I didn’t want to because I’m not a fan of Mayer or PG vids. But I figured hey, I might learn something, write it down, maybe someone who reads this will dig it.
Well, I learned jack. Zip. Captain donuts.
You might, though. If you’re a Mayer fan or just curious how he sets his amps, you can see that easily on the Dumble, and almost as easily on the Two-Rock and Band Master. If you’re curious about his effects, you get to see most of them – but not all (c’mon PG, get a clue!).
Okay, I learned one thing – besides the fact that PG is using cute chicks to try and get you to watch their vids: I now might have an idea of why I instinctively don’t dig Mayer’s stuff. What I mean is, do you really have to tour with 40 guitars, have three amps on at once and use – I didn’t count but will say conservatively – 30 stompboxes? Seriously?
What are we talking here, $100K worth of gear?!
Are you a rock musician at that point, or just a tap-dancing gear hound?
Can you not sound good and stun your audience with A guitar, AN amp and ZERO friggin’ boxes on the floor? I bet Mayer could. Really. But he doesn’t.
I’m sure you can point to many guit-slingers who have and do, but here’s someone who does (as recorded) and did (live) but we don’t talk about much: Johnny Ramone.
Johnny, who unfortunately died of cancer in 2004 (RIP bro!), had this as his perennial rig:
> Mosrite guitar into a Marshall JMP 100w MV head, Marshall cabs.
Done. That’s it.
It sounded great, he didn’t need anything else and – truth be told – unlike John, Johnny probably couldn’t afford much else.
Now, Johnny couldn’t have played John’s stuff, but the opposite is true too. Because rock is attitude, man! Mayer has…some tats (nice try on the attitude), lots of chops (props to him), too much gear and is a fine singer (yes, but would you really prefer him over Bon Scott?) – but where’s the darn fire? Any Mayer fans out there? Does he have fire? If so, can he possibly have it, or express it, with all that gear on the flo’?
I don’t know, man. Maybe I need to be skinning a mastodon in a tick-filled loincloth somewhere. Maybe I’m that stuck in the past. But I don’t think so – or at least I’m not alone. One sign is all the amazing boutique amps out there – they’re meant to capture or enhance vintage tones. Not be muffled by 70 miles of cable and more stompboxes than you can count on your fingers and toes.
And as Johnny showed us all, you don’t need amazing chops to have great tone and rock. Dammit!
When you Google for Mayer images, you get a bunch of People magazine-like photos (with girls, on boats, paparazzi stuff). When you Google Johnny, you get him holding a guitar!
> From a short thegearpage.net thread about Johnny’s gear: “Although he used a few different Mosrites through the years, most people remember him for the modified white Mark II Mosrite. That guitar had a Dimarzio FS-1 which was wired to be always on. The neck pickup (not used and not wired to be used) was a Seymour Duncan Firebird mini-humbucker.”
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