Old Black

Ziggy Stardust

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2008
Messages
112
Reaction score
6
I got to see the old black live at the Roskilde Festival this summer.

The guy who owns the guitar is simply nothing else than the greatest man
in music history. He has it all.

BCRGreg: I hate you so much! :p
 

geochem1st

V.I.P. Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
27,748
Reaction score
40,934
Actually, at that time the switch was not even part of any circuit. I told Larry (Cragg, Neil's tech) that he should put a "blower" switch in there that bypasses everything and gives Neil a straight ahead lead setting that he could instantly drop away from without having to try to redial his tone. Larry did it, and now Neil has them in several of his guitars.

Neil is a cool guy.

That was your idea??? Awesome.
There is an issue of 'The ToneQuest Report', SEPTEMBER 2006/VOL.7 NO.11, where Larry Cragg is interviewed. He talks about putting the switch in Old Black, and Neil's rig in detail. According to him he did it 30 minutes before a recording session.
He doesn't give you a lick of credit in it. That really sucks. They walk off with your photo's and ideas.
I'm glad you are with us to set the record straight! You must have some great stories to tell. Time for a book my friend.....
 

BCRGreg

V.I.P. Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
12,535
Reaction score
10,053
I don't need credit. I know why it's there.
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2007
Messages
12,299
Reaction score
5,632
That's a hell of a good idea, I want to try it !

Is that switch hooked up to just the bridge pickup?
 

tonebone

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2008
Messages
5,425
Reaction score
1,526
Nope. It's binding.

I can't say any more.

I ask the question that cain't be answer'd. figgers. story of my life.

I should be prac-tisn' anyways...

edit: ok, ok, I got my answer, but not the whyfores and wherefores.
 

tonebone

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2008
Messages
5,425
Reaction score
1,526
Some more pics from that night.....



NeilsampsFrnt.jpg

Now there's a secret exposed...

Guess lot's of people (me included) have heard and read about this, first time for me seein's it.

Great shot. Thank you!
 

dtube

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2008
Messages
336
Reaction score
4
Nice to see the Whizzer is still there. Dang, I love Neil Young's tone from that set-up. I'd put Neil's "solo" in "Cowgirl in the Sand" up against any shredding wankery any day (not that there is anything wrong with shred wankery...)
-Darren
 

jwc574

Member
Joined
May 26, 2008
Messages
43
Reaction score
0
Great pics. Whats with the other Fender amps? I always thought Neil just used the Deluxe and some old solid state rig combined. Maybe they're Poncho's rig
 

TnT~55

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2007
Messages
769
Reaction score
87
love the tone from that thing. Can't wait to see him live in October!
 

ES350

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2008
Messages
452
Reaction score
4
What's with the Mesa Boogie in the bottom right hand corner? Looks like part of the rig...LOL...
 

korby

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2008
Messages
559
Reaction score
47
Is it the aluminum pickguard that gives it the squeel or is it something else .
 

heavy blueser

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2008
Messages
509
Reaction score
55
Cool story BCRGreg an an awesome idea
but still i think it sucks that you don´t get credit for it

keep sharing your stories
 

LPSGME

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2008
Messages
3,962
Reaction score
3,251
Enough of these prissy vintage LP's!
I give you Neil Youngs 'Old Black'. [SNIP]

Old Black has also been customized with a small toggle switch in the front of the guitar, between original pickup volume and tone adjustment knobs. This switch is not a coil tap, as would commonly be assumed, but rather is a switch that allows Young to bypass the potentiometers and capacitors and send his sound directly to his amplifier (a late-1950s Fender Deluxe).

Back in the early 70's a friend of a friend (who was working for Sly Stone and also happened to be married to Dan Armstrong's cousin) was visiting and we both drilled into our guitars to install phase switches, as he claimed to have installed such a phase switch into Neil's Black Beauty during a prior job he had at some guitar shop.

Is it possible that this 'switch' entered Neil's guitar as a phase switch but was later put to some other use?

I know of no reason for him to have made up the story which, in any case, was believable enough to put a 1960 Les Paul SG; a 1961 Les Paul SG Custom; and a 1968 SG under the knife.


geochem1st-albums-pics-picture1511-oldblack1-53-les-paul-neil-young.jpg


geochem1st-albums-pics-picture1512-oldblack2-53-les-paul-neil-young.jpg


neil_young01.jpg
 

BCRGreg

V.I.P. Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
12,535
Reaction score
10,053
The switch supposedly was a phase switch, and Neil hated the tone. It was disconnected and idle for years.
 

ausmatt

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2008
Messages
220
Reaction score
4
Hey Greg, I just bought an old black replica, one of the Murphy aged ones, the switch seems to be hooked up as a coil split, was wondering if you have a wiring diagram so as I can hook it up as a bypass, I think that would be a much better use of the switch, thanks in advance.(can pm if you'd rather than putting up on forum.)
Matt.
 

TnT~55

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2007
Messages
769
Reaction score
87
Just saw Neil on Sunday, he used Old Black for almost the whole concert...it was great. Especially a Day in The Life, thought he was going to smash it...ended up breaking all the strings instead.
 

Latest Threads



Top