i have to say that i am very pleased with the turnout for psp 2....a great group of HOCers, al ot of folks from Heritage too. i was really surprised at the last minute news from Vince on the H 150 giveaway...that was a big plus on the day. the jams were sweet, the vibe was cool.
As many of you reading this are no doubt already aware, the Heritage Owners Club (HOC) forum software received a major facelift in late April of this year. Actually, a major transplant is probably a better analogy, as we shifted off the free (no cost) Simple Machines Forum code to the commercial Invision Power Services (IPB) Community Suite as well as moving from our previous webhosting service to a tier one provider.
If you vist the Forums, you can explore the new functionality that IP.Board provides, as well as enjoy the new, cleaner look. If you were a regular user of the old board, you will likely experience a bit of a learning curve. In the end, though, I think you will find the new board to be much more flexible and powerful. Hopefully, we will also find the new (hardware) system to be much more reliable.
As part of the Community Suite, we also have the integrated IP.Gallery image component installed. If you have not taken the time to create your own album in the Members Gallery, please do! Our new Gallery Moderator, mars_hall, has also taken the time and expended significant effort to create a Rogues Gallery of various Heritage guitars owned by our members. The pictures came from the previous Photobucket site, but if you have specific model images you would like to have added, please contact mars_hall either through the board's personal message or email systems.
Lastly, we have the IP.Blog component of the Community Suite. What you are now reading is a part of the blog system, which still requires some further tweaking. Members of the HOC forum are allowed to create their own blogs, and can choose to make them private (the member chooses who has access to view their entries) or public, which would be open to everyone. As we move forward, I will be going through the various blog configuration items and (hopefully) improving the functionality.
With the move to this new environment, I think we have an opportunity to create an even more impressive community than we already have. The integration of the various IPB components should allow for easier inclusion of images in the forums, as well as bringing both forum posts and gallery images into any blogs that are created.
In the end, though, the HOC is not a pile of hardware located in some data center. It is more than the transfer of electrons over wires, or the interplay between software packages. The HOC is what it is because of its members. The participation of people like you who have an affinity, if not love, for these works of art in wood and steel and abalone are what make the HOC a community. Please accept my sincere appreciation for being a part of the growing, evoloving Heritage Owners Club. We couldn't have done it without you.
After a couple of months our trusty little band of four is now rehearsing once again. Having to deal with the problems life throws up at you can put things in perspective. For example, Pete, our other guitarist, has a daughter who has had surgery to remove a brain tumour, so he has been down in London where his daughter lives to look after her and make sure all has been well. Thankfully the patient has had a tremendous recovery and is doing well.
However, all this time off has slowed progression down and we need to really get things going much faster now, life moves quickly and is there to be grabbed hold of, not pass us by. So, I finally got round to starting to play in open G tuning which just opens things up for playing all those Rolling Stones songs you wanted to do. Brown Sugar, Honky Tonk Woman etc all now roll off the fret board so easily that I wonder why on earth I never did this years ago. But, better late than never.
We have also given ourselves a name, and we go under the snappy title of 'The Alligators' which even though I say it myself, I think it is pretty good.
Last Wednesday we had a short practice and rocked it with Brown Sugar, The Promised Land and Whiskey in the Jar, next weeks numbers for adding to the list are Rosalie and Back in the ussr, so we keeping up the dance rock theme. We don't play to impress other guitarists who just want to let you know they can play better than you, we are in for the fun and giving people a good night out for little expense - how many people work long hours for a low wage and just want a few beers on a weekend and get some entertainment they can enjoy and afford?
Which brings me onto another subject. How many musicians strap on their guitar and just indulge themselves? I have seen many musicians in bands play to themselves - long drawn out solo's that are repetitious and boring, with obscure scales that just have no relevance to the song. Whjat a lot of players do is forget that once they are on stage they are there and are paid to play to and entertain the audience. I have seen some fabulous players just spoil it all by their own self indulgent playing - there's a difference between entertaining and bragging, they don't go together.
I am still knocked over by my Tokai, perhaps I shouldn't be singing the praises of another manufacturer on a dedicated Heritage website, but this is a seriously good guitar, and incredible for the money, definitely one of the best buys I have made as far as a guitar go's. It performs great on the songs I use it for. It causes me to ask the quetion "why spend £thousands on a guitar when you don't need to? But if you DO need to, then that's a different matter.
I have been having a sort out lately of some stuff in the house and came across some old pictures which I had lost track of a long time ago. Among them was this picture of my first band. We were a trio, and it is a funny story how we got this band going. I met Shaun and Louis, two brothers, when they moved to Wakefield from Belfast because of the 'troubles' as they are known over there. Originally from Rochdale, Lancashire, just over the pennines from me. I hit it off well with these two friendly lads, and I said to Shaun one day, Do you fancy being in a band? His reply was that he could not play any instruments. Well, I was pretty much a lousy guitar player who only knew a few chords and I didn't even have an electric guitar, just a classical one my parents had decided I was going to have if I was to have a guitar - I never did learn the classical guitar, but wish I had. Anyway, I digress.
So I said to Shaun that I couldn't play much either, but if we got some gear we could practice and form a band.
