As announced in May I have undertaken the task of modifying my favourite Ronaldo Custom and Fender P Bass.
I experienced very little difficulty in changing the bridge from a vintage style Wilkinson p bass bridge for Mexican made Fender P basses, the Hipshot Kicksass bridge designated as being a retro fit for that bridge type fit perfectly. I am a fan of the way that the new bridge allows to lower the action which was an issue with the Wilkinson bridge because of the larger saddles, the inserts for the Kickass Hipshot bridge made action adjustment much better.
The Tuners caused some issues, the stock licensed by Schaller tuners did not match the route for the hipshot tuners cited as the fit for the MIM fender P bass, but with some work it was able to be completed and not tuning issues have been had with the new hipshot tuners.
Check out the photos and audio examples from this simple but effective transformation.
Many years ago I picked up a 1992 Made in Mexico Fender Precision bass. That same night I put a new pick guard and pickup in that same bass (at the time tortoise style pick guard, and a Seymour Duncan QP1 pickup). Even farther along in the bass’ life I also swapped the strap buttons for the fender longing spring loaded system, and soon after a new Ronaldo Custom Neck. The bass would also get a Wilkinson bridge some years ago which changed the character of the sound greatly. Among other important changes that have occurred in the bass is swapping out the stock electronics and the QP1 for a Geezer Butler EMG set and it remained in such a state retaining the following;
Stock licensed by Shaller tuners, maple neck with rosewood board and matching headstock, Geezer butler pickup, Paisley pickguard, Wilkinson vintage style bridge.
This is soon changing…As of May 2019 I am going to be doing a both functional and aesthetic change to commemorate my own musical journey progression. After having recently invested in new hardware for the bass most notably in a new Hipshot kickass bridge and Hipshot tuners!
This modification will be well documented and before and after footage will be made.
As a performing musician and songwriter there is nothing more essential in my writing and performing process than the RK5 fly rig(both the v1 and v2 are staples in my live and studio work). This inspired me to think of how I can best explore the capabilities of the new RK5 v2 and PL1 Fly Rig units.
Links to these products will be included in each piece written and photos of the settings will be taken to help any of our curious readers achieve similar results.
Some tones I am hoping to attempt to recreate with some level of success will include;
1. Sleepwalk- Santo and Johnny
2. Heart full of Soul- The Yardbirds
3. Satisfaction- The Rolling Stones
4. Round Midnight- Wes Montgomery
5. You Really Got Me- The Kinks
6. David Bowie
7. Lake Street Dive
8. Led Zeppelin
9. The Band
10. Real Love Baby- Father John Misty
I had been only very recently informed of the recent banning of the song “Baby, It’s cold outside” from radio airplay. I have an interesting history with this song in that it has many chord changes in it which makes it very difficult to play without some preparation, and also attempting a gender-flipped version of the tune in the early 2010’s. I have always found the tune to be ever so slightly “date-rape-y” and the song has some concerning implications without context.
The song originated as a song intended to be sung by the songwriter and his wife at parties, and there are phrases and language nuances associated to a different time where “What’s in this drink?” meant that the drink someone was enjoying was being felt and could be leading to some level of being tipsy. This is not a perfect portrayal of romantic interactions alone between two parties, but considering that I have never looked into the history of the song before this controversy I consider it something learned.
The controversy surrounding the song is based in the current politically correct culture which has valid points in some arguments from my perspective and at other times can be perhaps too concerned with something not pleasant but potentially interesting to discuss. I consider having points of controversy around to be interesting to discuss and also can lead to learning about history and how language in itself evolves. This song can even lead potentially into a conversation where learning about how date rape can occur is a potential good resulting from having something historically relevant and controversial to modern social movements.
It is important to share that rape is not in any circumstance okay, and no indeed always means no. When controversial art exists it should be discussed, contextualized and can be discussed. How does this issue make you, our lovely readers feel?
Throughout the late 20th century and into the new millennium, new classics were born. This couldn’t be more true of the works of J.K. Rowling and her masterful work on the infamous Harry Potter series. Since the original 7 HP books were published, Rowling has continued to inspire generations of readers to develop and grow an empire of wizard culture. Whether you’re sorted into your Hogwarts or Ilvermorny houses or have just began your wizarding world journey, you’re sure to find similar company. Within the vast fantasy world of HP, we stumbled upon Alivan’s, which is a real-life woodworking group that produces replica and custom magic wands for its customers.
