Do you have tinnitus? I do. It made me quit playing the guitar in the late 80s. It’s estimated that 50% of all professional musicians have tinnitus.

I play guitar at very low volume now. A lot of time I play unplugged. Do you know how loud you are? Download this great decibel meter app. Anything above 85 is hurting your ears. Wear ear protection. And encourage your kids to protect their ears–no ear buds!

Join the American Tinnitus Association. It’s a great organization. If you can’t afford to join (it’s only $40 per year) at least like them on Facebook, and you will get lots of cool updates and articles like some of the ones linked below.

Want to learn more about tinnitus? Here’s a great article on ABC.

Read this interview with Dr. Fatima Husain. She’s a total badass and part of a wave of new researchers working every day to find a fix for our condition. She thinks we are ten years from a significant breakthrough. So that is good news.

I will continue to update this post with new links so check back from time to time.

Pete Townshend–tinnitus poster boy:


Johnny Marr Broke His Hand

Pretty much the worst thing for a guitar player, especially when on tour. Marr is currently touring to support his debut solo album “The Messenger” but fell and broke his hand while gong for a run in London last week. Marr hopes this won’t slow him down and stated, “The plan is to do the Leeds Brudenell shows on March 24 and 25 and then the dates I have in South America as long as I can play the guitar when the plaster comes off. Usually that would be after six weeks but I’m hoping it will be OK, it’s a bit up in the air at this point. I may have to start drinking heavily.” Marr is a tough guy. Full story at nme.com


My New Robert Cray Stratocaster

I picked up this sweet Robert Cray Stratocaster on Craiglist yesterday. I had been searching for a hardtail Strat for a while now (coming from the Tele, I’m just not a huge fan of the tremelo). Hardtail Strats are pretty few and far between on eBay and the American ones seemed to be going for a bit more than I wanted to spend. I’m not a huge fan of rosewood necks so I had been considering buying a Cray body off eBay and putting on a maple neck. But then this near-mint Cray popped up on Craigslist for $450 so I went for it.

This guitar is stunning. Pics don’t do it justice. I love the Inca Sliver with just a hint of green in it, accentuated by the mint pickguard. The neck is beefy with the 60’s “C” shape. You can check out all the specs on the Fender site (and there is also the Robert Cray Signature Series for $5,800). Continue reading…


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