Every once in a while something comes along - something strange and beautiful - something unexpected. "The Deacy" is just such an amplifier. Now, as you well know, this site is about vacuum-tube or "valve" (as the Brits say it) amplifiers. We love everything tube. We love the sound, we love feel, we love the interactivity and we love the loudness. We also love the renaissance that's occurring with both vacuum tube amps and older style out-of-manufacture pedals where the older schematics and parts are being rediscovered and re-purposed into new, and powerful, heavy music.
As we understand the story, it happened in London. It was 1972 and Queen was just coming together as a band. One night, while walking home from rehearsal carrying his bass, John Deacon walked by a "skip" (in the U.S. we would call this a dumpster) and something brightly colored (coloured?) caught John's eye. In that moment, John's curiosity got the better of him. He paused for a bit, perhaps excited about future possibilities, and went rummaging about in that skip. He found that the bright colored bits were connected to an unidentified circuit board with all the parts still on it.
This is where the pedigree of the Deacy is wonderfully esoteric. The electronics come from a country that no longer exists: Southern Rhodesia.
The parts that John had scrounged that night came from a radio built and manufactured in Southern Rhodesia in Africa. Today that country is called Zimbabwe. In the post-colonial era, Britain still had ties and influence in Southern Rhodesia. In fact, Southern Rhodesia remained a self-governed colony of Britain until 1980 when the last vestiges of British rule were thrown off and Southern Rhodesia became Zimbabwe.
It's been a while since we've posted here. Unfortunately, the sad truth of the matter is that we've gotten involved in a community radio project. The hope of which is to give ourselves a radio presence locally here in Long Beach, California, and also with the audio stream that will be flowing online from the station. Unfortunately, there's been some legal developments, which naturally are taking our time instead of working on actually building new content and building the business here for Thermionic Studios.
On December 26, two days ago, Lemmy Kilmister was notified of a particularly aggressive form of cancer.
Today, December 28th, two days later, Lemmy died.
Lemmy first got his start as bass player for a band in the 60s called the Rockin' Vicars (now found as "Rockin Vickers"). He then graduated to 70s space rock group, Hawkwind. Here's Wikipedia's profile on him...
Everybody seems to know about the KitRae Big Muff Pi Page, which, admittedly, is probably the most authoritative page on the internet about the history of the Electro Harmonix Big Muff distortion pedal .
It includes all the different versions, and each of the permutations of parts within each version.
What we didn't think there was an equivalent for, as the title of this article makes clear, was the same kind of page exulting the ProCo Rat... But there is!
One of the great things about buying an album used to be the collateral that came with the album. It wasn't just the music. It was the other things that came with the music in the physical album. There was always a sleeve that came with the physical media (the vinyl record, the cassette, or the CD) that you purchased the music on. The least imaginative record labels used the sleeve to hawk their other bands.
So there's a group of Fender Rhodes aficionados who post by the name of "Audiotech VR" on Youtube. The video that they've posted is well over an hour long. The video describes the Rhodes Electric Piano, its pieces and its function, and a bit of history as to when it first started being built. They describe the Rhodes in its heyday and put theirs through a number of different songs and artists. They then also go through and put the Rhodes through several effects for a really cool viewing experience.