Updated: Feb 19, 2019

Drove over to Leeds today to take two guitars to my favourite guitar repairer Gordon White of 'Single Coil Guitar Repairs' fame. The guitars were my Backlund 'Rockerbox' and my Musicvox 'Space Cadet.'

The Backlund Rockerbox has had a problem with the rotary pickup selector, almost since new. It rotates inside the body, twisting the wiring and won't select the different pickup combinations. I contacted Mike Robinson of the Eastwood company, (who make the guitar,) about this last year and he kindly gave me a tip to fix it. It required removing the knob from the spindle of the rotary selector and tightening the nut that holds the control into the body of the instrument. This seemed to work and I was able to use the guitar at my 'Plectronica' 70th birthday concert last December.

However, when I took the guitar out of its case recently to use on a new recording, the control had become loose again and was rotating freely inside the body of the instrument, which of course it shouldn't do. So, I removed the control knob again and tightened the nut on the shaft of the pot once more.

When I put the control knob back on the shaft and turned it to select the pickup I needed, it just rotated inside the body again, as if the nut wasn't tight. So I checked it again but the nut was as tight as it would go, yet the entire pot continued to revolve inside the guitar, and twisted the internal wiring as it did so. Not a happy situation. So, Gordon is going to look into the problem and hopefully will be able to come up with a solution.

The other guitar which requires attention is my new Musicvox 'Space Cadet.' It arrived from America a few weeks ago with some rather rough fret ends so Gordon is going to do a fret dress, file the edges of the frets to a smoother level and undertake a general set-up, plus fit a new Duesenberg 'Les Trem' unit to the guitar which I purchased a couple of weeks ago specially for it.

I'm sure that when I get the guitars back from Gordon, they will be 100% the way I like them. Gordon looks after many people's instruments and is the go-to guitar tech for people such as Duane Eddy and Richard Hawley, to name but two.

I continue to record new tracks for the 'Vulcan Street' album, despite the mixing desk problems I'm experiencing. Getting near the end of that album now but still have more tracks to work on for the 'Cathode Paintbox' album. I really want to get these two albums finished before dismantling my studio to begin installing the new equipment I'm planning to purchase.

There will be a period of time when I'm unable to record due to the changeover, but also because of the time it will take for me to get to grips with a totally new way of working. As readers of this journal know, I'm a firm advocate of studio hardware, real mixing desks and effects processors, stuff you can actually feel and control without resorting to mousing tiny cursors about on a screen. In short, physically tangible stuff that weighs something, puts up a kind of resistance and feels accurate when I push the faders up and down and turn the controls. I'm afraid watching virtual 'television' images of mixing desk simulacra holds little appeal for me and feels very unsatisfying. But this is the route many of us who work using limited financial capacity home studio gear have been forced to accept. The old hardware is either discontinued or priced out of the market for all but the most established, major recording studios.

No doubt I'll adapt to the situation, but I wonder how much my spontaneity and individuality will suffer at the hands of endless on-screen menus, mouse clickings and computer complexities and confusions...

Oh, well, at least I have around nine or ten albums already recorded using my old, more familiar system. These will help to keep things active while I embark on this new venture.

My 'bloody' eye now less bloody than before, though still feeling a little sore. Hopefully on the mend. Another doctor's appointment this coming Wednesday to discuss a problem that my recent blood test revealed. More of that later.