Marty Siggery, the main luthier at Siggery Guitars has been working hard on my new custom guitar, I’ve attached a photo below to show it’s progress.
The new guitar!
The guitar has an SG body style, and is made of solid mahogany with a very thin Koa veneer for cosmetic purposes (as shown in the image). It has a 24 fret set neck (no binding) with dot inlays, rosewood fingerboard with 16″ radius, jumbo frets and 25″ scale length, two nickel covered humbuckers (Rio Grande pickups), a ‘Barbeque Bucker’ in the bridge and a ‘Buffalobucker’ in the neck, one volume, one push/pull tone with coil tap, 3 way selector switch, jack input on side of body, locking 18:1 tuners, tunomatic bridge and strung through body. It will be sprayed transparent black by Marty at the workshop. I can’t wait… ;-)
NV & CA Wildfires
A couple of weeks ago we had some pretty severe wildfires in the Nevada/California areas. August usually produces wildfires, and this year was no exception. Sadly, several brave firefighters lost their lives struggling to bring the fire to a halt :-( The fires were eventually calmed by the Fire Departments.
The wildfires were in mostly California, but eventually crept into the Nevada border. In the evening, Las Vegas smelled like a bonfire, with the strong smell of burning wood permeating through the warm night air. The following day the roads and sidewalks were covered in a layer of ash, our front patio included.
Mount Charleston, NV
One of our favorite local places is Nevada’s Mount Charleston. When the weather gets reallyhot here, Mount Charleston is the perfect retreat as the weather is considerably cooler at the top of the mountain than it is in the Vegas valley. Last week was like this as we drove to the mountain and visited it’s lower and upper lodges. The weather in Vegas at the time was 105F, and as we drove higher, the weather was a stormy 56F at the Upper Lodge.
The stormy weather at Mount Charleston.
We first stopped off at the Lower Lodge with the intention of getting coffee and a snack, but the bad weather had caused a power cut, so the snack bar was closed. Skye enjoyed sitting in a carved tree in the lobby though :-D
Skye sat in the carved tree at Mt. Charleston’s Lower Lodge.
We made a quick dash back to the truck to get out of the pouring rain, and continued driving up the mountain. Just past Kyle Canyon the storm’s lightening had hit a tree causing it to fall into the road, so I had to get out and push it’s charred remains to the roadside.
When we finally arrived at the Upper Lodge, I was soaking wet and ready for a hot coffee. We shared a pizza and I played with Skye, drawing pictures on a napkin :-)
Me & Skye at Upper Lodge deciding what to order…
Me & Skye drawing.
We went to a local store Shawna and I affectionately refer to as ‘the ghetto store’ a few days ago, and there in the parking section was this cholo car… I just had to photograph it with my cell phone for the blog :-D
In our local Walmart store last night, we saw a clown slowly wandering around the aisles pushing a shopping cart… It reminded me of George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead so I took a (blurred) photo discretely with my cell phone :-)
We’ve been lucky so far to have not had any further scorpion/spider incidents in or around the house, let’s hope it stays that way…
We’ve had a few of the nicer bugs visit though, a large moth and several Praying Mantis’.
This large moth was approximately 4 inches in length and had a wing span of around 8 inches.
Always alert and other-worldly, this green Praying Mantis spent the night on our front patio. We also get sand colored Mantis’ here in the desert.
It was with great sadness that I yesterday learned of the death of the legendary Les Paul. One of the electric guitar’s greatest pioneers and innovator of multitrack recording techniques, Les died yesterday due to complications from pneumonia at the age of 94. He will be missed by everyone in the guitar and music world. There’s little point in me elaborating on his life as anyone who knows anything about guitars knows who Les Paul was and what he achieved in his lifetime. A very sad loss.
