Some Drawings By The 13 Year Old Me…

My Mum unearthed some long lost drawings I did at school when I was 13 and gave them to me today.

Although they’re not very good at all, I remember getting really pissed off at the teacher for writing score marks on the actual drawing itself! Even the thought of it gets to me now and I’m 31! Ha Ha!






Why ‘Signature’ And ‘Replica’ Guitars Are For Losers.

I’ve been a guitar player for almost 21 years now…

My very first guitar cost my parents 15 bucks. It was a 3/4 sized cherry sunburst acoustic and it came with horrible black nylon, plasticy strings which I replaced as soon as I figured out how. I’ve never ever seen black guitar strings since.

I got that guitar for my 10th birthday and I played it for about 5 hours every single day over the next few years. Regrettably, I gave that guitar away to a pal and the last I heard of it, it had been sprayed with silver or blue paint and as recently as 2004 it was still being passed around by kids in my home town interested in learning how to play.
I wish I still had it.

My second guitar wasn’t very much of an improvement on my first. Again, it was a nylon stringed acoustic costing 25 bucks from a catalogue. It was just like the kind of guitar used in Scottish high school music departments.

That guitar ended up falling off of a cliff and getting smashed into smithereens. Yep. A cliff.

I went through quite a few guitars after that and eventually ended up playing an electric Epiphone Les Paul. It was blue and sparkly and it really was a great guitar. I played it for years and by the time I was through with it, it was covered in scratches and dents and occasionally, blood. The paint below the scratch plate had worn away and the neck had even been broken and fixed but you know what? It didn’t matter because those scratches, dents, dings and breaks were made because of the way I play.

I took great care of that guitar but that doesn’t mean to say that I didn’t use it. Scratches and breaks are inevitable.

Whilst looking at Gibson Les Paul guitars on Ebay today I came across this:

Neil Young OLD BLACK Gibson Epiphone Les Paul Standard Gold Top – Bigsby Relic

Neil Young’s ‘OLD BLACK’!
Yours for only £1299.00!

– Except, that’s not Neil’s beloved Old Black because Neil has his beloved Old Black because it’s his. Nope, that’s a replicated version of Old Black and as you can see, it looks just like the real thing. Every scratch and modification has been painstakingly recreated exactly according to the original.

I have a problem with this kind of thing.
I think it’s a sad person who would spend money on this. Neil Young didn’t make or cause those scratches or (as I believe they are called in the business) ‘distress marks’. Some guy in a factory made those marks and besides, why would anybody want a new and unplayed guitar which is covered in scratches? It won’t make you sound like Neil Young my friend. Neil Young sounds like Neil Young because he’s Neil Young and because he does things like this:

That guitar is not beat up. It just looks beat up. It’s never been played and ironically it’s listed on Ebay as: “A new, unused item with absolutely no signs of wear.”

What we have here is simply an overpriced Les Paul Epiphone. The original ‘Old Black’ was and still is:
(a) Old.
(b) A 1953 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop which was crudely painted over with black paint and then heavily modified by Neil Young.

Do you see what I’m getting at here?
If your guitar ends up as beat up as this cheap imitation looks, it should be in that condition because you really used your guitar over the years.

I also have a problem with the money that is charged for shoddy items like this.

A beat up and broken VOX amp that Jimi Hendrix once pissed on and then set fire to?
– Nah. I’ll take a fully working and un-pissed upon VOX amp that hasn’t been set alight thanks.

A beautiful cherry sunburst guitar that has been defaced by the signature of Slash in thick black marker?
– I think you see where I’m going here don’t you?

I hope you do because this isn’t what guitars are for. Play your guitar every day and before you know it, you’ll have a style all of your own and if the Gibson Company one day approach you to authorise your very own signature brand?
– Tell them to EFF OFF!

You May Also Be Interested In…
* Neil Young’s Sound
* A 1997 Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul Florentine
* A Montecristo Cigar Box Guitar!

Daily Doodle By Anna McDonald.

What a talented girlfriend I have.

For 2 years, I used to live an utterly Dickensian life and you woudn’t believe me if I was to tell you some of my tales of utter poverty but Anna drew this picture of something that once happened to me and even though it still gives me nightmares, it’s completely on the money…

You May Also Be Interested In…
* Post-It Monstre By John Kenn Mortensen
* Artist: Paul Kenton
* Al Cook’s “Necropolis”

‘The Ginger-Snap Cream’ By Alan Cook.

This story is called: “The Ginger-Snap Cream” and it’s completely true.

When I was 8 years old, I tried a biscuit called ‘The Ginger-Snap Cream’ for the first time and I LOVED THEM and later on that same night, when my Mum and Dad were sleeping, I tip-toed down into the kitchen and I stole the ENTIRE packet of biscuits because I wanted them all to be mine.

I crept back up the stairs in the dark and hid the stolen ginger-snap creams under my pilow and over the next couple of days, I was pleased that nobody had noticed the missing biscuits.

One day, I came home from school to be confronted by my Mum and Dad who were holding up the now almost empty packet of ginger-snap creams and straight away, I broke and confessed EVERYTHING!

They told me that I was greedy and that I should be ashamed of myself. And friends, they were quite right.

When Sunday came, I went into the ‘confessional box’ at chapel and confessed my secret thieveing greedy shame to the local priest who told me that Jesus and God were very disappointed in me and that the only way out of it was for me to say 25 ‘Hail Mary’ prayers, an ‘Our Father’ AND a ‘Glory Be’.

I thought the sentence was a bit harsh but I said every last one of those prayers anyway.

TO THIS VERY DAY, I feel greedy whenever I eat even the smallest amount of food and I also have a problem eating infront of people.


Alan Cook. (Age 30).

You May Also Be Interested In…
* There’s Yer Dinner!
* A Sinister Tennant
* My Tragic Fridge: An Update

Glasgow Cathedral At Sunset From My Window.

I thought that the title of this post would explain everything but it doesn’t quite.

I took these photographs from my living room window last night at 10pm and they show the silhouettes of Glasgow Cathedral and The Royal Infirmary Hospital…

You May Also Be Interested In:
* Room With A View
* Larking Around Glasgow Cathedral (PART I) & (PART II)
* The Trongate, Glasgow

%d bloggers like this: