My Musical World
Last Update: Oct 17, 2022
Hi, WA Friends!
Some members have been asking to see more of my home music studio, so I thought I’d show you a part of my musical world.
I’ve played guitar for about 50 years, and it’s hard to remember a day when I haven’t picked up a guitar at least once in 24 hours. During this time, I’ve played in everything from garage bands as a kid to clubs in Rhode Island, New York, Chicago, and Italy.
When working as a physician in Connecticut, I studied guitar building with a luthier as an apprentice for three years in the guitar repair department of a big music store. Here is a photo of the display floor in the guitar area. I wish I had these many guitars!
As the backstage “House Doc” for a big concert venue, I had the opportunity to meet many famous musicians. You can see a few of the autographed albums on the walls of my studio in the photos below. I have dozens of backstage passes, which I can't seem to find in the crazy amount of musical memorabilia I've collected over the years.
One of the musical highlights of my life was the chance to meet Les Paul.
Here he is playing onstage at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York.
Here is Les autographing his CD for me after the show. I'm sick of hearing my wife say that we both have the same color shirt on, so don't do it!
I should have brought him one of my Les Paul guitars to sign! Daah!!
Teaching, playing, and building guitars helped me pay for a small part of my education, but it was mostly a lot of fun! I’m not even sure how I got into the whole “science” thing, but I guess life happens, and it was an easy subject for me in college. I don’t regret any of it, especially the chance to help sick people get well.
I lived in Florence and Rome way back in the late 1970s as a Brown University exchange student. I was doing research on artificial lung at the University of Pisa, and I taught and played guitar for some extra money.
I found this mug in my music studio last month. This was the biggest music store in Italy, the Centro Musicale, in Rome. I taught Rock and Metal guitar there. During that time, it was almost impossible to get certain Fender and Gibson guitars in Italy, so I brought a few with me each time I traveled back to Italy from the USA and made quite a bit of money selling them!
Here is the other side of that mug, which shows the inside of the Mississippi Jazz Club in Rome, where I played with the house band at night and had my own Jazz fusion band that played there on the weekend afternoons.
I'm the guy on the left playing the black Stratocaster, all dressed in typical Italian clothing with the shirt open. I was in my 20s and having way too much fun! The guy in the middle is playing a Les Paul guitar. I brought both these guitars with me from the USA.
Here are some photos of my home music studio. Yes, it's always this messy!
I have collected and built almost 70 guitars over the years. Most of them are in my music room, but others are scattered throughout the house, so I can always reach over and grab one.
Most of my store-bought guitars are Fender, Gibson, Ibanez, Paul Reed Smith, Parker, and Ovation.
I built the guitar in the photo below with the "teardrop" pickguard (between the off-white and blue guitars).
It has a bird's eye maple neck with an LSR roller nut. The chambered walnut body has a stunning "tiger-eye" flame maple cap. It has the David Gilmour custom EMG pickup set (DG-20) with active electronics. I did a custom pickup battery route, similar to the Eric Clapton Stratocaster (inside the back cavity). The bridge is a Fender 2-point tremolo with stainless steel saddles and routed for the larger Jeff-Beck-style tremolo cavity. The volume and tone controls and the selector switch are all military-grade components with an Orange-drop ceramic capacitor.
The bag in the photo above contained a small gift waiting to be wrapped.
I have a couple of dozen amplifiers, mostly tube amps. The only electronic devices on planet Earth that still use vacuum tubes are guitar amps because they produce a more organic and player-responsive sound.
Remember the big "tube testers" in Radio Shack? There are very few places to buy new old stock (NOS) tubes these days and virtually no place to test them. Luckily I have my own tube tester in my guitar workshop! I do have a few valve-state (half tube and half solid-state), solid-state, and modeling amps. The modeling amps have high-definition models of collectible tube amps. They sound pretty good, but not as good as the real thing.
I do have some amp modeling plugins in my digital recording studio that are the closest you'll ever get! the great thing about modeled amps is that you can add controls that didn't exist, like a master volume, with changing the overall sound of the original amp.
Most of my guitar amps are made by Fender, Marshall, Laney, Soldano, Vox, Orange, Mesa Boogie, Peavy, and Line-6.
I definitely favor the sound of the British amps.
In this photo, you can see part of my digital recording studio in the background.
I have a pretty well-stocked guitar workshop. I don't have the tools at home to build acoustic guitars, but I can build solid-body electrics. I do seasonal setups on all my guitars, as well as neck re-frets, electromagnetic shielding, pickup design and rewinds; you name it.
He is a photo entering my guitar shop. I'll warn you; it's a little messy.
In the next photo, you can see the tube tester on the first shelf, at the very left, and the oscilloscope (with the little display screen) that I use to bias my tube amps. I built both of them when I was in college (Heathkit).
Last but not least is my small 5.1 home theater setup, where I watch all my music concert videos. Yes, that's the movie "300, " I like the Frank Miller movies, so I had it one night while I was doing a class assignment for my healthcare informatics degree. There's another home theater upstairs where my wife and I watch movies together that we both enjoy.
Well, that's a little peak at my musical world. If you made it all the way down to here, thanks for having a look! 😎
Keep On Rockin' 🤘
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