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Reverbnation Sally's Song; Danny Elfman Cover and The Return of George Edward Guvnor...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Sally's Song; Danny Elfman Cover and The Return of George Edward Guvnor...

more on this later...

Danny Elfman in Weird Science Shocker

Tonight I experienced one of those weird revelations that happens every so often.
Danny Elfman, composer of many beautiful film scores including several Tim Burton films including; Edward Scissorhands, The Corpse Bride, Batman, and fairly random stuff such as the theme tune to Desperate Housewives and the Simpsons started out life fronting a band called Oingo Boingo who were responsible for the title track used in the 80's movie, "Weird Science" which tells the story of two dorky kids who somehow manage to create a real life woman for themselves using a barbie doll strapped to a rocket and a rather primitive looking computer.

Who knew?  I certainly did not.

(I'm referring here to Danny Elfman, composer extraordinaire rather than the creation of supermodels from barbies, rockets and 80's technology)

Speaking of which...

The Return of George Edward Guvnor, my Electro Acoustic Guvnor Guitar

My wonderful electro acoustic guitar, "George Edward Guvnor" is now back in full playability.
I've been pretty much in despair over him given that he has been out of action for over a year now.
When I bought him a number of years ago I had no idea that he was manufactured just around the corner from me (Spennymoor, County Durham apparently)  and when it came to him having a few health issues through wear and tear, such as a cracked nut and uneven string volume, I had even less of a clue that Guvnor was a discontinued manufacturer of guitars and that their innovative designs - which included a not so standard sized nut and a two-piece saddle - would prove to be such a problem.
A fairly inexpensive guitar he may be and the remains of his kind might also be going on ebay for just over £50, but with me being the sentimental idiot that I am I simply had to get him playing again.
I decided that whilst I was at it I may as well get his bits and pieces upgraded from plastic to buffalo bone, which I had read improves tone and increases sustain.
After much online searching I found virtually nothing on the inconveniently none existant "two piece saddle" that Guvnor guitars use. I even tried to track down the names of Guvnor manufacturers but to no avail.

Guvnor Guitar Two Piece Saddle
Guvnor Guitar Two Piece Saddle

Eventually I found this guy...

Chris Alsop Guitar Parts, Guitar Tools, Design and Manufacture

Chris Alsop is a very nice guy who spoke to me at length about what I needed and then duplicated my two piece saddle in buffalo bone using the original plastic one. (which had huge gouges in it)

Gouges in my Guvnor Guitar Two Piece Saddle
Gouges in my Guvnor Guitar Two Piece Saddle

The dvd, instructions, sand paper and buffer stuff that Chris Alsop sent along with the new two piece saddle was also very helpful. Brilliant! The next step would be to send him the cracked nut to duplicate after finding out the hard way that the standard one I ordered from ebay had about as much chance of fitting in as I do at an Avon makeover party.

And then the unthinkable happened. I will never forgive the Royal Mail for it so long as I live...
Yes that's right...  they lost my original Guvnor cracked nut. You know? The very nut that's unconventionally shaped and not easily replaced?!!?

You know when you feel so angry about something that you need to just 'not think' about something and block it out for a while for fear you might otherwise start throwing bricks into innocent people's windows? No?
Just me then?

I am a sentimental idiot!!!

Being a sentimental idiot isn't easy.
Really speaking, I should've just cut my losses and bought a new guitar. I could have bought the same guitar or I could've bought a 2nd hand Guvnor for parts? Everytime I thought about it or searched online the inclination to throw bricks would start back up again. This, combined with my ridiculous tendency to not want to ask questions for fear of sounding stupid and the whole "female in a guitar shop" intimidation ridiculousness... (I'm sure I can't be the only girl in the world that gets this?)  ...caused George Edward Guvnor to remain unplayed for over a whole smegging YEAR!

Finally, PR Guitars turned out the be the solution sitting under my nose the entire time.
Pr Guitars - Custom Made Guitars and Repair

Have a look at his website...  -  stunningly beautiful high end custom made guitars that I personally could never dream of being able to afford.

Go and look at them anyway though. You won't regret it.

An extremely talented guy...  the sheer craftsmanship of what he does...   where would be the hardship in taking a blank bone, sanding down an exact nut shape and setting the guitar up so that it plays just like the day it was purchased...?  No hardship obviously, and upon return, the fret board also smelt quite nice too!

Stupid of me I know...  but that's what you get when you're too frustrated to ask questions that might leave you looking stupid. Lesson learned. Stop caring about looking stupid and get that flippin guitar fixed.

Sally's Song Cover - Danny Elfman

Which brings me back to Danny Elfman...

Getting to play George Edward Guvnor again after so long made me so happy that I made this little recording to celebrate the night I got him back.

Written by Danny Elfman for Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" is Sally's Song.
A song about being in love with a skeleton. Why not?

Here is my own little version of Sally's Song using my fixed up suited and booted George Edward Guvnor, electro acoustic guitar...

Sally's Song    Sally's Song Cover    Sally's Song Danny Elfman


A few things which I want to make note of after spending so much time looking online for answers...
(for the benefit of others who are searching for the same thing.)

If the strings on your electro acoustic guitar are uneven in volume... (when plugged in)

This can apparently have something to do with the tension of the strings weighing down on the saddle which places weight on the bridge pickup. Perhaps an indication that there isn't enough weight / pressure? I think this might be what got me on to upgrading the saddle from plastic to bone, so that the tension of the strings pressing down onto the saddle and bridge would be greater, and hoping produce more even tone.

Anyone reading this may find the following threads useful...

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