Famous Monsters 2014
he connection between monsters and music has always been strong. From the scores of Universal classics up through modern day bands
like The Mistfits and Metallica, they have inspired one another for decades. Last year, Famous Monsters teamed up with ESP guitars to bring
the world its limited edition Vincent Price custom guitar. The idea was the brainchild of ESP Vice President Jeff Moore, a lifelong monster kid
who grew up reading FM and drinking in classic Universal and Hammer horror films. Combined with the fact that I had played ESP guitars
for over 15 years and had extensive knowledge of their custom abilities, the deal was done before we even left our first lunch together.
This year, we decided to throw a new element into the mix. When Frank Frazetta Jr., son of legendary artist Frank Frazetta (DEATH
DEALER, CONAN, TARZAN, CREEPY) approached us about a collaboration, it became a no-brainer as to what would feature on our next
guitar. It took all of a few minutes of going through the available artwork to decide on Frazetta’s rendition of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. It
was classic Frazetta featuring powerful brushstrokes, a terrifying beast, and a fearless heroine charging into battle.
We took the feedback from the fans the previous year and decided to make some adjustments. First, the guitar will feature two pick-ups
instead of just the one from the previous year. This makes it a player’s guitar, not just a decorative piece. We chose the more elegantly rounded
Eclipse body style that allows the artwork a little more room to breathe. The hardware and accents are in gold, giving the guitar a
stunning, bold finish. The guitar is from ESP’s LTD line and will launch very soon. Check out www.captainco.com for all the details.
For more on ESP and their amazing creations, check out www.espguitars.com.
peaking of monster kids and music, this year while I, your
humble EDitor, was attending NAMM (the massive conference in
Anaheim where music companies gather to show off their
latest gear) for the unveiling of the FM/ESP Frazetta guitar, I was
on another mission: to track down the Amptweaker booth and
purchase the nastiest, heaviest high gain distortion pedal ever put
on this earth: The Tightmetal Pro.
Amptweaker is a company run by James Brown (no, not that
James Brown). This James Brown is a legend in the amp and
effects industry for collaborating with Eddie Van Halen to create
the 5150 sound at Peavey. Brown headed the project that
ultimately birthed one of the most classic guitar sounds in rock
history. But now he’s started his own company that makes highend effects pedals. He and his wife create each and every pedal by
hand from custom components and bomb-proof steel casings. The
range of effects covers classic rock and blues sounds to the
heaviest death and thrash metal.
Upon finding the booth I saw the object of my affection and
struck up a conversation with James. He agreed to let one of them
go and I purchased my new baby. It wasn’t until I was leaving that
I gave him my card so he could email an invoice. Upon seeing the
logo he excitedly asked if this was the very same Famous
Monsters that he grew up reading. I confirmed that it was and from
that point forward the conversation was all classic monster movies.
I emailed him several days later, telling him how much I enjoyed
the pedal and was so impressed with all its features. Here was his
reply, true to monster kid form:
Glad you like the pedal.....it’s a cool (and appropriately creepy)
personal highlight for me to circle back and make a connection to
Famous Monsters.....I feel like the magazine helped steer me
creatively around the time I was learning to play guitar. Remember,
this was before JAWS, before EXORCIST, before FRIDAY THE
13TH, when the only horror movies we saw were on late night
broadcast TV. Now people have so much coming
at them with the internet, cable tv, streaming
stations, Youtube, etc that it’s hard to appreciate
how big of a difference it is....no wonder
everybody has ADHD. I watched all I could
find, and read the magazine cover to cover
every time it came out.
If you’re a player looking to make your sound
as perfect and as custom as it can be, you owe it
to yourself to check out Amptweaker. For more
on James and his line of fantastic effects pedals,
head on over to www.amptweaker.com.