I eventually got a really cheap and nasty Japanese copy of a Les Paul custom with the 'Sumbro' Brand on the top of the headstock. The pick ups were horrendous, but in the days of fuzz boxes etc you could get this horrendous distortion which at least gave you some sort of rock sound. The bands we were listening to at this time were British rock bands, Status Quo being our favourite along with Thin Lizzy and UFO. Anyway, One day I was in Huddersfield ;looking at a music shop when I saw a bass guitar for £20. It was a real cheap and nasty Egmond, a Dutch brand which was along the lines of the Gibson semi acoustic basses. So Shaun got that as a starter to practice on.
I had by now been playing through a Vox AC30 top boost with a Gibson Slope sided 2X12 cab with jensen speakers, and before long had traded up to a used Marshall Plexiglass 100 watt head - if only I had that am now. Back then in the 70's, the rage was for guitarists to have the new solid state transistorised amps and you could get these fantastic valve heads really cheap, especially if they looked a bit tatty. But the general opinion was that you could spill a pint of guiness down the inside of a Marshall and it wouldn't hurt it.
Louis, Shaun's brother, decided he wanted a go at playing drums, so we thought why not? He found a Premier Kit used for £125 and an older friend of ours who was the best drummer in town, took us to see if it was any good. It turned out to be ideal for a sixteen year old and it was duly bought, Louis started lessons and became quite proficient as his teacher was the above mentioned guy. So, there we were with the basis of a band but other than Louis with his premier kit, the other two of us had poor guitars. Shaun had been saving hard and eventually we went off to London for the day with his mum and dad and came back with a sunburst Fender Precision, so he was now up and running on a serious guitar. Not too long afterwards I got my first Gibson, a used SG DeLuxe for £175 from JSG in Bingley, the best guitar shop around at that time - sadly it no longer exists. So now we were away, all of us up and ready. We rehearsed as and when we could get lifts to the local church hall we used and got a few gigs. The most adventurous song we played was the Wishbone Ash number 'Blowin' Free' - quite adventurous for a bunch of young kids, but we made a passable version of it. Other numbers included 'Back in the Night' by Doctor Feelgood and 'In My Chair' by Status Quo. Our early gigs were three quarter of an hour slots at dances etc.
Today I still play in a band with Shaun, who is now bald... But then again, I am overweight... we still practice in that very same church hall we played our first gigs. Sadly, Louis gave up on the drums, he would have been excellent, he had great timing and was very solid, I wish he had carried on as he is a great friend to this day and I would love to be in a band with him. The SG Deluxe went a long time ago and was eventually replaced for a short period by a Tokai Telecaster, which I traded for an SG Standard.
You know when you get the impossible phone call,out of the blue,totally unexpected,and unbelievable. Well,a couple of years ago,I was home & the phone bell rang.'Hi,is that Pete?' 'Yeah,who's that?' 'It's Tommy Allsup' 'The guy who played with Buddy Holly ?' I asked. I went dumb,but fortunately Tommy said ' I'm playing over the river ( Humber) tonight & I'd like to meet you. We had a pleasant chat on the phone,& I rang a couple of pals. My good pal,Paul Downing was over from the States.Paul emigrated to the U.S. in the '60's,and has played with a stack of bands there.He's currently playing with the re formed 'Standells',who he worked with in the late sixties.Paul already knew Tommy,as he'd met him at a Cricket's gig in America.We had a whale of a night.Kevin Montgomery was the singer in the band.His father,Bob had also been associated with Buddy Holly.I have to report the phone call I got was a set up from my pal who plays pedal steel,and had supplied the P.A. for the gig.He got to sit in with the band.I just enjoyed the night.
Hi Guys ( and Gals,if there's any out there ! )
What I'm going to try to do in the blog is tell you what I'm doing (not much,these days ),and what I've done in the past. ( Plenty there )
I'll start with the revelation that on the 3rd May,1964,my then band (' Tony Martin & the Mods' )played the Palace Theatre,Manchester,U.K. Headlining the show were the Rolling Stones ( Honest ).The reason I start with this is not that it was our biggest gig,but I just found a poster from the show on line,and my band are not mentioned on it ! A real downer. We had to back a band called 'The Overlanders ',who we'd only seen once before at a local club.They went on to have a Number 1 hit in the U.K. with the Beatles song 'Michelle'.The girl singers we were supposed to back, 'The McKinlay Sisters',from Edinburgh never turned up.Back to the Overlanders.In those days,I detuned my Gretsch Tennessean to 'D',to get the open guitar key chords,so we borrowed another Fender Bass ( I was not required to play guitar ) to tune to concert for the Overlanders. Before we went on stage for our solo spot & 5 minutes of fame,we instructed the Overlanders to tune up the spare bass.Yes,you guessed it.They didn't.So everything they played in 'A',we backed them in 'G'. To my knowledge,only one person in the audience noticed.This was a guy we made a record with 3 years later ! To be fair,there was that much noise from the audience,it probably didn't matter anyway !
Other memories of that gig were to set up before.Our bass player had a wonderful piggy back,blonde Fender Bassman amp & cab that Bill Wyman took a fancy to.Because the Stones had a deal with Vox amps,that's what they had to use in public. Brian Jones begged a spare pick off me,and Mick Jagger was busy shouting at some girls who could just see him through a crack in the emergency exit door.The two performances were fantastic,never to be forgotten.
More later .
Peter Alton Green
Just located the poster for the above gig. No,I'm still not there !