California’s lingering drought has pushed the number of dead trees across the state past 100 million, an ecological event experts are calling dangerous and unprecedented in underlining the heightened risk of wildfires fueled by bone-dry forests.
When New England fishers complained of working harder and harder to catch fewer and fewer fish, Spencer Baird assembled a scientific team to investigate. Though a fishery failure would once have seemed inconceivable, Baird wrote in his report, “an alarming decrease of the shore-fisheries has been thoroughly established by my own investigations, as well as by evidence of those whose testimony was taken.” Continue reading
This week we’re honoured to have the legend of TWANG drop into the Henhouse, Mr. Duane Eddy himself! For those of you who don’t know him, Duane Eddy revolutionized the sound of the electric guitar and became the king of “twang” with his trusty Gretsch guitar in hand.
Today I googled for Vincent Bell’s name because I couldn’t believe Danelectro didn’t mention him in their promo for the Coral Hornet re-issue now called Dead-On-67. He designed those in the sixties along with several other classic and unique models like the Bellzouki (first electric 12-string) and the Coral Sitar (electric guitar with 12 bordun strings and a sitar bridge). Anyway, so I came across this great page by Moe Thomas for the first time. He says he’s a long time friend of Mr. Bell and when he visited the legendary guitar player’s basement he took pictures of the sheer mass of historic and unique guitars and prototypes – many built by Vinnie himself. He’s a very inventive guy thinking up things like the first wahwah or his trademark underwater sound as heard on Moon Gas and apparently various practices and machinery used in guitar manufacturing – all while making a living as one of the east coast’s busiest studio session men.
Here are links to some highlights of the collection:
photo of Sitar prototypes
the sitar-shaped Bellzouki as portrayed on the back of Joe Harnell’s Bossa Now! album
Vinnie Bell’s personal 6-string bass (who knows how many records we have heard this one on?!!!)
one of a kind Coral Scorpio-style 12-string Sitar (a dream instrument of mine)
Vinnie Bell model Stratocaster as presented to him by Fender Musical Instruments (note straight bridge pick-up)
the banjo he played on Louis Armstrong’s recording Hello Dolly
the mandolin Bell played on The Godfather-soundtracks