Monday, August 31, 2009

Adam Goldstein, aka DJ AM 1973-2009

This post was originally published on my handmade jewelry blog, Design by Cassandra, on August 30, 2009.

"New york, new york. Big city of dreams, but everything in new york aint always what it seems." [sic]
- Adam's last post on his Twitter page, three days before his body was found in his New York City apartment on August 28, 2009

I'm a Twitterbug, yes.  I'm chatting with a good friend I've made on the site from Boston, as she tells me she's packing for her trip to New York City tomorrow.  As I yearn to return to 'The Big Apple' and tell her my jealousy, joke about sneaking me into a bus carry-on, and Photoshop me into her pictures, the next tweet I read from Perez Hilton stopped the banter quite suddenly as I read that Adam Goldstein, better known to his fans as DJ AM, has died.

My God, is this truly a summer of death?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Led Zeppelin

This post was originally published on my handmade jewelry blog, Design by Cassandra, on August 18, 2009.

I celebrated my birthday last year doing a gig for a Led Zeppelin tribute night with a good friend of mine, Brent Lindsay.  Check out below a couple of my favourites from the night. We've received some really positive feedback and have asked to come out and jam with some other musicians and play a few places. We haven't really taken up any offers yet. I did cheat a bit: you'll see a music stand in front of us. Those are lyrics. Brent had brought six guitars ... uh, well, instruments in total: mandolin ('Battle of Evermore'), dobro ('That's The Way'), 12-string guitar ('Tangerine', 'Gallow's Pole'), acoustic guitar ('Stairway To Heaven', 'Black Mountain Side'). He knew all the songs by heart. Someone in the audience shouted "Jimmy Brent!' during our between-song banter, which still sticks to him today. The guy deserves it - he has the most impressive guitar collection I've ever seen, even the original Jimmy Page Signature Les Paul! He didn't bring that one to the gig, as it was an acoustic set, although every instrument was a Gibson.

Now that I think of it, this is my way of honouring the passing of Les Paul, the man who helped Jimmy Page find his own voice in a sea of millions.

Rock n' roll!  Enjoy the videos!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Les Paul, the 'Inventor' of Modern Music 1915-2009

This post was originally published on my handmade jewelry blog, Design by Cassandra, on August 16, 2009.

"Honestly, I never strove to be an Edison. The only reason I invented these things was because I didn’t have them and neither did anyone else. I had no choice, really.” - Les Paul

Les Paul, a man whom all musicians today owe deep gratitude for many things taken for granted, died on August 13 from complications due to pneumonia. He was 94 years old.

Les Paul, born Lester William Polfuss in Winsconsin, started his interest in music at the age of eight when he started playing harmonica, and after an attempt at learning banjo, he opted for guitar. It's said that at this time, he invented the neck-worn harmonica holder, so that he could play the harmonica hands-free while playing the guitar.

His inventions were always out of necessity. Dissatisfied with acoustic guitars that were sold in the 1930s, Les Paul experimented at home with some ideas of an electric guitar of his own design. He created "The Log", the famous prototype simply made from a common 4" x 4" piece of lumber with a bridge, guitar neck and pickup attached, and for aesthetics, he attached the body of an Epiphone hollow-body guitar, sawed lengthwise with "The Log" in the middle. Two problems were solved: the acoustic body didn't resonate with the amplified sound, so it cut out feedback; and sustain, because the energy of the strings didn't fade out because it was resonating through a thicker guitar body. Hence, the 'electric guitar' was born.

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