As you may already know from the press releases and the ‘news’ page on the main website, I’m now playing Siggery Guitars made by my old friend Marty Siggery. Marty played bass on The Magician album back in 1991 and had a magic touch with guitars as far back as I can remember. He became renowned on the guitar circuit during the 80’s and 90’s for his expert set-ups and mods, and has since blossomed into a killer guitar builder… Rather than have me tell you how good his guitars are, just check out the reviews in guitar magazines… ;-)
Marty is currently building me two custom solid body electric guitars. They’re both made out of mahogany with Koa veneered tops (mostly for cosmetic purposes), with an SG syle body shape, set mahogany neck, 24 fret fingerboard and 25″ scale length. The pickups will be Rio Grande’s ’Barbeque Bucker’ in the bridge and ‘Buffalo Bucker’ in the neck. The guitars will have one volume and one coil-tappable tone pot with a three way toggle switch. The input jack will be on the guitar’s edge rather than the face. One will be in transparent black, the other in transparent crimson. As soon as they arrive here, I’ll photograph them and post photos in the blog :-)
The reason why I’ve opted for an SG body style is for nostalgia purposes and it’s practicality. I had a Gibson SG Special when I was about 12 years old and made a big mistake in trading it in for a different guitar a couple of years later… :-/ I like the SG’s comfortable design and easy access to the upper fretboard, I have one at home that I play a lot. Marty’s hand-crafted custom version will be awesome, I can’t wait to play it…!
My UK passport expired late last month, so I had the boring and tedious task of renewing it via the British Embassy in the U.S. Other than the renewal paperwork and basic instructions online through their website, the British Embassy didn’t provide much information, other than when the package was ready I had to send it to them in Washington, D.C. Here in America, U.S. passport photos are 2″ x 2″, a standard size and available just about anywhere. But for a UK passport, the photo has to be 45mm in height and 35mm in width, a format that isn’t common in this country…
So… I went to all the obvious places to try and get a photograph, I actually wasted an entire afternoon going from store to store only to be told the same thing, that they only catered for the U.S. 2″ x 2″ format. As a last resort, we passed by a Walgreens pharmacy and Shawna told me to try inside as they did passport photos there. To my surprise and joy, the guy in the Walgreens photo department knew exactly what I was talking about and showed me their photo software which has a specific ‘UK Passport’ process. He took the photo with a digital camera, and the software did the rest, producing two perfect UK passport photos!
So, for any British ex-pats living in America, when you need to renew your passport, just go straight to Walgreens for the photos! I don’t know why the British Embassy doesn’t have this information on it’s website, it would have saved me many hours of frustration… When my daughter Skye needed 2″ x 2″ photos for her first U.S. passport whilst we were living in England, the American Embassy provided several local photographer’s details on it’s website making the process very simple. Maybe the British Embassy should follow suit…
My 40th Birthday!
It was that time of year again… the 7th of August. I’ve never been too bothered about birthdays, as I’ve always believed that we’re as old as we feel. My birthday this year was spoilt by a heavy cold, all Shawna’s plans were ruined as my mild cold took a turn for the worse on the 7th… We’ll do all the things we’d planned next week, my cold is finally starting to fade…
Graham, Me & Skye at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, NV (5/15/09)
Uncle G (Graham Bonnet) came to visit us last week, we had a great time driving out to a few local places of interest and we also worked on some new songs for the Savage Paradise project.
“DAY-O!” Graham being Graham… ;-) Testing out the echo at Red Stone, Lake Mead (05/17/09)
Amongst other places, we visited the Lake Mead National Recreation Area (see above pics) and went to Echo Bay for lunch. Shawna had her little camera with her and took a bunch of great photos :-) On Monday the 18th I drove along the Nevada and California state line and into the Mojave Desert along the Joshua Tree Highway and showed Graham the little town of Nipton and then Cottonwood Cove on Lake Mohave (yes, it’s spelled with an ‘h’!) The temperature at Cottonwood Cove was 118 F with a warm wind.
Thirsty Skye drinking watermelon juice. Echo Bay, Lake Mead, (05/17/09)
Graham went back to L.A. yesterday, and that same evening my friend and bassist Paul ‘Pablo’ Stanney arrived in Vegas for a visit from the UK.
Shadows & Light
As well as the Savage Paradise album, I’m also hard at work on my new solo guitar instrumental album Shadows & Light and will be announcing soon the track titles and running order. I’m very pleased with the way it’s sounding so far, and it will further benefit from Pablo’s (Paul Stanney) bass lines and Kev’s (Kev Taylor) drums. There will be three special bonus tracks on the CD of vocal versions of three of the songs. Each song will have a different singer, the singers are Graham Bonnet (Rainbow/MSG/Alcatrazz), Lee Small (Shy/Phenomena/Lee Small Band) and John Pratt (Firefly). I’ll keep you posted on the album’s progress.
There’s actually nothing to report!! Hopefully it will stay this way… (touch wood)… we’ve already had our share of scorpions and spiders…
There are a few harmless lizards that live around our house, I managed to photograph one on the patio wall a few days ago with my cell phone (below). They’re about 6 inches long and very fast…!
A desert lizard on our patio wall.
