The last couple of days have been very busy with 'Plectronica' meetings. Yesterday, event organiser Ian Haydock came over from Preston to talk about the schedule and to get me to sign some of Martin Bostock's photographic prints that Martin will be offering for sale. Ian also brought some special posters designed by Stephen Weis for me to autograph. The posters look fabulous, very colourful and there are, I think, eight different variations, each one showing myself at a different stage of my guitar playing life, from the early 1960s through the '70s, '80s and '90s, right up to today. The images have been rendered in Stephen's distinctive graphic style and will look terrific framed and hung on a wall. I hope I can grab a set of eight for myself.
Ian took the 288 CDs away with him, plus the pieces of art I've made for the event, the guitar I've decorated for the charity raffle and a number of out-of-print albums from my personal archives which will be made available on the merchandise stall. Sound-On-Sound are bringing some albums from their warehouse too so there will be lots of tempting goodies on the day.
After Ian had left to drive back to Preston, Paul Gilby arrived to discuss the video projection and to get copies of the new videos I've made to project behind the performance. We also discussed camera a positions for the live streaming of the event and so on.
I later took a couple more items of equipment downstairs that I'd overlooked in the general chaos of preparations.
Today, Jon Wallinger arrived to discuss a couple of others things connected with 'Plectronica' and to pick up a copy of 'Auditoria' which he will need to upload a selection of tracks to my website to go with the official launch of the album next week. People attending 'Plectronica' will, of course, be able to purchase advance copies.
Then my guitar tech Andy Newlove arrived to pick up my guitars and equipment, but, just before he got here I discovered a problem with my Backlund Rockerbox guitar. I opened its case to show the guitar to Jon Wallinger and when I demonstrated the pickup selected control I realised that it had come loose inside the body of the guitar and was rattling in its cavity and not changing pickups.
I'd allocated the guitar to one of the tracks in Saturday's performance but the fault made it unusable so I sent a panic email to Mike Robertson at Eastwood Guitars, the makers of the instrument. Mike said he wouldn't be able to get a replacement guitar to me in time but suggested a way of fixing it which sounded much simpler than I'd first thought. It looked, to me, that the strings would all need to be removed and the neck pickup taken out to access the interior of the switch via the hole left by the pickup. A messy and fiddly job. But Mike said to simply pull the control knob of and reveal the hex nut underneath which would then need tightening on the control's spindle, before replacing the knob.
When Andy arrived we managed to do this, though the spindle had dropped inside the guitar a little way. Andy was just able to get hold of it and lift it out enough to put in place the washer and hex nut on the spindle and hand tighten it. When he gets the gear over to Fairview later tonight, he'll try to tighten it further with something that won't risk scratching the guitar. Hopefully, it will hold up for the gig.
Tomorrow I'll be travelling over to Fairview studio to check all the equipment which Andy will have set up. Any technical problems should show themselves there and then and can be addressed before the event on Saturday. (Though we've experienced technical troubles at the sound check on a couple of previous occasions which, luckily, we've managed to solve or work around.)
When I get home from Fairview in the evening, I have to do a telephone interview with a journalist from Prog Rock magazine, which was arranged yesterday by Cherry Red records to help publicise the re-issue of 'Sunburst Finish.' It can be a little frustrating having to talk about an album I made over 40 years ago when I've created so much more music since then, but perhaps it might help direct a few more people towards my newer work too.
The weather today has been cold, wet and miserable...I don't think it helps the arthritis in my hands and fingers one bit. My right hand has been particularly painful and it's hard to grip anything without suffering sharp discomfort. But that's the wear and tear of 70 years for you, I guess.
Now it's insulin injection time again....
Have been toying with this title for an album for some time...maybe a future possibility...