Friday, March 1, 2013

When You Dance

Out of the 50 presets I have on the Boss BR-600 digital recorder that supplies my guitar effects, I would guess that about 42 of them are fuzzy and distorted. I can still remember 1965, when the only distortion device was the Maestro Fuzz-tone, which arguably produced the ugliest sound you can get out of a guitar. Only "Satisfaction" made it sound good. Even Paul McCartney's ambitious stab at using it on the bass on "Think For Yourself" doesn't make it. Then the Big Muff Pi (and others) came along and before we knew it the clean guitar sound was strictly for C&W and bluegrass. In 1969 The Band once again made it respectable to play an undistorted guitar.

I haven't used one of the fuzzier effects in ages so I decided to tackle one of my favorite Neil Young tunes, using an effect Boss calls "American". It's a heavily compressed sound, which means I can hit the strings as hard or as soft as I want and yet the volume stays about the same. Handy for R&R.


This song has been with me for decades. Here's a recording of my wife, Joyce, and me singing the song in my mother's living room. Maybe 1971? Apparently I had recently discovered the reverb knob on the reel-to-reel recorder.