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Maestro Twang
December 4, 2007 3:30 PM   Subscribe

The Maestro FZ-1 Fuzztone was one of the first stomp boxes a guitar player could use. Released in 1962 by Gibson, sales didn't take off until a British band used it in the introduction to one of their songs in 1965. But if it weren't for a Marty Robbins song and engineer Glen Snoddy, the pedal might have never been invented and country music wouldn't have been the same.

The page has an amazing list of mp3s of country artists incorporating the fuzz tone at the bottom, in case you don't feel like reading. I recommend all of them.
posted by sleepy pete (29 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Vintage stomp box and pedal steel in one FPP! You are my new hero, sleepy pete.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:36 PM on December 4, 2007


By the way, good ol' YouTube is something of a treasure trove of pedal steel videos, many, like this one, show the pedals in action, which is something you never see.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:44 PM on December 4, 2007


Cool.

Next up, Fuzz Face.
posted by caddis at 3:51 PM on December 4, 2007


nice post thanks.

i think Rocket '88 (1951) deserves some credit for the first distorted guitar. That was due to a damaged amplifier rather than a fuzz pedal.
posted by bhnyc at 3:52 PM on December 4, 2007


eh, what?
posted by rocket88 at 4:00 PM on December 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Heh heh. Never comment quickly before morning coffee. I see this post has nothing to do with the pedal steel. How embarrassing. Oh well, it's a lovely day for a little pedal steel anyway, no?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:01 PM on December 4, 2007


Sorry, the more inside should say, "The WFMU page..." or "The last link". Oh well, ya'll will figure it out I'm sure.
posted by sleepy pete at 4:01 PM on December 4, 2007


Square waves and country music just don't mix. That's why it's badass.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:48 PM on December 4, 2007


Caution: if you read the rest of this comment, the Stones' "Satisfaction" may be ruined for you.

You can't hear it in this video, but listen to the most common studio version. Listen to the intro, and wait for the first chorus, when Keef is about to kick on his Maestro for that fuzzy guitar part. If you listen, there's a huge *CLICK* as he engages the unbuffered, mechanical switch. It's like Bonzo's squeaky kick drum pedal — once you hear it the first time, you can never un-hear it. Enjoy!
posted by electric_counterpoint at 5:51 PM on December 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, I think the offending click comes in at about 0:25.
posted by electric_counterpoint at 5:51 PM on December 4, 2007


hehe

My dad would never let me play rubber soul on his turntable because he thought the record was ruining his stylus.

Ah he was such a cunt.
posted by mattoxic at 5:53 PM on December 4, 2007


Square waves and country music just don't mix.

Buddy, yew are so right. Real men use sawtooth waves, gaht-dammit!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:53 PM on December 4, 2007


I never would have pegged Marty Robbins as fuzztone pioneer. Thanks!

I love the first line of the WFMU post:
The racket made by a fuzztone guitar has been described as the sound of two bees fighting inside of a tin can.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 6:09 PM on December 4, 2007


a fun link for fans of vintage effect pedals.
posted by janetplanet at 6:25 PM on December 4, 2007


If you listen, there's a huge *CLICK* as he engages the unbuffered, mechanical switch.

Right around 0:35 in the track on _Forty Licks_. It IS really obvious. "I can't get *CLICK* no..."
posted by mrbill at 6:31 PM on December 4, 2007


the Ventures' '2000 Pound Bee Pt 2' was the first song on the Billboard charts to use a fuzztone, in late 1962. Definitely wasn't nearly the smash that the Stones had, though.

apparently John Belushi thought it would be a hilarious song to play at his funeral, and Dan Aykroyd kept his word. That almost makes up Blues Brothers 2000.

like, alright. like, the shit like hearing an effect pedal click on, or hearing a drum pedal squeak? those aren't like _mistakes_. that's just what music sounded like before you can like, protools everything to death. the entire Killers album? that's a fuckin mistake.
posted by tremspeed at 6:51 PM on December 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


er, makes up FOR
posted by tremspeed at 6:52 PM on December 4, 2007


In terms of the specific performance linked, I kind of like how ragged it sounds, but Brian Jones is mixed waaaaay higher than Keith at points, and (not surprising given the medium and my tinny laptop speakers) the bass is undetectable. Still can't take my eyes off a Mick Jagger performance.

Something about the fact that was 42 years ago is just freaky...
posted by jalexei at 6:55 PM on December 4, 2007


shit, i meant to mention that too. i've always noticed the acoustic guitar being way louder than the fuzz.
posted by tremspeed at 6:59 PM on December 4, 2007


Build your own vintage pedal

(I did and it sounds great.)
posted by caddis at 7:23 PM on December 4, 2007


Well, like finding your lost keys in the last place you look, but the opposite, the first one to do something is only the first because the second one to do it was one person too late.
posted by HTuttle at 7:24 PM on December 4, 2007


like, alright. like, the shit like hearing an effect pedal click on, or hearing a drum pedal squeak? those aren't like _mistakes_. that's just what music sounded like before you can like, protools everything to death. the entire Killers album? that's a fuckin mistake.

I didn't say it was a mistake, nor did I (nor would I) defend the Killers. On the contrary, I like being able to tell how a track came together, live or in the studio. Back when I could credibly call myself a guitar player, I never sought out true bypass switches on my own effects.

I used the word "ruin" because a lot of people I've told this to (this is a fun bar conversation) say that I've ruined the song. Then again, a lot of people like the Killers...
posted by electric_counterpoint at 7:50 PM on December 4, 2007


The wah wah footwear fashion gallery and some fun custom effects pedals.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:24 AM on December 5, 2007


We've Got A Fuzzbox And We're Going To Use It
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:48 AM on December 5, 2007


Right on, awesome post.

And I'm with Caddis on the joys of the homemade Fuzz Face.
posted by COBRA! at 5:28 AM on December 5, 2007


Build Your Own Clone has a Fuzz Face clone kit, if you're not into chasing down individual parts.
posted by tommasz at 7:21 AM on December 5, 2007


Fun stuff.
Got sidetracked to pedal steel.
Sarah Jory on pedal steel [in heels] doing 'my elusive dreams'. Sweet.
posted by alicesshoe at 1:34 PM on December 5, 2007


The 2 AM radio hits that always slayed me as a teeny kid were Thank You For Lettin me Be Myself Again (Sly and the Family Stone) and SATISFACTION, which because of a lot of things but expecially because of the fuzz which sounds like an old electric razor .. is a MONSTER!

You know Phyllis Diller Cant Get No Satisfaction Eiither.
(listen)

She sings it all breathy like, just like Mick.


posted by celerystick at 4:05 PM on December 5, 2007


http://www.tvparty.com/bgifs16/diller-hope.jpg
posted by celerystick at 4:05 PM on December 5, 2007


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