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    What It Would Be Like If The Guitar World Were Like The Digital Music World -

    [It occurs to me that every time I come back from the music store with a piece of guitar equipment, I've got this really - "Oh boy! I can't wait to try this out!" type of attitude. And every time I come back from the music store with a piece of computer music equipment, I've got this really - "I wonder how much craziness this is going to take before I finally actually get this thing to work?" type of attitude. So I put some wood on the fire and I came up with this little piece:]

    So you go into this music store and you try out this Telecaster through this Twin reverb, and it sounds great and it plays great, so you buy it. And you take it home and plug it into your Marshall Plexi and you can't get any sound out of it. So you call up the guy at the music store who sold it to you and he says, "Well, when you were here in the store you were trying it out through a Fender amp. You need to log on the Web and get Fender's Marshall driver for the Telecaster." So you log on and you can't find the right web page. They've got Tele-Mesa.bin and a zillion other drivers, but not one that interfaces that particular model Tele with the Marshall.

    However, as you're looking around, you realize that there's a link to a third party that has written a driver for the Stratocaster and the Marshall. You think, "Well, that should work." So you download that one, decompress it and install it. Now, not only will your Telecaster not work on your Marshall, but your old Les Paul won't work through your Marshall anymore, either. You go over to your friend's house and you try your Tele out on his Twin, and you realize it won't even play through the Fender anymore.

    So you e-mail tech support at Fender and you get an automatically generated return message that tells you they're aware of your problem and they're working on it. They send you the address for their question and answer website and you surf over there, and you learn a whole lot of stuff, but nothing that has to do with your problem. Then Fender gets back to you four days later and they tell you to hold down on the pick-up selector switch while pressing the tone control and it will restore the default settings on both the Telecaster and the Les Paul. Then you get this advertisement in your e-mail about a new distortion pedal that Boss just came out with, and you can run a Tele through a Marshall with it. You try it out at the music store with a Tele and a JCM-800 and it smokes. So you buy it, and you take it home, but it only works with your neck pick-up.

    So you e-mail tech support at Boss and they tell you it's a hardware problem and you have to call Marshall. So you call Marshall (you can't find any e-mail address on Marshall's Web site) and after keeping you waiting on the line for thirty five minutes, they tell you that you were trying it out in the store with a much newer Marshall. The Plexi's operating system is too old for that driver and it needs a work-around that can be downloaded at http://www.severedhead.com/marshall.vintagedrivers.html/, or they'll send it to you on a Zip disk for sixty bucks.

    The Web site is no longer up, and you don't have a Zip drive, but your friend does, so you send in the sixty bucks and a week later you get the driver, only your friend has a Macintosh and you have a PC. He's assured you, "No problem, my Mac can read PC files as easily as it reads Mac files. C'mon over, we'll experiment." You don't like the way he says "experiment" but you're out of options and so you give it a shot. Everything seems to go fine and you transfer everything from his Zip to your floppy, but when you get home your computer says, "This disk is unreadable." Then you realize that you left your guitar in your car when you got home from your friend's house. You run outside, but somebody's already stolen it!

    (I know it's a bullshit ending, but I ran out of ideas - I need to re-poke my EPROM and crank it up to eleven).

    Randy Chance - L.A. 2000

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