Dulltown, UK/Europe: Today’s colours are: ruby pink, ruby red, ruby yellow, ruby black, ruby orange, and ruby doobie.
‘Snake’ Wigmo propped his guitar, a fairly inexpensive second-hand Epiphone ‘Gold Top’ with P 90 pick-ups on it, against his rather battered and old Selmer Treble and Bass 50 amplifier, which sat on top of a black painted, home-made, plywood two-by-ten speaker cabinet – he picked up the cardboard set list from the floor before anyone could steal it, and stepped off the low stage as the applause and gruff enthusiastic cheering finally petered out.
‘Snake’ thought that he had played pretty well, and that the band had been pretty well-behaved – the drummer having his right arm in plaster had cut down the on-stage noise somewhat too. He was feeling pretty good, ‘Snake’ that is, not Billy Thud the drummer.
He waggled and flapped the front of his t-shirt to let some slightly less hot sweaty air onto his skinny torso, and he looked around at the audience.
A figure was approaching through the jostling crowd, it waved a pale hand at him. ‘Hey Snake,’ it said, and then added, ‘Cool set!’
‘Thank you,’ Snake responded.
‘What a fantastic sound you get with that guitar and amp – fantastic!’
‘I see that you don’t use any effects pedals, you plug straight in…’
‘Yes I do…’
‘Fantastic! I wish I could get a sound like that! The sound is in those component parts!’
‘Yes, clean, but with an edge to it! It might be those hard-driven ten-inch Celestions in there!’
‘What with the guitar, and that vintage amp, that stuff must have cost you a fortune?’
‘No, not really, those amps don’t cost that much, too ugly and a bit cheap-looking for most people, and the guitar wasn’t that expensive, it’s only a Japanese copy one you know…’
‘But what an expressive sound!’
‘You think so?’
‘Oh yes, brilliant! I’d buy that set-up from you – every item, even the guitar strap and lead, and the speaker cable!’
‘Oh yes, who’d not want a sound like that?’
‘Suppose I offered you £5,000, right here and now?’
‘Yes, but I’d want all of it, everything – the sound is magic!’
‘You think so? You could buy a really good set-up for money like that.’
‘No, no, it wouldn’t be the same! It’s that inherent vintage grittiness you know!’
‘Look, here’s the £5,000 in twenty pound notes, I just happen to have it with me.’
‘Well, er… I… Alright then, it’s a deal. Thank you. You can take it now if you like, go up on stage, we were the last band on tonight.’
‘Great! Great!… Can’t wait to get it all home and…’
‘By the way…’
‘Would you like to know how I get that striking rich attractive expressive sound?’
‘It’s obviously in the guitar, the speakers, and…’
‘No, no, it’s my plectrum. An ordinary Tortex one with some jagged serrations I’ve cut into its edges with a little file. That’s what does the trick…’
‘Oh yes, look… Here it is.’
‘Whoa! No shit!… How much for the pick?…’
‘Nothing, you can have it, free of charge.’
‘Shit! And by the way, it’s also the way you hit the strings of course, how you play, how you…’
‘Oh, yeah, yeah, sure…’