The weather’s getting warmer now, it was 109 F yesterday, and pretty soon the cicadas will be making their loud weird noise outside. We usually get praying mantis’ on the patio during the Summer months, but they’re harmless and good at keeping other insects at bay.
With a bit of luck, there won’t be another bug update for a while…
In the last blog entry I said I’d talk a little about technique as I’m asked a lot about the subject. I’d like to start off by saying that I don’t give guitar lessons, but if you catch up with me at a gig or clinic I’m usually more than happy to run through a few licks/ideas and offer any advice I’m able to.
Before I begin to talk about technique, I’d like it known that technique alone does nothing for me. I don’t find it remotely interesting to hear someone playing as fast as they can, nor weaving in and out of as many modes as possible. Neither of these constitutes great musicianship in my eye. Music for me is an emotional affair, I like music to stir my soul in one way or another, from an adrenaline rush to a deep spiritual high that send chills down my spine.
Whilst it’s undoubtedly great fun to play fast, speed out of context is pointless and silly. The obsession with speed seems to be peculiar to the electric guitar and the ‘shred’ genre as I don’t know of any other musicians; ie pianists, classical guitarists, saxophonists, cellists, etc. who are concerned with playing as fast as they can all the time. I know that Nicolo Paganini, the Romantic period violinist was renowned for his blinding speed, but – it was also well documented that he was capable of making his audience cry with his slower emotive playing.
Before learning to play fast, it’s very important to learn all the basics that are sadly neglected by some players. Tone, string control, vibrato, rhythm and finesse are lacking in many of the solos I get asked to listen to. I’ve heard countless solos by guitarists who can alternate pick a scale at speed and sweep arpeggio shapes, but this is then usually let down with uncontrolled vibrato, or out of pitch string bends, poor tone, bad rhythm playing on the backing track, etc. It’s always wise to learn to walk before running.
Often overlooked by guitarists focusing on soloing techniques, rhythm is one of the most important aspects of guitar playing and music in general for that matter. I hear many demos from aspiring instrumental guitarists who give little thought to rhythm, their rhythm guitar playing is usually surprisingly basic with just a few power chords here and there, and they have little sense of rhythm and timing whilst soloing. Practice your rhythm playing and listen to players and music with great rhythm and groove.
When you reach a certain level with your ability, you should start to hear your own style and sound developing. I don’t believe style is something that can be pre-planned, it just kind of happens on its own.
Perhaps the worst thing a guitarist can do is copy note for note solos and ideas from other guitarists without adapting them slightly. There are many players out there who sound like a mish-mash of several other players, and they have no particular style of their own. It’s perfectly ok to have a favorite guitarist, but don’t copy him/her in a parrot fashion or else you’ll just end up sounding like a cheap imitation of them.
Other common questions I get asked are about the neo-classical guitar style as I’m often associated with the genre. Although my own guitar style contains some elements of neo-classicism, I would say that my style is more a hybrid of rock, blues, fusion, flamenco and neo-classical.
Harmonic minor scales played at speed and diminished arpeggios do not constitute true ‘neo-classicism’, but if this were so, then Django Reinhardt, Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin, Paco De Lucia, and many other jazz and flamenco guitarists could be regarded as pioneers of this guitar style and were playing like this way before anyone in the rock world was. The fast picking of scales and arpeggios has long existed within the jazz and flamenco genres, check out some of the albums I listed in the previous blog entry below.
Whilst there are several styles within the genre, the most common neo-classical sound and style is played by guitarists who have taken elements of Ritchie Blackmore’s and Uli John Roth’s styles (but just played faster) along with some of Bach’s more basic ideas, and who focus mostly on the Baroque sound and harmonic minor scales. I agree with many that this particular sound has now become tedious and repetitious, and I think this neo-classical style should move on.
If you’re interested in neo-classical instrumental rock guitar music, then my advice would be to listen to as many composers as you can, and not necessarily just violin based music. You don’t have to focus purely on composers from the Baroque period either, I personally prefer the late Classical and Romantic periods.
I’ve listed below some of the classical music (in no particular order of importance) that most influenced me when I was young:
Paganini – Caprice 16 in G Minor
Paganini – Concerto No. 5 in A Minor (Finale - Andantino quasi Allegretto)
Schubert – Symphony No. 5 in B Flat Major (Allegro)
Dvorak – Serenade For Strings in E Major (Tempo Di Valse)
Beethoven – Concerto for Violin & Orchestra in D Major (Rondo – Allegro)
J.S. Bach – Double Violin Concerto in D Minor (Vivace)
Massanet – Meditation from Thais
Sibelius – Valse Triste
Allegri – Miserere Mei, Deus
Mozart – Piano Concerto 25 in C Major (1st Movement)
My last piece of advice on this subject is that if you want to develop a neo-classical style, I would recommend you experiment with classical elements and try and come up with something fresh. There are far more possibilities within the neo-classical genre than just the key of E minor, harmonic minor scales, pedal point licks and a diminished arpeggio ;-)
I’m asked a lot by learner guitarists through my website and MySpace page about guitars, amps and guitar music that influenced me when I was young, and also for advice on technique and guitar playing in general (which I’ll cover in the next blog entry). I’ll try and answer the most commonly asked questions…
There’s a lot of misinformation, nonsense and snobbery surrounding musical equipment in general, but especially so for guitars. Just because something costs more doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. We all know that an expensive guitar and amp in the wrong hands will sound like shit, yet a cheaper guitar and amp in the right hands will sound fine. I’m often asked to recommend guitars and amps to players, but skill, experience, playing style and of course personal opinion are important factors to consider when buying equipment. It would be unwise for a novice player to spend $4,000 on a new guitar, as a professional grade instrument won’t magically improve someone’s playing and technique (or tone for that matter). However, I totally understand and respect the idea that it’s also nice to be the proud owner of something of value and beauty regardless of skill level.
Other than your skill level, the first thing to consider when buying a new guitar is what the guitar will be used for. It would be pointless investing in a high output dual humbucking guitar with a whammy bar if you intended playing folk music, just as it would be a bad choice to choose a guitar with single coil pickups if you planned on playing ’shred’ techniques. Think of the style of guitar that would be best suited to your requirements then go try a few.
The guitar’s build quality and wood are very important to how the guitar will play and sound. Mahogany is my preferred wood for guitars as I like it’s fat tone and singing voice, but there are guitars made from many different kinds of woods and combinations to suit. A popular combination is mahogany with a maple top, producing a brighter tone than just all mahogany (I personally prefer guitars made from all-mahogany). Some guitars are made of Alder, others from Basswood (my least preferred), there’s also Maple, Koa, Sapele, etc.
Pickups are very important too, and should usually be replaced on cheaper guitars as they will make all the difference in tone and noise levels. There are many options to choose from; higher output pickups are better suited to hard rock/metal/punk/shred, whilst medium output pickups are good for rock/blues/pop, etc. Humbuckers produce a fatter, thicker sound and are the best choice for overdriven sounds and clean jazz tones, whilst single coil pickups give a lighter and thinner sound, and are best suited to cleaner tones and pop, blues and softer rock styles. ‘Stacked’ humbuckers are available for single coil based guitars, but I personally prefer regular humbuckers to play modern rock guitar and ’shred’ techniques, plus a humbucker can easily be coil tapped to use as a single coil anyway.
I’m also often asked why I prefer set necks or thru-necks over bolt-on necks. My reasons are that I like the smooth, even sustain and resonance from set/thru-necks and the almost heeless feel to the upper frets. I also believe the theory that fewer joints and hardware produce better tone and stability. Bolt-on necks just feel cheap to me, and I don’t like some of the heel plate neck joints found on some guitars.
Guitars cost anything between $100 to thousands, obviously, a $100 guitar will play and sound in a manner to reflect it’s price tag, and very cheap guitars are a false economy as you’ll probably want to replace and upgrade almost immediately. You should shop around and try out different guitars and brands, there are some fine instruments out there around the $500 mark, add to this the cost of a pickup upgrade (if required) and you could own a pretty good guitar for around $700. However, a realistic price range for a quality, professional grade guitar is between $1,000 - $4,000, but there are bargains to be found and some great guitars are sometimes available for less. As a rule, the more you spend, the better the guitar’s wood and appointments will be.
The same principle of best isn’t necessarily the most expensive with guitars also applies to amplifiers. If you’re a bedroom guitarist, you wouldn’t really need a 100W stack. Likewise, taking a 15W combo amp to a thrash metal rehearsal would be rather silly too. Again, look at your needs and style and then choose your amp carefully.
I personally use all-tube amplifiers. I’ve never liked solid-state amps and think that amp modelling/simulation technology is still very much in it’s infancy. A real tube amp behaves and reacts in a specific way to the guitar’s dynamics, and produces a distinctive warm, smooth overdriven tone.
