Last night around 8.30pm, the internet was nonfunctional and my world came to a relative standstill. With little to capture my waking interest, I yawned and stretched, hollered and gaped. When I finished, I came to understand that my actions had without intention summoned a spirit, a scampish little pixie. Before me was a fluffy purple bunny with a curved horn between his ears. He spoke little English, favouring the Spanish tongue and therefore I could not understand his most communications. He had the cleverest odd appendages: the hands of an ape, very dextrous, quite human-like in both appearance and manner. He spoke in whispers, gesticulating with his black digits in a mode as if to pick things from the air. His eyes swirled like slow-moving jet engines and when he first appeared, I was frightened, but was immediately struck with a narcoleptic ease, my head listing and breath evenly paced. The fellow babbled in a fairy tale-like cadence, while his tall ears expelled a clear vapour which clouded my mind; my own words began to lose clarity and things that made perfect sense some moments prior seemed impossible to engage.
Sleep is all he commands while he rummages through my luggage looking for ‘pesos pesos’; with my eyelids falling inexorably to a close I ask him through a sleepy smile if he is the Easter Bunny. He sharply swivels his head to return a dazzling gaze, hissing, baring his pristine white teeth of length. The next thing I knew it was 10.30pm and the fellow had gone, my luggage neatly organised into genres of wear. I awoke questioning what I saw and came to doubt it all, favouring that I might have fallen strike of an hallucinatory spell. But then a curious ingot of reflective character caught my glance and I drew nearer to it. Sitting in a corner of the room was a perfectly round, golden marble, inscribed in Helvetican script, ‘VALDEZ’.
Well anyway, I got up terribly early this morning and had breakfast at the usual joint before sitting in my room waiting for the earliest moment the rehearsal place would open. An hour ahead of the rest of UHTC, I was the first in the studio and straight away I set to investigating and repairing the reverb tanks mentioned yesterday. I spoke of them in the autumn blogs as well, likely moaning about their crummy internal wiring. With a bit of luck the repairs I performed today should keep things together for a while.
At 10am the rest of the crew arrived and I had completed my repairs. Band members began filtering in from around 1pm and Mitch and I discussed the new toy, the attenuator, and experimented with various settings. The rehearsal started proper at 4pm and when the band took a break, Mitch and I tried something different as we weren’t too happy with the sound from his amp. I installed a 12DW7 / ECC832 valve in the ‘front end’ of the amp’s circuitry, replacing a 12AX7 / ECC83; the results were favourable. The reason for this was, plainly speaking, the power amp stage of the unit was receiving too much signal, thereby distorting. But anyway, job done, all good.
At 7pm, Leonard called it a day and the first rehearsal was officially done. He seemed pleased with the session and left in good spirits. By 8pm I was in my room with no internet, fighting the temptation to yawn.
(Finding a rogue internet signal has allowed me to post this entry, so I thank greatly the person in or near the hotel with a trusting manner, leaving their signal openly accessible.)