From The Desk Of The Black Watch: Epiphone Casinos

John Andrew Fredrick has spent the last three decades as the sole constant in one of music’s most perfect and unheralded rock outfits, the black watch. Using the Beatles as a tracing template, Fredrick has applied a kitchen-sink approach to the album at hand since his 1988 debut, St. Valentine, the opening volley in a catalog that would ultimately encompass 15 albums and five EPs, all of which inspired varying levels of critical halleleujahs and a deafening chorus of crickets at the nation’s cash registers. Fredrick will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our band new feature with him.

The Beatles made them famous. And when I finally bought one (Craigslist Los Angeles is a treasure trove of guitars you can get off poor chaps who’ve overextended themselves and need to sell gear to make rent—or perhaps because they’ve not “made it” in “The Biz” by some self-allotted/determined time and are sedulously/zealously going back to trying acting or writing screenplays in dingy coffee-eries in the Valley); off a guy who couldn’t pay his rent and needed to offload one of his too-many axes—I kind of retired as it were my notorious 1969 cherry red Gibson ES 335 (notorious as I got it off a guy, way back when in Santa Barbara, who’d been given it by Donny Osmond, no less!). I too have too many guitars. I too have had to sell gear to make rent (usually Fender Jaguars and Fender Jazzmasters). Yet I’m no guitar geek, I don’t think: I can’t stand chat about tuners and pickups and gauges of string. I don’t know why, aside from the look and the feel of them (I would never ever play a guitar that had a single-cutaway shape … erm, guess I am something of a guitar nerd and snob!), I love Epiphone Casinos so much. I do know I would love to have another one! A nice red one, as played by Robert Smith sometime before he orchestrated that atrocious signature guitar; or a shaven blonde one, as played by John Winston Somebody; or a nice sunburst one, just like the one I have, as played by the so-called Modfather (who, no kidding, I ran into in the Rough Trade shop off Portobello Road the other month–he was looking for records by a band called the Jam, I think). Hello, rep for Epiphone? You listening? Hello?! Hello??!!

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