers in all age brackets. One geriatric rocker wore a none-too-clean white sweat suit. A few guys wore what was probably wardrobe left over from their 1988 video debut. Those wearing a good suit will never look back in horror.
The biggest difference between the two groups remained how inarticulate the younger acts seemed compared to the older ones. Donovan—a true artist to the core—composed a poem that summarized his entire career, while expressing his gratitude to friends and fans. Now compare Donovan's speech to any '80s act in the show and you can actually hear the decline of Western Civilization.
Induction into a hall of fame suggests that the inductee is nearing his final act. For many musicians, this will be the video clip the media will play on a loop the day following their deaths. Does anyone want to be remembered as the glassy-eyed, slack-jawed person wearing ill-fitting, tragically unhip clothing while hoarsely mumbling profane nonsense?
Dearest Premier Guitar reader, please consider these few simple acceptance speech suggestions before you receive your justly deserved trophy:
1. Let's watch our language, shall we? I'm a longtime cusser, the son of a world-class, ex-Marine, Segovia of profanities. Foul language does not offend me, but poor writing or public speaking does. Most of these younger acts could not convey the simplest thought without punctuating their incomplete sentences with ample profanity. Obscenity, like anything, loses all its punch when overused. It's the verbal equivalent of multiple exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Put in musical terms, it's like that annoying wanker at a jam who keeps using the same damn riff five or six times in a four-measure phrase. Before receiving an award, go ahead and learn a few adjectives and adverbs to help you express yourself.
With the exception of the eloquent Duff of Guns N' Roses, most of the '80s acts sounded like an uncensored Beavis and Butthead. Come on, man—this award was no surprise. Plan ahead a little, think of something to say. If you can't, hire someone to write a speech for you and practice it in front of your mother or a demure old aunt.
2. Be specific in your acknowledgments. Older acts understand giving credit where credit is due. Specific and gracious, they sounded like this: “Our deepest gratitude to our dear friend and colleague, Nathan Westin Howell III. Your genius and dogged determination served as our muse during this inspired, beautiful time."
Younger acts at the induction tended to thank people without actually recognizing them, clumping everyone who helped into a semi-anonymous list of first names: “Yo, I wanna thank Jason, Dave, Tim, the other Dave, and little Mike." There's got to be a hundred posers by these names telling anybody listening that they are “the Dave" that made the Beastie Boys or GN'R happen. Meanwhile, the real Dave is thinking: “Gee, I gave them the title for their biggest hit and lent them $2,000 (which they never paid back) to cut their first demo. I pitched this demo to RCA and got them their deal, spent a year in a Mexican prison after taking the rap for their bag of cocaine the cops found as we left Juárez, and this is the thanks I get?"
3. Be sincere. As the old showbiz maxim goes: The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you've got it made.
With a little planning, you can make your legacy something all will proudly watch. Or you can show up drunk and just dive right into that cringe-inspiring, train-wreck tirade. Hey, it's only rock 'n' roll.
John Bohlinger is a Nashville multi-instrumentalist
best know for his work in television, having lead the band for all six
season of NBC's hit program Nashville Star, the 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 CMT Music Awards, as well as many specials for GAC, PBS, CMT, USA and HDTV.
John's music compositions and playing can be heard in several major label albums, motion pictures, over one hundred television spots and Muzak... (yes, Muzak does play some cool stuff.) Visit him at youtube.com/user/johnbohlinger
Looking for more great gear for the guitar player in your life (yourself included!)? Check out this year's Holiday Gear Finds!
D'Addario XPND Pedalboard
DR-05X Stereo Handheld Recorder
Wampler Pedals Ratsbane
Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.
LegendaryTones, LLC today announced production availability of its new Mr. Scary Mod, a 100% pure tube module designed to instantly and easily expand the capabilities of many classic amplifiers with additional gain and tone shaping. Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.
Originally released as the Lynch Mod in February 2021, the updated Mr. Scary Mod features the same core circuit as the Lynch Mod but is now equipped with a revised tube mix combo per George’s preference as well as a facelift in a newly redesigned electro-galvanized steel enclosure. As with the Lynch Mod, each run will be limited and the first run in Pumpkin Orange with Black hardware is limited to just 150 pieces worldwide.
The Mr. Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage on top of the cathode follower position, keeping note definition and articulation while further increasing sustain. Each Mr. Scary mod is meticulously built by hand in the USA, one at a time, and tuned using high-grade components. Equipped with a single ECC81 (12AT7) in the first position and ECC83 (12AX7) in the second, the Mr. Scary Mod can clean up beautifully when rolling down your guitar’s volume, and still adds scorching gain when you roll it back up. This is a gain stage that’s been tuned and approved by the ears of the maestro George Lynch himself.
“The Mr. Scary Mod excels with dynamics and is incredibly touch-responsive, allowing me to shift from playing clear, lightly compressed cleans to full-out aggressive sustain and distortion –and control it all simply by varying my guitar’s volume control and picking,” said GeorgeLynch. “In many ways, it’s an old-school approach, but it’s also so much more natural and expressive in addition to being musically fulfilling when you can play both the guitar and amp dynamically together this way.”
The Mr. Scary Mod installs in minutes, is safe and effective to use, and requires no special tools or re-biasing of the amplifier. Simply insert the module into the cathode follower preamp position of compatible amplifiers (includes Marshall 2203/2204/1959/1987 circuits) and
immediately get the benefit of enjoying a hot-rodded amp that delivers all the pure harmonic character that comes with an added pure tube gain stage. The handmade in the USA Mr. Scary Mod is now available to order for $319.
For more information, please visit legendarytones.com.
October Audio has miniaturized their NVMBR Gain pedal to create two mini versions of this beautifully organic-sounding circuit – including an always-on gain device.
The NVMBR Gain is a nonlinear amp that transitions gracefully from clean boost to overdriven tones. Volume increases from just over unity to about 10db before soft-clipping drive appears for another 5db of boost. Its extraordinary ease of use is matched by outstanding versatility: you can use it as a clean boost, push a stubborn amp into overdrive or create a just-breaking-up sound at any amp volume.
October Audio’s new family of mini NVMBR Gain pedals includes a switchable version that allows you to bypass the effect: one option features brand logo pedal graphics, while the other sports a fun “Witch Finger” graphic with a Davies knob as the“fingernail”.
The second version in the new lineup is an always-on device featuring the Witch Finger graphic and Davies knob, with the same NVMBR Gain circuit that lies at the core of the switchable version.
- Knob controls gain and clipping simultaneously
- Stunning silver hammertone finish
- Switchable versions are true-bypass, available with classic or witch finger graphics
- Authentic Davies knobs, including the “fingernail”
- 9V center negative power supply required
- Dimensions: 3.63 x 1.50 x 1.88 in
Witch Finger (always on NVMBR Gain) demo
All October Audio pedals are assembled in Richmond, VA, and available for purchase directly through the online shop. Street price is $109 for NVMBR Gain footswitch versions and $89 for the always-on device.
For more information, please visit octoberaudio.com.