In the studio, I usually play all my clean guitar sounds through the mixing desk, but all my overdriven guitars are played through close mic’d tube amps. My personal amp choice is relatively simple; I use a small 30W tube combo amp for recording, and larger 100W tube heads with 4 x 12 cabinets for live work. I use the amp’s overdrive gain on full, with a distortion pedal to boost the signal if required. A compressor/sustainer pedal is placed before the distortion unit to smooth out the signal.
As with guitars, amps are available in many different price ranges, the only way to choose one is to play through several until you find one you’re happy with. Other than the obvious tone, things to look for are build quality, amount of channels (two or more are best) and reliability.
I grew up listening to all kinds of music and was influenced by all kinds of styles and players. Although I was also influenced by several composers, I’ve listed below the guitar based albums that most influenced my playing when I was young:
(In no particular order):
Al Di Meola - Elegant Gypsy (1977)
Al Di Meola - Splendido Hotel (1980)
Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin & Paco de Lucia - Friday Night in San Francisco (1980)
Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin & Paco de Lucia - Passion, Grace & Fire (1983)
Paco de Lucia - El Duende Flamenco de Paco de Lucia (1972)
Django Reinhardt - The Great Artistry of Django Reinhardt (1954)
Van Halen - Van Halen I (1978)
Van Halen - Van Halen II (1979)
Scorpions - Lovedrive (1979)
Scorpions - Blackout (1982)
The weather’s getting warmer here in the Nevada desert, so our bug guy came to the house last thursday and did his routine insecticide spraying inside and out. We haven’t had another scorpion incident since the last one, but we know that this doesn’t mean anything as last year proved…
I photographed a spider on our patio wall a few days ago, it looks like one similar to the spider I photographed a few weeks ago with a weird skinny abdomen, big body and long legs. I’m normally quite good at identifying the bugs but I don’t know what kind of spider this is. It was quite large, measuring approximately five inches in length.
Immediately after the bug guy’s spraying we usually get a sudden influx of insects, but this is normal as the bugs come out of their hiding places to move on.
The strange spider on our patio wall.
The weather’s getting warmer, it’s been around 96F this week so we took Skye to Echo Bay again to feed the Koi carp. This time, we cunningly didn’t take popcorn for the fish, only bread; and Skye threw the bread pieces into the water without trying to eat them all like the last time :-)
Me (with the sun blinding me) & Skye at Echo Bay yesterday
Carrying Skye on my shoulders, one of her favorite things :-)
I was sent the below funny video clips of British comedy duo Mitchell & Webb, and I thought I’d share them with you :-)
Welcome to the new blog, I hope you like it’s new look (I prefer it to the old one).
The blog has been updated (along with the main website www.MarioParga.com) due to a change of web hosts. Most of the data transferred over ok, but some things, such as the old ‘News & Events’ page from the main site and the old Blog didn’t do too well… Sadly, all the old Blog and News entries in their original format from 2004 to present were lost in the process :-/ My web guy was able to save them in raw data, but I’d have to re-enter all the entries manually which would of course take forever… As it’s still early 2009, I’ve manually added the blog entries from the start of this year as the NAMM show entry was popular amongst you, as were the Vegas Guitars entries and Bug updates. If I ever get enough time I’ll try and add more of the older stuff.
The main website is slightly different, there’s a new ‘Mario Parga’ logo and the page layout has changed slightly. The Entranced subdomain has gone as it will eventually be integrated into another part of the website. The Guestbook has been removed as sadly it was under constant attack by spammers and we all got sick of having to moderate it. If anyone wants to write me or send a guestbook-type message then please use the contact form. Thank you :-)
We set off early on Friday 16th January, driving from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. The truck was loaded to almost full capacity, it’s amazing how much stuff you need to travel with when you have a baby onboard!
Our first port of call was Uncle G’s house (Graham Bonnet), we drove to North L.A. County and picked him up and added his guitar and suitcase to the now full truck. Graham sat in the back seat of the truck and entertained Skye, singing to her and keeping her occupied. Graham looked well and was in his usual high spirits, although he had a cough/cold that was slowly developing.
The 50 mile drive from Graham’s to Anaheim was a nightmare… The shitty traffic on the shitty 5 freeway through Los Angeles was at a complete standstill, crawling along at a snail’s pace then stopping every few feet. What should have been a 50 minute drive turned into a 5 1/2 hour epic… Skye soon got bored and fed up of being in her baby car seat and decided to turn the rest of the journey into a screaming tantrum fest… Just what we didn’t need! The weather was nice though, a balmy 89F.