We know what you’re thinking. How the hell is this vintage? Bear with us- the woodworking itself and craftsmanship, as well as the intersection of literature are the draws from the retro perspective. You see, preparing a wand requires a steady hand, lathe techniques, and other tools of the trade. We are sadly in an era that is only just now re-allocating value in intricate crafts and vocations. In Alivan’s case, they capitalized on a high-demand media market that targeted the gigantic fan base of Harry Potter. Using an age-old technique with a new spin (lathe pun intended) is just another brilliant way to mesh the old with the new. In many ways, the literature foundation for this entire fan base is just another call back to the classics. HP could have easily been exclusively movies or online comics, so to have this fantastical world all spawning from books is humbling to us at RRBlog.
Alivan’s in particular is a small group out of Florida that models itself from Ollivander’s wandmakers (featured in books and in movies) that embodies the do-it-yourself spirit of the American dream and the essence of a thriving small business here in the States. The art of woodwork is something dating back far into yesteryear
I am glad to share a few pieces from Alivan’s and you can see the vast range of care and craft dedicated to this style of wood work.
This is a Finnias’s choice wand from the recent Fall grab bag they have offered, the design and notches as well as in the wood grain itself!
Next step is a beautiful limited addition piece from their collection utilizing wood from trees from the actual film set where the Hogwarts castle was set! With a stunning combination of But I believe to be maple for the shaft, and burled oak got the handle, Very much a more detailed piece in comparison to others, but the attention to detail shows very much why it is important to maintain define craft of woodworking and in a greater context as far as my own experience the art of building instruments by hand, be they magical or musical or both.
Next up is a very very special piece, the custom re-creation of my own pottermore designated wand, If you are yet to start yourself into your house or have your wine Sarah Moni done I highly recommend it as it is very entertaining and can serve as a pseudo-personality quiz without necessarily being scientific in anyway. Some interesting trivia regarding the potter more designs themselves is that there is roughly 4 different handle shapes, you can see the attention to detail in the crafting of a round hilt for the handle and lines in the handle itself, You can see the character and ways that these designs can play into the known universe of the novels and films.
And celebration Of the film released today, we are also very glad to present the ash wand, which is the Alivan’s version of the Newt Scamander wand. While not picture-perfect to the noble collection offering this is something that like the others has a great sense of craft involved in the more my new details, the different ridges and curvature is in the wood itself and the paint job, even featuring some silver paint where there’s oyster imitation material in the noble collection one.
Check them out at https://alivans.com/ and check out their great offerings! We highly recommend the fall grab bag as well at https://alivans.com/product/alivans-fall-grab-bag/ and don’t forget to say who brought you there 😉
Stay curious ❤
We at the retro revival have the pleasure of getting to try the egg cream kit from Brooklyn Seltzer Boys, we tried the vanilla syrup and found them very delicious, but feel that individual reaction to the tasty beverage are warranted.
Wow. I can’t quite describe the excellence in quality overall of BSB’s products and recipe that comes right on their glasses. Egg creams remind me of my grandpop, who would routinely make his own with sodas and other ingredients. One sip of this brilliant concoction brought me back to my grandparents’ house. I could imagine myself younger, my grandfather sitting on the third-to-bottom step of their split-level home, offering me spoonfuls of his egg cream-esque dessert drinks as I would whiz back and forth either with a twirling ribbon or my best napkin parachute. This particular variety from the family-at-its-core company, Brooklyn Seltzer Boys, was exceptionally well done with the classic zing of good seltzer paired masterfully with a smooth vanilla cream finish. BSB’s beverage kits are definitely a recommendation I’d share for the foodie in your family for the coming holiday season.
Rating the kit itself I am very impressed with the seltzer bottle, 32 ounces of fizzy goodness and these are bottles you can keep! The BSB only refill 20 ounce bottles for their subscription service so the egg cream kits give you a 32 ounce antique seltzer bottle with a plastic nozzle, your choice of syrup, two egg cream recipe glasses, and a t-shirt! This was also something that was very fun and simple to do, I can see this being a fond memory for people growing up in yesteryear and warm family moments brought together by Brooklyn Egg Creams. The seltzer on it’s own is also as good as I recall it being during the interview, as a lifelong seltzer fan myself I am a big fan of this product. The egg cream when brought together is a fizzy and delicious burst of smooth vanilla and milky goodness, with the levity of seltzer water and the creaminess of the milk and vanilla syrup, I would get this for the holidays if you want to bring your little ones back to yesteryear, or to make an older relative feel the warmth of nostalgia and happy memories with this kit.
Check them out at www.brooklynseltzerboys.com/the-product and let them know that the Retro Revival was how you found out about them!
On memorial day weekend I had gone up to record with Brenyama for our second studio album, the location we would be spending our long weekend at is none other than Good Caramel Records, a studio housed in an old Catholic school in downtown Buffalo.
Entering the studio facility was refreshing for me as someone who has a halfway decent home studio, which satiated my creative needs still. from the kitchenette which wraps around to the sole restroom on the ground floor, to the makeshift bass amp room under the stairs every facet of this setup amazed me. The elements of improvisation at work everywhere I could see, using every square inch of space to full effect.
