My bouts with GAS became fewer and fewer. It’s not that I stopped buying gear – for goodness’ sake I just purchased another guitar! But that craze that would put me in a feeding frenzy and I’d shell out thousands on gear – most of which I don’t use any longer – just doesn’t happen all that much any longer. In fact, even with my new, beloved Katie May, I didn’t suffer any GAS at all.
People who are close to me might say it’s all the wine I drink, but to be completely honest, I taste a lot of wine, but don’t really drink a lot of wine; there’s a HUGE difference. You could also say, I’m a bit more mindful of my pocketbook. I am. I surely don’t have a recent IPO to thank for that, though I’m working on it.
Looking back on those days when I’d get a GAS attack, I’d walk into a music store – one bad one in particular is Tone Merchants in Orange, CA which is like walking into f-in’ gear heaven (or more locally, Gelb Music in Redwood City, CA) – and I felt like I had walked into a brothel where I could try all the girls before I actually paid for the one with whom I’d eventually spend a protracted amount of time, and the cool thing was that they were all clean, and I didn’t have to worry about catching some STD. After trying out all the different alternatives, the money would be burning a hole in my pocket! And wise choice or not, I’d walk out with SOMETHING, be it a guitar, an amp, an exotic pedal.
And the sales guys, if you’ve been buying from them for a long time know this about you. They don’t waste time showing you the new-fangled stuff just because it’s new. They know better. Instead, they show you stuff that they know will get you into that feeding frenzy. It’s not a bad thing. Hell, I have lots of GREAT gear that I still use on a regular basis, but those few years of being hasty and at times indiscriminate actually kind of burned me out.
You notice that on this blog I don’t write as many gear reviews as I used to. There was a time when I was reviewing at least a three or four items a month, if not more so. But lately, I’ve been a lot more into gear from a different perspective; and that is how it fits into my sound.
For instance, take the Tattooed Lady Overdrive I recently reviewed by the Circus Freak Music guys. This is an absolutely kick-ass overdrive with lots of internal gain and lots of volume to really push the front-end of your amp. This is a pedal that I would add to my chain; actually, I haven’t told the boys over there about it yet, but I’m keeping the pedal – I’ll pay for it of course, but I’m still keeping it. 🙂 I got this for review, and even though I discovered it to be insanely awesome, it didn’t give me that tingly feeling I’d get in my gut when it arrived on my doorstep. In fact, I got the box, opened it up, plugged it in and just started to play. What made me decide to keep it was its versatility. I could use it as a standalone clipping device, but I could also use it as a nice little booster. It also stacks well with my Timmy; much more so than my Tone Freak Abunai 2, which is also an insanely good overdrive (that’s still on my board as well because it has a nice color to it – I took it off for awhile, but it keeps on coming back).
The point is that after all those years of sucking up gear, it’s not that I got burned out. I just found my fundamental tone. It’s also not that I don’t want to screw with that, it’s just that I’m not as compelled towards tonal discovery.
I don’t think my GAS is cured. I think it just takes a lot more to spark it.