We arrived in Anaheim, but due to roadworks on the freeway, the turn off we needed was unavailable (and not sign posted!! >:-/) so we of course got lost… Two sets of bad directions later from drive-thru’s, we finally arrived at Graham’s hotel and got him checked in. We then went on a quest to locate our hotel and once we had, it was time to unload the truck and relax for all of one hour before the guys came over to run through the NAMM set list.
We quickly ran through the songs, trying to be as quiet as possible to not disturb the neighbors. Laughter and impromptu bursts into Elvis’ ‘Viva Las Vegas’ and Buddy Holly’s ‘It’s So Easy’ quickly made us forget about the gruelling day we’d all had. It was nice to spend time with the guys, it was a shame Kevin Valentine couldn’t make it that night, although we saw him the following day.
Left to right: Me, Graham, Eric Ragno and Tim Luce.
Myself, Shawna and Skye arrived at the NAMM show on Saturday 17th and were met by Fishman’s Marketing Director and Artist Relations manager Chris DeMaria at the main entrance. Despite being run off his feet, Chris was super helpful and easliy one of the best people I’ve ever met representing a musical equipment company at a trade show. Graham, Tim, Eric and Kevin were already at the Fishman booth. Kevin explained that the drum pads he’d borrowed from Roland weren’t going to work for the performance due to their size and the amount of time required to get them set up. This was sad news, as we were all looking forward to playing together, and as a result of the lack of drums I decided to drop ‘Ritual’ (Entranced (2007)) from the set list as I didn’t think it would sound right the way we’d arranged it for the show. Kevin stayed throughout the performance though, and my daughter Skye fell in love with him :-)
The guys: (left to right) Graham Bonnet, Kevin Valentine, Eric Ragno, me and Tim Luce.
We had a short soundcheck, but there was so much noise (as usual!) at the NAMM show it was hard to hear our mix and sound. Graham wasn’t very well as the cough and cold had developed overnight and the NAMM ‘noise police’ were constantly checking the booths (during our performance we were told to turn the volume down)… But despite this, we all enjoyed the performance and everyone thought that the Fishman Aura pedals and amps were amazing! (My nylon strung guitar shown in the photos and videos is going to Fishman’s HQ in Massachusetts in a couple of weeks’ time to have Aura Imaging technology fitted directly into it, they’re going to create custom auras of the actual guitar for me so I’ll get the best possible amplified sound - very cool!)
Seconds before the show started…
Side view of the stage.
The songs we played were (in order): 1. ‘It’s All Over Now Baby Blue’ by Bob Dylan, and covered by Graham on his first solo album, 2. ‘Desert Song’ - MSG, 3. ‘Will You Be Home Tonight’ - Alcatrazz and 4. ‘Love’s No Friend’ - Rainbow.
‘It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue’
‘Will You Be Home Tonight’
Eric & Graham
L.A. based music video director Karpis Maksudian was at the show with TV hostess Alicia Gentile who interviewed us afterwards. Seymour Duncan was there too, he was such a nice guy. Larry Fishman was very cool also; all the Fishman people were exceptionally nice.
Post show - Left to right: Graham, Chris DeMaria, Seymour Duncan, me and Eric.
Me & Karpis Maksudian.
Me, Graham, Shawna and Skye stayed together at the show, and went downstairs into Hall E to visit Nick Campling, inventor and owner of the wonderful G7th Performance Capo that both Graham and I use.
Graham, me & Skye with Nick Campling (center).
At around 4pm we left the convention center with Graham and went back to our hotel room. Skye was very tired and needed a nap. Shawna had been on her feet all day, acting as photographer, baby handler and spokeswoman for the band, she looked tired and needed to rest. Graham and I jumped back into the truck and went out for dinner at an Italian Restaurant not far from the convention center, we later took a takeaway from the same restaurant back to Shawna then I drove Graham back to his hotel.
On Sunday, Tim dropped Graham off at our hotel and the two of us loaded the truck. The traffic back to Graham’s house in North L.A. was great as it was Sunday afternoon, it only took us 50 minutes to get there. We stopped for burgers and tacos with Graham then dropped him off at home. The journey back to Vegas was pretty good, the Pearblossom Highway was as picturesque as always and traffic was good all the way through. It took us four hours (with two stops) to get from Graham’s to our place, we got back home at 7pm.