Surfguitar 101 Convention 2010

I only heard good things about this years Surfguitar 101 convention out in California.

Here is the Surfguitar 101 YouTube playlist of the event.

This time german band The Space Rangers made an appearance there as a stop on their California tour. The band hails from Ulm and on guitar is Muck who played rhythm guitar on one tour with my old band The Looney Tunes. On that tour I borrowed him my Musima Eterna DeLuxe as he only owned a Steinberger headless and a jazz-box. It’s great to see him finally sporting a Jaguar. I knew the Surf-bug bit him when he started doubling my lead on Miserlou during one of our shows, and checking out the playlist from the convention I reckon his new band plays old showstoppers from the Looney Tunes setlist The Swingin’ Creeper (as it is tradtionally called in Germany, elsewhere known as Nightstick*, A Go-Go Dancer**, Kickstand*** by The Ventures) and Stampede. Talk about keeping the torch on fire.

* UK, ** US, *** Japan

My Custom Guitar

…if I could have it my way.


I created this picture in the dressing room at

I would have a Jazzmaster body made from mahagony with maple-top.
A Mosrite/Gretsch scale, set neck, maple with ebony fretboard (Mosrite radius).
The neck-profile copied from my e-sitar.
Neck-binding, zero-fret and the smallest frets available (Framus NOS?)
I probably would have a Bigsby instead of the jm-vibrato, but the jm-bridge.
These appointments are based mostly on one of my all-time favorite guitars, the 1975 Gretsch Country Rok, which I sold long ago.

For pick-ups I would have three Novak Fender XII replicas.
Jaguar style three on/off switches (rather than the Stratocaster switch in the pic)
The rhythm circuit to give additional pu-combinations, since the 3 pups have two coils each. Maybe like this: upper-bout switch turns on north of bridge, south of neck, but not breaking the main selector circuit. The outside coils should be humcancelling and hollow like a Jazzmaster.
I just love the sound of the Fender XII, which I used on Wild Action (Modern Sounds of The Looney Tunes Band). The pick-ups are not as thin as DeArmond single coils, and not as fat as Supertrons. More like Jaguar ones, but hum-cancelling.

Color: ocean turquoise with matching headstock and gold hardware, Kluson-style tuners. Pickguard either gold-aluminium or vintage white. I wanted a gold guard guitar ever since I got The Wildest Guitar by Mickey Baker.
I never had a blue-ish guitar before. It looks so green because I chose the aged look in the dressing room. The finish is bluer when new.
It looks fancy, I see that. But it’s supposed to be a custom, they have to look fancy!

Hamburg Recording Studio

Folke Jensen engineered The Looney Tunes band’s second album Modern Sounds of… at his Ultraschall Studio in Hamburg, back in 1995.

Many consider this to be my former surf-band’s best album, and a key factor is the great sound Folke managed to capture on tape.

His project Ledernacken is here on MySpace.

That is a pioneering electronic thing, but trust me when I say he knows what great vintage sound is about.

Go-Go Beach

Don’t misunderstand me – I don’t mean to say this is a great musical. I have only heard one of the songs and had enough.
The reason I had to include Go-Go Beach here is that I once recorded a track called Go-Go Beach! It was on one of my homerecording tapes, that interested parties could get through reviews in Pipeline and New Gandy Dancer, around 1990. In the track I tried to get some of the spirit of the Manchester bands like the Charlatans and Stone Roses coupled with instrumental guitar work.
When The Looney Tunes Band started, I stopped this tape thing. But somehow I remembered the track after the band broke up (the drummer wanted to include electronics, but I did not want the Loonies to change in that direction). Go-Go Beach then turned into Gogo Sitar and was the first track I did with my modified ES335 copy, homemade electric sitar.

So, there’s no connection for me with that musical, other than the coincidental naming. If you didn’t care for such information, you wouldn’t have read so far, would you?