Further exploring the space leads one to go upstairs to studio A, a wooden dome of space and sound, our work space for the weekend. What occurred over the next 3 days was magic, getting roughly 90% of tracking done with some pretty good first vocal takes too. The sounds recorded there on our record sound so organic and also professional which is a refreshing combination. I was so fortunate to be able to use the bass head and cab favored by Robbie of the Goo Goo Dolls, a vintage Ampeg SVT with an 8×10 cab. Mics used for my bass was a blend of the audix d6 and the Electro Voice RE20. My Ronaldo Custom P bass seems to be the only bass recorded on the record. Using a legitimate Hammond organ only adds to the good vibes and sound here.
I’m sure I will write more regarding this weekend, stay tuned for part 2!
The fender bass is a classic instrument, since its debut in the early 50’s it has been used in nearly every style of bass playing, and every genre of music. Vintage fender basses now cost upwards of $5000 , on the low end of the spectrum, sometimes less, but classic era basses cost the remortgaging of a home.
I myself would love to have capacities to afford such luxuries, but in the absence of such funds I found a great way to upgrade my Mexican made p bass, the Wilkinson 4 saddle bass bridge!
My p bass is an early Mexican made one from 1992, the neck is a more j bass profile, and it has shaller tuners which are solid, and these had a thin layer of finish on the neck which feels very nice. The bridge has always been ok and reliable on it, but it seemed to be a chrome, or nickel plated brass. The Wilkinson bridge has larger unplated brass saddles and upon installation and first playing it feels and sounds livelier and louder. These are marketed as a classic style bridge and it is very accurate.
Upon walking through the towering gates, the newly opened site formerly containing Doris Duke’s home, the winding path let to the remnants of Ms. Duke’s home, some stone steps and what could be summarized as an otherwise mostly vacant field. Walking up the path revealed some stone fixtures; the leftover parcels of the structure of the Duke Mansion in Hillsborough NJ. Even with snow decorating them they reflected a grace, age, and majesty that these stone fixtures had led to before the adamant efforts of the Duke Farms Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to demolish the beloved home of their founder. These organizations were claiming a decade of research into alternative uses for the home was made, bringing no documentation or proof of these efforts, only providing a powerpoint made by someone hired by the foundation, to trials determining the house’s fate.
Walking up the stairs I couldn’t help but tell my wonderful companion that maybe we should try to knock where the doors would have been, just in case. You could likely guess that there was no invisible Duke Mansion there, but there is an entire field with some circular fountain beds with freshly painted birds in the middle of the fountains, while looking new not in any way matching the patina of the rest of the property. In the case of the Garden of Nations remainder, there’s too much patina, wood rot, and gaps in the outer integrity of the structure. Oh the irony.
I could be quoted saying “You know what would be really nice here? A HOUSE!”. Walking around the grounds previously occupied by the home of Doris Duke, there was a somber feeling in my chest as if the nearly vacant space was reflective of the hole I felt in my chest. It feels as if I’m visiting the grave of someone whom I had been trying to save, but couldn’t be saved because of the slow train coming that had no intention of stopping with this person in the way of the tracks they have laid. On a gentle slope going away from the plain at the center of the location, there is a bit of a grotto, a pleasant small body of water that I could imagine was a peaceful and serene spot for Ms. Duke when her home was on the grounds of her estate.
Most upsetting for me is the gall of all parties involved in the previous and concurrent attempts at assassination of the Duke family history and the legacy of Doris Duke. A plaque on the site of Doris Duke’s home reads (in reference to this site) “Doris Duke’s seasonal residence”, an improvement to DFF’s use of the phrase “Former main residence” (when referring to the two story hole in the ground as the main residence). Upon this plaque are images of other homes that Duke would visit when she wasn’t in her home and main residence in Hillsborough NJ (the one that’s not a large hole in the ground). Below these images are the words to the effect of; Doris Duke left specific instructions for her other properties, Shangra La, and Rough Point. This is the boldest of the falsehoods shared by DFF in their failure to honor their founder’s mission and purpose for founding the DFF and DDCF. According to Christie’s Auction, “it was Duke Farms she truly considered ‘home’ “.
It is important to note that during proceedings in attempts to preserve the Duke mansion the DFF had the copy of the will of Doris Duke submitted into evidence struck from the record. In the will, that they fail to correctly reference on the plaque commemorating the demolished home of their founder, it states that she expects her organizations to maintain and preserve all of her properties, stating the term “preservation” and other words to that effect several times while there is a single demolition clause much later in the will which is not quite specific either, clearly Duke had hoped her foundations would honor her legacy.