I have a thing about Kid Congo Powers, who was a founding member of the Gun Club, played guitar in the Cramps, was in the Bad Seeds with Nick Cave for 10 years. Right place at the right time, always, that guy.
I was reading this interview today, where he says, “I have gone through my entire conscious life thinking I’m going to be killed because I’m gay”, which is a heavy-as-fuck statement, but not unfamiliar to anyone who is gay or who knows someone who is.
I also have a thing about Ibanez lawsuit guitars, which were the first halfway-decent electrical instruments I was able to touch with my own hands, because they were affordable enough that I knew a couple of kids who had one. These same guitars featured heavily on one of the very first “cool” records I ever got (the polka-dot-customized Rocket Roll flying V played by Bryan Gregory, Congo’s Cramps predecessor, on Songs The Lord Taught Us), and the first punk gig I ever went to, where another Rocket Roll was handled thoroughly by Hüsker Dü‘s Bob Mould – and if you want to know what that sounded like, here.
Anyway, here’s a photo from Congo’s tenure in the Cramps – he’s playing an Ibanez Destroyer Explorer copy (I don’t have the numbers, but in my experience these are less common than the flying V copies), which I assume is the same one played by Julien “Grindsnatch” Hechtlinger (Powers’ short-lived successor) in this clip from Urgh! A Music War.
My god, that’s pretty. More guitar porn here, if you’re so inclined.
I posted these on Instagram a couple of weeks ago, thought I’d park them here since everyone’s talking about Astro-Creep today.
” This is the 1994 Ibanez IC500 Iceman that I used for the rhythm parts on the track, and also in the music video ( it used to be covered in stickers, including large ones that read, “RIGHT ON!” and “DROP DEAD” ). It’s a rare Japanese factory model ( with a set-neck and binding ),and it’s pretty much stock, except for a pair of Seymour Duncan humbuckers, with coil taps — these are screwed directly into the guitar’s body, instead of being mounted in pickup rings. Want more info? Here. ”
” Here’s a guitar of mine you’ve never seen before, but you have definitely heard it. I needed to set up a guitar with higher action than normal to record the slide parts on the track; this one, a custom black Robin Machete with star fret inlays, had just arrived from Texas. We tuned it up, it sounded great in the song, and after a very long day ( I was quite hard on myself during the making of ‘Astro-creep 2000’, and I never signed off on a performance or sound I didn’t think was perfect ), I put it back in its case and didn’t look at it again for years. In fact, it still has the strings from that recording session on it. “
My Regal ‘Le Domino’ banjo-ukulele, circa about 1930, Chicago. Some things written on it : “Joliet Pen. (alma mater)” “Ole’ Snake Eyes” “GRIEF” “Sweet Man” “We Love Us” “Phooey!!!”
I just love the way this thing looks. No idea how it sounds, but click on it for the link if you’re interested.