Morley Pedals was started by brothers Raymond and Marvin Lubow in LA in the 1960s, when players were first really started to explore how they could use effects to enhance their music. Their first product was an electro-mechanical echo uni under the brand name Tel-Ray Electronics, but a subsequent product – a rotating speaker simulation in a box – provided the inspiration for the Morley name: the new unit was ‘More-Lee’ rather than ‘Less-Lee.’ But what really helped Morley to break into the big league was their line of treadle-operated pedals – wahs, volume pedals and the Rotating Sound pedal, the original ‘More-Lee’ pedal. Today Morley makes a variety of effects, including Steve Vai’s Bad Horsie and Little Alligator pedals, signature gear for Mark Tremonti and George Lynch. The company was bought by Chicago firm Sound Enhancements, Inc in the late 80s but Morley continues to use the innovations of the Lubow brothers as inspiration. I Heart Guitar caught up with Morley’s Bill Wenzloff to talk shop.
Tell us about your background as a player – how and why did you start? What did you play?
I started playing guitar at about age 12. I was already a Beatles fan but once I discovered Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Deep Purple, Rush and other rock icons, I knew I wanted to play guitar. One of the first rock songs I learned was Dirty Deeds by AC/DC. It felt so awesome hitting those chords out of a loud amp; it felt slightly naughty and yet so cool. I was hooked. I played in many bands throughout my life; some original, some cover and even a few tribute bands (I was Ace Frehley in Kiss Tribute “Kissed” and Brad Whitford in Aerosmith tribute called “Big Ten Inch”). Music has been the one constant in my life and I am continually grateful that I have the gift of playing music.
Today I trudged along for my very first NAMM and I think it’s safe to say my mind was utterly and stupefyingly blown. Below I’ll list some of my gear highlights, but first, here were a few incredibly cool things that happened today:
Geekboy alert: I saw both Michael Molenda and Brad Tolinski, two journalistic heroes of mine. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll work up the guts to say hello to them!
I had my photo taken with Nuno Bettencourt!
I met designer Rick Turner (and Seymour Duncan’s Evan Skopp)
I met probably the most friendly guy on earth, Vernon Reid. Seriously, I’ve heard stories about what a lovely guy he is and they’re all totally true. I just wanna hug him!
I saw Quincy Jones. QUINCY JONES!
I met Blake from the What’s That Dude Play website – awesome dude.
Finally met Pauline France in person. You may remember her from the awesome King of the Blues coverage she provided recently.
I interviewed Joe Knaggs, formerly of Paul Reed Smith and now with his own company, Knaggs. Can’t wait to get the interview transcribed and on the site – he was a very cool guy with lots of interesting stuff to say.
I met Brandon from Jim Dunlop, who has been great in supporting I Heart Guitar with info.
Checking out the new Martin gear. Look for a report soon.
Now for my day at NAMM. Apologies for the fuzzy iPhone shots – I took a camera but it’s having trouble interfacing with the computer, and I was clever enough to use my phone for some backups.
First off, here’s my view as I walked to NAMM. I literally got butterflies in my tummy like a little kid.
OK. Gear highlights.
The Ibanez UV77MC multicolour swirl 7-string reissue, painted by the artist who did the originals, Darren Johannsen.
Marshall‘s Dave Mustaine Megastack
Checking out the entire Blackstar amp range. Love that HT Club 40.
The new Randall Nuno Bettencourt mini combo amp.
The EVH Wolfgang Special! Yes, after a year of the EVH Wolfgang being totally freaking awesome on its own, it’s now going to be joined (in April) by a flat-topped version. You will also now be able to buy the Wolfgang neck and bridge pickups separately to add to your own guitar.
Seymour Duncan Slash signature pickup – designed to make Slash’s non-Derrick Les Pauls sound like his Derrick Les Paul!
G&L Rampage Jerry Cantrell signature models! In addition to the cream-coloured one everyone expected, there are a few other models with cool graphics.
Peavey Devin Townsend baritone V 7-string prototype. This axe is being displayed at NAMM to gauge the response, and if things go well it’ll make it to production. Devin’s latest CD, ‘Addicted,’ is so freaking awesome that I hope there’s huge support for the guitar. I checked it out and it was incredible – great attack and sustain.
More info on these items and others in the morning!
Here are the links to preorder the individual shows:
If you’re heading to NAMM in a couple of weeks, here are Paul’s scheduled autograph signings:
HomeBrew Electronics (2:00 pm Fri)
Ibanez Guitars (3:30 pm Fri)
Marshall Amps (10:30 am Sat.)
Ernie Ball Strings (Noon Sun.)
Alfred Publishing (1:00 pm Sun.)
Are you going to NAMM? If so, I’m insanely jealous and maybe somehow I’ll make it there next year. Peavey has released details of their endorsers’ NAMM appearances, and the press release is below. Most interesting to me is Devin Townsend, who has recently been photographed with a Peavey HP. Devin has used Peavey 5150 amps but most recently was seen using Mesa Boogie. Could he be going back to Peavey for amps? Is he leaving ESP for guitars?
Also of note is that Joe Satriani will be officially launching his new Peavey JSX amp. The one you can read about here.
Anyway, here’s the press release and schedule.
Legendary guitarist Joe Satriani will introduce his new signature Peavey JSX guitar amplifier during a special press conference during the NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) show on Friday, January 16, at 1 p.m., in the middle of the Peavey exhibit (5740) at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Gary Rossington and metal legends Max Cavalera (SOULFLY, SEPULTURA), Alex Skolnick (TESTAMENT), David Ellefson (MEGADETH) and Greg Christian (TESTAMENT) are also slated to appear during the show.
Peavey NAMM artist schedule:
Friday, January 16:
* 11:00 a.m. – Rudy Sarzo (DIO, BLUE ÖYSTER CULT) autographs
* 12:00 p.m. – Max Cavalera (SOULFLY, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY) autographs
* 1:00 p.m. – Joe Satriani press conference, middle of booth
* 1:00 p.m. – Alex Skolnick and Greg Christian (TESTAMENT) autographs, rear of booth
* 3:00 p.m. – BLACK STONE CHERRY autographs
* 3:00 p.m. – Shagrath (DIMMU BORGIR, CHROME DIVISION) autographs, rear of booth
Saturday, January 17:
* 11:00 a.m. – David Ellefson (F5), Devin Townsend (STRAPPING YOUNG LAD) and Rudy Sarzo autographs
* 1:15 p.m. – Joe Satriani autographs
* 3:00 p.m. – Flynnville Station autographs, rear of booth
* 4:00 p.m. – Gary Rossington (LYNYRD SKYNYRD) autographs
Schedule subject to change; please visit exhibit to confirm dates and times
This newest Squier RUG BURN Series will incorporate the ever popular aging & distressing features into the Indonesian produced Squier line of guitars & basses, to be priced at a mid point between the standard Squier line and the Standard Baja manufactured products.
According to a company spokesperson, “We have a 10-15 age demographic just ready to make the jump from game controllers to a product with the appearance of something a great grandparent might have owned. It’s important to keep that heritage going, and at $329 we feel the RUG BURN Series is gonna fit right into that Xbox 360 niche. Creating another price point was only a minor consideration– as our priority is simply to service the needs of our public in the best way possible.”
Each RUG BURN Series instrument begins as a standard finished Squier model, which is then placed into “the tumbler”; a large rotating drum– similar to a concrete mixer, which is lined with Dupont Stainmaster berber style carpeting. During the tumbling process thousands of walnuts are introduced along with dried mustard for age tinting. After leaving the tumbler, the guitar is then “dusted” off with high pressure air & Kool Menthol unfiltered tobacco jets, after which the strings are finally added. Then each Rug Burn Series model is prepared for shipping in its own Dupont Stainmaster berber style carpet lined gig bag along with a Dupont Stainmaster berber style carpet strap.
Both the gig bag and strap are designed to help maintain the freshness of your RUG BURN Series instrument’s finish for many years to come.
Watch for the RUG BURN Series! And remember, it’s not a Squier Rug Burn unless it has the, “RUG BURN Series” sticker on the pickguard. So take one for test tumble soon at your nearest Fender dealer and you might just walk out with a Rug Burn of your very own!
This is a guest post by JP from Stratoblogster – a very cool site with lots of great content, Stratty and otherwise. Go check it out! Here are some stories to get you started.
Fender’s bringing back the Ritchie Blackmore Stratocaster in 2009. Do ya think Yngwie will pick a couple up? This sort of thing is right up his alley: scalloped fretboard, white finish, unused middle pickup.
Check out this cool YouTube video of Paul Gilbert and pickup guru/photographer Larry Dimarzio.
Thomann has opened up preordering for new 2009 Ibanez guitars, and while not all the photos are on the site yet, you can tell a lot from the specs. They’re talking about these over at the official Ibanez forum and at Jemsite, which is where I first heard about the Thomann links, so I figure it’s ok to re-post the info here now that it’s out there in the public domain.
For instance, there’s the PGM401-TFB (pictured). Paul Gilbert Signature, ash body, 5-pcs maple/walnut PGM Prestige neck, rosewood fretboard, 24 medium frets, dot inlays, painted “f-holes”, cosmo black hardware, fixed bridge, DiMarzio Air Classic humbuckers, 648 mm scale lenght, color: Trifade Burst, incl. case and leather strap. CLICK HERE to preorder. And by the way, check out his new CD, United States, with Freddie Nelson. It’s awesome.
Oh and who likes maple fretboards? RG2550MZ-GW, basswood body, 5-pcs maple/walnut neck, maple fretboard 24 jumbo frets, shark inlays, Edge Zero tremolo, 1x Di Marzio/IBZ-N neck humbucker 1x Di Marzio/IBZ-S single coil middle position and 1x Di Marzio/IBZ-B bridge humbucker, with mirror pickguard, incl. case, color: galaxy white. CLICK HERE to preorder.
RG2570MZ-VBE (pictured), Basswood Body, 24 Jumbo Frets, 5-pc. Maple/Walnut Neck, Maple Fretboard, Prestige Shark Tooth Inlays, Edge Zero Tremolo, 1x Di Marzio/IBZ-N Neck Humbucker 1x Di Marzio/IBZ-S Single Coil Middle and 1x Di MArzio/IBZ-B Bridge Humbucker, 648 mm scale lenght, Color: Vital Blue, incl. Luxus Case and Leather Strap. CLICK HERE to preorder.
And let’s not forget the return of the Destroyer series. DTT700-MGS, destroyer-series, mahogany body, 5-pcs. maple/walnut neck-through neck (Wizard II), rosewood fretboard, 22 jumbo frets, AR block inlays, Gibraltar custom bridge, chrome hardware, 2 x Dimarzio D-Activator humbuckers, 648 mm scale lenght, color: metallic gray sunburst , incl. case and strap. CLICK HERE to preorder.
The Xiphos series also gets a lower cost little brother: XP300FX-BK, X-Series Xiphos, mahogany body, 3-pcs bolt-on maple, rosewood fretboard, 24 jumbo frets, white dot inlays, fixed bridge, cosmo black hardware, INF3 neck- and INF4 bridge humbucker, 648 mm scale lenght, colour: black, incl. gigag and strap. CLICK HERE to preorder.
There’s also a way pimped out version of the Xiphos: XPT700XH-GSF, X-Series Xiphos, mahogany body, 5-piece maple/walnut neck thru-neck, rosewood fretboard, 27 jumbo frets, white sharktooth inlays, Edge III tremolo, black hardware, DiMarzio Air Norton (N) and Activator (B) humbuckers, 648 mm scale lenght, colour: Green Shadow Flat, incl. case & strap. CLICK HERE to preorder.
No news yet on the rumoured Paul Gilbert Fireman (reverse Iceman) or new Steve Vai Jem models – let’s wait and see what else is posted on Thomann before NAMM in January.
I’m very proud to announce that Ibanez and I have agreed to re-issue the original AT100 on a global scale. As opposed to the original AT100 which was a limited production (we think @ 300 were made), the AT100CL will be available worldwide and will be made to the exact specs as the original including the hand shaped neck!!
As you may recall, I announced a while back that I had parted ways with Ibanez and that I just wanted to play whatever I felt like playing. I never had any intention of signing with another guitar company as many had speculated. I did get approached by many companies once word got out (which I was very flattered by) but it was more important to me to remain independent and avoid a reputation as an “endorsement hopper”.
What I discovered in this time period is that I do love to play Strats occasionally as well as SG Specials, Teles and Les Pauls but nothing feels like “home” like my original AT100. Tone, feel and expression. It’s truly MY guitar.
As I was coming to this realization, Hoshino invited me to play for their 100th Anniversary concert in Japan w/Steve Vai and Paul Gilbert. I was very honored to be asked to do so and I thought it was cool for them to ask considering I wasn’t currently an endorsee. During my visit they approached me with the idea of re-issuing the AT100. It was just perfect timing…it felt “right”!
I know there has been a lot of interest in this guitar in the past, so I’m so happy to say that it will finally be available in 2009!
The guitar will be unveiled at the January NAMM show (and available for pre-order) in Anaheim and should be in stores by Spring.
The Andy Timmons Band will appear opening for Paul Gilbert and Racer X as part of the NAMM festivities. Good stuff indeed.
I’m off to play…I’m inspired!!!
Mr Scary. That muscly guy from Dokken. The dude with the cool kamikaze print and 3D carved skull guitars. George Lynch has been cranking out warm-toned, complex riffs and impossibly catchy-yet-flashy guitar solos for over 25 years with various bands including Lynch Mob and Lynch/Pilson, as well as eclectic solo works like his 1993 classic ‘Sacred Groove.’ Lynch was in Australia for a clinic tour in 2006 and he’s returning in December with the reactivated Lynch Mob, who are demoing a new album before George goes back to work with his other band, Souls Of We, an altogether darker project whose album ‘Let The Truth Be Known’ is out now (click here to buy it from Amazon.com).
PETER: Who is in the Lynch Mob line-up now?
LYNCH: Oni Logan is back on vocals. We have Marco Mendoza (Whitesnake) on bass and Scott Coogan on drums.
PETER: From Brides of Destruction?
LYNCH: Yeah. Scott also played with Oni in a band called Violet’s Demise, which an amazing record.
PETER: Are you guys recording anything now?
LYNCH: Yes, we have about 3/4 of the album done. We reconvene in late November to finish it, and will continue finishing it til the end of the year. But I’ve got a Souls of We record coming out, which has been five years of work. I’m not sure when that’s going to be released in Australia – actually I’m going to have to look into it. But it’s being released in Japan, the United States and Europe.
PETER: And how far along is the new Lynch Mob stuff? Do you have a label yet?
LYNCH: No, it’s too soon, we haven’t even shopped the record yet. We’re just writing songs. I don’t think these songs are even in the form they’re going to be on the record. We assumed it would be, well, we were aiming for a Wicked Sensation vibe, but I’m hestiant to say it’s more of a Fleetwood Mac, Bon Jovi vibe. It has elements of it, but of course it gets heavier.
PETER: What is the setlist like for these Lynch Mob gigs?
LYNCH: It’s a mix of the first Lynch Mob record, and sprinkled with a few Dokken tunes. Plus whatever we feel like jamming on that night!
LYNCH: I’ve always got stuff in the pipeline. Right now I have a weird design on the table that will probably never be produced. It’s a Lexan body with a carbon fibre exoskeleton and a throbbing rose coloured LED embedded in the body. Maybe ESP will agree to build one as a NAMM showpiece. I’m hoping. Right now the newest model that I play is the ESP GL57, a vintage-y, beat up lookin’ copy of a vintage Strat, which I had a VG control built into. It’s like an extreme rock guitar for a Stevie Ray Vaughan.
PETER: How do you go about designing a guitar with ESP?
LYNCH: I start with a sketch. I studied mechanical drawing in school and I have a small design studio. I’ll start with a freehand design then move the shape over to a graphic program like Graphite. Then eventually to a full-blown CAD program like Maxicam. I also work with luthiers and finishers on the construction and selection of the components. I’ll work with Seymour Duncan on the pickups, and a machine shop on metal parts design. I designed a custom “V” tailpiece for the high end ESP Super V, but we never finished it.
PETER: You now have a few Seymour Duncan pickups, including the new Super V. What is the creative process in making a new signature pickup?
LYNCH: We usually start with something existing. PAF always a nice start. I’m working on using different kinds of wire and windings, different gauge windings for each bobbin, different diameter and length pole piece screws, potting, etc.
PETER: What is your philosophy on distortion?
LYNCH: Less is more.
PETER: How do you generate your distortion?
PETER: Tell us about the Lynch Box amp with Randall. How does it adapt to your different musical personalities?
LYNCH: Dave Freeman, Bruce Egnator and I worked from the bottom up, designing modules that matched some of my favorite amps: early Boogie Recto’s, Marshall Plexis, Vox AC30s, etc. I started out with Randall in the very early 80′s. I worked with Gary Sunds on the RG 100. So I’ve come full circle with them by getting on board again 25 years later. We plan on re-releasing the RG 100 amp in the next couple years. It was a very unique amp with a signature sound, and it was all transistor!
CLICK HERE to buy George Lynch’s Souls of We – Let the Truth Be Known from Amazon.com
CLICK HERE to buy the Randall MTS Series Lynch Box 100W amp head with modules
CLICK HERE to buy the ESP George Lynch M-1 Tiger electric guitar
CLICK HERE to buy George Lynch: The Lost Anthology on CD from CDJapan.co.jp
Lynch Mob Australian Tour Dates December 2008
MELBOURNE – Wednesday 10 December – The Hi Fi Bar
Tickets: www.justsayrock.com.au, Metal Mayhem: (03) 9621-1666, http://www.thehifi.com.au/
SYDNEY – Thursday 11 December – The Metro Theatre (All Ages)
Tickets: www.justsayrock.com.au, http://www.themetrotheatre.com.au/
BRISBANE – Friday 12 December – The Arena
Tickets: www.justsayrock.com.au, http://www.oztix.com/, The Arena Box Office
RACER X will perform at the 2009 NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show, which will be held January 15-18 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California.
Commented RACER X guitarist Paul Gilbert: “Ibanez guitars is celebrating the 20th anniversary of my PGM guitar with a concert at the NAMM show.”
The concert will take place on Saturday, January 17, 2009 at the Sheraton Park Ballroom and will not be open to the public.
Paul said, “It is very exciting for me to be the featured artist for Ibanez this year, so I am glad that I can do something special for this concert. I can’t think of anything better than a killer set of RACER X!” He added, “I can’t wait to play some killer heavy metal with my favorite metal band!”
Andy Timmons and his band will open the show, followed by a solo set from Paul Gilbert, and finally RACER X. The RACER X lineup will consist of Paul Gilbert, Scott Travis (JUDAS PRIEST), Jeff Martin (BADLANDS, MSG) and John Alderete (THE MARS VOLTA).
The last RACER X performance in the U.S. was held on May 25, 2001. It was filmed for the live DVD “Live At The Whisky – Snowball Of Doom”.
Joe Satriani is working on the next few pedals for his signature Vox range while on tour. Joe’s current live pedalboard includes the Time Machine delay and the Big Bad Wah. Reports from fans who have checked it out at shows say Joe is currently using the Time Machine for short delays. It appears to have a tap tempo switch in addition to the bypass switch. The exterior design of the pedal already looks like it’s ready for production. Could we be seeing this one at NAMM in January?
Less information is immediately apparent about the Big Bad Wah, which looks a little earlier along in the design phase. I’m sure this one will be very tweakable. The first time I interviewed Satch, in 2006, he went on for a good 5 minutes just about modding wah wah pedals on his own, so I’m sure that with the combined efforts of Satch and the Vox team, this wah will be loaded with tone shaping capabilities.
The photos were taken by Satriani fan David Johnson. David said, “I took them at the Satriani show in Edmonton. There were about 20 geeks straining to get pics, but I was lucky enough to have a stool to stand on so I got decent shots of his gear.” Great pics David!
CLICK HERE to buy the Vox Joe Satriani Satchurator Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal.