15 Oct

All Tech No Brains – Purple Tom

OK, so you’ve suffered through the pain that is “Thursday Morning”. Now, let’s move on to some really bad guitar. My apologies to Thomas Joseph Murray IV for maligning his technique, but in this case the kettle is in fact on the darker side of the monochromatic spectrum. To be clear: I was worse on bass than he was on guitar…but still…




If my memory serves, Tom and I were looking around for our next great work when we discovered that our portable guitar tuners had built-in microphones…ostensibly to be used when tuning a guitar. However, when connected to a quarter-inch patch cable these pickups would pass sound.


Well, since Tom only had his used acoustic, we kinda…uh…pulled out on the strings (really bad idea) and slipped the guitar tuner through the sound hole to the inside of the guitar. A little masking tape to hold the cable out of the way, and presto! a semi-electric guitar! We ran that puppy straight into my Multiverb, and out to tape. I loaded the Multiverb down with a stereo panner, digital multi-tap delay, chorus, and reverb. And it actually ended up being track #2 all by itself.

Yeah, well, it was pretty idiotic, but there was no real harm done.

Let me pause here to give the reader a little background. Tom and I had been friends since in 8th grade, I moved to Greenwood Laboratory School on the Missouri State campus. It was a unique school, mostly the children of the Missouri State (then called SMSU) professors and staff, the assorted children of the very rich, and, well, me. Tom left Greenwood for his senior year to attend one of the large Springfield public schools–for two reasons: publicly, he wanted to take more college credit than (oddly) Greenwood would allow, and privately, to meet girls. There were only 120 or so students in the entire high school at Greenwood, Freshman through Senior.

He turned out to be successful in both endeavors. I personally know no other person who started College in Calculus III. But on the other score, the hippies had made a resurgence in the 1989ish time-frame and Tom joined in. Actually, that’s were the guitar entered into the picture. And if you’re wondering, he eventually became a much better guitarist then is heard here, but in reality the skill level was a fine depiction of our spoof target.  I assume that this song started life as “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix…and that, in and of itself, is somewhat ironic.

Not only that, apparently, a guitar is a requirement to hang with the hippies.

Wonder if Tom ever met this cat?

Anyway, this was brought back from the brink of extinction once again via the Sound Blaster Extigy. Here is what it sounded like directly from the tape. A lot of tape noise, low levels, and dead sound. And this was probably the cleanest of all the tracks on the tape.

Title: Purple Tom
Album: All Tech No Brains
Artists: Tom Murray and Joseph Baxter
Target: Trippie Hippie Fireside Guitar

I’d call it a significant difference. Matter of fact, it sounds like one of my filters caused a slight pitch-shift–I’ll try to track that down.


Not much excitement here–but, I’ll be back at you with Track 3 entitled “My Buddy Eddie”, which I assure you will be weird enough for all of us.