s skippy the bush kangaroo: Save Rock and Roll Guitar From the Russian Secret Police!

skippy the bush kangaroo

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Save Rock and Roll Guitar From the Russian Secret Police!

Now THIS is serious. Per the New York Times, a shady coalition of government-backed mobsters is taking factories away from their owners using bureaucratic manipulation:

In Russia's early transition days, amid the collapse of authority and resulting lawlessness, organized crime groups wielded great influence. Teams of armed thugs used to carry out takeovers, arriving at a businessman's door with little to back them up but the threat of violence, even murder. Indeed, contract murders reached a frequency of more than one a day in the mid-1990's.

Later, law enforcement, from the tax police to special forces units, played a role in forcing transfers of property in the scramble for assets of the former Soviet state ...

Now, the trend in business crime in Russia is decidedly white-collar — with the faking of documents, hiring of lawyers or payoff of judges — but no less insidious, Mr. Matthews and other business owners say.

One victim is the American-owned factory that manufactures most of the vacuum tubes used worldwide in amplifiers and other audio equipment. Now I'm getting mad.

Don't you get it? Guitars just don't sound as good without the warmth of tube amplification. I don't know why, but they don't. The Times cites Hendrix playing the "Star-Spangled Banner" as an example of tube-driven tone, and they're right. But they'd be equally right to mention Buck Owens playing "Act Naturally," James Burton picking lead on the original "Susie-Q," Otis Rush doing "All Your Love," or Chet Atkins fingerpicking "Girlfriend of the Whirling Dervish."

Tube = good. No tube = no good. Period. My friend Steve Audio knows what I'm talking about.

I know, I know ... we deal with terrible political events every day. But in a world gone mad, is nothing sacred?
posted by RJ Eskow at 5:44 PM |


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